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Stop getting your Bible lessons from Pinterest

February 18, 2015

When you spend enough time on Pinterest, you begin to see trends in ideas that are “pinned”.

The first year I had an account, I noticed that EVERYONE had “pinned” a specific Crayola-creation to their boards to try at home. We all thought that with enough colored wax and hairdryer heat, we too could create something adorable and “unique” for the walls of our homes.

Stop getting your Bible information from Pinterest
Shhh. It’s okay. I did it too. Ours is a shared shame.

 

Or last year, when teensy-tiny infinity tattoos became all the rage. For about 3 months I also saw a rise in pins dedicated to cake pops, followed by a few weeks of citrus fruits getting turned into candles. For the most part these trends are just silly and fun to notice or try out. But some of the pinning trends really bother me.

Like this one.

Insanely attractive girls in a field? Check. Light flare effect and cursive font? Check. Kinda-sorta Bible verse? Totes McGoats; check.
Insanely attractive girls in a field? Check. Light flare effect and cursive font? Check. Kinda-sorta Bible verse? Totes McGoats; check. Disclaimer: I had to make my own version of this stupid pin, because I didn’t want to get sued by somebody who doesn’t know how to read the Bible. Trust me, they basically all look like this.

There are about thirty billion versions of this same Bible verse on Pinterest right now. It’s quite the rage, a lot of my Christian followers have some manifestation of this passage on their “life verses” boards. Which is confusing given how stale the use of the verse has gotten in these pins, What’s more, it’s always used the same way. The pin is usually comprised of some gorgeous hipster teen in nature (smiling of course, ’cause Jesus) and some combination of pink and purple font spelling out the verse. This Bible verse about female empowerment  has made it to Etsy stores as well, where you can buy t-shirts and jewelry with the verse printed on them.

I’ve even seen tattoos of this verse since the frenzy began on Pinterest. No, I’m not kidding.

So what’s my gripe?

IT’S NOT ACTUALLY A BIBLE VERSE. 

At least, not in the way it’s being presented in these pins. That’s right, women are getting this verse permanently inked on their bodies thinking that it represents some sort of Old Testament “girl power” catchphrase. And if the only time they had ever seen the passage was on a Pinterest board, I can understand the confusion. Here’s the verse:

 Psalm 46:5 (ESV)

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;    God will help her when morning dawns.

Okay, so now the pin just sounds like a very artistic rewording of the verse

But let’s read the text of the entire passage.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[b] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.                                      

This passage is referring to a place as “her” (a common personification in literature and poetry.) We call countries, ships and tropical storms female too. It’s a common stylistic choice in writing that we still use to this day.

You hear that ladies?

The “her” in the cheesy Pinterest pin (and tattoos, lol) is a location, not a chick. God isn’t talking about your inner Riot Grrrl.

We’d know that if we took our Bible lessons from the Bible rather than Pinterest. We’d know that if we studied God’s word with hungry intention and a thirst for knowledge. Instead, we graze on this sorta-Biblical junk food on social media and learn nothing about scripture in the process.

This verse is not some Spice Girl mantra

It’s not God saying “you go girl!”

It’s a place.

You can get your brownie recipes from Pinterest.

You can get your science project ideas from Pinterest.

But please, stop getting your Bible lessons from Pinterest.

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  1. Thank you for the post about NOT using Pinterest for your bible study. YOU NAILED IT! Gods word is so rich, so deep…truly living & breathing. Your defense of that truth and the example you used are very much needed. God bless you.

  2. Thank you for this. I feel the same way… I also don’t like it when there’s something that at first glance that looks like a verse, with a reference and everything, but when I look it up, it’s not actually what the verse is saying at all (I mean, maybe it was the Message, which I’m not a fan of). Like, people, gotta be careful with the Word of God!

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