How many times this week have you received a Facebook message imploring you to send it to seven other people (including the sender) to receive an amazing blessing? Perhaps there is a time frame involved for the faithful, imparting a distinct financial blessing within a certain amount of time. These messages are the new equivalent of a chain letter from days gone by, threatening you with terrible misfortune if you break the chain. Scientific American discusses the evolution of the creepy chain letter to its current online “fairy godmother’ persona.
Regrettably, this online phenomenon has quickly moved into the realm of Christian communication, making it all the more disturbing. The content of the messages may talk about God hearing your tearful prayers and finally getting ready to move on your behalf, only if you forward, of course. This was probably the next step if you read the many status messages that seem to be sent to God on Facebook, in addition to all the people who regularly communicate with dead people directly on Facebook. (This is not referring to those who ask friends to pray for them, but those who actually come to Facebook to “talk” to God instead of praying as Christ taught us to do when He was here on earth.)
Perhaps, the sender implores you to help spread a certain message by forwarding to a set number of people. It could be the terrible plight of wild horses, a pitiful child in hospital bed or a faith-related message, Biblical or not. By not forwarding, you are supposedly causing the horrible situation to continue or not spreading the religious message, thus “denying” God.
Netsecurity.about.com discusses how the chain letter often transforms into a status update, cajoling the reader to copy and paste in their own status update. Sometimes the content in question is just a mere hoax like the recent one about Mark Zuckerberg handing out money! Those types of things you can always check out on Snopes.com.
The answers to this situation for a Christian can be found in their own Christian Bible. God is not a man who is affected by how many clicks or likes He gets on social media!
19 God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
English Standard Version (ESV) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.