Living a life embedded in social media I've decided it's time to rewrite the Bible. It was written way before the modern marvels of Facebook and Google+. Surely if God had given us the Bible now it would be written in a new way, in a way appropriate to how we engage. So here's my attempt at retranslating some key passages. Let's start with the greatest commandment redone so we can do it.
Jesus replied:“‘Love the Lord your God with all your +1s and with all your Likes and with all your Retweets.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:‘+1 and Like your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-38)
This is sounding reasonable so let's see how our new translation works in action. Here's what Jesus did, rewritten to make modern sense.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and LIKEd their sick. (Matthew 14:14)
Jesus had compassion on them and +1'ed their eyes. Immediately when they received their notification they followed him. (Matthew 20:34)
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began +1ing and LIKEing them many times. (Mark 6:34)
And so now we have it. We now know what pure religion is about -
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:to +1 orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
Yet sadly this is what our modern world is creating - and I'm not talking about non-Christians but about us. It is creating a superficial generation that connects through clicks and who express love through Likes. It's so easy to read and +1 a post as though this digital "Amen" carries great value. We are hardly bothered to even type "Amen", let alone type a comment. What has happened to us? Relationships are not established in +1s but in discussion, in reading and meaningful engagement. Yet this takes time, effort, energy - and that is what love is after all. There is no shortcut to love. Just because we live in the super fast digital world does not mean that all of a sudden superficial tokens of acknowledgement are now substitutes for love and relationship.
Relationships were once developed through hours of discussion around camp fires. Then it was through letters and long conversations on the telephone. Then it was through emails and text messages. Then it was through +1s and Likes. From hours and real involvement, relationships have moved to seconds and superficial tokens.
So what does this mean? Well pick up the digital mirror in front of you and take a look at yourself. Have your relationships been replaced by reads, and love by likes? How often do you read and reply to your brothers and sisters posts? How often do you just click +1 or maybe do nothing? How often do you simply post and not even read what others have to say? Just because we are in the digital world does not mean we can substitute real relationship with shallow shows of love. Let's be different to the rest of the digital world, let's engage, listen, develop relationships - let's live the great command - Love.
Then those who feared the Lord +1'ed each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and +1'ed his name. (Malachi 3:16)
Then those who feared the Lord TALKED WITH each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and HONORED his name. (Malachi 3:16)