On-line and under control
Today's article on Christian ScienceOriginally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel
Advances in technology can mean greater freedom and progress. The Internet has been widely praised for enabling the free flow of information, irrespective of national boundaries or political ideologies, and therefore bringing people closer together. But it has also been used to spread harm.
Last May, when a computer virus severely disrupted so many companies and governmental agencies all over the world, it once more became clear that our safety cannot be assured by technology. Yet history has shown us that the march of progress and freedom cannot be stopped.
When Johann Gutenberg designed a new kind of printing press in 1440 - one that used movable characters - it was the beginning of the dissemination of reading material on a large scale. The Bible, with its message of freedom, could for the first time be broadly circulated after this invention. The Gutenberg Bible was first published in 1456.
Yet other kinds of reading material could also now be printed and disseminated, some of which worked against the best interests of humankind. Ultimately, though, the circulation of new and uplifting ideas from the Bible and other types of literature benefited humanity. It launched revolutions and upheavals that resulted in better forms of government and greater freedom for many people.
We don't need to fear upheavals. True power rests on the side of Truth. Ideas are more powerful than weapons, especially when these ideas rest on divine authority. The good thoughts we think, the thoughts that God places in our hearts, have the power to bring peace to our world.
The Bible's Gospel of John opens with this statement: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). This Word can't be swayed by human invention, by human will, or by malicious intrusions on worldwide communication. God's will and Word - His holy purpose for all His creation and for each of His children - stands forever supreme.
God's creation of the universe isn't an event in the distant past. He creates it now, and governs it now. The Word of God is at work, and is powerful. It is the activity of Truth, revealing the perfection of God's creation. As we turn our thoughts to God, we see His government is law - a law always at work, always maintaining harmony.
When a man came to Jesus seeking healing for his servant who was paralyzed and, as he put it, "grievously tormented," he said to Jesus, "speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." And the servant was healed (Matt. 8:6, 8). Surely the "word" Jesus spoke was divine communication. It was the expression of the divine will, which brings healing. It was the expression of divine law, enforcing freedom. This expression is the essence of all true communication, in all ages - even on the Net. It can never be disrupted. And it must always bring enlightenment and progress.
Speaking of the ability of divine Truth to bring progress to our world, the founder of the Monitor wrote: "The powers of this world will fight, and will command their sentinels not to let truth pass the guard until it subscribes to their systems; but Science [the law of God], heeding not the pointed bayonet, marches on. There is always some tumult, but there is a rallying to truth's standard" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 225).
No one is excluded from God's government. Under it there are neither perpetrators nor victims of illicit schemes. Our prayers, affirming the power and inevitability of good, will serve to awaken thought worldwide. They will remove the anger or selfishness that lead to the disruption of communication, and open the way for the blessings the Internet can offer.
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