1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. Luke 17:1 (NIV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
Being a pastor, people often talk to me when they need help with a problem. I counsel with members of my church, friends and acquaintances from other denominations, and sometimes I’m asked for advice by strangers I’m sitting next to in a waiting room. So, I wanted to give you a “heads up” about something going on in our world today. The modern technology of our day is giving people new ways to sin.
Something I see going on everywhere is that people are getting involved in extramarital affairs using the Web or a cell phone. I’m convinced that most of these illicit relationships wouldn’t happen if it were not for the anonymity and ever-present nature of electronic communication. When I entered the ministry more than 25 years ago, it was difficult to contact someone you’d lost touch with. There was no way to Google someone’s address. The only way you could talk by phone was on that ancient rotary-dial-landline hanging on the kitchen wall — the one with the long cord that was always tangled. The only text message you could send had to be in an envelope with a stamp on it.
The fact that communication was carried on in broad daylight with everyone listening did a lot to cut down on all the inappropriate stuff that goes on today. I mean, when you’re a grown woman and get a land-line phone call from your 6th grade boyfriend who says he thinks he’s still in love with you, your first instinct is probably to question his sanity. Or, if a grown man finds a love letter in his mailbox from a girl he met at summer camp when he was 12, he’ll probably turn to his wife and say, “Hey honey, get a load of this!”
But somehow electronic communication is different. It is ever-present, private, secret, and forbidden. It lures folks in with the promise of rekindling a “friendship.” Very often, it ignites a flame that spreads to consume a marriage, a home, and a family.
So, beloved, be careful with technology. Guard your marriage, and be careful whom you become “friends” with. My dear departed father used to tell us, “When you get married, you don’t need ‘friends” like that any more.” This is most certainly true. Let the Lord Jesus be your closest friend in Heaven and your spouse and children be your closest friends on this Earth.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 27 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher stood on the yellow line in the middle of the highway in the front his house to have cell coverage after Hurricane Katrina.) The Cashes have two sons, Spencer (age 21), and Seth (age 18), who live in the parsonage, too, except when they are away at college. He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.