Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Holy Tweet!

Have you read this story on Yahoo! news? According to the AP, “Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: ‘Go Forth and Blog.'”

“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web,” but priests are “challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources,” he said.

Why the sudden urge to get the penguin nation online? It’s marketing without fear of image. Much less, accountability.

The theme for his annual World Communications Day message, “New Media at the service of the Word,” saluting technology in the service of evangelism, was released Saturday. The event is May 16.

Yoohoo! Someone at the Vatican have a PR team? If not, call a brother because I need to buy a new house, a few cars, some furniture and perhaps have of the West Coast. My papal retainer would be large.

Did anyone within a mile of the Holy See bother to whisper in God’s Bulldog’s ears, “Um, Il Papa. Yes, In nòmine Patris, et Fìlii, et Spìritus Sancti to you too. Listen, we have a problem. I don’t think people are going to take too kindly to you telling priests to troll the Internet. It didn’t go so well last time.”

Some parents warming the pews of your local St. [insert your favorite canonized Catholic dude here] church may not be comfortable with a clarion call for priests to get happy on the IM, create an avatar and type “OMG” with a fiendish grin, as if they said the Lord’s name in vain and can get away with it.

I don’t mind the Pontiff having a YouTube account. I don’t mind the news that Pope B16 wants his homies to get online in droves. He’s serious:

The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul’s exclamation: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.”

That’s a good point. I mean, isn’t that what we are doing online in the first place… or at least one of those places? Elders within the fold see it a wee bit differently:

Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, who heads the Vatican’s social communications office, said that Benedict’s words aimed to encourage reflection in the church on the positive uses of new media. “That doesn’t mean that (every priest) must open a blog or a Web site. It means that the church and the faithful must engage in this ministry in a digital world,” Celli told reporters. “At some point, a balance will be found.”

“Social communications office.” Who’s this guy think he is? Barack Obama?!

Pope, to quote a noted street prophet, “I ain’t mad at ‘ya.” I only wish you would have considered that same sin God washed away before you assumed everything was squeaky clean.

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RickWarrenWassermanSeeker-sensitive and megachurch pastor, Rick Warren, has finally joined the Twitter nation.

Why “finally”?

Because, evidently, it was such an auspicious occasion that it required a press release and a story from the Christian Post.

Sweet. And in other important news, I had oatmeal for breakfast.

Maple and brown sugar, to be exact.

Evangelical [ee-van-jel-i-kuhl]

  1. adj. Pertaining to certain movements in the Protestant churches in the 18th and 19th centuries that stressed the importance of personal experience of guilt for sin, and of reconciliation to God through Christ.
  2. n. an adherent of evangelical doctrines marked by ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause

Amazing how a very popular word, that can be used in two different ways, can mean totally different things.

As an adjective, calling an action evangelical expresses fervor, passion and a firm commitment. However, as a noun, it denotes lukewarm people, phlegmatic expressions and tepid pablum.

You know, “I respect the person but that ‘Aw shucks’ attitude about Jesus is completely annoying.” And then, anyone in the Church rattles off the names ad nauseum: Rick Warren, Ted Haggard, Bill Hybels and Joel Osteen completing the “Non-Prophet Organization” (Imagine my cheesy grin now).

They sell books. They pack stadiums. They get invited to the big boys table at the White House. And they are living large! So, it’s all good, right?

evangelicalbookAccording to Warren Cole Smith evangelical journalist and editor of the Charlotte World (and this article in the Charlotte Observer): “Wrong!”

In his new book, an insider critique called “A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church” (Authentic Books, $16.99), Smith argues that many, if not most, evangelical churches have lost their way. Instead of sticking with core biblical principles, rich traditions and church-as-community, he says, they promote feel-goodism, technological fads and church-as-entertainment.

Look out. Warren Cole Smith getting nice with “feel-goodism.” I know I didn’t study that theorem in Seminary, but I’m feelin’ it.

And, along with that new theological bent comes the technology to promote it: Twitter (I think I just threw up a little on my PC thinking of this trend for churches).

I mean, we should all have an elevator speech to witness – keep it simple, keep it sanctified. But, to ONLY do it in 140 characters or less?! That’s not outreach. That’s just plain lazy and saying you witness just for the sake of saying you do. But, that seems to be the trend these days.

Revelation 3:15-16 (NASB) tells us, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot… So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

While you kids are gallivanting around in your Learjets teaching the common man to “become a better you”, “being a contagious Christian”, “having a purpose-driven life” or just doing blow with a gay prostitute while fronting biblical organizations, there is all pomp… no circumstance.

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV) commands us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

joel-osteen-smileAre you doing that, or just pitching a tent for a day, promoting a cause, pushing an ATM and leaving town to cut bait?

Now, before you consider me to be some reject ne’er-do-well, consider Smith who is about to punk the guy pushing folk to get “their best life now”:

Joel Osteen has a view of the world that you can have your best life now,” Smith said. “If I were going to rewrite Genesis and put (modern) words into the mouth of Satan … I’d put Joel Osteen’s words there: ‘You’re not so bad. You’re so close to being God now. Just a little tweak, a little tune-up, a little bit better. Just follow these 7 rules.’

Since I found this article, I have read this book… twice!

If you believe there is no issues with today’s Church and how they have become the Freudian couch of tomorrow, think again. If you consider how we are supposed to reach the lost, and aren’t, this book makes you think twice and reinvent the way you live a Jesus life out loud. If you think nothing is wrong, then … uh, I don’t know… read the Bible:

“Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:5 ESV).

NOW… go read the book. This is unsolicited but it got my goat. What can I say? Oh wait, scroll up… no “feel-goodism” there. Let’s hope it sticks.

pussinbootsSad, doe-eyed stare should be inferred, but in case you need some help of how sad I stand in the shadows…

I mean look at me… er, that picture. I establish “HiScrivener Is Me” and no one. Not a peek. Not a bug. Nada. Nolo Contendre. Sniff sniff…

Feel free to check out the Facebook (or even become a fellow Twit) pages.

You know, if you have nothing better to do. 🙂

Seeing how yours truly is experimenting with this Twitter phenomenon (Cheap Plug: The “Twriting on the Twall”), I got really interested in this story found on Another Brick in the Wall’s “Think Christian”.

Apparently, folk get so bored in church these days, they decide to tweet during the message. And I agree with Nathan (author), “Is nothing sacred?”

Can you imagine being a pastor, into the message, look up from your notes rocking the homiletical arrangements and… you see nothing but hairlines because the first seven rows are nose deep in their stupid crackberry tweeting?!

twits-in-church1Look at this graph. According the mobile site of BibleGateway.com, it has clearly affected their ratings. Instead of bringing a bible to church, folk just tweet the scriptures. Seriously?

Are we such an addictive society that we can’t detach the umbilical berry for 90 minutes to hear the Word of God? I understand not turning the phone off during service. I won’t do it, but that’s for those of us who have one of those, “never doze, never close” gigs. (No, I’m not a stripper by trade. Just putting that out there).

But can you imagine reading your micro screen instead of the huge screen that your pastor is referencing with the verse he chose? You will need prayer for more than your inept walk with God. You will need it for your vision, because that can’t be healthy.

People, we need to mix in some reality. Life cannot be all about what’s online. That’s how guys end up in their mother’s basement ogling at their Star Wars collection still in the manufacturer housing. It’s the idiocracy of this world. I have even heard “O-M-G” in casual conversation. Again, seriously?!

Are folk getting so lazy that we have to abbreviate our language in person? I hope not because I’m just not that hip. I mean I have this lovely lexicon bookmarked in the event I allow my lil’ Wall Watchers to ever own a phone.

Don’t get me wrong.

I realize the potential of Twitter, Facebook (visit me there too, if you need it) and other social media networks for evangelizing and outreach, but if you can’t turn it off when you walk into church, there’s a 12-step program around for folks like you.

At least there should be.