The Use and Abuse of Science and Technology in the Last Days

        Author: Living Lee Chai Peng

Introduction - a Broad Review of Man's History

Ever since early man discovered fire and began to make and use tools which enabled him to control rather than be controlled by his environment, he has apparently stopped evolving physically but progressed technologically. Great advancements in technology has enabled him to utilize the raw materials in the world around him to produce goods useful to himself and also enabled him, up to a certain extend, to modify and control not only the environment in which he lives but also the creatures within it including his fellow man. By learning to till the ground instead of just hunting and gathering, he was freed to stay and develop communities in one place instead of wandering in search of food. This was the Agricultural Revolution which was soon followed by the Industrial Revolution when the invention and use of machines enabled him to produce much more than he could ever have before. He has also learnt the sophisticated use of language which enabled him to transmit his ideas to others, thus freeing him from the tedious process of reinventing the wheel or learning by personal experience for every generation.

This was, of course, greatly accelerated by the use of computers ushering in the Information Age. He is even now tampering with the basic building blocks of life itself in genetic engineering to try to meet the needs of the hungry world whose resources will not be enough to feed its fast growing population as well as provide for other necessities like medicine and clothing. John Naisbitt (1990), in his book Megatrends 2000, has gone on to say that while physics has furnished the metaphors and models for the mechanistic industrial age, the metaphors of biology (e.g. feedback systems, computer virus, cell groups) are increasingly used today to help us understand today's dilemmas and opportunities. We are poised on the threshold of a great era of biotechnology and the next major step forward in humankind's history could well be the Age of Biology.

Science the Deliverer?

So far science and technology have promised and seemed to deliver man from impending disasters such as food and energy shortages by helping him to keep one step ahead before we run out of these and other resources. This has falsely lead many modern men to assume that science and technology hold the answers to all our problems and will enable us to face and overcome all the challenges that will come our way to threaten our existence on planet earth … given enough time! Hence, we are engaged in an accelerated race against time to try to use science and technology to meet all projected needs to ensure our survival. In this race, we often throw caution to the winds and it is more like do it first and sort out the ethics later as exampled by the recent rush in cloning and genetic engineering. The practical dominates the theoretical or ethical. Walsh and Middleton (The Transforming Vision, 1984), summed it up quite well in their critique of scientism and technicism (the worship of science and technology), by writing these words:-

"While scientism holds out the promise of omniscience, technicism offers us omnipotence. Modern humanity has come to believe in the unlimited (and thus abnormal) advance of science and technology, regardless of the consequences - social, environmental or psychological. We have come to believe that if it can be known, it must be known; and if it can be made, it must be made."

Role of Science and Technology in the Last Days

Where is this leading us and what will be the potential contributions of science and technology to the events of the last days?

A look at some common elements of the End-time scenario as given in Matthew 24 and other passages in the Bible shows that it will be a time of chaos and calamities brought about by the conjunction of a series of natural, supernatural and man-made disasters. In the confusion that ensues, people will become increasingly fearful and suspicious of each other and wickedness will increase because of the heightened need for self-preservation and survival. Many will fall prey to false prophets of not just the religious kind with their wonders and miracles, but also to those dressed in white lab-coats who keep reassuring them with "Do not fear, science and technology have the answers. We shall overcome."

Science has and will be used to offer a false sense of security to those who chose not to believe in God and the Bible. While we cannot deny that science and technology has brought about much good to mankind and helped him to solve many of his problems, they have also made him arrogant so as to even deny God's existence in preference to naturalism. This has led mankind down the road to destruction in the belief that might is right (the dogma of survival of the fittest based on atheistic evolutionary belief of origins) and there are no absolute morals because there is no God. This potent mix of the power he wields because of his mastery of science and technology and the absence of accountability to anyone but himself has brought man to the height of his arrogance and the brink of his destruction.

Science is mostly morally neutral in the sense that it is just systematized knowledge in understanding the natural world. Technology or the application of science to improve our lives needs more guidance as its misapplication can unleash forces that can cause tremendous and even irreparable damage to the earth and its inhabitants. There is, for example, a very real worry among some scientists that splicing genes from animals to plants to produce genetically modified foods could result in "rogue genes" which could escape our control and plague us with unnatural new diseases we do not know how to treat.

It is interesting to observe that several of the signs of the End-times will probably be brought about by the power put into our hands by science and technology. Matthew 24 can become reality very swiftly in our modern world because of their contributions. Large multinational companies have been accused of trying to control food production through the introduction of genetically modified food produced by single generation seeds which could only be purchased from them. The control over food will put into the hands of the future One World Government control over individuals just as the control over economy in the One World Economic System will give it control over all the nations.

The rapid transmission of information by modern telecommunications is of particular significance in its contributions to ushering in the events of the last days. False prophets and false christs can now reach and control many more followers via the television, Internet and air travel. Wickedness will increase as corruption of morals through the spread of pornography, occultic and other evil practices via the electronic and other media becomes widespread and easy. We have become such an interconnected community in the global village that the effects of famines and earthquakes will not only be confined to where they take place but would be world-wide (e.g. a major earthquake in Tokyo can collapse the economic system of the world and trigger off worldwide panic and chaos). Wars and rumors of wars can likewise be spread faster and wider than ever before (and so will the gospel). We have more than enough weapons to bring about a nuclear holocaust to fulfill the end-time scenario of the destruction of the heavens and the earth in 2 Peter 3:10. Bizarre weather phenomena coupled with man-made as well as natural disasters will add to the great distress felt by the inhabitants of an increasingly unstable world. They will be driven to seek refuge in the promises of deliverance and escape by the hoards of false prophets doing spectacular miracles, many of whom will be aided no doubt by illusions cleverly created with the help of science as is done in magic shows today. Even now, many cults and new age practitioners are using "science" to endorse their practices and gain credibility by having scientists within their ranks to promote their cause.

The greatest of the false prophets, the Antichrist, will gain control over all of mankind, except the true believers, with his promise to take care of all their problems if they surrender control of their lives and possessions to his central command. This is achievable, perhaps, with the advent of the personalized biochip that would be implanted in all who surrender to the One World Economic and Political System. All those who refuse will be pursued and persecuted relentlessly while many will be killed. When all have received the mark of the beast in order to be able to buy and sell, the Antichrist will institute his One World Religion by making them bow down to his image. Even the staunchest of believers in any previous religion will be hard pressed not to submit when his very existence or that of his loved ones is threatened.

Finally, the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will see Him and mourn. This used to be dismissed as an impossibility by skeptics because only half the world will be able to see Jesus coming in the sky at any one time. They did not reckon that with the advent of satellite television, any event can be easily transmitted worldwide immediately and so make this possible.

Be Prepared for His Sudden Return

The rapid progress of science and technology has brought us closer to fulfilling some of the signs of the last days before Jesus' return. It has made possible what was previously thought impossible. Does that mean that we Christians should not be involved with and contribute to the progress of science and technology? Certainly not, for we shall continue to hasten towards His second coming no matter what happens and there is much good that we can do with the products of science and technology in ministering to a world in need. Science and technology can help us do a better job in caring for the needy and the poor and in spreading the Gospel. We need not fear or stay away from them but we should develop and use them for God's purposes even as the unbelievers are seeking to use them for profit and to gain control of others.

It is just a matter of time when all the conditions are right for the events prophesied about the End-times to take place. While many Christians are tempted to guess the date of His return, which even He did not know (Matthew 24:26), Christ tells us to prepare for it by being faithful and wise servants doing what the Master has entrusted us to do till He returns. It will be business as usual like in the days of Noah and many will be caught unawares for He shall come like a thief in the night!

Selected Bibliography

Blackmore, V. and Page, A. 1989. Evolution The Great Debate. Lion Publ.,Oxford, U.K. 192pp.

Little, P. E. 1977. Know Why You Believe. Scripture Union, London, U.K. 110pp.

Naisbitt, J. and Aburdene, P. 1990. Megatrends 2000. Avon Books. New York.U.S.A. 416pp.

Richardson, W.M. and Wildman, W.J. (eds.) 1996. Religion and science: history, method, dialogue. Routledge.New.York and London. 450pp.

Van Till,H.J., Young,D.A. and Menninga, C., 1988. Science Held Hostage. Inter Varsity Press. Illinois. U.S.A. 189pp.

Walsh, B.J. and Middleton, J.R. 1984. The Transforming Vision : Shaping a Christian World View. Inter Varsity Press. Illinois. U.S.A. 214pp.



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