You hear some things in 2019 and you almost go into shock at the absurd nature of the statements. One of them is the statement by popular pastor, John Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries International, that reading the Bible from a phone – or any other mobile device – in church shows lack of respect to God.
This is really very odd, because you know, the Bible didn’t even start out as a printed book.
The bible was originally a collection of hand-written parchments and scrolls. It wasn’t originally a book. And those parchments were painstakingly scripted by “holy” men who had separated themselves from the world. The scripts themselves were considered holy.
But technological advancement showed up. The invention of the printing press was technological innovation in its time, and the bible eventually took that form. Digital technology is the innovation of our time. And so the bible has taken on this form too – an app on our mobile devices.
We were reading the Bible from a phone in church as far back as 2008
While John Suleman knocks his members for reading the Bible from a mobile device in church, his fellow pastors and preachers are actually teaching and preaching from one on the pulpit. Irreverent too?
I never thought I would ever hear a preacher say something as darned as this in 2019. Because you know, I know pastors who were preaching from their smartphones as far back as 2008. And their church members were encouraged to use their phones instead of carrying around a physical bible.
For example, OliveTree Bible Reader was already available for Palm OS handhelds, Pocket PCs, as well as Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones in 2008. This is OliveTree app on a Pocket PC from that era:
I know because I remember that I was reading the Bible from a phone in church using OliveTree Bible Reader app on my Symbian phones back then. As a matter of fact, The first version of OliveTree was released in 1998 for Palm OS.
This is 21 years down the road and we are still on this matter? This is one apostle that needs to get out of the dark ages.
Reverence is of the heart and reflects in your attitude. You either have it in there or you do not. It has nothing to do with whether you carry a physical Bible or an e-Bible. Reading the Bible from a phone in Church is as reverent as reading a physical Bible if your heart is right
Wait! Am I preaching? Oh, snap.
Oh; and this story is not hearsay, by the way. Watch the video and hear the “divine” instructions yourself:
“Don’t bring phone or tablet to Church” – Pastor Suleiman AKA OTOBO JOCKEY 🏇
The reason he doesn’t want you to bring your device to church is Bcos he doesn’t want you to Fact-check his BS in Real-time. It’s all about control. pic.twitter.com/4q2mraFYUr
— Wale Gates 🇳🇬🇬🇧 (@walegates) January 29, 2019
It is one of the silliest things I have heard this year of our Lord 2019.
Pulpit Punch Lines
Here are a few punch lines from John Suleman:
“The Bible says ‘Search the Scriptures, not punch the Scriptures’.
“God sees the end from the beginning. He knew there would technology before He said, ‘This book of the law’.”
Jokes. They almost sound like rap lines from a hit track. But let’s keep the same logic and look at a few other things.
The Bible does not say to drive or fly either, but the good pastor has no problem with those. God knew there would be technological advancement but mentioned only donkeys and horses in the Bible.
The early Church met in homes and the bible contains no instructions about church meetings outside of homes. The Bible says nothing about church buildings, though God knew the end from the beginning. But those aren’t issues to him. Suddenly, reading the Bible from a phone in church is a problem.
As someone has said, this sounds more like an attempt to retain control, similar to how the Church in the dark ages was heavy-handed and sought to keep people from accessing the bible through the technology of the day.
But I really do not care how his members and followers respond to this sermon of his. My only interest in the matter is the digital technology aspect, and I find it intensely amusing.
The good pastor is fighting a battle that he cannot win. Remember how the Church persecuted and killed those who insisted that the earth was not flat and those who insisted that the earth was not the centre of the universe?
The Church also once persecuted and killed people for owning and reading the printed Bible, but look where we are today – a pastor is insisting that it is only the printed Bible is valid in church meetings. Jokes.
Reading the bible from a phone in church will become even more widespread. It will gain ground till the next disruptive technology arrives. There is absolutely nothing that John Suleman or anyone else can do about it. Not even the Pope can halt the advancement of digital technology.
Is this the point where someone shows up to say. “Touch not mine anointed?” The only things I have touched this morning in the typing of this article are my smartphone and laptop. Keep your heads screwed on, people. Don’t do drugs.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.