Suggested Internet Regulations
By: J.R. Ensey
Memo to: All members of [First Pentecostal Church]
Re: Computers and the Internet
Recent years have seen the rise of a number of technologies that have exponentially enhanced communication worldwide. While we welcome their legitimate usage for data transmission, the dissemination of general information and personal mail, we recognize their potential for abuse. Today even cell phones, 1-Pods and other mobile electronics can be used for illigitimate purposes.
A primary source of problems is the Internet. The enemy of the Christian’s soul has influenced the greedy marketers of pornography to infiltrate the Internet with their lurid wares. It is quite simple to access their sites, and in some instances they can even send unsolicited e-mails and photos directly to unprotected personal computers. Addiction to pornography is a growing problem both in society and in the church. Internet chat rooms have become an associated problem, enticing thousands of impressionable youth and adults into online relationships that have often proven tragic. Sadly, many of these have been unsuspecting Pentecostals whose lives have been
shattered as a result.
Even non-Christians in our society—-especially teachers and others who work with children and families–have spoken out against the potential evils of the Internet, just as they have done concerning television through the years. As Christians, we cannot build a home that is safe for our family if we install unrestricted technology that easily accesses the cesspools of the world.
With these facts in hand, along with the knowledge of the destructiveness of pornography, we are joining with other pastors and churches across the country in taking steps to curb the influx of online filth. We are establishing the following regulations for Internet usage in the homes and businesses of our members.
I. In Private Homes
A. Computers with access to the Internet must have one of the approved Internet software filters installed. For a list of filters, please check with the church office. Since even the best of filters are not always 100% effective, we request that families with children keep any computer with Internet access in an open area where it can be monitored at all times when being used by minors. Time spent on the Internet should also be limited.
B. We sincerely request that none of our members visit Internet chat rooms, even those which claim to be established for the use of Christians.
II. In The Workplace
A. We realize that a business cannot accommodate every individual employee’s preferences, there-fore we admonish our members who work with computers and workstations on the job where the Internet is available, to faithfully refrain from using it except in the course of their work-related responsibilities.
B. Being found with questionable material on your computer may not only jeopardize your job, it may negate your Christian testimony among the other employees. Beyond that, some material is illegal and could result in one’s arrest and prosecution.
C. If you are the owner of a business where employees use computers, do not connect them to the Internet unless its usage is absolutely necessary for your business.
It is realized that these requirements can be easily abused and circumvented. Your good judgment and your commitment to Christ will be trusted. Should that trust be broken, appropriate action will be taken which may effect participation privileges in the assembly or even church membership. If you have any questions regarding this or any of the requirements for participation in this assembly, please feel free to visit with the pastor about those concerns.
This article “Suggested Internet Regulations” written by J. R. Ensey is excerpted from fall 2002 Library Builder.