The tower of Babel in my pocket

So lets rewind a little. You have Adam and Eve. Designed for worship and intimate love. Not designed with the capacity of God-hood, because they are neither omni-anything nor designed with the spiritual clout to form good judgment from their pez view of eternity.

The only thing God seems to say to Adam and Eve is – don’t eat that tree. Now it would be easy with our human insecure brains to translate that into – “I DON’T LIKE YOU, I WANT TO KEEP YOU IN THE DARK, IM A BAD PRESENT GIVER, IM ARROGANT AND POWER HUNGRY SO DON’T TOUCH THAT SO I CAN ASSUME MY AWESOMENESS OVER YOU” or we could look deeper into Gods commandment through Gods glasses of exodus 34.

I shared a toaster analogy the other night that sort of works. Its like a fridge, making a toaster to toast things, telling the toaster don’t put milk in you, because only I have the capacity to keep milk cold, you are designed to keep bread warm. And then having the toaster pour milk in itself.

Humans don’t have the capacity to be God. And yet we keep craving to pour milk in ourselves, and short circuit everything we were created for. You watch throughout history we keep attempting to take on Gods role. And sometimes God stops us before it gets too bad and sometimes he doesn’t – not sure why. But through human choice, we refuse to choose – WORSHIP.

So fast forward a little bit – the tower of Babel. We humans, figure out that God has made us to be pretty creative. Pretty good builders. Especially when we work in teams. So we suss out that if we build a big enough structure we can walk into Gods house and tell him what we want him to do for us – and take his job.

The other thing we were built for other then worship was COMMUNITY. An echo of the trinity. And when we work in teams, amazingly big things happen. As every sports movie preaches. So, theres some strangely large power in groups attempting to be God. See any attempted genocide or ideology that takes over nations. Its powerful. AND because we don’t have the capacity to be God, we stuff it up and destroy large portions of humanity in our wake. – Check out Africa, check out south east asia and south America and soon – check out north America. By attempting to take Gods position in wealth creation and distribution we destroy large swathes of existence.

So where am I going with this?

Of late I have been thinking about my use and the influence of smart phones in my life. And in a way, humans have now collectively, attempted to put God into an electronic box so that we can literally carry him around in our pockets.

1. – Google. It’s the obvious one to me. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” has turned into “I can do anything with google, just google it, google will know it” We have begun to push God out, by ushering in google. There is even a church of google.

2. – Social media. I can know what my good friend Grayson is doing in the suburbs of northern California whilst sitting in the middle of an apartment complex in Singapore skyping my friends back in Australia and being updated by the doings of my friends in the jungles of PNG. Social media and the internet capabilities of most 3rd world nations has made it possible to be almost all-knowing. And almost all present. God-like. I could know of local news in Australia from a dodgy net café in a tiny village in the middle of Uganda. We skyped two teams of 6 into our commissioning ceremony from argentina and Columbia when they were stranded there by a giant volcano. I can download a movie made in America, from sources in countries all over the planet. And the list of possibilities goes on and on and on.

3. The combination of a billion things in one tiny pocket sized box – camera, internet, books, music, movies, games, calculator, translator etc etc – making us almost all-powerful.

Could smart phones be the new babel? Humanities attempt to replace God with something we have built. And subtly without consciously knowing it.

I’ve read a lot of blogs of late on the idea that smart phones take us away from where we actually are, we prefer to be in different countries mentally instead of being in the presence of beautiful people that we are physically with.

What would happen if we all threw away our phones and lived and related with only those we could touch and feel?

In the last 3 years I have met some of the best people ever who now live 10’s of thousands of kilometres away. What if I had never met them, and I only had a horse to travel, no phones, just relating in the space I find myself?

Is that what God was thinking when he spilt up the people at babel, and gave them different languages? Was it his attempt to protect us from trying to be God?

Cause honestly, I try and be God all the time. I try and make things happen on my own strength, I try and make myself secure, and happy, and influential.

When God really just wants to be these things for us. Because our capacity to love without judgment would be liberated.

As a huge fan of technology and the possibilities that my smart phone gives me, I’m beginning to rethink if I need one first, and if I even want one..

Because currently I have this belief in my heart that I need to be able to do anything and everything. God has designed me to do some things and not others, so I NEED others to be in team with me. But with this current tower of babel I can look down on humanity and occasionally think – “I don’t need you” which is both dangerous and not what I was designed for.

With that said, God redeems all.

So I wonder how he wants to redeem the Gods in our pockets and ipads.

8 thoughts on “The tower of Babel in my pocket

  1. Seriously. Well written. Powerful bro.

    But the question is … are you going to give your smart phone away, destroy it, or keep it and pretend you never had this revelation?

    1. and thats what i’ve been thinking through all night. i feel like after outreach i want to get rid of my phone all together. and just not have one. something bo said too, his capacity to relate to people increased hugely when he got rid of his computer too. and i feel like on outreach i will use my phone as a camera and nothing else because it wont have a sim card in it. but at lewis house the only peeps i NEED to communicate with instantly are usually less then 10 metres away you know? so when i return to legs eleven can you please take my phone off me and ask me if i really need it? because i dont feel like i will. because also, its become a safety blanket. like if im awkward i always find a screwed up security in facebook or twitter and it has also brought struggle into other parts of life that just dont need to be there. its like a weird idol cross between attempt at being God. woah so much revelation. I LOVE YOU.

  2. I don’t know what to say really…should I even be writing this note to you on this computer hundreds of miles away? There could be some benefit such as an encouraging word. But in the end, it’s God’s opinion that matters, not mine. So maybe should just lift you up in prayer and get closer to God at the same time. Live in the present place and time. But now that I’ve written this note and you are reading it, it becomes a challenge both for you and me. Don’t be surprised if I don’t comment again….haha

  3. Yep. So the other day I briefly saw the title of this and just immediately thought “smartphone” and it made sense. And now I’ve made it back to read it. So good.

    Let’s fight for monopurpose devices then? I own a simple phone and then an iPod touch and it’s been this crazy battle on having a very small amount of apps and giving boundaries to where the phone and iPod hang out. And then of course, you’ve read my revelation about constant communication with Jesus so that’s always the solution 🙂 Keep writing, reading your blog posts is that crazy awesome combination of challenging/inspiring. Thanks.

    1. If this is the direction we are going to go, one could conclude any advancement in technology is an attempt to do such things.
      From the telephone back to the printing press to building homes.
      One could write an article just as simply for the other side supporting God-given creativity and smarts.

      It’s not what it is, but how you use it. If it takes the place of God, then that is definitely an issue. But for others, they put it away in the presence of others, it makes community happen much easier and allows more time spent enjoying rather than planning.

      Perhaps we all just need to continually ask ourselves how we can better do those things?

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