The Internet and Social Media are all talking about the latest announcement from Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. He has announced the long awaited new platform that will eventually replace Facebook, all together. It is called the Metaverse. Many concerns have been mentioned that have come from the Christian community. Many Christians appear to not be very pleased with the idea of this coming technology. I have looked at both sides, but have mainly read more coming from the Non-Christian community that states how Christians dislike the Metaverse, but fail to mention or explain “why.” So here is my point of view, speaking as a Christian and living amongst the unveiling of new, unfolding technology.
The “X Generation” is my generation. I feel that my generation has benefited from seeing the early beginnings of technology, to the rapid improvement, we see today. It began with the first ever game console called, an Atari. It was a whole new way of “playing” with another child. It opened the doors for game designers and developers, online gaming and what we now see as the soon approaching, Metaverse. From the outside perspective, it is simply technology that is progressing. What the Metaverse is offers, is an optimal new way to “connect” with people from around the world and share new and more diverse experiences. It is a limitless form of using the Human imagination to literally create constantly and meet new people. It will be a form of expression and creativity. This all sounds harmless, so why is the Christian community so bothered by it?
The Matrix of the Mind
In Christianity, the mind is a very important link, which plays a big part in having a relationship with God. Since God is the Creator, He speaks to believers in Christ through various methods. Sometimes, God speaks through Scripture, other times through people. God communicates to Christians when they are in communion with Him and in His will. He is also able to influence the thought process. Likewise, Christians know that the enemy of Christians, being Satan, knows this and is also able to influence the mind of the Christian. The goal is to lead individuals in the opposite direction of God’s will. The tool to do that is also the mind, for the devil.
Psychology knows the power of the mind and one has only to look no further, than to one of History’s biggest benefactor of the manipulation of it, Adolf Hitler. Hitler was able to literally change the minds and thinking of thousands of people by using propaganda and visual imagery. It was effective and easy to do because it was constantly viewed and the narrative was repeated for effectiveness. Hitler knew that by infiltrating the mind, he could control the actions of the individual person. The earlier a mind is convinced or “brain-washed” the better. Hitler was quoted as saying , “Give me a child when he’s 7 and he’s mine forever,”
The same idea is true with God and Christians. The difference is that God is good and personifies truth, whereas Hitler was full of lies and was influenced by evil. So, the concerns of Christians is that the mind is a very powerful thing that if used incorrectly, produces a distance from truth, reality and ultimately, God.
Iron does not mix with clay
Christianity states that we are created by God and the Bible is God’s instruction manual for life. God has His own parameters and anything outside those parameters is destined for failure. As Technology progresses, Mankind is more willing to expand the limits of how information is processed and anything beyond. The reason this will not work, from Christianity’s standpoint, is that Humans are designed to conform to living in a physical world. Although Technology allows the mind of a person to “escape” reality (the physical world) temporarily, the effects are dangerous and unhealthy.
Research suggests that Technology, when used a certain way, can actually damage the brain and critical thinking skills. Our brain is wired to live in a physical world. When it is constantly given an “ultra-reality” via technology, the information that enters through the eye begins to play tricks on the brain. The brain can begin to go through all sorts of negative side effects, which include: depression, confusion from reality and non-reality, increased anger, irritability, mood swings, compulsive behaviors, insomnia, etc.
God created us to enjoy life to the fullest
The reason that the World looks to other types of fulfillment is because it has not filled that void with the God of the Bible. God gave us our senses to experience a physical world and the truth is that Science is there to back this. God also wishes for us to be able to connect with Him. He is a known God that wants to be known by us. This relationship is not just having a “knowledge” of God, but having an intimate relationship with Him. The Metaverse appears to offer a “social” form of expression, but in fact it is pin pointed to impact a party of one. It is bringing satisfaction to the person experiencing it. Although there might be an interaction amongst many, the area of fulfillment remains void.
This is because people try to fill a physical void that is actually a spiritual one, which only God can fill. In Christianity, the relationship between Creator and Creation involves God and a person. It entails the spiritual and sometimes the physical. Both parties are edified and the relationship is an intimate one. The most amazing thing about having a relationship with God, is that even if all the electricity of the world were to disappear, the connection with God would remain the same. It would be solid, untouched and strong. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about technology, should the power grid ever fail.
As Mankind continues to look for an “all fulfilling item”, nothing more will come of it, but increased disappointment, dissatisfaction, and being ripped off by the prominent people willing to take advantage of the ever present loneliness in people. The great news is that we have a God that loves us and has overcome the fallen world we live in. He can fill that void because Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that “He has also placed eternity in Man’s heart” which is a God quality. Only God is eternal and it is the mark of a Creator, to His creation. It is what the Bible means when it says we are made “in God’s image.” Only He can fill a spiritual void that He designed to be filled by Himself.
In conclusion, Christianity sees the Metaverse as an endless hole that can never get filled. It is a great loss because it ultimately affects the Human soul. It is not in actuality a jump forward into progress, but is indeed a great fall to never finding true fulfillment, which can only come from God. Christians know the answer is God, not the Metaverse. It is heartbreaking to watch millions try to gratify their “empty” condition with something else that is also empty.