When your mobile phone rings, what is your first reaction?
Maybe you pick it up to see who is calling, then immediately answer. You obey the phone’s command!
If I ask you: “Is the mobile phone your God?” You will of course instantly deny: “My phone? How can it be God!?”
Allow me to explain why the mobile phone has become the God of many people today.
From little children to the elderly, everyone has a phone in their hand (some even have 2 or 3 in hand). The phone never leaves their side. First thing after waking up in the morning, they “worship” the phone, then follow it all day closely. At night, before going to sleep, it is placed carefully beside the bed, to ensure a good night’s rest.
Of course, a smartphone also makes many things more convenient. We can communicate with friends at any time, to share current feelings, situations, and ideas. We can also pick up the phone at any time to play games, read the Bible, write diary, add reminders, check the dictionary, check the weather, find information and places etc. So the phone has become an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent “God”! With a phone in hand, there is nothing we cannot do.
Unwittingly, the mobile phone has become the God whom we completely depend on and look to. It has become our one and only.
Since the phone holds such an important place, once it rings, everyone can only obey it. No wonder during meetings, or gatherings, some people would immediately leave to answer the phone. Why must we answer the phone? I cannot understand. Is there an emergency? If you are a doctor on call, it is reasonable, but there are not that many emergencies in the world.
Is it possible to wait until refreshments or break time to return a call? Why must we immediately answer the phone? Doing so is in fact disrespect towards the meeting and to other people.
Usually during worship services, everyone would follow the rules, respect the service and respect God, by turning off their phones or keeping it in silent mode. But why is it necessary in meetings or other gatherings to answer the phone?
The Book of Ecclesiastes says: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot … a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (3:1-2, 7) Allow me to apply these words to say:
A time to answer the phone and a time not to answer the phone.
Everyone has developed a habit of not answering phones during worship services. Now please, in other situations such as meetings or gatherings, or even when talking with other people, develop a habit of not answering your phone, because the phone is not our God.
Rev Dr Tie King Tai, SCAC President