Why I Created Fruitless Verses

I created @fruitlessVerses because I was getting annoyed at the perpetual deluge of “inspirational verses,” plastered on beautiful pictures, constantly bombarding our eyeballs all across the social media empire.

Believe me, I like inspirational verses. And I like beautiful pictures.

Of course I do!

But things were getting out of hand. An insanity grew inside of me, slowly building, festering, until, one day, it gave birth to total madness. On a sunny day in the fall of 2015 I scrolled through my social media feed when I saw a picture, posted by a prominent Christian leader, of a mountain climber reaching the summit of some dumb mountain, with Philippians 2:13 scrawled upon it: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Something snapped in my brain and my eyeball twitched. “That verse isn’t about accomplishing goals,” I hissed through my trembling lips. “It’s about enduring and tolerating all people and circumstances!” I threw my computer across the room and tore the curtain off my windows, and I knew I had to do something to stop the craziness.

I decided to retaliate. Someone has to fight back! These Christian leaders have hoards of followers, which is a tremendous power and responsibility. And yet watch them squander that power on dumb little heart-warming images with poorly understood Bible verses all over them. You know, most of these leaders never even interact with their online followers. They send out a picture from on-high to all the little people who fawn over them. To them, it is not social media. It’s just media. What a lazy waste of their wonderfully unique potential!

And so @fruitlessVerses was born. I can’t sit down with each Christian leader over coffee and challenge them on how they squander their responsibilities. I mean, even if I had the time, these silly shepherds are usually surrounded by handlers and gatekeepers and secluded in their towers and shrines, insulated from all the common folk of the world (just like Jesus was, am I right?). And so I was left with satire. I endeavored to post, not inspiring verses, but all the dull and uninspiring verses — on images that were not-so-beautiful (which is perfect, because I am a lousy photographer).

Please believe my intent is not to make fun of the Bible. My intent is to parody those who exploit the Bible, who use the text to nurture their own personal brands. My intent is to challenge leaders who simply post pretty pictures, with verses-out-of-context, and think, “that’s leadership.”

Dan Kent