In New Testament lore, we all recognize the importance of Rome. First, it was the model for the Beast of John’s Apocalypse. It was the major barrier to men knowing and obeying the Laws of God, and it was an even greater barrier to the gospel message. Not that it was able to stop the gospel, of course, but it was a barrier Christians had to cross.
Rome was, at the same time, the chief enabler of the gospel mission work. In order for Rome to operate, she needed a single set of policies, fairly uniform across the empire. She needed a single currency standard (though not necessarily a single currency), and a single language for routine business (Greek, since it was already in use). For purposes of quick movement of troops to trouble spots, the road system was created — the famous Roman Roads. You may know there are places in Europe where they still exist in usable condition. I’ve seen them, walked on them.
The thing which makes any government the greatest threat is what makes it also weak against those threats. That’s the nature of things. Those Roman Roads were a primary symbol of how Paul got around so well. In actuality, it was the whole package of citizenship. He was free to travel as much as anyone was, protected from certain legal hassles, and in particular, protected from the wrath of his own nation, Judah.
In modern times, there are things which we can share, things which offer a common path we all take. These things make us somewhat vulnerable to manipulation, but they also provide us an opportunity to communicate without much loss.
I would not have chosen English as the global language, but it seems to have taken that role. Almost everything requiring global cooperation is done in English. The currency issue is in flux, as the dollar is being killed, but that will settle out soon enough. Business requires it. Moving our individual bodies has gotten pretty easy, but it’s amazing how little we need that any more. I have several very close friends I’ve never seen face to face, nor even been in the same country. Internet protocols make this possible. Basic industry standards for computers make this possible.
On the one hand, the standardization of MS Windows has created a world of problems. What’s wrong in one place shows up everywhere. The basic simplicity of the user experience encourages carelessness. Any decision made behind closed doors of a very cruel and heartless corporation affects everyone who owns something they produced. The licensing is just about as immoral as it gets. But you know what? It’s like a Roman Road. That almost everyone uses it makes it easier to exchange things. You don’t have to worry if their computer can do this or that, because they all have access to pretty much the same stuff.
This may well be the end of era for me. There are things coming down the road which force me to choose, and none of the choices please me. Still, the ultimate reason for all of it is tied up in my religion. The things I do, things I would do if it meant my death tonight, will require me to spend less time on stuff which gets in the way of that calling. There is less and less which matters the way it used to, because I no longer have time to fool with it. Doing so will hinder that calling and service. In a few days, I hope to have my free Dell Windows 7 Upgrade Kit for this machine. Chances are, if I install it and get it working satisfactorily, I won’t be writing much about Linux or other alternative OSes any more. It’s not an ideal answer, but it may be the one with the fewest barriers to what I have to do.