Brad East takes on technology in church with his latest piece. His view that churches should be careful when incorporating the latest tech into the liturgy comes across clearly.
The problem arises when churches say they want to oppose believers’ digital habits, dysfunctions, and addictions while reproducing those very habits within the life of the church, above all in the liturgy. That’s a case of extreme cognitive dissonance. How could church leaders ever expect ordinary believers to learn from the church how to amend their digital lives when church leaders themselves, and the church’s public worship itself, merely model for believers their own bad habits? When, in other words, church members’ digital lives, disordered as they are, are simply mirrored back to them by the church and her pastors?
We are living in an age when the rapid advance of technology has come with many negative knock on effects. East goes into some of them (pron and the destruction of attention spans), but there are many more than even he cares to detail. While he admits some technology — AC, plumbing — is almost necessary, he is clearly against the inclusion of new advances that do nothing to enhance the worship experience but that take us back into our everyday dependences.
East does call out the Orthodox for not succumbing to the temptations of the shiny and I’m glad for it. I shudder to think of PowerPoint with liturgy.