Perspectives#6. “Cell phones in Church.”

Perspectives#6. “Cell phones in Church.”

A few years ago, I made a Facebook post that read: “Playing with your cell phone in worship is like forsaking the assembly without having to leave the building.”

Much to my surprise it was ‘Shared’ 800 times worldwide (nothing compared with some, but eight times more than any before or since). The accompanying comments were predictable. They ranged from the supportive, “Amen!” to the stinging, “You know that people use their phone as their Bible in church, don’t you?” To which I say that a cell phoned used as Bible in church, and anywhere for that matter, is a very good thing.

But let’s not kid ourselves, on any given Sunday there are more than a few people zoning out of worship and zoning into their cell phone screens. I have mentioned this problem to other preachers and have been shocked when they have mentioned names of people who know better.

It is at this point that the guilty and their enablers get defensive. But it is at this point that I will reply by asking a question in the spirit of Malachi: “Why don’t you try offering those excuses to your secular leaders and see how far they get you? If people who hold your wages over your head refuse to be ignored, how much more God?

I have a simple rule when having to use my cell phone in church: I use it in plain view of those around me. I have nothing to hide. And if I did, maybe I should be asking why I am not somewhere else in fellowship with myself and the devil, because it is obvious that I have no interest in fellowship with God and the church.

God knows the hearts of all men and I don’t. Thus, I have no desire to be a cell phone detective. Christians are adults in the best sense possible and Christ expects us to act like it. Far be it from any of us that we be guilty of forsaking the assembly by playing with our cell phones.

John Staiger


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