Bringing back the conversation about posting ‘Jesus’ on timelines and trending the name

It is less than 24 hours, but, as with other conversations, we have forgotten. We move on too easily, and that is fine only if you are moving on from a relationship or the death of a loved one. But, moving on from deaths like the terror act at Owo, Ondo, should be reconsidered.

On June 7, many people woke up and remembered that Jesus existed and started posting an image with an inscription of the name on their WhatsApp statuses, and other social platforms.

They wanted to celebrate the glory of the Son of God, and declare his power at the mention of his name. Some were motivated by the Twitter handle of the RCCG church and Pastor Enoch Adeboye:

Others were inspired by Nathaniel Bassey and Pastor William Kumuyi:

Unlike, other influencers of the post, Bassey was clear: “Let’s release this precious ointment over our land and nation.”

It immediately became the in-thing and many latecomers asked what was going on. Then, #JesusIsGoingOn joined the list on the trend table.

But, there were people who had other concerns.

One side of the argument said we need to drop the prayers and focus on doing the actual job. Their argument is based on the fact that many Nigerians are lax about national issues – or even local government issues – and prayers are not working.

They also mentioned that religion has been used as a tool for submission. So, “stop with the attempt to use Jesus to solve the country’s problems.”

On another side are the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) enthusiasts who believe that once we have the perceived right leaders in place, the country’s problems will disappear in an instant.

“Go get your PVC! Stop shouting Jesus.”

Then, we have the ones who are an alternative to the Christian world and are triggered by people praising the name of Jesus. These ones did not say much. They muttered in their small groups and posted cryptic messages.

The PVC guys were the biggest players. So busy they changed the name ‘Jesus’ to ‘Go get your PVC’ using the same design and colours.

You will think voting in 2023 is the short-term solution to Nigeria’s problems – and it has its long-term benefits – but political participation is another big nut to crack.

For instance, if we have a supposed saviour become president, what happens to those in the National Assembly, the governors and those who will become state legislators?

“Get your PVC” is a good campaign, but using the PVC and active participation before and beyond elections is another. But, that is another ongoing conversation.

It is said that what people believe in works for them. That is why hundreds of Nigerians used their platforms to spread the name ‘Jesus’. Many may not have faith-inspired reasons and are just sheeple, but there is some sort of belief in the name, and that is why the trend happened.

Any objections are an attempt to cause heated and unnecessary conversations.

Pastor Emmanuel Iren echoes all of this:

“It’s not just religious intolerance to walk into a Church and shoot worshippers. It is equally religious intolerance to have a problem with people posting the name ‘JESUS’ on their timeline! Apparently, we still have a lot to learn:

“First, it’d be a totally different issue had the Church not urged people to get their PVCs apart from making PVC registration available in some of our Church branches, we recently partnered with an NGO to get more volunteers to have even more people registered before the deadline.

“For years, the Church has been vocal about members getting involved. Here is a throwback video from Bishop Oyedepo. FOUR YEARS AGO! So before you even dare say “it takes more than praying” be ready to show that you have done either of the two better than we have!

“Secondly, as important as national transformation is, we have an equally important fight- FREEDOM TO WORSHIP. After all the assault the Church has faced, we want you to know that we are not going anywhere! You don’t have to share our beliefs to respect it!

“To say “it’s not about putting Jesus everywhere” isn’t just silly and insensitive. It is also a mild symptom of the problem of religious intolerance plaguing the nation. It doesn’t have to be PRAY OR GET YOUR PVC. It can and should be both. And if you don’t pray, let us be!

“And for Christians asking: “but how could God let it happen”, I probably need to read your Bible again. At the very crux of the Christian faith is persecution. The Jews KILLED Jesus but God raised Him from the dead! Faith in Christ is IN SPITE of and not without persecution!”

To conclude, your social media timeline is YOUR social media timeline, and you show people what you like. Accounts have different themes. No one questions people who post sexual content.

If religion is yours, no one should complain about it. Questioning people posting about Jesus is a sound of intolerance and it is already a problem the country is trying to solve.

However, we can post about Jesus and work with the country’s leaders to make sure the country progresses. Leadership is as important as followership.

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