As a student in a university that teaches the understanding of World Views, I have over the years tried to figure out their incorporation. As an African Christian living in the modern times of science and technology, it is only right that I learn to embrace it- the incorporation, I mean. However, I wouldn’t fully buy it. I have issues with the way science and technology is conceptualizing our modern-day understanding of the Christian doctrines.
I have totally failed, for example, to come to terms with the concept of forwarding messages on inter-communicational platforms like Whatsapp and the SMS service in the name of earning blessings. Lately, the trend is that someone types out a long inspirational story on their phone, and ends the story with a note asking the recipient to forward it to a particular number of recipients in return for God’s blessing upon his/her life.
For some messages, the number of recipients determines how fast the “blessing” will be bestowed; the more the recipients, the quicker God will be in blessing you. Other messages, in the same light, are quick to add what God will do to you if you do NOT forward the message as summoned.
I find this whole idea totally absurd; I may not know everything about Christianity, but I surely know that God is better than that. It is ridiculous to tell me that if I have pleased God and been the good one he expects me to be, he will withhold his blessing from me (and give a curse in return) because I did not forward a story! It just doesn’t add up. We simply cannot reflect on how many messages we have forwarded to measure God’s love for us.
Besides, God loves his children and blesses them all. Should we warm up to the assumption that people with smartphones have a designated blessing from God that those without smartphones do not get, because they cannot receive and forward messages on Whatsapp?
A similar misconception hit the cyber. It’s common on social media; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Accounts and pages belonging to pastors, ministries and charity NGOs post photos of people in devastating and emotion-gripping conditions. They will then ask you to like, share, retweet, favorite or comment saying, “Amen”, (depending on the respective social network) if you believe that God can heal the person in the photo and deliver them from their misery. They also consider this as a type of prayer for the person in the photo.
Now, question; if somebody likes that photo and moves on to watching pornography, and I don’t click ”like”, but rather kneel down to pray for that person, who has actually showed more faith; the “liker”, or the “prayer”? I honestly believe that a click on the mouse and a few fumbles on the keyboard cannot be a representation of my faith in God’s power to heal.
Besides, God doesn’t heal someone because a photo of them hit a million likes on Instagram. If I kneel down and pray to God earnestly, my faith and belief that God hasheard my prayer should not waver an inch just because Facebook likes and shares did not accompany my prayer. Are the people in the villages, who have no access to the internet, being deprived of the miracles and blessings? Or are the ones whose photos do not gather enough likes made to wait till they gather just enough for God to hear them?!
I have probably just earned myself criticism here and there by writing this story, I know. But if anyone can show me the scripture that links God’s mercy for us to how many people on earth think we deserve the mercy, please come to the table and shoot. For now, I insist that our take in regard to this particular phenomenon is downright absurd and ridiculous, and needs a ton of reform. Thank you.
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