Writer Melanie Slaugh takes a wry look at Facebook and Bible stories.
Facebook is an amazing gathering place. People easily become addicted to its social atmosphere in a time when everyone is busy running in many different directions. It enables us to remain connected with many people at the same time.
If you are familiar with the stories of the Bible, you may find some ways that the stories relate to facebook. Here are ten that came to my mind.
David and Bathsheba – David was up on his rooftop looking out over his city and happened to see the beautiful wife of another man. Men have found themselves glancing over the profile pictures of other men’s wives on facebook too. It’s likely that a few have given in to the same temptation as David did, after letting their eyes wander.
Sleeping disciples – In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went off to pray and asked his three closest disciples to stay awake and pray with him. He returned to find them all dosing off, just like many who have returned to continue conversations with their friends on facebook and see that their profile is now in idle mode.
The Parable of the Lost Coin – In this short story, told by Jesus, a woman has lost a valuable coin. She calls on all her friends and neighbors to help her search for it until she finds it. This story reminds me of facebook friends calling on their fellow Castle Gate players to rally to their aid when they are in need.
The Sinner and the Publican – Two men enter a place of worship in this Bible story. One man bows low and pleads for forgiveness for his sins, and the other, a publican, stands and boasts of his own righteous deeds, thankful that he is not like the wretched sinner. Jesus used the two men as examples of God’s appreciation for humility and hatred of pride. You see the same two types of behavior displayed in facebook postings, some reflect humility and others a self-righteous pride.
Joseph and his Brothers – Joseph had a hard time getting along with his brothers. They tended to berate him and complain about him. You sometimes see sibling rivalry and jealousy displayed in facebook postings today.
Handwriting on the Wall – A great king was having a banquet and as they were celebrating, an invisible hand wrote words upon the palace wall in words of another language. On facebook ‘invisible’ hands also write on your wall, and, at times, it may not be in English.
The Feasts – The Israelites of the Bible had several major feasts that they celebrated during the year. When they had these feasts, everyone would congregate together in Jerusalem at the Temple to celebrate. Facebook is a similar congregating place. Weddings, births, holidays and all other kinds of special occasions are celebrated there with all the members of your ‘tribe’.
Adam and Eve – In the story of Adam and Eve, you find a little finger pointing going on. Adam blamed the woman and the woman blamed the serpent. You’ll hear the same types of excuses on facebook: “I posted it because she told me too.”
Noah and the Ark – God gave Noah specific instructions on how to build this giant boat. Noah had to follow those instructions in order to reach the goal of being able to house all those animals. There are plenty of facebook games that set out rules for the players to follow in order to reach their goals too.
The Lady at the Well – Jesus had a conversation with a lady at a well in the middle of the day. Jesus, a stranger to the lady, told the lady things about herself and her past that she didn’t expect him to know. That happens on facebook too. What people don’t realize is that they’ve left they’re privacy settings open to the public. What they thought was private information is known by complete strangers. (A little different method, I agree, but you catch the similarity.)