For the Connected Missionary

Missionary Geek

Best browser imageThere are several web browsers that you can use to view content on the web. But which one is the best choice for most needs? There are actually some browsers that are more Christian friendly than others. Christian friendly?

Different Browsers
There are many more browsers than I will mention here, but let’s just look at some of the big names: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera. They each have their own characteristics and selling points. There is no reason to limit yourself to just one browser. While you can probably choose one for most needs, there are some times where one browser will be much better for a job than another one.

Firefox
Firefox has been my browser of choice for many years, even before it was called Firefox. It has been more standards compliant in many areas than other browsers. Like some of the other browsers in the list, Firefox has add-ons, or extensions, that give the browser more capabilities than what was originally planned by the browser maker. This allows Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, to make a streamlined browser that renders pages well while allowing the user to add the specific functionality that he wants.

For the last several years web savvy designers have made their websites streamlined for Firefox. I have some websites that I visit regularly that do not work well in any other browser. Firefox has done a great job at balancing innovation and keeping things working with standard technology.

Here is an interesting side note. Firefox is based off the Gecko engine which was developed by the makers of the Konqueror web browser (for Linux) which happens to be on my list of absolute worst browsers available. The same engine powers one of the best and one of the worst.

Chrome
Chrome is made by Google and is based on the WebKit engine that Apple, Inc. developed for the Safari browser. Chrome has been super fast for me. While I said that Firefox has been my browser of choice for many years, it has been replaced recently by Chrome as my default browser. Many of the features I enjoy with Firefox are available on Chrome. Chrome has extensions that add functionality to the browser. There are not as many extensions available for Chrome yet as there are for Firefox. Chrome works on almost every website that I frequent—except those specifically written for Firefox.

I don’t mind keeping Firefox around even though I mostly use Chrome. They are both great browsers and the two I highly recommend. Particularly for their Christian friendliness.

Safari
Safari is a browser that I have not used much. It has the same underlying engine that Chrome has. It is available on Windows and Mac, but not for Linux. Firefox and Chrome both work well on Linux.

Safari has some great features, but it seems that every time they come out with something that is good, Chrome releases an update that either copies or does the feature just a bit better. Since they are built on the same base, it is easy for them to have similar feature sets.

There are times on my wife’s Mac computer that a website will not work quite right in Firefox. Safari steps in to the rescue then. This is particularly true when the site needs to control a piece of hardware such as the webcam.

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer is only available for Windows. However, even if it were available for Linux I would not be interested in using it. Many of the security flaws that Windows has are a result of Internet Explorer. I do not recommend IE to anyone. That does not mean, however, that you can get rid of it from your computer. While Windows makes it possible to hide it, there are times on certain Microsoft websites where you need IE. Certain security updates require that they be installed through the IE browser.

Opera
Opera is a browser that has been around for many years and has a very loyal following. They recently announced that they will have extensions available in their next release, even though Firefox has had them available for most of a decade. Every time I try Opera I give it a fair shake for several days, but I never can get used to the way it does things. While it is not my choice for a browser, I have nothing against it.

Christian Friendly?
How can a browser be Christian friendly? Both Firefox and Chrome have extensions that allow you to block advertisements from websites. Using these browsers with the ad blocking extensions in them, I never see any ads that I have not expressly said I wanted to see. [Adblock Plus for Firefox, and AdBlock for Chrome]

I understand that websites make money by showing advertisements. I also understand that there are some services that are able to make their products available for free because of the ads. However, I choose not to fill my eyes with the ads that I know are out there. I have been shocked when surfing to certain websites on other people’s computers when I see the ads that are being shown because I never see them on my machine. I understand why people think the Internet is such a wicked place. If I had to look at those ads all the time, I would probably avoid many of the good things the Internet has to offer too.

Which is the Best Browser?
Obviously I have a preference for Firefox and Chrome because they work so well and have ad blocking available. Opera, with it’s new ability to have extensions, may soon come out with ad blocking. The same AdBlock extension for Chrome is available for Safari, but I have not used it. I cannot at all recommend Internet Explorer.

These are just my thoughts on the browser market. What browser do you use and why?

About the author

David is a missionary working with the Deaf. His focus is helping churches in Latin America start ministries for the Deaf in their communities. He currently lives with his wife and kids in Mérida, México. David also serves as the Director of Deaf Ministries for his mission board, Baptist International Outreach.

14 Comments for this entry

  • Shane Rice says:

    Chrome/Chromium is incredibly fast. I too have used Firefox for years, and recently switched to Chromium (I don’t know if they continue to make a difference but Chromium is the OpenSource version of Chrome). Is Netscape/Seamonkey still around?? It was also built off the Mozilla/Gecko engine. I think perhaps it too uses Extensions. Also Epiphany is the Gnome web browser also uses the Webkit, very fast, does not have good ad blocking. Nice write up!

    Shane

    • David Peach says:

      Thanks Shane. Yeah, SeaMonkey is still around. I have never used it since I was captivated by Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox when it came out. I was looking to get away from a suite at the time, so never gave SeaMonkey a chance. However, I have friends who use it for web development on static sites.

  • Connie Cule says:

    Hi David, I was researching the web for Christian Browsers since I am sick of all the anti-Christian stuff I keep comng across. I read your post on Which is the Best Web Browser and am grateful for the information. Then I noticed you are involved in ministry for the Deaf. My son is also in Deaf Ministry. He is the interpreter for his church and is engaged to a deaf woman. He works very hard at trying to reach the deaf in our area with the Truth of God. I am forwarding your website information to him. God’s blessings to you and your family and your mission. Connie Cule

    • David Peach says:

      I am glad this post could be a help to you.

      I am excited to read that your son is involved with Deaf ministry. God burdened me for this ministry when I had an opportunity to witness to a deaf man who knew nothing about the Bible. It helped me realize that without a specific witness to an individual, the Deaf would not learn about God. I am always glad to know there are others out there sharing the Gospel with those who cannot hear.

  • Jana C says:

    Hi David,

    I ran a web search for “christian web browsers” and came across your website. In the months since your article was written, Google has become very open about their support of gay rights. Being the professing Christian that I am, I cannot support Google or any of their products. Therefore, my choice and recommendation for people is to select Mozilla Firefox as their browser of choice.

    On another note, my husband and I are both deaf and working towards getting into the ministry. I can’t wait to read more on your blog!

    • David Peach says:

      Thanks Jana. I just started playing with SRWare Iron Browser today. It is the same codebase as Chrome, but is not run by Google. It is an anti-Google group that has put it together. Because the base for Chrome is open source this group could build a Chrome equivalent but without supporting Google.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Dave says:

    Hi David,

    I also ran a web search for “christian web browsers” and came across your website. In the months since your article was written, Google has become very open about their support of gay rights as well as Mozilla Firefox (which I use). Being the professing Christian that I am, I cannot support Google or Mozilla Firefox anymore or any of their products. So now where do I go for internet browsing?

    • Wilber says:

      David, you’re not going to find anything!
      I’ve done more than enough research on all of the available browsers to date, and there isn’t one of them who isn’t willing to push for the progressive, homosexual agenda.
      The best thing to do is let all of them no where you, (and hopefully everyone you know) stands on the matter, frequently, and loudly.
      Our days of turning of the cheek (even as they’re responsible for killing our kids and grandkids, our nation and world) are either going to come to an end and we’ll actually start standing up for Christ’s Father’s Holy Will, or, we’re keep cowering in fear over these social-communist-freaks until we’re not allowed to worship, let alone, protect our loved ones from their many attacks against our freedoms, as well as the massive, plagues of disease they and their government lovelies are directly responsible for. Even this won’t leave my “HONEST” and forward comments up, which is just a product of their lie, fear and intimidation via forced tolerance of something Christ Himself would ran out of town.

  • Graham Hodge says:

    You may wish to update your advice on Mozilla Firefox side Mozilla sacked their CEO Brendan Eich under pressure from the gay mafia simply because he had once donated $1000 to oppose same sex “marriage” in California.
    When I read this I deleted Firefox.

    • Graham Hodge says:

      should read “since” Mozilla sacked….

    • James Stortz says:

      cGraham, that’s a good point. I came here too to read about technology built by Christians. Just as Jesus would not have lead Jerusalem to freedom by murder and uprisings, I should not build upon legacies of evil in my own life. I am glad to have been awakened to the truth of Christ! As an aspiring software engineer, the role of technology is perhaps even more important to me as I begin to apply God’s footsteps to my own architectures and creations.

      What occurred to me that I thought I ought to point out, is that, while Brendan Eich was pressured to step down by his peers at Mozilla, in his response, he defended by stating that he willfully kept his personal and religious life separate from his work life at Mozilla. To me, what this affirms is that, not only was Mozilla’s mission not inspired through the righteousness of God, but that Eich’s work was admittedly not of God either. This is a revelation to me because Eich is known to have contributed a great deal to modern technological advances, such as the programming language of JavaScript.

      It’s also conclusive to state that all of technology has many roots in evil. Almost all of our computer and consumer electronic hardware is and has been manufactured in dangerous factories in China and other Asian countries where conditions are harsh and unhealthy for employees, treated as slaves, forced to overpopulate in small dorms with little food and unsustainable compensation for their work. Factory supervisors and managers abuse, physically and verbally, their workers, who are forced to stand up, often for 12 hour shifts, the majority working beyond 60 hours a week with little breaks. Underage employment, which in China is 15 years and younger, is a rampant social problem yet to be rectified. Americans demand more and more toys at the expense of human tragedy, slavery, and death in overseas manufacturing plants.

      For a Christian, this is a major area of conflict. In order to follow in the footsteps of the Lord, I must not be tempted by the evils of this fallen world, soon to pass away, as I wonder what kind of engineering imprints I can leave in good faith. Is there any room for electronic progression in such a sinful environment? I am yet to come to a firm revelation, but I appreciate so much the divine gift and opportunity to put my faith into God for the answer, as I believe He will continue to reveal to me His great wisdom and will!

      As a matter of fact, or at least what my research has shown, and what seems to make sense, is that the majority of our software in the modern world has been built upon a legacy of God-lessness. Apple Macintosh, lead by Steve Jobs, and subsequently iOS, Microsoft Windows by Bill Gates, subsequently Windows Mobile, Linux by Linus Torvald, and subsequently Android have contributed to a movement of atheism, false-doctrine, and self-righteousness. All of these people and their followers believe themselves to be contributing to society, blind to their own ways. This is sad considering all of our modern technology is built upon these operating systems including our internet servers, browsers, search-engines and services, etc.

      Even the games that children, including myself at younger ages, are exposed to and becoming attached to have been revolutionized by motives of fear, rejection of God Himself and rebellion. John Carmack and team at Id Software are proud atheists who contributed the majority to the game engine upon which all modern game engines are built. As a wayward teenager, this was the programming hero that I looked up to, and as what is shown by the industry, who everybody else took blind guidance from.

      The only inkling of hope brought to my awareness to consider at the moment is the fact that the Unix OS was created by two alleged Christians, Dennis Ritchie, who passed away recently, and Ken Thompson. This essential kernel, produced in the 1970’s and 1980’s, is upon which all other operating systems have derived (Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and all the others listed and not listed above.) It looks to me that one solution may be to gather Christian engineers and regenerate the technological revolution with the hand of God. We could continue the Unix legacy taken waywardly, and build more sustainable works ultimately inspired from the word and work of God Himself, such as new platforms, servers, web-browsers, search-engines, you name it! With God, everything is possible!

      I’m not trying to sell Unix. I don’t even own a copy. I’m just stating what we are facing in today’s world, and what options I am really thinking about in my personal life to avoid self-righteousness and follow the path of our one and true merciful and graceful almighty Lord. It may be that I abandon software engineering altogether, we’ll see!

      God bless!

  • Graham Hodge says:

    There is one browser that I cannot find any links to homosexual activists..Dolphin Browser. At present it is only available for iOS devices, and android I believe – not for Mac or Windows.

  • Tom says:

    The Konqueror web browser was never based on the Gecko engine, it was always based on the Khtml engine, which later became forked by Apple to make webkit, which Google forked to make Blink. So Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome are more code in common with Konqueror than firefox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *