Years ago, I went into a Verizon store to purchase a new cell phone. I announced to the salesperson that I was only interested in a phone. A camera was not necessary nor was any other application. Well, I found out, even back then, that phones do not come without cameras, but I was able to purchase a little flip phone and I could use it to make telephone calls. I have no problems with those who own smart phones (at least when used properly) that they can have internet access wherever they go and apps that will do just about anything but comb their hair, but all I want is a phone so that I can call home when I’m away from it. To borrow from John Denver, “Well a simple kinda life never did me no harm.”
The Apostle Paul was concerned for the saints at Corinth. In his second epistle to them he writes, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (11:2-4) In the same manner as I want a simple phone, the apostle wanted the Corinthians to have a simple faith in the person of Jesus Christ. The Greek word that is translated as “simplicity” simply means singleness. Unfortunately they wanted one with lots of apps and consequently they were being beguiled into accepting false gospels and false spirits and even false Christs.
There are many today who have a lot of flash in ministry as phones with a thousand different apps and that is fine as long as they accomplish the purpose for which they are called. The basic purpose of a smart phone is to be a phone. The basic purpose of one in ministry is to be a faithful witness of Jesus Christ. To represent and to present a Savior who died on Calvary’s Cross for the sins of the world. To go to a world that is lost that they might come to faith in Him and have eternal life. To teach and to encourage growth in knowledge of the Word of God that the saved might live a life pleasing to the Lord of Glory. That is the simplicity of the Great Commission. Any ministry beyond that is only for a secondary purpose of being an aid in accomplishing that commission.
I once asked a police officer who was working in accident investigation how many auto accidents involved people using their cell phones while driving. He responded that they did not keep statistics but he estimated that around 50% was a reliable figure. And so it is when we seek to go beyond the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ; we are headed for ruin. May we be careful not to be taken in with all the wonderful apps that we forget our purpose to which we are called.