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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Well too bad none of those people will be able to read these doctrinal positions without the use of their computer.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below! Have a great weekend!