The Miracle Tool

Please type your name. FREDDY

Press “RETURN” to continue.

Freddy, you are now going to study your spelling words for this week. I will list them one at a time. You must type each word correctly. At the end of this lesson I will list the words you missed and also your score. Good luck! Do your best Freddy.

Press “RETURN” to continue.

Later that same day……


Please type in your name.   Mr. Harbach, Freddy had difficulty with the following words:
Please type in your name.   Kaleidoscope
Please type your password.   bamboozle


SECOND GRADE   I suggest you have Freddy write each word he missed ten times before the next test. Good luck with Freddy, he is doing his best.
Press “RETURN” to continue.   Press “RETURN” to continue.



As a Protestant Reformed educator, I have seen and have also experienced the beginning of the use of the micro-computer in our schools. I have favored this event and I have already used the computer several times in the second grade. But this I know, our children must realize, from the very beginning of their instruction about the micro-computer, that man uses this tool in subtle ways for his own evil purposes. It is a tool made by man. Therefore, man will bring it into the service of sin and has now already. But as God’s children, we must learn to use this tool, not for our own evil purposes, but for the purpose of bringing honor to God. Yes, as good stewards over the things that God gives to us, we must also use the computer to serve God, not ourselves. When the time comes that we can no longer use the computer to serve God, then we must at all costs abandon its use.

In order to use this tool properly to serve God, we need to be aware of its capabilities, uses, and as much as possible, man’s intent for using his “miracle” tool. But an intelligent knowledge about the micro-computer is not enough. We need to be spiritually sensitive to its purpose and use. In short, we need to use our sanctified wisdom when using the micro-computer.

In this article, I desire to write about the subtlety with which man uses his “miracle” tool. I use the word miracle in this sense, the capability of a computer is remarkable and astonishing. Man is able to do so much in such a short period of time.

Right now, computers keep a complete list of your monthly bank transactions; print out your monthly bills for heating, electricity, water, etc.; run your car’s ignition system; total your weekly food bill; can diagnose your medical problems and prescribe drugs to treat them; keep a complete list of all your traffic violations; typeset and print many of your magazines; and the list can go on and on. Let’s face this certain fact, computers have a powerful influence on our lives today.

When we consider this powerful influence, we may be inclined to say that it is for the good, that is, for the good of all men. Therein lies a subtlety. Man, fallen man, has always and will always use everything he produces for the service of sin. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.’’ Genesis 6:5. Whether it be the car, the radio, the T.V., the video game, or the computer, man will always use them for his own evil purposes. Do not be misled into thinking that man uses these things for the good of the nation, for the good of the church, for the good of us. Underlying the supposedly good intent is the subtle and deceitful purpose of man glorifying man, man lifting himself up to be, not like God, but God. But what does God hate? “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations” Proverbs 6:18. When wicked man is confronted with this he will deny it. He will claim his intent was for the benefit of all mankind.

If you push the disagreement further, man will tell you that a computer is as subtle as a rock when it is turned off. Oh yes, you can bump into it accidently and hurt yourself, but that is your own fault. He will tell you that when the computer is turned on, it will only do what you tell it to do and nothing more. However, it is here that we may make a careful observation. When the computer is turned on it becomes alive and is subject to the subtlety of man. I use the word alive in two senses. Firstly, it is in active operation or use. The computer turned on can perform many tasks in our life faster than we can. As a result, it saves man time so that he can busy himself in a more active leisure life. Secondly, the computer is something essential to the continued existence of something else. The computer has developed so rapidly, that our economy would suffer greatly without it. It is getting to the point in our country where we’ll need a computer in order to live in society. Do you think that this will happen because man wants to perform some good?! On the contrary, this points out the fact that man has as his main goal the control of man’s life, in the most subtle of ways. Man wants to rule over all men. Man wants to be his own God.

You can also understand how easily the error of common grace can be promulgated with man’s use of the computer, not only because the computer can now print this wretched heresy but also because the devil seeks us to believe that man actually does good with the computer. But we say to this what the apostle Paul said to the sorcerer Elymas on Paphos, “O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?’’

How does this affect us? My fear is that we will be lulled to sleep by man’s use of his “miracle” tool. So much good seems to be accomplished with the computer that we will go along with this vain thought, forgetting eventually man’s real purpose. Then we become like Simeon and Levi who had instruments of cruelty in their habitation. Over against this, we need to be spiritually sensitive to the use of the computer. We need to depend on our faithful Covenant God, Who controls all things by His will, to give us His grace and wisdom. After all, does not God “turn the heart of the wicked to hate his people, to deal subtly with his servants.” Psalm 105:25. For you understand that God in His providence has given the knowledge of’ the computer to man. Although man may claim he does tremendous feats of good with the computer and although his ultimate purpose is to serve his father the devil, our Father in heaven will preserve us from falling into the trap of believing that wicked men can do good with the computer. He will open our eyes of understanding so that we are watching spiritually. He will show us the subtle ways that man uses the computer. He will show us that man is trying to be God.

What do we need to do? ‘‘Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:13. Not only do we serve God, but all things that we use must serve God also.