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Tue, Jun

Understanding the “Gs”: 5G, COVID-19 and the church

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This divide which has become the talk of the day is spreading like wildfire. This fire has caught up with the church with seasoned Pastors standing at each side of the divide.
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Written By Mark Ofori Nketia - 5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies for cellular data networks. In a span of about four decades, we have seen various generations such as 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. Before the first generation, there was the 0G (Zero generation).


These were the radiotelephony technologies that preceded cellular phones. The first generation (1G) at a maximum speed of 2.4Kps (Kilobyte per second) brought about voice signals over cellular phones.

Read also: Selorm Branttie Writes: Conspiracy theories are not new to Africa

The second-generation (2G) at a maximum speed of 50Kps and its enhanced versions saw the birth of voice, data signal, GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution).

The Third Generation (3G) at a maximum speed of 2Mbps (Megabyte per second) brought about enhance features such as internet browsing and video calling.

The fourth-generation (4G) at a maximum speed of 100Mbps brought about a fast experience of mobile browsing, video call services, better gaming experience, and 3D TV.

Now, the 5G theoretically promises a super speed of 20Gbps (twenty Gigabytes per second) which is more than 100 times the speed of 4G.

Benefits of 5G

5G creates a platform that truly makes the world a global village by connecting virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, devices, and plants.

5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps (Gigabit per second) peak data speeds, increased availability, ultra-low latency( meaning that delay in data transmission and receiving is minimal), massive network capacity, more reliability and more uniform user experience to more users.

5G would help new industries to spring out. It will make driverless transportation, Smart Home and Smart cities the order of the day.

The idea of 5G is not only people communicating with each other but things communicating with things or humans or vice versa (internet of things).

5G will impact every industry and sector of the economy. It promises to promote safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, digitized logistics and many more. Indeed 5G will change the way we live, learn, work, commute, and play.

Understanding COVID-19

COVID 19 virus belongs to the family of viruses known as coronaviruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in 2019.

Conspiracy Theories and the Brouhaha

I have read and listened to a lot of interesting arguments on the relationship between COVID 19 and 5g with various "conspiracy theories".

Some assert that the rollout of 5G is responsible for COVID -19 while other experts such as Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai (an MIT Scientist and a pioneer of Email) are of the view that COVID 19 is an agenda of a "deep state" to propel the realization of a higher agenda.

This divide which has become the talk of the day is spreading like wildfire. This fire has caught up with the church with seasoned Pastors standing at each side of the divide.

As part of eschatological teaching by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome a world televangelist, founder, and leader of the Christ Embassy Church, he outlines a vivid relationship between COVID 19, 5G and the new world order.

On the other hand, Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo, the Founder of Kingsway International Christian Centre has a contrasting view. He derailed the 5G COVID 19 theories and encouraged believers to stay focus on the Lord.

At a TED conference in 2015, Bill Gates (Co founder of Microsoft and a multi billionaire) made a wake up call that the greatest global catastrophy is not war (the use of missiles and nuclear attacks) but highly infectious virus (microbes). In 2019 the United States shut down its Military Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases over safety concerns.

The Washington Post also made a publication about safety concerns with the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory in China. Currently, the United States and China have a blame game over coronavirus pandemic.

By connecting the dots, I see an iota of truth in 5g having a link with COVID 19. Not necessarily the 5G radiation as a primary cause of Coronavirus but then some unknown persons or cabal is using the virus as a tool to propel a mega agenda (of course they need the 5g to thrive).

Biblical and Scientific Perspective (My Position)

Technology is defined as the sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services that meets our needs and desires.

Technology started from creation. The book of Genesis makes a solid account of how God created the heavens and the earth. In Gen 3:21, GOD made garments of skin and clothed Adam and his wife. At least we see garment technology in play.

Again in Genesis 4:17, we saw that Cain built a city. Here we see building technology in action. We also see in Exodus 31:1-5 of how God filled Bezalel with his Spirit to and gave him the ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. Here we see engineering technologies at work.

Interestingly in the new testament, we see the Apostle Paul writing letters to the faithful. Over here, there is the usage of scrolls which implies the presence of papermaking technology (which has been in place since 3000BC).

Besides, the epistle of Paul brings to mind the existence of communication protocols. I hope you would appreciate the evolution of communication technologies (protocols) as far as the classical era.

I would not like to bore you with trends and growth of technology through the medieval era to our digital age. We should understand that technology has developed through stages, in seasons and generations and no force or entity has been able to stop this.

Notably, the 21st century is seeing a quantum leap in technology. What used to be a science fiction many years ago are now realities (such as mobile phones, universal translators, E-Books, automatic doors, video calls and many more). I hope you remember James bond, Star Trek, Dexter’s laboratory, star wars…….(you could add on).

5G or the next generation which is an aspect of the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) shall surely see the light of the day. This is because 5G would make communication easier, it will ease data congestion, transform our industries and to the educational sector an era of ubiquitous learning.

The church stands to benefit much from advancement in communication technology. 5G technology would enable church leaders to reach out to members efficiently and effectively through the various digital platform.

With our generation becoming more tech-savvy, 5G will encourage virtual community leaving among church members who are distance apart.

In fact, the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the lockdown effects have made more Christians result in the use of online platforms such as Zoom for prayer meetings and bible sharing. Apparently, 5G would enhance evangelization, discipleship and church management.

Conclusion

We should note that Communication technologies would keep on transcending to higher levels, from 5G up to 1 Terahertz and the Petahertz and over is all a matter of time. So is 5G and COVID-19 a thing of the Anti Christ? If yes, then the church can do nothing about it because it is prophetic.

If no, then we should not spend our energy on unnecessary debates. I think to the church the discussion should be how well is the Church capitalizing on emerging technologies for evangelistic activities?

To the reader, our argument should be how well are we positioning ourselves, education, society, and industry to succeed and be in the frontline of the new technological wave? Are we ready for the fourth industrial revolution?

As I end may I draw our attention to the fact that the world will remain and never be the same after COVID-19. Science can never be an enemy of religion.

I know God to be the master scientist who exited, still exits and would always be. One day everything would come to an end but until then what would you do to make good use of the time and technologies whiles you last.

COVID-19 could be a "code" name but at least we are aware of it. What if another "code" emerges. Let’s do a deep scan, forecast and get ready for the new wave.

 

The writer is a researcher at Ghana Technology University College. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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