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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | December 17, 2018

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In my own words

Longer letters from our readers

Smartphones and mind control

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, technology has been subtly minimising all face-to-face conversation.

Today, one can’t sit on a bus without someone nattering on a mobile or vigorously thumbing their iPad or smartphone, obviating eye contact with other passengers.

Even greeting someone in the street is often ignored because earphones are stuffed into their ears.

So much has changed since the days when our food was produced by a rural farming community and wives made contact with their men at lunchtime by bringing a ploughman’s lunch. The entertainment industry, particularly television, has destroyed a tradition of family interaction around a piano or playing board games together. Once telephones became the norm in every home, no one even bothered to walk around the corner to speak to a neighbour.

BBC Panorama’s programme ‘Smartphones: The Dark Side’ highlighted these statistics: teens spend 18 hours a week on their phones and check them 90 times a day, a third of adults check their phones at night and Facebook now has 2.2 billion users worldwide. I believe Satan is taking mind control of the population.

What is more, people’s
finances are already in the advanced stages of control with online shopping and
internet banking. I believe this will culminate in the ‘mark of the beast’ (Revelation 13:15-17) and probably a micro-chip identity, without which no one will be able to buy or sell.

Back in the 70s, I believe God gave me a prophetic message that one day those belonging to him will have to pray for their daily bread like the Israelites did for manna in the wilderness.

Alan Kay

Cobham, Surrey

 

Let’s make church services just 30 minutes long

Short cuts: Paul Minter wants a half-hour service

If we want elderly members with multiple health complaints to keep coming to church, let’s give them a manageable service of true quality.

Christianity has always met the needs of the time and place – originally with ceremony and ritual, and later with long preaching. Recently I glanced across at a church elder who had fallen asleep during the sermon.

My friends in their 80s and 90s in various local churches sometimes just can’t face a whole hour; others have abandoned the Sunday service for half-hour midweek services.

Half an hour would suit young children, too. People say children don’t belong in a service and can be taken to another room, but the whole family could stay together for just half an hour.

And wouldn’t many peple who have left the Church return for a short, quality service?

To this end, I have created my own 30-minute service based on the traditional Christian training in the Shorter Catechism: a hymn, the Ten Commandments, a whole Gospel chapter, a sung psalm, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed and another hymn. This can be used within any church’s present music and language styles, whether traditional or modern.

If we truly want revival and full churches, this is a big step in the right direction.

Paul Minter

Bexhill, East Sussex