Will it be 1010011010? Or 29A? Or will Satan be so archaic to stick to decimal?

August 3rd, 2005 by Jeff | Dump Core

Back on my trip to Comic-Con, I read a rather interesting article. Whenever I go on a long trip or anticipate a situation where I’ll be doing a lot of waiting (like on a plane or at the doctor’s office), I’ll often sync up with AvantGo to get a little reading material. One of the channels I subscribe to is Wired, although I admit it’s low on my priority list and I usually only get to it after I’ve exhausted most of the other channels I subscribe to. Still, I often find a few bizarre and interesting tidbits, like this little article here.

To summarize: Electronic privacy advocates like the EFF have found an odd new ally in Katherine Albrecht, who is opposed to RFID tagging, a new and up-and-coming technology used by businesses to manage their inventory. Why is Ms. Albrecht opposed to RFID? Well, aside from the usual tin-foil hat Big Brother conspiracy theories, she’s added a new angle that other privacy nuts haven’t hit upon: she believes that RFID may be, at least in part, the fulfillment of the Mark of the Beast (see Revelation 13:16-18).

I find it interesting the reactions coming from the usually liberal and quite often anti-Christian computer literates that usually support privacy concerns. Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the EFF, was quoted as saying, “Many of us in the mainstream privacy community don’t know how to reach out to [the Christian community].” Considering the sentiments I usually perceive of Christians by the hacker community, it isn’t surprising. I suppose it hadn’t occurred to anyone to simply ask….

But I digress. There was only one point I wanted to make from this article. I don’t want to belittle anyone’s opinions on the subject; I myself am mildly concerned about RFID and its potential implications on privacy. I can also see, as both a technology geek and a Bible-believing Christian, how RFID could possibly breathe life into the Devil’s world personal identification system. The concept of implantable ID chips has been around for a while (our cat Kiki is herself a “cyberkitty” with an implanted chip), and RFID is next logical step in technology. But here’s my question: Is this what we as Christians should really be focusing on?

Let us say, hypothetically, that RFID is indeed the future tool of Satan and will ultimately provide the vehicle for the Beast’s Mark. If that is the Will of God (or rather, the will of Satan, which God knew about and warned us of 2000 years ago), then who are we to stop it? A commenter on the article pointed to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, calling Albrecht and her supporters the “restrainer” mentioned, but I kind of doubt that. That sounds more like the work of higher powers than just minor political movement. The Devil is far too powerful an enemy and has too many allies in this world; he plays politics better than any human could.

Wouldn’t it be a better use of the Church’s time to stop demonizing a technology that may or may not play a role in future events that we cannot stop and to instead concentrate on winning lost souls to Christ? If indeed RFID is the implementation of the Mark, maybe we as Christians should focus more on evangelizing and advancing the Kingdom of God than trying to thwart the kingdom of Satan. If this means time is running out, then we have to work harder at the job we were left on earth to perform and less on political agendas.

Technology in and of itself is never evil. Technology is a tool, and it can be put to many uses, both for good or for evil. It is the one using the tool that determines the morality or immorality of its use. I think Satan can be just as insidious in his schemes whether he’s using RFID chips or Furbys. So for now I say we let Wal-Mart use RFID to bring better bargains to its customers. I’ve got better reasons not to shop there (like the rude staff and even more rude customers).

Okay, I’ll get out of the pulpit now.

Core dumps have been directed to /dev/null.