24 MAY 2020 ON GUARD TODAY WHY DO WE NEED A FILTER? Is a filter really needed? Why can’t we just behave ourselves? The Internet is a vast assortment of computers linked together and storing all manner of information. Much of this information can be accessed by the general public. The combined opportunities of the computer and the Internet have pushed much commercial activity online. However, as soon as the Internet’s use changed from its beginnings in research and scientific pursuits to being widely used by the general populace, entertainment and sinful activity began to drive enormous amounts of online traffic. Both the good and the bad are easily found on the Internet. We believe that Christians may use it for business needs and for necessary and purposeful activities. We believe it is not consistent with sincere Christian living to use the Internet for entertainment purposes and casual surfing. We also believe it is required to have a filter installed on our computers, smartphones, and all devices that access the open Internet. The doctrine of separation from the world is taught in the Bible: “Come out from among them. . . saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing” 2 Corinthians 6:17. We are not to seek out and love the things of the world: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” 1 John 2:15-16. Jesus taught the need for purity in our hearts, Matthew 5:28, Job, a God-fearing man, said, “I made a covenant with mine eyes” Job 31:1. The filter helps us keep these teachings from the Word of God. It helps us in weak moments and gives us time to consider what we are trying to view. It is for the safety of children, youth, or others who might use the computer or cell phone with access to the Internet. Without a filter, it is a known fact that many children are exposed to pornography at a young age, which in turn leads to addictions, warped concepts of sexuality, and damaged relation-ships. The filter is an important line of defense in the Internet age to protect all the church’s previously held convictions on worldly entertainment, music, photography, and other areas of nonconformity that have defined the people of God. Some say they do not need a filter and feel they are strong and able to handle the dangers and that we should be people of self-control and self-denial. On the other hand, society would consider a park to be greatly negligent that would not have a secure guardrail on a scenic overlook at the edge of a high cliff. In laboratories, harmful substances such as live viruses are locked away and handled with careful procedures though the workers understand the dangers and say they will be careful. Rather than feeling themselves to be strong, spiritual brethren are often heard to say they do not trust themselves and feel comforted by the fence that helps protect us. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” Psalm 101:3. We have been blessed by previous decisions that help define boundaries for our safety. Let us love God, Psalm 91:14, and fill our minds with good thoughts, Philippians 4:8, our hearts with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, Colossians 3:16, and keep ourselves unspotted from the world, James 1:27. Courtesy of Gospel Publishers, Moundridge Kansas
Conservative Australian Anabaptist Mennonites
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