How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

The following short article from a “Christian” source recognizes and addresses a modern day problem associated with Bible engagement and technology.

Though technology has played a major role in the availability of the Word of God in ways unimaginable just a generation back, today an estimated 50% of Americans read their Bible digitally on computers, phones, and Bible apps. In addition, computer programs quickly and efficiently present the Bible in multiple translations, readily available for reading, copying, and saving with the click of a mouse; while essential tools which Bible students depend upon such as concordances, lexicons, commentaries, etc. are equally available on line.
Yet… what impact has technology had on Bible engagement in this digital age?

Studies conducted by the Barna Group and The American Bible Society show that there is a growing Bible literacy problem despite the technological advantages, concluding,

“today’s technology is doing as much, if not more, harm than good to overall Bible literacy.”

Scriptural sound bites and snippets necessarily reduce not only content, but also meaning and impact. There is simply no replacement for Bible study. When one repeatedly reads the Bible with the sincere desire to understand and embrace it, one becomes familiar with its themes, its teachings, and its contexts.
We are admonished to

“study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

– Editor of the Christadelphian Advocate

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Harper-Collins-Bible-best-Bible-apps-for-Android – the Word of Promise telling: The NKJV Study Bible, Second Edition, is the most comprehensive study Bible available!

It turns out that electronic Bible providers are employing “a data-centric model” which regularly regurgitates those verses which are already the most tweeted or shared by their user communities. The result is basically a repeating loop of “verse of the day” Bible balm. This means those who get their Bible online will receive plenty of I can do all things through Christ… (Philippians 4:13), and, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace…(Jeremiah 29:11), but not so much of the rest of the Bible. Apparently no one is intentionally choosing a wide selection of verses to more adequately convey the wider range of biblical teaching… The prognosis is not good… the less-than-hopeful question:

“Does this mean that we lose out on doctrinal or propositional input into our Bible reading online”?

And if we do put more than therapeutic Bible verses out there, will they all merely land on “deaf ears, blind eyes, and dead screens”?
The concern is appropriate.

Constantly engaging Bible verses that make me feel good is perilously close to turning the Bible into a prophet that tells me only what I want to hear. This is the kind of prophet the real prophets warned us about. But is simply adding more verses – propositional ones – to the playlist really the solution? Isn’t there a deeper problem here?

Exposure to a wider variety of Bible verses might offer me more than therapy, but the entire approach is still based on providing would-be Bible readers little more than a morsel. The bigger issue is that we can’t rely on tweets, Facebook posts or “verse of the day” deliveries to our inbox to fulfill the promise of Bible engagement.
The social media channel as a communication medium has built-in limitations. The Bible itself is so much more than a collection of verses, so much richer than a sourcebook of one-liners… The Holy Scriptures are a gathering of complete literary works, meant to be read as a whole. These books come together to tell a story that can only be taken in, understood, and lived if it is fully encompassed, apprehended at length, and deeply embraced. Sound bites can’t do this. A constant diet of atomized fragments is a disservice to the Scriptures that God gave us.

Let us rather respect and read the Bible holistically.
Let us honor the Word of God by giving it our time and full attention.
We don’t need a shrinking Bible delivered to us with a diminished set of expectations. May we rather welcome back a full-sized Bible – the stories, wisdom, instruction, and visions overflowing with all that God has for us and all He expects of us.
Words to encourage and inspire us, yes: but also to instruct, correct, and welcome us wholly into this long and winding narrative that in the end leads us where we need to go. Only the complete Bible can do this. So read big.

This article originally appeared on Institute For Bible Reading organisation under the title “Verse of the Day‘Therapy’ is Shrinking the Bible,” October 10, 2018.

Where people find meaning in life

Pew Research Center asked thousands of Americans where they find meaning in life. Their responses were rich, thoughtful and varied. Here are just a few examples of what they told us…

“That’s a gosh darn big question for a survey like this, I’m used to the check boxes. I find meaning in career, family, spiritual and hobbies aspects of my life. Those are the things that keep me going and areas that I develop goals and look to improve.”

I honestly think goals are very important in life. But people constantly also need new stimuli. Having a good focus also helps people staying on a path where they can tackle the difficulties in a reasonable way.

one person reacted:

“My family is the focus of my life. I feel like I should have said Christianity; however, that is a given for me, underlying and surrounding everything in my life. My greatest joy comes from my loved ones.”

Family was the most common topic Americans mentioned when talking about what keeps them going. Two-thirds (69%) brought up their spouse or romantic partner, children, grandchildren or simply “family” in general.

Surroundings do a lot for having an interesting and acceptable or a detestable life. But even when not living in good surroundings a person is able to make the best of his life, when he is willing to invest in his own personality.

One person wrote

“I look at meaning a little differently. I believe meaning is something we build into our lives; by our successes, failures and experiences. I do not feel meaning can be found but must be created.”

Though some did not see so much in their life to have them going or to keep them going.

Nothing keeps me going, I just do. No meaning at all. Too many stupid people in life to deal with, that cause constant negative consequences. Many of them in positions of power. I would find meaning in life from anything that would remove their influence from my life!

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It would be nice to live according to my being rather than my blackness. I will never know how a totally worthwhile life will feel because of this.

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Read more:

What keeps us going

 

Trump Dragging the Jews and Israel into the scrum, using both as one more weapon in his racist rants.

President Trump, long a trafficker in anti-Semitic stereotypes, treated American Jews to a classic anti-Semitic canard Tuesday afternoon. When asked about two Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who had been barred from Israel at Trump’s own behest, he broke out an oldie but a goodie from the closet of anti-Semitic tropes.

“Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” President Trump told reporters.

Per Trump, Jews are and should be loyal to Israel rather the United States; to show their loyalty, they should vote for a Republican.

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Read more:

This Week Proves It: Politicians Won’t Call Out Anti-Semitism On Their Own Side

Book: How Jewish terrorism created Israel

British author Thomas Suarez in his 2016 book, State of Terror: How Terrorism created modern Israel, has claimed that World Zionist movement lied about the true agenda of British notorious Belfour Declaration (1917), and used fellow Jews as canon-folder to achieve its dream of Greater Israel over not only historic Palestine but also parts of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Much of the sufferings we witness today can be explained by, and connected to, this formative period covered thoroughly in this book,”

said Israeli historian and professor IIan Pappe.

Zionism started with the kind of aims of with which Adolf Hitler started,”

Robert Waley Cohen, a non-Zionist British Jew industrialist said.

On December 21, 2016, Thomas Suarez delivered a speech (here, here) at British House of Lords at the invitation of Baroness Tonge.

I thought I knew a fair bit about the Middle East after all the years I have been involved in its politics but this book came as an eye opener. I realized how ignorant I was, not of the events since the establishment of Israel but of the Jewish terror campaign that led up to it. Everyone who has ever accepted Israel’s own account of its history should read this book. It should change them forever,”

said Baroness Tonge.

In this fresh and compelling new book, Suarez cut through the lies that shields Israel at America’s expense, exposing the reality of the conflict through simple act of documenting why a tolerant, multicultural Palestine became the battleground what it’s today,”

reacted Cynthia McKinney, six-term member of the United States House of Representatives, and 2008 Presidential candidate of the Green Party.

Suarez wrote:

Both before and after 1948, hundreds of thousands of people in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East became fair game for Zionist violence because they were Jewish, since Zionism depended not just on the transfer of non-Jewish Palestinians out of Palestine, but also on the transfer of Jews into Palestine. Anti-Jewish tactics included manipulating the Displaced Persons (DC) camps, thwarting safe haven opportunities in countries other than Palestine, kidnapping Jewish orphans, persuading Jewish children of non-Zionist Jews to betray their parents, and after 1948, destroying Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East through propaganda and false-flag ‘Arab’ terrorism — all to ship ‘ethnically correct’ people to Palestine in the service of the settler state.”

In November 2016, while speaking at the SOAS University, London, Thomas Suarez described the creation of Israel as a ‘racist’, ‘fascist’ endeavor, and linked the ‘cult’ of Zionism to the Nazis.

Zionist Jewish terrorists didn’t spare even their British benefactors. They kidnapped and murdered hundreds of British civil servants and soldiers in the British mandate Palestine before 1948.

Bruce Hoffman in 2015 book, Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947, whitewashes Jewish terrorism by claiming that terrorism was an effective weapon for the Zionist cause  against the British mandate authorities.

Israel-born professor Ami Pedahzur (University of Texas) in 2009 book, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, is worth studying to understand Israeli addiction to murder of Palestinian civilians. Author claims that in the 20th century, to facilitate their escape from centuries-old antisemitism in Europe, European Jews committed acts of terror against British soldiers and Palestinian civilians. More recently, Yigal Amir, a member of Jewish terrorist cell, assassinated country’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, a terrorist himself in the past, to express his opposition to the so-called Oslo Peace Accords which benefits the Zionist entity the most.

On June 2, 1980, Jewish terrorists tried to kill three Palestinian mayors of West Bank cities. The cars of Karim Khalaf of Ramallah and Bassam Shakaa of Nablus were blown up by bombs hidden on them. Khalaf lost a foot and Shakaa both legs. A third bomb planted in the car of El Bireh Mayor Ibrahim Tawil was discovered before it could go off. The terrorists wreaked havoc among the Palestinian community for the next four years before they were arrested (here).

by Rehmat

 

What Tolerance really means

In this world we can see that less and less tolerance is given by people. Lots of Christians and fundamentalist religious groups want to take the crown for not tolerating others to live with them or in their neighbourhood.

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To remember

“Tolerance: Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

  • you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you => In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to accept such different behaviour or beliefs, if they cannot be changed.
  • changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs =  influence operating word, not force.

Victors' Corner

WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS
By Victor Uyanwanne
13/03/2015

I have always been interested in learning new words and I have usually made conscious effort towards achieving that aim. I remember way back in school when we were much younger when we used to keep “New Words and Meaning” notebooks as a deliberate strategy to enhance our knowledge of English words. Those notebooks were really helpful then in building our capacity to understanding English as a second language.

Somehow, I have carried the habit of learning new words into my adult life, but with a different strategy. Thanks to the revolution in ICT! For instance, I subscribed to an offer by my telecom service provider to send me one new English word and its meaning, every day. I have been enjoying this service for years now without fail. This service has afforded me a convenient medium of learning the meaning of…

View original post 816 more words

Love-Hate Relationship

I am probably exaggerating things a little, but only a little, when I say that there is a love-hate relationship developing between society at large and the church.

Whereas once the church helped society establish and find meaning in a Christian approach to morality we are now in a situation where increasingly society at large rejects Christian morality. Whereas thy church teaches love for our neighbour and endeavours, to the best of its ability, to model this, society is increasingly becoming ‘me’ centred
The church continues to put God at the centre of being but all too often society gives God no place in their life or decision making. As this antipathy to the church and its beliefs and values grows we in the church need to respond with a growing love for all people. The more we are rejected the more we love in response and reach out help in every way that we can. To paraphrase Scripture ‘they will know us by our love.’

When Jesus was attacked He responded with love, costly, sacrificial love. We can do no other. Those who malign us, misuse us, criticise our church and our faith are people for whom Jesus died and whom He loves. Let them encounter that sacrificial, caring love in us.

~ Alan Hermann

Kler the Polish Spotlight on Poland’s Clergy Sexual Abuse

The oh so Catholic Poland now begins for many years later than our country to feel the consequences of the wrong attitude of the Catholic Church towards priests who abused young people.

New research shows that church attendance starts going down very quickly now. The Polish church also for the first time has to pay compensation to a victim of abuse.

In 1980, more than half of Poles regularly went to church, in 1986 it had dropped to a third. Nowhere in the world is church attendance decreasing so massive, the Pew Research Center concludes.

Karol Wojtyla, alias pope John-Paul II, may still be the most popular figure, but the Catholic Church not any more.

From the 28th of September the film “Kler” from the director Wojciech Smarzowski entered in cinemas. He says

I’m just a director. But I would like the church financing system to be open, paedophile priests to be sent to prison and that the Polish Church should finally take responsibility for the victims.

Wojciech Smarzowski – born in 1963. Director of the films ‘Wesele’, ‘Dom zły’, ‘Róża’, ‘Drogówka’, ‘Pod Mocnym Aniołem’. His previous film, “Wołyń” (2016), the president of TVP Jacek Kurski, awarded a special prize at the Gdynia festival.

Tadeusz Sobolewski thinks:

“Kler” will be the Polish “Spotlight“?

Spotlight (film) poster.jpgThe Oscar-winning biographical drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

Initially the team believed that they were following the story of one priest who was moved around several times, but soon they came to understand it was a systematic system of the church hierarchy to cover up several sexual abuses of children by Catholic priests in Massachusetts.

For Poland Wojciech Smarzowski believes:

It’s a different situation. It must be remembered that in no country has the Church itself purified itself of the fault. There had to be state help, secular institutions. Anyway, “Kler” is not just a movie about paedophilia. It was important for me to make a movie about people who only distinguish themselves by wearing cassocks. There are three vectors that drive this story: the lust for money – greed, lust for power, and sexual desire.

And since we’ve started from it, let’s take care of this sin. Studies in Germany, which were carried out by secular commissions commissioned by the episcopate, showed that there are 4 percent of priests. paedophiles. But the episcopate provided archives to the commissions. In Australia, the episcopate made available all church archives and it turned out that it was 7 percent. Of course, we did not have any research, but even if only – as in 2014, Pope Francis said – 2 percent. all priests are paedophiles, and so more or less 600 pedophiles in cassocks walk each day between our children.

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A few years ago, three Catholic priests’ fates were joined together by a tragic event. Their lives were miraculously saved. Now, on every anniversary the clergymen meet to celebrate their survival. Each took a different path.
Lisowski is moving up the ladder in the church administration in a big city, dreaming about the Vatican. Standing in his way is the Archbishop, a luxury-loving dignitary who uses political influence to build the largest sanctuary in Poland…
The second priest, Trybus is a rural pastor. Serving in a place full of poverty, he slowly succumbs to human weaknesses.
Kukula is not very successful, either, and despite his fervent faith, loses the trust of his parishioners overnight.
Soon, the clergymen’s paths will cross again, and the events that will take place will have an impact on the life of each of them.

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Related

  1. Sex Offenders Have Faces Like Yours and Mine
  2. Clergy Sexual Abuse – Compassion for the Victims
  3. By it’s own definition – the Catholic Church is lacking credibility Update
  4. Feds: Priest Blamed Sex Abuse On Cancer He Didn’t Have
  5. Oakland Diocese To Release Names Of Clergy Accused Of Abuse
  6. File it under “It’s About Time” – Catholic Church to disclose names of all clergy accused of child abuse
  7. Priest Abuse As A Child
  8. Can you hear the scream of silence?
  9. Prosecutor: Catholic priests ‘weaponised’ faith to sexually abuse children – Mark Scolforo
  10. Pope John Paul II and the Vatican sex scandal cover-up – Saxasalt
  11. Righteous anger
  12. Cardinal Murphy O’Connor’s Cover-up of Child Abusers Must be a Lesson to the Catholic Church by Keith Porteous Wood
  13. ‘So many I’m sorry’s’: Why some survivors of sexual abuse won’t or can’t go to