The first time I noticed this phenomenon was in a church I used to go to a few months ago. At first I thought people were just being rude and not paying attention to the awesome stuff the pastor was saying but when I realised that more than a handful of people were staring at their phones, my somewhat slow brain quickly made the connection. I thought it was weird. What I found even more weird was the day I noticed the pastor tapping away on his iPad when someone else was preaching. From what I've written so far you'll probably have figured out that I'm really not the best person when it comes to technology. But I don't begrudge people that have all the latest gadgets and things. I'm even a teeny weeny bit jealous of them because I think their lives are probably a bit easier and more organised than mine thanks to their iPhones and what not.
But back to what got me writing in the first place. Are iPhones now taking the place of actual Bibles? Am I the only one that worries that a day might come when there won't be need for actual paperback Bibles any more? It's already happening with Kindle. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea of Kindle is fab. You can carry hundreds of books with you wherever you go and read any one of them at the tap of a button. Great idea. But I love my paperbacks. I love holding an actual book, and touching the pages. I love underlining stuff and making notes. Even more so with my Bible. My friend said you can do all that stuff with the iPhone, but to me, it's not the same!
When I was a kid, we used to play this game in church called 'draw your sword' (OK, I think that's what it was called but I don't know if that was the proper name). If you know a bit about the Bible you may know that the Bible is the 'sword' that Christians use for (spiritual) battle. Basically the game went like this; someone would ask the players (or warriors I guess) to 'draw your sword' and we'd hold out our Bibles. Then, the person would ask us to open to a particular scripture and the first person to do so and read it out loud would win. It was a great way to tell who knew their way around the Bible (yes, yes, this was the kind of game we played as kids in church but it was fun I promise). Anyway, my point is you can't play this game with your iPhone/iPad. OK maybe if you really wanted to you could, but it would have to be 'draw your iPhone, or Bible feature-containing piece of technology' which just sounds crazy.
Also, when Joel Osteen says 'take out your Bibles and say after me. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do...', you'd have to be saying 'This is my iPhone. I am what it says I am...' Get the picture? I say it's time we went back to actual paperback Bibles. In church at least. Or don't you agree?
p.s. Before anyone says it, I was in another church recently and the guy mentioned how underground pastors (you know like in places where you're not allowed to be Christian) have their Bibles on their iPads because nobody can arrest them for carrying an iPad. I think that's wonderful. But you're not an underground pastor are you? Get a real Bible.