A Christians guide to the internet

What is the Internet?

This is the first post in the series A Christians Guide to the Internet. If you want to know what this is all about then please visit the introductory post here.
This first post covers how the internet began and what it actually is.
So, what is the Internet?
Put simply the internet is a network of various devices, computers, laptops, servers, phones, tablets and anything else that we use to access the internet all communicating and passing and sharing information to each other via phone lines or radio waves (WiFi). This happens in what is called small data packages that travels across the Phones lines or Wifi.
The physical network of devices (computers, laptops etc) is called the World Wide Web, the information that is accessible on the network is called the internet.
⦁ A network is a system of ‘things’ or people that are all interconnected. In this case ‘things’ i.e whatever we use to go on the internet with.
How it began
In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee discovered that he could get a computer to share information with a server (a storage device) and the World Wide Web was born.
⦁ A server is different to a computer as it is used for storing information and now they are also used to host sites on for the people who own and create the website. You can even buy your own server yourself if you have the money and the inclination to do so.
The internet came after then as more clever people came together and started to grow the network and how the information is accessed and shared and they built on what Tim Berners-Lee pioneered. And as more people add their own information and technology it has grown into the very large system we have today.
So obviously the internet has grown significantly over the years as we have millions of devices all over the world connected to this network. It is worth remembering that no one owns the internet, Tim Berners-Lee was very adamant that would not happen.  But people do own the physical space that information is hosted on (servers).
Lots of different companies hire out and sell this space for people to host their websites etc on. And really big companies such as Google and public services such as banks and government bodies have their own servers. The internet is layered in that way and has a lot of information that the public cannot access such as personal bank details etc. It is so vast now though and owned by so many people that the internet has become an entity that is hard to police or control by any government (not that they don’t try).
I think this is why some people can become overwhelmed but as you would not try to look at the world as a whole and try to understand all the tribes and cultures and government systems, you don’t need to look at the internet as a whole either. Just what you wish to use it for.
So some points to remember:

  • The internet is millions of devices all on a network communicating and passing information to each other.
  • The physical network system of devices is called the World Wide Web.
  • The information being passed, shared and stored is the internet.
  • The World Wide Web began by a discovery of being able to get a computer and a server to talk to each other and pass information down phones lines in little data (information) packets.
  • Wireless devices uses radio waves which we call wifi.
  • Nobody owns the internet, but many different people own the different servers used to host information on. Some of which the public can access some we can’t.
  • A server is usually what the information is hosted on. Which is a device used to store and host information on for those who have created the website.
  • A website is the name for whatever you visit on the internet to look or read such as this site ‘Spans Studio’ and the screen you are looking at is called a webpage.
  • Information travels in small data packages via phone lines or radio waves. – this too has a space limit as information takes up space.
  • The internet has a limit but is always being added to.

The internet has information on there that’s been added by millions of people all over the world, some good information, some not so much. Yet even with all that information at our fingertips it still isn’t anything compared to the knowledge God has, for He knows all. So as we search and share on the internet, remember God knows everything on there as well, who has posted it and why who has searched for it and why. And He will help us if we wish to use our time on there to glorify Him and learn His word.

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In the next post we will discuss accessing the internet.

Reference:
Wikipedia page on Tim Berners-Lee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee

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A Christians guide to the internet

A Christians Guide to the Internet – Introduction

A couple of years ago I wrote a short series about the internet specifically for Christians for a library website I was working on. It’s based on my experience of working for printed publications via the internet, courses I have taken through the OU about the internet and of course blogging on here since 2008. It’s very basic and I don’t claim to be an expert at all but it was something I felt burdened to write. The site that published this series has been taken down now and I was sent it to share here, I hope it blesses you!

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When used correctly the internet can be a great tool for Christians. It can be used to share your walk with Christ, as a research tool to aide you in your Bible studies and a way to connect with brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide. We can reach and help those in need now more than we have ever been able to thanks to the World Wide Web. You can also, should you wish, learn many skills here that can be dedicated to the Lord’s work.

Being on the internet as a Christian is no different to being in the world as a Christian. There are things that are not right in God’s eyes, lies are spread (very easily), there are many false preachers, people bully, argue and say cruel things to one another and crimes are committed. Sins are committed on here like they are in the world as it is used by real people with real lives. Does this mean we should avoid the internet? I don’t believe so and I don’t believe the Lord would have all of us avoid it for those reasons either. *

The internet is used by millions of people who do not know Jesus. Many people live their whole lives on here and many also have full careers on here. It is now an integral part of many peoples lives and they use it everyday for lots of different reasons. Being on the internet however doesn’t mean we should partake in anything that is ungodly or encourage others to do so. As we are to be in the world not of the world – the internet is no different – we must take responsibility, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of our time spent on the internet. This series however is not to tell anyone what to do while on the internet. How you choose to use the internet is between you and the Lord and He will protect your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus here as well as as anywhere you go.

It is my aim with this series to help anyone who wishes to spend time on the internet and is unsure of it to learn how it works. To share tips and tricks on on how to be safe, how to avoid seeing anything you don’t wish to see and how to find the sites that you wish to find and practice discernment in what you read. Plus I will share a few different ways to share your walk with the Lord from my experience of blogging and being on social networking sites for several years. A few years ago I did a short course on the how to use the internet plus a few on how to blog and I will be sharing the things I feel that are relevant now to help anyone learn about the internet.

This series is specifically for Christians (though if you aren’t and it helps you that is great) who wish to use the internet but don’t know how or have little confidence with technology and are weary of what they might find on it. I do not claim to be an expert but I am willing to share what little knowledge I have if it will help anyone in this area.

As always I would encourage anyone to go to the Lord for guidance, test everything with scripture and to do your own research. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your time on here and help you use it wisely and to protect your hearts and minds. And if there is anything I, or anyone else, shares that pricks your conscience – don’t do it. Trust the Lord to guide you and you can’t go far wrong.

I pray that this series blesses you and helps you feel a little more confident on using the internet for Gods glory. If you have any questions or would like me to do a post on anything then please use the contact form on this site.

*If the Lord has for whatever reason told you to not go on the internet, then this course is not for you, His word is final in your life and nothing I say here should be used to go against His wishes for the individual.