This morning I tumbled down a rabbit hole of divinely inspired social media. I always knew that I could connect with friends and acquaintances through Facebook and Twitter, but I hadn’t considered using those platforms to strengthen my connection to God. As it turns out the Internet offers ample opportunities to reach the divine.
For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, Facebook and Twitter are different genres. They’re both social media, but each has its own emphasis. Facebook helps you keep up with friends, while Twitter is the place for pithy commentary on the world. God obviously knows the difference between the two.
You can follow multiple Twitter accounts that claim to speak for God, and most of them tend to be fairly snarky. God attempts to tweet ironically, but unfortunately he’s not very funny. TheTweetOfGod tends to be a little cleverer and a lot angrier. He also seems to be very concerned with selling his snarky book. I’m not sure that TheTweetOfGod actually believes in himself. More than 500,000 people follow Jesus on Twitter, but I can’t figure out why. Though he attempts to be witty, his tweets don’t even make sense half the time.
Facebook’s divine presences tend to be kinder, gentler deities. The Gods of Facebook like posting cute pictures. GodQuotes doesn’t really post very many quotations from God, but he does upload numerous pictures of landscapes. Nothing says “God” like light breaking through the clouds. Sometimes he mixes it up and gives us a picture of a cute child or a puppy. Don’t just settle for “liking” GodQuotes because you won’t want to miss out on God’s official page. This Facebook page specializes in scary pictures of Jesus coupled with inspirational sayings. Speaking of Jesus, don’t forget to check out Jesus Daily. This page delivers just the right mix of sentimentality, humor, and guilt.
The Gods of Facebook tend to be a needy bunch. They shamelessly beg you to “like” all their kitsch. If you don’t “like” this picture then you’re not thanking God for love. Shame on you. But these Facebook pages are about more than liking to be liked. They also offer valuable opportunities. God’s Official Page and Jesus Daily both want you to get an online degree from Liberty University. Jesus Daily also hopes that you might pay for a program to get out of debt. Just to be clear, these aren’t Facebook ads; these are status updates containing affiliate links. Not that there’s anything wrong with affiliate links, but I’m just surprised that God needs the cash.
After looking at all this divine social media, I have a suspicion that God isn’t actually running these accounts. Why don’t the Gods of social media sound like the God of the Bible? The Gods of Twitter are flippant, ironic, and snarky, and their counterparts on Facebook are earnest, heartfelt, and saccharine. Their messages either conform to contemporary culture or exhibit empty emotivity. Might it be that we tend to make God in our own image? It seems that these accounts tell us nothing about the Lord our God, but they tell us a great deal about what our culture wishes he were like.
[Cross-posted at First Things]