What can you say about a nation that reads Facebook more than the Bible?
Facebook, which celebrated its 10th birthday on Tuesday (Feb. 4), reports 757 million daily active users. About 19 percent of them are in the United States and Canada, which translates to about 143 million people logging on to read Facebook posts each and every day.
According to a 2006 CBS News poll, 15 percent of U.S. adults read the Bible (or some other religious text) every day. The Associated Press did some quick calculations to determine that these numbers mean about 40 million people in the U.S. and Canada read the Bible every day. And that was eight years ago. It’s more likely that the number of Bible-readers has declined rather than increased, given the downward spiral of our nation.
Now, I’m by no means anti-Facebook. I’ve got about 100,000 people on my Facebook page, and I use the medium as a tool to minister to the masses. So do many other ministries. Joyce Meyer has nearly 5 million Facebook followers, and Jesus Daily has a whopping 25 million! Clearly, God is using Facebook.
For all the wonderful ministry happening on Facebook, though—including teaching videos and apps—it is no substitute for reading the Bible. After all, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Somehow, even if Facebook were a part of mainstream Galilean culture, I don’t think Jesus would give up fellowship with the Father to check Facebook. It’s become a near addiction for some people.