Friday, February 18, 2011

United Pentecostal Church International Doctrine: Technology

This is the third part of my mini-series on the United Pentecostal Church International's Doctrine (found at  For a full list of the positions I am covering, see


Currently, the position that the United Pentecostal Church International (hereinafter, 'UPCI' ) holds about technology is that they hold no position on the use of technology.  The UPCI states:
"The [UPCI] has an obligation to establish standards of conduct when necessary, but it refuses to make rules for every aspect of daily living. Each Christian is responsible to God to maintain holiness in his life, for God alone is his judge, but the [UPCI] is also responsible to teach biblical standards of holiness."
The UPCI believes that it is incumbent to the specific Pentecostal man/woman to use technology so long as he/she remains "holy".  Well, this begs the question:  What does it mean to be "holy"?  The UPCI says:
"Holiness as a spiritual experience and a way of life is not an option for a Christian but a biblical injunction. We are to 'cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God' (II Corinthians 7:1). We are urged, 'Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God' and 'be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind'” (Romans 12:1-2).
Again, prove that the Bible is an accurate representation of the will of God.  I am sorry, but I have to mention this every time someone tries to use the Bible as a justification for something.  The UPCI gives this warning:
"As new media appear in the marketplace, the Christian must not accept their usage without evaluation of their impact on his spiritual walk with God. We are to 'walk circumspectly [looking around us], not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil'" (Ephesians 5:15-16).  
This seems to insinuate that if you encounter a type of new media that contradicts your beliefs about your "spiritual walk with God", you should automatically reject this new media.  This is the antithesis of skepticism, critical thinking, and science.  You should never start with a conclusion and evaluate where the evidence is leading you (with the possible exception of a reductio ad absurdum or assuming the conclusion as true to show how the argument is invalid/unsound).

Let's take a look at the positions which the UPCI has taken in the past (according to their own testimony):
"...the [UPCI] has expressed its concern that Christians may be influenced by the media to compromise biblical holiness. It has officially dealt with technology in three ways:

(1) allowed its use without voicing caution or disapproval (telephone, automobile, microwave, central heating, printing press, photography, computer, etc.);
(2) accepted its use with warning and restrictions (radio, video);
and (3) rejected its use as being unsuitable for Christians or for their homes (movie theater, television)."
I will address each case individually.
  1. This is the way the use of technology should be (excluding warning labels for uses that may be hazardous to yourself).  The invention of technology is a wonderful byproduct of science and the critical thinking that accompanies science.  We have improved medicine, this laptop that I am using to write this post, the Internet which is used as the proverbial public marketplace for the exchange of ideas, telephones, electricity, and so forth because of science.  We know Christianity has historically been against scientific progress (examine the Dark Ages), but we have been dragging religion kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
  2. I am not quite sure why radio and video need to be warned against and restricted.  Perhaps the UPCI is afraid of atheistic/devil inspired programming such as the Internet radio show The Non-Prophets or YouTube videos from popular atheists such as thunderf00t and AronRa.  Why would the UPCI need to shelter its members from these sorts of un-Christian materials?  Are they so dogmatic as to not even consider other points of view?
  3. Well too bad none of those people will be able to read these doctrinal positions without the use of their computer.
Overall, allowing for Pentecostal Christians to use technology when they see the use as appropriate is good enough for me.  Technology should never be restricted unless when, in extreme cases, the use of which will inevitably lead to excessive amounts of harm (e.g. releasing the blueprints on exactly how to build an atomic bomb). 

I apologize for the brevity of this post, however the task of arguing against these particular positions is pointless if their only leg to stand on is their Bible.  They should make a statement about how they know that the Bible is an accurate representation of God's will, history, and infallible; then my post would take days instead of hours to write!

As usual, e-mail me at or leave a comment below!  Have a great weekend!


  1. well, reguarding your opinion I believe that if this is the way that people choose to live then who are you to try and contradict what they have decided to do? Is it the fault of the UPC church that people who are not involved in it can not even begin to understand where they stand with the values that they put before themselves. Maybe instead of trying to undermind what they are doing you should try and set higher standards for yourself. Then you would not feel so bad about someone doing more and you would not feel the need to try and undermind it. Just because it is impossibe for you to have faith in something weather you have had a hard childhood, your parents are divorced, and you cant believe in anything doesnt mean that you need to bash something like someones religion simply because you can not understand it. Try going into a UPC church, ask someone who is Pentecostal why they believe what they believe and maybe you will be able to understand what it is like to live with some purpose.

  2. I grew up UPC and I was held hostage by their religious relics and nonsense. I was taught that my leaders were set before me as my protector. I was never to question their authority, after all they were God's special messengers. I am so glad to be free and no longer held hostage by men who dictate what they believe as to be so for my life.