Texas Faith: What would Jesus Tweet?
| What would Jesus tweet? If Jesus were here today – or if Twitter had been an available app 2,000 years ago – would Jesus have used it as a communication tool to reach larger audiences? More broadly, would Jesus have used social media to spread his message? Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s media-savvy minister of culture, has suggested that Jesus “used tweets before anyone else.” What he meant was that Jesus made statements that were brief, punchy and full of meaning as a way of spreading his particular message of faith.
Elementary phrases like ‘Love one another’ would have fit within Twitter’s 140-character convention with room to spare for a hashtag. After all, Pope Francis has more than 3 million followers on Twitter. And presumably only the most steadfast Luddite would say that people of faith shouldn’t use every tool necessary to advance the faith. And this is likely true regardless of faith tradition – Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, whatever the spiritual expression of our lives.
But back to the original idea. How would Jesus have used Twitter? What would he have said in 140 characters? The Texas Faith panel considers the question offers some provocative ideas (What if the Sermon on the Mount had been live-streamed? The clearing of the temple posted on YouTube?) about technology, faith and the modern world. What would Jesus tweet?
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
I have always wondered what the spiritual masters would have done if they had access to the social media, television and twitter? Of course, it would have been the norm like anything else in life. If Buddha or any one of them wanted to go to the next town, the norm was to walk, or ride an animal, just as it is a norm for you and me to fly or drive out of Dallas.
God has conditioned us, and it has become natural for humans to understand and remember whole sentences that are “brief, punchy and full of meaning.” According to twitter, due to the limitations of Mobile technology, one can receive a maximum of 160 characters in a whole tweet without spilling over into a second or third message that pops up minutes later.
Indeed, Moses was the first known man to have received the written tweets from God. Each one of the Ten Commandments Moses received was short, and the longest tweet was 140 Characters without spaces, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
Jesus’ first tweet was, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Matthew 3:15. Here righteousness means obedience to God in finding solutions to a conflict. One of his last sentences was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Amazingly the first revelation God passed on to Prophet Muhammad through angel Gabriel, was around 80 characters as well. Quran 96:1 “Read in the name of thy Sustainer, who has created man out of a cell.”
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism’s first words was, “There is no Hindu, nor any Mussalman.” Meaning, no one is born a Hindu or a Muslim but a human being.
Jesus, Moses, Zarathustra, Muhammad, Krishna, Native American Chiefs and others would have viewed social media as a God-given tool to communicate. If it were available to them, their “followers” would have grown exponentially and perhaps their tweets would have become universal wisdom rather than boxed in for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu or others.
Texas Faith Panel is weekly contributions from Panelists about various issues published, and to see the filing from all the panelists, please visit Dallas Morning News at: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/10/texas-faith-what-would-jesus-tweet.html/
# # #
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.