The Internet of Law

By Caleb Keith


This week I have a confession to make; I’m addicted. That’s right, I can’t get enough Internet news. It’s the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night. My mind is constantly itchin’ for a fixin’. Who can blame me? My whole world is screens. My job, summer school, and even relaxing at night all involve a glowing pane of glass shoving information down my throat. However there is a catch, in exchange for my entertainment the Internet must always feed me bad news. The news whether it be tech, politics, entertainment or even theology is inevitably flooded with grief and despair. Death, rumors, and lawsuits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to examples of what the World Wide Web offers me everyday.

All this bad news is, of course, to be expected. Since the fall, the world has been full of bad news. The Law of God, which is written on our hearts and ingrained in our minds, is there to miserably point it out that we sin every day. Sin has a firm grip on the Internet, and it sure as hell isn’t letting go. Like I have said in the past, the Internet is great at amplifying things, and sin is no exception. With the amplification of sin comes the amplification of the Law. However unlike the Law of God, the law of the Internet is very rarely about you. We are always reading about somebody else and their misfortune and mistakes; in a way that makes us feel good. Our sinful nature allows us to pervert God’s good Law and flip it around so that it points back at everybody else, leaving ourselves outside of the picture. I am certainly guilty of this, and I’m guessing you are too.


It’s easy for the Internet to fool us into a holier-than-thou mentality to make us forget what kind of sins are resting on our side of the screen. Our thoughts and our replies can so easily spew hate and damnation on everything and everybody we see. However, the trickery of the web doesn’t change the cold hard reality. The person on our side of the screen is just as wicked and broken as every sinful wretch in the news. The Law of God and the law of the Internet have something in common; while they are great at making everybody look bad, they don’t offer a solution for ending the despair. The only real end to the constant pain of sin and the punishment brought forth by the Law is Christ. Christ sees the sins sitting on our side of the screen and rather than striking us down like we deserve, he forgives us. Christ paid for our sins and the sins of all those that the Law and the Internet tell us to look upon with shame. Under Christ’s forgiveness, the Law loses its killing power against us and so to we lose the ability to use its killing power against others. Instead, we are now free to proclaim life and forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Christ. This is our endless comfort amidst an Internet and a world full of constant bad news.