While biblical Christians may enjoy the utility of a great many non-Christian pioneered/headed services and goods (usable out of the box or with a little Christian modifications), it is not uncommon to come across pagan utilities that so declares itself as the world’s own by allowing inadequate to no modifications options. Of cause in as many such cases, Christians should be able to discern and back away accordingly. After which they may then consider mobilizing the development of a more friendlier derivative offering the same utility. Such are Christian schools, Christian journals, etc.
We are of cause not expected to cherish every non-Christian development as some are simply fallen in both their purpose as well as makeup. But certain pagan service or products offers are found to have usable value that is complementary a Christian’s earthly pilgrimage as well. And such are instant messengers (amongst other). Contrary to social medias, the Christian utility of which I still find questionable, instant messengers seem to presents themselves as communication essentials. Unfortunately, established instant messaging service providers are largely pagan incorporation. Considering which’s service brings about the need to watch out for possible compromises and to seek out worthy recourse where any such might exist.
I have personally used Whatsapp (which happens to have the highest user base) but I reckon some of my concerns must apply to other instant messengers. Below is a list of major hopeless grievances I had with regard.
- Visual Media Abuse: As with greatest sin of social medias, I found WhatsApp to also suffer imagery abuse to some degree. Particularly with regard to profile pictures. Because it is not always practical, to keep Christian contacts only (let alone matured Christian ones), a Christian user will often times have to deal with carelessly picked profile pictures of of their contacts. Of cause this had been no issue were it possible to toggle off contacts profile picture. But one can only toggle of their own. Yes the careless tend to esteem the appeal of prurience and will at sundry times set such like images as their profile pictures. Contacts not all Christians believers. This leading to great of obscene or imagery. When I thought I could simply toggle off browser images and then use the web version (of Whatsapp), a new Goliath seem to arise, I feared I should still be partially to blame every time anyone will open their Whatsapp application to view my sent message and end up offended by one of their contacts’ profile picture. For shall I not be the one who at the particular instant sent them amongst the possibly injurious imagery? I felt charity forbids!
- Inappropriate Emojis: While many of these ideograms and smileys offer appreciated time saving as well as enhanced emotional representation value, several emojis are plain inappropriate and potentially vexing to a sensible Christian. This was for me more aggravating when my sons would have my mobile device and end up on those. For they are the very ones whom, in attempt to bring after a Godly manner, I labour to keep from any such vain and Godless sources (including TV, internet, Christ-less relatives and friends, vain or arrogant toys, public school, etc).
- Compromised Privacy Options: Whatsapp will track your presence as well as typing interaction activities while on their messaging clients, and according present you as Typing.., Online or Last seen at/on… While these must certainly have time, I’d wish I had the option to toggle off as need becomes. At least this could be toggled off. Not the Online part unfortunately. Yet for many rational reasons, time may exist where one may wish to reply to one contact but delay reply for another. This unfortunately could not be easily achieved without getting the contact you wished to delay replying feeling ignored. Especially since they should seen you tracked as Online all the while. Also, it appears somewhat rude to leave switch applications during a conversation when your contact is tracked as Online or Typing. A phenomenon that leaves one feeling enslaved by messaging client. Unfortunately, whenever we have in hand a utility no matter how value adding, that cannot be improved – Worse case we must desert.
The whole (with more emphasis on the imagery concern) brought me to conclude it to would be wisdom for Christians to undertake a dedicated derivative that should accordingly embrace such flexibility. More so because even if these non-Christian services may at any one point be in line with Christian precepts, there can never be assurance of continuity. And therefore developing and maintain our own derivative where we can help it we can help it ever makes lots of sense. The likeChrist Ministry have for this very reason gone on to undertake a project that seeks to develop or mobilize the development of an instant messaging service that should through grace ever seek to be as biblical complementary (to a Christian’s earthly pilgrimage) a as possibly.