Question: What role should internet use have in the life of a Christian?
Answer: Many questions have been asked about whether a saint should have internet access or not and what role it should have in the life of a Christian. What is the difference between the internet and a television? Is there a double standard?
It is important to recognize the difference between television and the internet. The primary purpose of the television is for entertainment, whether it be movies or sports. News is also a part of the programming, but consider its use as a whole.
On the other hand, the internet is a web of interlinking information across the globe. The internet is used for work, communication, research, etc. It has proved to be a wonderful tool, but it has also been used for much evil. The internet now provides access to movies and many of the programs which are aired on television. In sum, it has greater access to evil than the television has ever held. There still remains a difference. There is greater control over the internet as a tool than there is over the television which is controlled by the networks. On the other hand, gross evil is at the finger tips of the internet user. No longer do people have to go secretly to places to fulfill lustful desires. They have access in the privacy of their homes. Hence, the internet is powerful and can be very dangerous.
The doctrine of holiness must be strictly applied to the internet as a tool. If it becomes a source of entertainment, it is most likely going to encroach on the principles of holiness. The internet has offered people a way to escape painful feelings and troubling situations. People have sacrificed many hours of needed sleep to spend online. Many withdraw from family and friends to escape into a comfortable online world that they have created and shaped. Great caution must be used.
The internet is like a loaded gun. It is not to be played with but is to be used carefully and with caution as a dangerous, but useful tool. Some people should not use or have a gun. This is the same of the internet. There are some people that need to completely get rid of it as a safety and guard against their weaknesses.
If the internet is used properly, it can serve many beneficial purposes. Keep it sanctified. Too often it has taken priority over devotions and becomes a time killer. People become overcharged with the use of it and become inundated with too much information. Temperance must be used and it is good to reexamine its role in the home.
Social networks can be valuable for spiritual causes and for reconnecting with friends. This again can be very dangerous when misused. Many homes have been broken over what started as innocent communication. It has caused barriers to be broken down between both young people and adults that the Lord would like preserved.
As a loaded gun is kept in a safe place, so should the internet be in people’s homes. The children should be carefully monitored if they have to use the internet for school or research. It is good to use a filter to help protect children from temptation.
We live in a technological age where the internet has become a vital tool. We must also recognize the inherent danger of it. Your soul is more important than anything else. Let your decisions reflect that and may holiness, temperance, and caution be exercised in the moment by moment use of the internet.