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Youths and Technological Advances: Merit and Demerits TEXT: Daniel 12: 3 The youthful age is the part of life that succeeds to childhood (Webster, 1828). It is the period of time when somebody is young: the period of human life between childhood and maturity. A youth is being said to be Young, Obedient/Obstinate, Useful/Useless, Tenacious/Turncoat, Heroic/Heroics. There are several instances in the scripture of which there are youths whose lives have been made or marred based on their perception of youthful age. (Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Ecc 11:10-12:1) The term “Technology” is derived from the Greek words tekhne, which refers to an art or craft, and logia, meaning an area of study; thus, technology means, literally, the study, or science, of crafting. Technology is a general term for the processes by which human beings fashion tools and machines to increase their control and understanding of the material environment.

In fact, this is in direct pursuance of God’s direction at creation Genesis 1: 26 -30. Many historians of science argue not only that technology is an essential condition of advanced, industrial civilization but also that the rate of technological change has developed its own momentum in recent centuries. Technological innovations now seem to appear at a rate that increases geometrically, without respect to geographical limits or political systems. These innovations tend to transform traditional cultural systems, frequently with unexpected social consequences.

Thus technology can be conceived as both a creative and a destructive process. Bill Gates (1955 – ), said “a digital nervous system enables a company to do information work with far more efficiency, depth, and creativity. Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980) said the new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village. Lewis Mumford (1895 – 1990) acclaimed that “by his very success in inventing labor-saving devices modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed”. Technological Advances: Chronology Index (Dan 12:3; Ecc 7:25,29; Psalms 106:29) Technology has been a dialectical and cumulative process at the centre of human experience. Since the account of creation man have evolved mechanisms to control its material environment. Early technologies involve the use of stones, bones and animal materials for agricultural purpose as well as for the provision of shelter. Even the bible record that Tubal Cain was an instructor in the use of brass (alloy of zinc and copper) Gen 4: 21 -22. These breakthroughs have continued at astronomical rates from primitive tools to sophisticated ones.

In fact, Herb Brody said “You get up in the morning and put on your glasses, snap on the radio, and grab the morning paper. Already you have directly benefited from three of the greatest inventions of the last 1,000 years: the glass lens, wireless communications, and the printing press. Later you ride the subway to work, where you use a computer and make telephone calls—three more developments made possible by scientific breakthroughs during the last millennium. The last 1,000 years have produced an incredible number and variety of scientific and technological breakthroughs.

These inventions either provided radically new ways to do an important job, or they made possible tasks that were previously unimagined. Their impact was felt, if not right away then eventually, by a large portion of humanity. These developments have enabled significant new technological innovations and scientific discoveries. And finally, they have had an enduring effect on the world. Examples of such include: the compass, the mechanical clock, the glass lens, the printing press, the steam engine, the telegraph, electric power, wireless communications, antibiotics, the transistor and others.

What a difference 1,000 years have made! In AD 1000 the world was a very different place. Most people spent their entire lives within a few miles of their birthplace. Communication was limited to a small circle of villagers and the occasional passer-through. Disease struck with dreadful regularity against a population that had almost no defenses. With the exception of a few priests and other elites, people were basically illiterate, and there was very little to read anyway. People in 1000AD measured time by the Sun and the Moon.

Scientific observation was limited to what could be seen with the naked eye. Today, thanks to a millennium of scientific discovery and innovation, people’s lives have been transformed. They can view events as they happen half a world away. They can pick up the phone and talk to a friend or relative in a foreign country in seconds. Motorized transportation, from cars to jets, allows people to travel long distances in short time periods. Electricity runs a vast array of labor-saving and entertainment devices. Newspapers and books are inexpensive and readily available.

Life expectancy has greatly increased as medical science tracks down the causes and cures of more and more diseases. The desktop computer is a powerful tool for working, creating, and communicating. 2Technological Advances: Corrupting Influence (Eccl 7: 29; Psa 106:39, Psa 99:8;; Ecc 7:29; Rom 1:21-24; Oba 1: 3,4; Jer 49: 16) With every increase in technological breakthroughs in our world, the depraved nature of the unregenerated man had always and continues to be in defiance to the original purpose of creation.

Technology that should have been instrumental in the promotion of godliness has been used as means of promoting unrighteousness and ungodliness “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. Gen 6:5-7) Man has continued to use these technologies to his own detriments. This has been exemplified in the life of the Israelites “……… They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: …………… Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. (Psa 106:19-21, 29, 39).

This continual misuse of technological advances have attracted grave displeasure from God and brought untold inimical consequences on human beings. 3 Technological Advances: Christian Ideology (Daniel 12: 3, Gen 1: 26; Pro 8: 12; Job 35: 11; Job 32: 8 Exo 31:3 – 6; I kings 7: 14) God is the author of all technological breakthroughs that man has invented and will ever invent “…….. Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. Job 35: 11, Pro 8: 12). Also, “………. God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions (Ecc 7:29). God’s creations are for divine and useful purposes. He did not create tobacco for cigarette smoking, palms for wine and drunkenness, cereals for beer and strong drinks, iron and steel for arms and ammunitions (agents of destruction), etc so the inventions of modern technologies must not be allowed to mar our relationship with God but to strengthen it. Hence, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1Co 10:31).

A youth who has been wrongly addicted to products of technological breakthroughs should repent (Revelation 2: 5). Unwatchful and careless backsliders must seek God’s mercy for restoration; and believing youths must dedicate and be in mastery of their spirit He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls (Pro 25:28). Remember “all things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (1Co 6:12)”.

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