“First this: God created the Heavens and Earth — all you see, all you don’t see.” —Genesis 1:1 (MSG)
Photo By NASA via Unsplash—Edited by NAD
The Holy Bible is awash with elaborate promises covering every aspect of human existence. I stumbled across one of them from Deuteronomy 28:12b-13 as a curious young lad trying to make meaning of the book.
“You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” (NIV)
We further read from Acts 1:8b “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)
In the Luke 16:8 parable, Jesus categorically diagnosed the relationship between the ‘people of the light’ and those of the ‘world.’
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” (NIV)
THE ‘CHURCH’ AND THE ‘WORLD’ We cannot overemphasize the many glorious achievements of the Church in history and even today.
Photo By Raimond Klavins via Unsplash
My salvation experience in 1995 is one of such great testimonies made possible by the steadfastness of the Body of Christ. My deep gratitude goes out to Bishop Vaglas Kanco — Founder and President of the LORD’S Vineyard Ministry in Accra-Ghana — the Shepherd under whose ministration I decided to accept Christ as Lord and personal Savior.
In this context, the ‘people of the light’ is deemed to refer to the Universal Body of Christ—The Church.
Contrary to God’s promise in Deuteronomy 28:12b-13, the Body of Christ has much to do to play its top leadership role in the 21st Century. Observably, the Church has often lagged in rising to the occasion at the dawn of nearly every major world shift in history.
THE INDUSTRIAL AGE
Photo By Vlad Chețan via Pexels
The Industrial Age — 1780 to1850 — is defined by mass production, broadcasting, the rise of the nation-state, electricity, modern medicine, and running tap water. Power-driven machines such as the power loom and the steam engine replaced hand tools. The cotton industry was the first industry to go through mechanization. The production of the steam engine also allowed for steamboats and locomotives, which made transportation faster.
THE CHURCH’S REACTION—COLLECTIVELY—TO THE INDUSTRIAL AGE In France, Germany, and Britain, several segments of the then Church criticized the effects of industrialization. To them, there was little in Christianity to support the relentless competitive spirit unleashed by the industrial revolution.
It was not until the Church gathered that it could employ the technological advances, especially in communication, to enable mass preaching in furtherance of the great commission — Matthew 28:18–20 — that it embraced the shift to the industrial age. Let’s remind ourselves that by this time, the ‘world’ had long moved on.
INFORMATION AGE We take the electricity today for granted, but there was a time that the only source of light was gas, kerosene, or candles. I wasn’t yet born at that time, gratefully.
Nonetheless, I was about eighteen (18) years when Bill gates — the American business magnate, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist — released his book ‘Business at the speed of thought.’
Photo By Cookie the Pom via Unsplash
In his book, he sought to draw parallels between the electricity lifestyle and the web lifestyle. In the chapter titled ‘Adopt the web lifestyle,’ he argues that when electricity was first discovered by Ben Franklin — the man whose picture is featured on the obverse of the American hundred-dollar (USD 100) bill — in 1752, ‘electricity’s potential was unforeseen.’ Similarly, at the dawn of the information age and the internet in the 1970s, it was discounted by many — including the ‘people of the light.’
COLLECTIVE REACTION OF THE CHURCH TO THE INFORMATION AGE The Church discounted this shift and justified their indifference, citing reasons we now know to be unsupported.
For instance, the Church community’s reaction was that the ‘www’ counts to ‘666’ in the Hebrew language. This notion pulled the breaks on the Church’s strides to interrogate and find answers to her apprehensions regarding the internet.
Today, we know that supposition was unjustified because the Hebrew equivalent of the English alphabet ‘w’ is the letter ‘vav’ or ‘waw.’ The numerical value of vav is 6. So, the English ‘www’ transliterated into Hebrew is ‘vav vav vav,’ which numerically is 6–6–6 equaling 18 and not 600 + 60 + 6, or the number ‘Six hundred sixty and six’ which will be the number of the name of the person of the antichrist according to Revelation 13:18c.
As a result of this misinterpretation of scripture, or perhaps miscalculation, it took the Church over a couple of decades to come to terms with the information age. Thanks be to God that eventually, at the dawn of the second millennium, the Church — collectively — began awakening to the internet's potential.
Again, let’s remind ourselves that it was a little too late and a bit too ‘at the bottom,’ and ‘the tail’ instead of ‘at the top’ and ‘the head’ as God intended for the ‘people of the light’ in Deuteronomy.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) AND COMMERCIAL SPACE AGE
Photo By Tara Winstead via Pexels
As I prepare this presentation, humanity is at the tipping point of commercializing ‘AI’ and space travel.
AI is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think logically, learn and solve problems. Currently, AI is used in competing at high levels in strategic game systems such as Chess. It’s also used in interpreting complex data, and it is the apparatus that enables self-driving cars. Tesla CEO Elon Reeve Musk and the CEO of Uber — Dara Khosrowshahi — are working hard to standardize the application of AI in self-driving cars.
What is more, the Space Age is generally considered to have begun with the launch of Sputnik (1957) by the Soviet Union — the world’s first artificial satellite, orbiting the Earth in 98.1 minutes and weighing 83 kg (183 lb.)