Adopted by the General Conference in 1988
Holiness as a spiritual experience and a way of life is not an option for a Christian but a biblical injunction. We are to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Corinthians 7:1). We are urged, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God" and "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" Romans 12:1-2).
Jesus said that we are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-16); therefore, we are not to love the world, neither the things in the world, for the world appeals to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (I John 2:15-16). A Christian is "to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1 :27), for we are to so live that we may be "blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15). As a people who have been delivered from darkness, we are to walk as children of light and "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Ephesians 5:11).
Since the "whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19) and we are no longer to live "according to the course of this world" (Ephesians 2:2), and since worldliness is often communicated throughout society by the media, the United Pentecostal Church International has expressed its concern that Christians may be influenced by the media to compromise biblical holiness. It has officially dealt with technology in three ways: (1) allowed its use without voicing caution or disapproval (telephone, automobile, microwave, central heating, printing press, photography, computer, etc.); (2) accepted its use with warning and restrictions (radio, video); and (3) rejected its use as being unsuitable for Christians or for their homes (movie theater, television).
The United Pentecostal Church International recognizes that technology is not evil in itself, but it feels that it must reject any use of technology that favorably displays a lifestyle of worldliness and ungodliness. Moreover, since technology continues to accelerate in our times, the United Pentecostal Church International and Christians must evaluate each new use of technology, especially media technology, in the light of biblical holiness.
The United Pentecostal Church International accepts only the Bible and the Holy Spirit as its guides to determine the correct standards of conduct in this world, and it recognizes the responsibility to apply biblical principles in a changing world. Neither the Bible nor the United Pentecostal Church International teaches that salvation can be earned by good works, but both contend that holiness in behavior results from a transforming experience of the Holy Ghost, and is therefore incumbent upon each Christian.
The church has an obligation to establish standards of conduct when necessary, but it refuses to make rules for every aspect of daily living. Each Christian is responsible to God to maintain holiness in his life, for God alone is his judge, but the church is also responsible to teach biblical standards of holiness.
As new media appear in the marketplace, the Christian must not accept their usage without evaluation of their impact on his spiritual walk with God. We are to "walk circumspectly [looking around us], not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Then in 2012, they passed a position on this again as follows:
Adopted by the General Board in 2012
Our elders took an important, principled, and correct stand against the evils of television in 1954 when they adopted the fourth paragraph on holiness in our Articles of Faith in response to the invention of television and other changes in society. It follows that we need to enunciate the principles upon which our elders acted and apply them in light of technological changes and more complex choices today. Specifically, traditional television is now merging with other technologies that we have accepted, such as computers, online media, satellite and cable deliveries, media players, smart phones, tablets, and game consoles. Moreover, some forms of video technology are obsolete but new forms have been invented and are continuing to be invented.
Therefore we must give appropriate guidance to a new generation of believers with regard to all use of communications technology in language that is understandable and meaningful to them so we can continue to uphold our position on holiness of life and holiness in the use of all communications technology. In view of the symbolic nature of media for our movement, we must be careful not to signal any compromise of belief or lifestyle.
The United Pentecostal Church International accepts only the Bible and the Holy Spirit as its guides to determine the correct standards of conduct in this world, and it recognizes the responsibility to apply biblical principles in a changing world. Neither the Bible nor the United Pentecostal Church International teaches that salvation can be earned by good works, but both contend that holiness in behavior results from a transforming experience of the Holy Ghost, and is therefore incumbent upon each Christian. The church has an obligation to establish standards of conduct when necessary, but it refuses to make rules for every aspect of daily living. Each Christian is responsible to God to maintain holiness in his or her life, for God alone is the judge, but the church is also responsible to teach biblical standards of holiness. Holiness as a spiritual experience and a way of life is not an option for a Christian, but a biblical injunction. (See II Corinthians 7:1; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:14-16; I John 2:15-16; Ephesians 5:11.)
It is very evident that spirituality and holiness are deeply entwined together. The Scriptures teach that carnality is enmity toward God. The use of media must therefore be carefully considered so that we do not take the beautiful truths of God into areas that will contribute to the downfall of a child of God. The influence of sinful media programming is so grave and damaging to Christian living that conscience demands it be battled in a principled way. The biblical safeguard against rapid cultural or technological change is to build upon timeless principles. Scripture elegantly solves the proper management of media technology with a single verse: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Psalm 101:3). A consistent and principled position on media programming does not constitute a threat to our core stand on issues of separation from the world, but only strengthens our position by casting in principle the manner in which we are already solving this issue in practice.
Historic guidelines regarding television and video were written in light of the technology of the 1950s and 1980s, demonstrating a common desire for the homes of our families to be sanctuaries governed by godly principles. In today’s world, we apply these guidelines as follows. We recognize that similar content is available through media such as computers, online media, media players, tablets, smart phones, and game consoles. What we have traditionally called television is merging with other devices that are commonly used. Therefore in these cases and with all other communications technology, we teach responsible use that is strictly in accord with wholesome Christian principles. As new media appear in the marketplace, the Christian must not accept their usage without evaluation of their impact on his or her spiritual walk with God. We are to “walk circumspectly [looking around us], not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
The above are position papers of the United Pentecostal Church International and are provided for informational purposes.
Page Added October 6, 2005 & Updated March 16, 2013
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