A few months ago I wrote an article for COLLIDE magazine called, “How To Handle Luddites In The Church,” and it just appeared online. In it, I tell the story of the original Luddites and attempt to argue that their reaction to technological change is not too different to how people in our churches react today. Here’s a preview:
As the story is told, during the Industrial Revolution all kinds of new machines were invented that could perform tasks more efficiently than individual workers. Business owners could earn a ton of money by replacing 10 laborers with a single person who pushed a button on a machine. The problem was that the other nine men lost their jobs.
With no way to earn money for their families, many fell into poverty and despair. According to legend, in 1779 a man named Ned Ludd was fed up with the takeover of the machines and went all Sarah Connor on two knitting frames. The news of Ned’s rage against the machine spread quickly, and groups of masked men started breaking into factories all over England. Whenever a machine was found destroyed, people would say in spooky voice, “Ned Ludd did it.” But did the masked men hate technology or were they targeting something else?
Go read the whole thing: How to Handle Luddites in the Church