One definition given for the Bible after performing a google search is: a book made up of the writings accepted by Christians as coming from God.
The Bible has become one of the most controversial and talked about books in the 21st century. Allegations of scribbling on aged paper, walls and stones are linked to the Bible instead of other books. People who do not own a copy of the Bible will impressively quote or recite parts of it during a conversation. It’s a fact that the public has a peculiar way of receiving information about things, beings, places and situations. Hence, the contents of the Bible are no different. And now that we are living in an age of advanced technology, information has become even more accessible. The touch of a button can lead to reports of shocking revelation, false and true information, and new knowledge.
The Bible is one of the first books
The Bible is one of the first books from which I learnt verses by rote. And had read and heard many stories to frighten and intimidate me into fearing God. I have stored, in my head, multiple lessons on how to be humble and kind. It’s a book which mentions about serpent, forbidden fruit, disobedience, sexual immorality, love, peace, war, envy, enemy, famine, hope, disguise, adultery, pride, theft, murder, angel, deception, birth, marriage, death, taxes, offerings, dreams, parables, proverbs, Satan, and a host of other things. The Bible contains words and names of people and places that are extremely difficult to pronounce. Maybe the people who are good at saying them are sanctified. Or, perhaps it requires the knowledge of several tongues to master saying those words and names. And for those of us who mispronounce the names and words, don’t be embarrassed. Be of good courage and heart. We are heaven sent for the people who are in dire need of giggles and laughter. Therefore let’s rejoice, carry on and be exceedingly glad.
Favorite Bible chapters and verses
Most followers of the Christian faith have favorite chapters and verses from the various books of the Bible. The book of Psalms is the most popular. Those who indulge will read the chapters for wellness, wealth, protection and the destruction of others. Some people will read a special chapter prior to going on a job interview or an important appointment. Others read it to cast away fears or the presence of evil spirits.. Some people pray a Psalm before indulging in medical procedures, games of chance, travel, and planting crops . Interestingly, the Bible is referred to as a sword. And it’s not strange when someone threatens another with a Psalm during an altercation. Some people have also expressed that one should be careful how they read and use the Psalms. Because the power and might in the words are enough to cause one to lose their mind if they are not grounded in God.
God’s pharmacy and depression
I am not the brightest spark when it comes to the dynamics of the Bible or Religious Knowledge. On the other hand, I am able to hit bullseye when parts of the Bible become topics. I recall a particular social media platform carried a post about depression. From God's pharmacy, the author of the post prescribed Psalm 91 for depression. According to the author, those who were depressed, all they had to do was acknowledge the Psalm and then type Amen in the comments section. It was Amen after Amen as I scrolled through the comments. Suddenly my eyes rested on the name and profile picture of one of my relatives. I was in disbelief. I didn’t expect him to comment on such a post because he was too pretentious. Perhaps God’s word and status was a big deal to him over any other post. Or, he could be honestly depressed and believed that Psalm 91 and an Amen would heal him instead of taking the appropriate step to seek medical attention.
Bible information on Social Media
Bible information on social media platforms is popular. There are people who use parts of the Bible to match or solidify information they share. In some instances it is my opinion that a fraction of the scriptural posts are with a hidden agenda. Some are baits. We are living in uncertain times and the authors of posts are aware that the majority of people seeking comfort or solace will respond or connect quicker to a Bible chapter or verse, than an ordinary statement or even science. An individual with health issues, who has a strong conviction in Jesus Christ, will choose to forgo a medical doctor’s appointment in lieu of a Bible passage or verse.
Translation and interpretation of the Bible
There is no limit as to how the Bible is used and more so because all of its contents are up to translation and interpretation. People are of different understandings. They view things literally and figuratively. Some people are of the belief that Jesus walked upon the ocean and there are others who believe that he didn’t. Some believe that Jesus parted the sea and there are others who believe that it was a scientific event. Some people believe Jesus performed miracles whereas some don’t. Some people believe Jesus is three in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit whereas others don’t. And if one should ask me if he turned water into wine, I would say yes…with a fermented fruit juice explanation.
People function on social media in the same manner as the real world. We are among the happy, sad, mischievous, comical and pretentious. The pretentious people are the most noticed on social media just like in the real world. They avoid acknowledging the post of an unrighteous friend, relative or acquaintance so as to impress and please their pastors and church going friends. In the meantime the pastor will be on all social media platforms linking with the heathens; telling them that God is good, and explaining about planting seeds and about giving tithes. The pretentious is concerned that an interaction with unrighteous people could ruin their reputation and affect their employment. To also have the notion that the Human Resource Department at any place of employment will punish employees for having a voice on social media is preposterous. I believe that a successful workplace is based on the strength of the opinions and constructive criticisms shared by their employees. Maybe the Psalm 91 social media post was a bait to expose the pretentious people. And also, could have been a blessing in disguise for those who were too proud to admit that they are depressed.
Silent followers on social media
Are the silent followers on social media private people? Whether they are private or not they give me the creeps. They remind me of a fly sitting on a wall making use of its most prized attribute, the compound eye. They watch everyone’s moves without uttering a word. The silent followers are calculating. They will use WhatsApp, text message or messenger to engage someone on a subject, topic, situation or thing which is a full blown discussion on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Personally, they intrude on my valuable time going private to share their opinions when they could have joined the public discussion.
Commonsense and privacy
Inasmuch as I am a novice, when it comes to technology, commonsense tells me that if someone is seeking to have a private conversation or discussion, WhatsApp, text message and messenger are not the most private and secure mediums. Like our email accounts they can be hacked. Intruders know how to get to what they want. Privacy in an era of advanced technology is a longing. Piped dream. If a post is public, I will comment publicly. It would be hypocritical of me to discuss it behind closed doors. Why is it so difficult to be honest with ourselves? A day will perhaps come when someone will design a social media swatter for the silent followers. Or, in the future when we blink our eyes, it would hide pages and posts from those who refuse to comment or even acknowledge a post publicly.
Choices and trust
We also live in a world where choices are available. Social media is a prime marketplace for choices. People can choose friends, like posts, remain silent or express themselves. Given that it still doesn’t eliminate the fact that some people have double standards. I recall dining at a restaurant where I overheard one lady telling another that she has two Facebook pages: One for her secular friends and the other for her church going friends. Some people are truly bogus. It is no wonder trust is no longer embraced by many people in our society. We can’t trust the slightest shadow. Not even our own.
Discernment and fine prints
At the end of the day it’s imperative to understand that a person of the Christian faith is aware that Satan roams social media platforms in the same manner as the real world. Satan is a busybody. A hacker. A scammer. A liar. A pervert. A pedophile. A con artist. Satan will even appear as a religious individual. God’s messenger. Having said that, some of us need discernment, sixth sense or third eye to sift through information on the various social media platforms. Know what’s true, false, right and wrong. People with ulterior motives are excellent at baiting others, especially the vulnerable. It’s always helpful to safeguard the self. Be on the lookout for certain words, inspirational quotes, Bible verses and chapters. Be careful of what you agree to. Use your Amen wisely. Read the posts as if they are the fine prints in a contract. They hold the terms and conditions and the details. Remember one can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Tah-tah! Impress yourself, not others.
Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2023