Technology, especially communications technology, popularized theological expression. Turn on the television and select your favorite preacher or Bible teacher. If one does not suit your individual preference, switch to another; there are hundreds available. Theological and academic credentials are no longer necessary to exegete the Full Counsel of God. All that is necessary is to have an “experience” with God. Diploma mills have risen to the occasion for those who want a theological degree without earning it. An uneducated, ill-equipped clergy, each generation growing exponentially with the expansion of communication technology, will result in an unhealthy church. The way to eliminate false doctrine is to, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me [Paul], in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 1:13). Then use technology to spread true doctrine.
Old Testament Israel has a notable resemblance to the New Testament Church; they are the people that belong to God. The Old Testament people of God had priests and prophets to lead in worship and teach the Full Counsel of God. After the death of Solomon, Jeroboam appointed himself as the leader of the people of God. What a mess! Jeroboam’s unbiblical theology reminds me of cultural individualism and church autonomy. “And Jeroboam said in his heart” (1 Kings12:26), but he didn’t humble himself to realize “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9). Since Jeroboam did not know (very likely) or simply ignored the Full Counsel of God, he established his own place to worship and his own idols. Then he explained to the church: “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt! And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi” (1 Kings 12:28-31).
Jeroboam interpreted or rather changed the Word of God to fit his agenda. The church followed him because he had become a celebrity among the people. A few words from that text standout as a warning to those who profess the Christian religion: [Jeroboam] “made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi.” R. L. Dabney made the comment that “Jeroboam corrupted the religion of Israel partly by making priests of the lowest of the people” (Discussions, vol. 2, pg.69). Communication technology may be good or bad. It is good if the theology is faithful to the full counsel of God. It is bad if the theology is false.