I confess, I am a “Mac-Aholic.” I have been a lifelong addict. Twenty years to be precise. It is an expensive addiction. One of my friends, John, who now works for Mennonite World Relief, bought his first Mac a few years before me, and between the two of us we have purchased a lot of Mac gear.
In our home currently, the four of us each have either a MacBook, iBook or G4 PowerBook. We also have a G3 iMac, and a blue and white iMac desktop, and the ancient relic that still works, the PowerBook 5300c. All the other Macs have been recycled which is the least I can do when I upgrade. But what about stewardship? Can a person just max out on being a Mac Geek??!
So here we have all these commercials in Canada promoting the iPhone coming here at last, and what Mac Geek would not want a gadget like that? Right? Wrong! I believe as a Christian I have to be a responsible steward. I have to gauge what it is I need, and what for, and if it is warranted and if the cost is right, as well as, I know, some will cringe at the thought, but it is true, if it is what God would have me invest in. When it comes to technology, these have to be taken into account. It is not about materialism, and it is not about addiction, nor is it about sounding spiritual. On a pragmatic level, it is whether or not God would actually desire me to use this technology. I have concluded with the iPhone, it is not. Here are my reasons.
1) I do not use a smart phone. So why do I need the iPhone? It would just be another gadget that gets in the way of relating with people. I am on my Mac laptop too much as it is. I work on a PC at work all day, and when I get home, I pull out the G4 and go to town blogging or working on a web site or project I have on the go. I have an iPod I barely use. So what would the iPhone create in my world? I don’t want to even think long on that one!
2) I have a cell phone for emergencies. Cell phone rates are ridiculous in Canada. I waited until November of 2007 BEFORE I ever bought one! Yep! That long. It saves on quarters, and if I am in a bind on the road, or I am going to be late or I have an emergency, I can use the cell. That to me is good stewardship. Besides we felt we needed to get Lori (my wife) one because she was going to be driving a hour out of town for work, and we wanted to be able to connect, or if there was an emergency at her end, we had a means of connecting. Sensible. So sensible we got a plan through 7/11 which makes complete sense/cents as we save a ton of money, because there are no monthly rates! You have a year to use your time, and every time you add time, you carry over what you have not used. Now to me that is stewardship and an investment!
3) By and large Canadians pay some of the highest cell phone rates in the world. Rogers is a huge company in Canada and bullies its customers, which is why in 1993 our family stopped our cable subscription. Too much money for packages we did not want, and we could not choose our channels, just the packages. So since there was really no power of choice involved, we stopped cable. The last thing I want is to engage with Rogers and their lousy packages.
The only thing I have done in desperation, has been when their video store is the only store that carries a particular DVD I want to watch with the family, I put on my overcoat, fedora, and sunglasses, and as I get my car keys, I cringe, drive over, pick the movie, hand over my ten year old Rogers Video Card (looks and feels like new), and pay for the movie, and run out of the store. Other than that I avoid Rogers like the plague.
4) Even though I will not get an iPhone, I believe it is the right thing to protest both the high rates not just with Rogers but all cell phone providers, as well Apple limiting its iPhone to one provider, Rogers, without regard to its faithful support/client base here in Canada. I am sorely disappointed in Apple.
So, I for one will support Canadians who protest, as it is the right thing to do. I will also practice good stewardship and not purchase the iPhone, for I do not
need or use a smart-phone.
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The above blog post was written at a time when I was eclectic in my theological & biblical views and understanding. As of 5 February 2017 I am a functional cessasionist, that is, I believe the spiritual gifts, in particular gift like the vocative, prophetic gifts as well as healing & miracles have ceased. This means that my understanding is that at the end of the apostolic era, when the last apostle died (that would be John who was at Patmos & Ephesus, the author of the Gospel of John, Epistles of John & the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with his passing, the need for these particular gifts, the oracles of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, were no longer required. With the forming of the Canon of Scripture, there came to be no need for revelatory gifts. In fact in Revelation, John himself records the words of Jesus, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.” [Revelation 22, CSB]
God is sovereign, still heals, still manifests in the miraculous, but not at the whim or the discretion of men. We pray and ask the Lord, and then we yield and surrender to His will, echoing the words and the spirit of Christ, “Not my will but your will be done.” [Luke 22:42].
I embrace and hold to a Reformed understanding of theology & Christian living in the world. I have abandoned my other views entirely. I would be more akin to a Reformed Baptist (1689 Confession) type of Reformed theology. I used to be a continuationist (akin to John Piper) but no longer.
God bless you as you seek to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10 CSB].
In the eternal grip of Jesus,
Samuel M. Buick
29 January 2018
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