The role of tech and the media in the Gospel scene

Lunminthang Haokip
T Waichong Golden Jubilee : Year 1965. I was hardly 8 years old. My father, Late Ngamjathang Haokip, was the Supdt Pastor of LAKBA (Now ECI - Chandel Dist). The LAKBA Choir had song practice sessions for KBC Golden Jubilee celebration 1965 at T Waichong at our residence. I was made a part of the LAKBA entourage led by my dad and Pastor Late Tongkhojam Baite. We halted at Kangpokpi, and due to unavailability of Kpi-Waichong bus service (only one or two ‘half-drum’-like bus was/were plying), we walked and trudged via Koubru hill on foot. I piggy-rode on adult delegates’ shoulder. Illiteracy rate was higher then, and there were not much tech and media. Yet, the Gospel work went on thriving full-throttle. LAKBA choir was hailed with loud applause for the immortal group number, ‘Loupi chung nung Emmanuel.’
Men Will Move From Sea To Sea : Tech and the media were not as important to God, as they were to men, to spread the Good News. Jehovah predicted the worldwide evangelisation way back in Prophet Malachi’s time. “My name will be great among the Nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place, incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because My name will be great among the Nations,” says the Lord Almighty. In tune with the promise spelt out, God provided the means to achieve the goals for long distance travel as foretold in Amos 8:12, “Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east .....”
Discovery of America: Despite setbacks, what Jehovah desired had to take place. When He earnestly sought heavenly guidance, to Christopher Columbus was revealed Isaiah 40:22, “He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,” towards the close of the 15th century. Columbus came to know that the earth was round. The Scriptural revelation helped the Italian explorer to discover America. Travellers sailed from sea to sea ever since. European colonisation of America came about. Later, William Carey sailed to India, CT Stud to Africa etc. All these activities fitted well in the big picture of God’s master-plan to ‘make His Name great among Nations.’
The Judsons Jettisoned: God loved Burma. To make His name ‘great’ in the land of ‘Pagodas,’ God groomed Adoniram and Anne Judson from American soil. Immediately after their wedding, in 1812, the pioneer Baptist missionary couple were on ship on their way to Rangoon. In fact, their honeymoon took place in the sail eastwards. Difficulties in handling tropical diseases and communication to locals were there. The situation was far from Gospel-friendly. The king of Ava passed death penalty to whoever preached and practised a religion other than Buddhism. “But no weapon that was formed against Him could prosper (Isaiah 54:17).”
Nothing Too Difficult for God : But “Is anything too difficult for the Lord (Genesis 18:14)?” Sick Anne was sent back to America. She travelled extensively throughout the States and made the Churches aware of the issues in Burma mission. American Foreign Mission Board was first formed for Burma. Funds poured in. A cataract specialist, Jonathan Wade, was sent to the golden land. The king needed eye treatment badly. The opthalmic Doctor was summoned to the palace of Ava. Judson was needed to interpret languages. The king was given doses of the Gospel truth too. His need to be healed made him responsive to the Word.
Electricity For Cities : We have an Almighty God who could see the future need in Gospel ministry. The requirement for electricity in advancement of tech and the media was foreseen. A flash of Divine capability was revealed in Isaiah 46:10, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come, I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Francis Ronalds sent the first electromagnetic telegraph in 1833. But, the coming of electric power was mentioned 4000 years before in Job’s time, “Do you send the lightning bolts on their way ? Do they report to you. Here we are ? (Job 38:35).” When ‘electricity’ was mentioned in a Cabinet meeting, an illiterate politico shot back, ‘Kaun sa City?’ Whatever, hydro or thermal or nuclear power supply is a must for any human-inhabited city. A power-cut for a few hours brings civil life to a standstill. God made men invent it. Today, how indispensable power is to empower labourers in the Lord’s vineyard ?
The Greatest Name: That the Word of God would gain momentum worldwide was forecast in Matthew 24:14, “The Gospel will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all Nations.” What testimony ? That God sent His Son on earth and made Him pay the penalty for the sins of mankind on the cross. The prior human need is to steer life clear from rotting in hell eternally. Now there is no other means of attaining salvation except through the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” We can ignore this universal truth only at our own peril. Realising it after ‘kicking the bucket’ will be a tragic regret with no remedy.
Saul Became Paul: Paul when he was Saul, rebelled against the will of God. In his persecution trip, he was struck by a powerful light. He became blind to see better. The resurrected Jesus met him on Damascus road, drove sense in him and showed the future apostle the road-map to truth. “It is hard for you to kick against the pricks (Acts 9:5),” Jesus said to Saul. Saul made an about turn. He became a great asset to the cause of the Gospel. The loss of Judas was suitably compensated. With divine-backing, and the Holy Spirit’s patronage, the Good News will make inroads wherever people humble themselves and feel the need to be saved. God chose and will choose the contrite-hearted to take His earthly agenda forward.
Righteousness Exalted Daniel: Daniel did his bid to preach and live righteousness. The Wise men of the east, who went all the way to Bethlehem to worship infant Jesus, could have been touched and transformed by Daniel’s great faith in the living God. The shape of things to have come was made known in Daniel 12:4, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall RUN TO AND FRO, and knowledge shall be increased.”
John Wesley travelled on horseback, DL Moody crossed seas on ship and Charles Finney was raised to take over where St Paul left. The advent of modern printing tech facilitated publishing of myriad Christian books that complimented the Biblical teachings to a T.
Faster Modes of Travel : Discovery of aeroplane enabled Billy Graham, Joshua Daniel and many other international itinerary Preachers to fly around the globe in the 20th century to build up millions of lives through the Word of God. They were more widely heard and read because God upgraded tech and social media during their times. Today, every great message can be watched and heard on Youtube, and google search takes care of the printed sermons. “My Name will be great among the Nations ...(Malachi 1:11),” God said. His Word has been proved true. Let us obey His Scripture and do our own bid to make His Name greater in our respective places.