iPads during worship

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by jawyman, Mar 10, 2011.

Should iPads/Tablets be used in worship?

Poll closed Mar 16, 2011.
  1. Yes

    40 vote(s)
  2. No

    17 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    Since most us encourage note-taking, the iPad is almost inevitable. The younger folk (mostly) in our congregations can type with their thumbs faster than many of us could write notes. When they have the QWERTY keyboard of an iPad (or like device) they can easily pay attention, take notes, and follow along in the Bible. If they get distracted, it's not because of the technology. They are likely to be distracted anyway.
  2. jambo

    jambo Puritan Board Senior

    I think it is partly an age thing. A lot of our young people are reading the bible in church on iphones. One mother has came to me on a couple of occasions to assure me her 35 year old son is not playing with his phone but using it to read the scriptures. Whilst to young people reading on an iphone/pad/tablet etc is perfectly normal, older people tend to think such devices are for games or playing with.

    I must admit that I would often go to the ESV online site for study or whatever. However I do not like using the online site for devotions as it feels as if the devotions are not proper devotions if you are on the computer. I feel that is almost like having devotions with the TV on. However our children probably think its quite natural to have devotions in front of the PC or other device.

    The scriptures are the scriptures whether in on paper, electronic or audio form
  3. jayce475

    jayce475 Puritan Board Freshman

    I think some of the younger ones might end up on Facebook or Angry Bird if they bring iPads into service. Granted, the mature and spiritual ones probably won't, but we do have the carnal or unbelieving ones sitting on the pews too.
  4. ac7k

    ac7k Puritan Board Freshman

    I use my Kindle as my Bible in church... although it is not as easy as the printed version if you are hopping from different books in the Bible... and then sometimes I will use my iPod Touch as my bible as well... but then of course I have my trusty Reformation Study Bible with me too... :)
  5. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    An iPad (or whatever) is just a text delivery system - as is a book. The latter is made of paper, ink, and glue. The former is made of metal, plastic, and electronics. But they both do the same thing - in this context, deliver the Word of God. I think these electronic devices are perfectly acceptable in a worship service, whether used by the pastor, members of the congregation, or both.

    I'm reminded of those who railed against pastors using overhead projectors back in the 1970s and 1980s.
  6. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    I agree 100%... that's why I read from scrolls instead of those modern books!


    ---------- Post added at 06:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:47 PM ----------

    On a serious note,

    I really think that it is fine. Here in SoCal, lots of people use iPads for all sorts of things. Scott Clark preached from one from my very pulpit... I told him to tell my session that I NEEDED ONE (that's right, I said needed) as well. Okay, hyperbole.

    Anyways- it's just a medium. We are to use all of these things unto the glory of God.

    At the same time, you are under the authority of your session and presbytery- so you are a man under authority. If the pastor will not "let" you, then you shan't use it.

    So send it to me. :)
  7. sdesocio

    sdesocio Puritan Board Freshman

    Im gonna play the rebel and suggest that the RPW would argue that no one has the ability to tell you what format your Bible should be in. Some one could ask someone to avoid being a distraction to others, but I'd fight it the whole way if a court of the church tried to forbid me from reading from an electronic device. It would be the same as saying no you cant read the ESV from the thinline you must use the Study Bible!

  8. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    That's fine- but remember also that Jeff does not have credentials yet- those same courts can keep him from ordination. Is it worth fighting against cultural baggage before he even gets in the game? :) I'd say submit.
  9. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I see your point, and it does make sense to me that our elders should be careful not to abuse their authority. However, let us look at the two scenarios from a more practical standpoint...why would the elders forbid a thinline bible versus a study bible? There doesn't seem to me to be any valid reason. However, asking the congregation not to use the electronic devices for the sake of the unity of the church (preventing distractions) seems like a valid reason for me. I would therefore see it as a reasonable request from the authority over me and I would submit.
  10. Gord

    Gord Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't believe so, it also gives the pastor a lot more credibility going from book to book from memory (notes) using the bible, electronically could just be a doc or pdf file. I have to vote NO.
  11. Dearly Bought

    Dearly Bought Puritan Board Junior

    I haven't really had a chance to read through this in-depth, but it looks like there may be some interesting fodder for discussion in The Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures: Preaching in the Electronic Age by Gregory Reynolds.

  12. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Church architecture is designed with the pulpit and table in the center as a way of focusing the service on the Word and Sacrament. In my mind, seeing the Pastor read from a book that is obviously a Bible also helps to focus the attention on the Word.

    This does not mean that it receives its authority in one format vs. another, simply that some of the symbolism and focus is lost when one is reading from an iPad. If I am in the minority in this matter, oh well. It is not a big deal.

    It surely isn't sinful to read from an iPad, so do not think I am thinking that.
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    This discussion is failing to distinguish between the pastor (1.) reading from a digital device (where it is usually out of view by the congregation) and (2.) holding up a digital device as if it were the Bible.

    In the latter case, it is not identifiably the Bible, but rather something else. A bound Bible is only a bound Bible, whereas an iPad serves as a container/display device for any number of texts. A pastor holding up an iPad before the congregation might as well be holding up the Bhagavad Gita or Wuthering Heights.
  14. TomVols

    TomVols Puritan Board Freshman

    No. I think the symbolism of an open Bible to be important. That said, I won't throw anyone under the bus entirely for not using a Bible. lectern/pulpit, etc. But I prefer the symbolism.

    As for my own usage, I would forever be fearful of what might happen if the batteries died or the iPad just went on the fritz. To my knowledge, I've never known paper to fail :)
  15. jandrusk

    jandrusk Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes, I would echo that the medium for which the scriptures are read from is not relevant. The problem would be not getting distracted with the other applications that are on the device, like I don't know, Facebook/Twitter? I think if you can discipline yourself to only read the bible and things honoring to God on the Sabbath I don't think there should be an issue, but that is just me.
  16. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    However, those in the back row only see a book. For all they know it might be The Shack.
  17. pauldrakedsd

    pauldrakedsd Puritan Board Freshman

    This has come up many times in my recent circles of friends with The Kindle and the iPad. I do not agree with the usage of either in worship as your modes of Scripture. They do have there usefulness, but i believe that they offer to much distraction and temptation. Also this came up in my NT Focus Study class on the Pastoral Epistles. 1 Tim 2:8-10, the principle is both for men and women, it is specifically addressing women in this passage but we are not to wear or use things that are going to cause a fellow brother or sister to stumble. During worship and preaching we need to be focused on God and His glory, and if an iPad causes my brother sitting next to me to stair at the iPad more than paying attention in worship then no we should not use them.

    Both The Kindle (of which i own) and the iPad are great technology but we need to be wise in our usage of them. I may have an unpopular position and that's okay.
  18. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    What does it do that a Bible can't do, but that should be done during the worship service?
  19. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Now this question gets to the crux of the matter. What indeed? Is it being used for it's usefulness or its bling factor?

    I don't imagine that anyone who heard the sermon on the mount even had a Scripture text in hand, much less multiple commentaries or cross referenced personal notes.
  20. beej6

    beej6 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I always have my iPhone with me, ergo I always have my Bible with me and i use that to read (some) Scripture during worship. Sometimes I listen to the pastor (or other reader) read the Word.
    I think there is a difference between an iPhone and iPad in terms of potential distractibility not just to myself but to others. While the difference is mainly in size, it's a significant difference. It is much easier to read an iPad. (caveat: I don't have an iPad and am resisting buying one for now.)
    If I were going to use an iPad in church, I would sit in the back (where I usually sit anyway).

    My answer to the OP is no, but more because the question is vaguely phrased in and of itself.
  21. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    iPads during worship?

    I used to bring a pillow, but not since they installed cushions on the pews.

  22. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    The part that's being used IS a Bible--it just doesn't look like yours.
  23. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    The next thing you know they will install air conditioning in the sanctuary as well.
  24. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    This thread has been for me a bit like a Tennis Match, just don’t ask me who’s winning
    as I find arguments from both sides quite convincing.

    Personally I am more inclined to favor the use from the Pulpit of a “good old big black Bible with golden binding pages”.
    But that is a circumstance, is adiaphora, is merely my aesthetical preference.

    But even those things that in themselves may not be sinful or wrong may be wrong in the way they affect others.

    So here is my question could the use from an iPad in the Pulpit fall in the same category of those things that, while not being sinful in themselves, can become a stumbling block to the weak?

    Can you imagine our brothers and sisters from an older generation, to whom technology is foreign and an iPad is an alien strange gadget, unrelated whatsoever to a Bible, and more so those weaker in faith, being scandalized by watching a Pastor using such a weird unknown device instead of a good old Holy Bible?

    Wouldn’t that be a reason to abstain from the iPad altogether?

    Howbeit there is not in all men that knowledge: but some, being used until now to the idol, eat as of a thing sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food will not commend us to God: neither, if we eat not, are we the worse; nor, if we eat, are we the better. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to the weak. For if a man see thee who hast knowledge sitting at meat in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be emboldened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through thy knowledge he that is weak perisheth, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And thus, sinning against the brethren, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble
    . 1 Corinthians 8:7-13
  25. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    Personally I would be distracted and would find the practice bothering. I am sure I would not be the only one so out of respect of those people I would abstain.
  26. Joseph Scibbe

    Joseph Scibbe Puritan Board Junior

    I don't think you could blame the ipad for people getting distracted. These are just the same people that would be daydreaming with a paper Bible. Having an ipad in service (or other devices like it) is just another move forward in technology. I can see how it would be a disturbance to others in a rural or more "traditional" service but in some churches these would not even be granted a second glance.
  27. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    It is the way of the future. I don't think you can stop it. At our Sunday evening Bible study there are at least three members who use their phones to read aloud from the Bible. This does not worry me. In fact, I think the Bible's ubiquitous presence in the ether is a great blessing. (Let's see someone ban the Bible now!)

    What does concern me is the way electronic media has the potential to provide a worship service from the comfort of one's own living room. Will we see our services shrink because the people can hear the Word, the sermon, the singing, and the prayer over the internet? Will people even find a way to take communion via Skype?
  28. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    I do agree with this concern. Television did the same thing. There are many who'd rather stay home and watch the Crystal Cathedral than come worship and fellowship with the brethren.
  29. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    The real question is whether those newfangled things called "books" are appropriate...

  30. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    Well stated.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page