13.1.10

Piper's Twitter Tweet: What?!

tspoetry

This morning I studied French, read my Bible and perused a book about art. It's part of my ritual.

Later I will go on Twitter and see what my friends are chatting about. As a work-at-home writer, editor and mother, Twitter is like a nice trip to the coffee shop that would be hard for me to otherwise manage. I can go to this "coffee shop" between frying onions and stacking dishes, planning my next speaking assignment and writing an article.

Just because I go to Twitter doesn't mean I didn't study French, read my Bible and look at a book about art. It's not a replacement for those things; it's a separate and pleasurable part of my life.

I'd be willing to argue that the social connection of Twitter alone is valuable, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. On Twitter I've become part of a poetry group that writes poetry together for an hour straight every other week. (A handful of those poems even made it into my book InsideOut, and they are actually some of my favorite poems.) On Twitter, I've connected with readers in a way that I wouldn't if they simply read my books (which is one-way relationship, after all). I've made and solidified business connections all over the nation. I've even promoted charitable efforts like The $10 Challenge (which, it could be argued is itself a form of prayer-in-action).

And this is why John Piper's Twitter tweet strikes me as simplistic, reductionistic. Twitter is just a tool, a pastime, like any other. If a person doesn't want to pray, it's not like Twitter is the enemy. I know people who hike, garden, drink, watch TV, write books, speak at conferences, exercise, and do any number of other things that lead them into or away from prayer.

Do you want to pray? Tweet your prayers if you like. Or plan a daily morning ritual, the way I do to study French, read my Bible and look at books about art. Oh, and if you pray on Twitter, I think it would not be a bad idea to include a little @JohnPiper, in case he has time in his schedule to pray with you.

Or just have a nice hot cup of Twitter coffee. After all, Jesus himself liked a good party. He even provided the wine.


Tspoetry Twitter Screen photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

All right. I see where you're coming from.

Regarding simplistic:

I do think that Twitter itself automatically can make a lot of life seem simplistic and reductionist. So I don't think that's a Piper problem, as much as a Twitter problem.

And as I examine all of this a bit more closely, I see a big ol' Jennifer Lee Problem. Because ... I saw myself in that Piper comment. I felt convicted spiritually of the times I race first for the computer to check email or Twitter, or blog comments, or something else, when God beckons in a quieter place. It's a struggle I face with a lot of things in my life -- and lately, social media has added to the many distractions that keep me from my prayer chair.

That's not Twitter's fault.
That's Jennifer's fault.

Thanks for posting, L.L. You make me think. I so appreciate you.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

P.S. -- I can't believe I haven't spent more time over here at GIC. I'm always over at Seedlings. I've been poking around here today and like this place.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Excellent post.

I so object to the assumptions underlying Piper's tweet.

1:27 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Since posting this, I looked at Piper's Twitter stream. He has about 1000 tweets, non-interactive, through Hootsuite (which suggests... just possibly... that a staff person and feeds are tweeting for him).

It's interesting to think how this changes (or not) his tweet about Twitter and Facebook.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Monica Sharman said...

Two days ago a friend told me about someone who went from extreme anger towards God to wanting to come to church, "really enjoying our God conversations," and wanting to know more about God. And it was all through Facebook interactions.

11:14 PM  
Blogger kirsten michelle said...

This is sad. And while I agree with Jennifer's comment (that Twitter is, by nature, reductionistic) I agree that the tweet itself overly simplified or created a false dichotomy: if you tweet a lot you're not praying vs. if you don't tweet or don't tweet a lot, you are praying.

And yes ... like Jennifer I can also see myself in that tweet ... where I immerse myself in all this technology and micro-blogging at the expense of my spiritual life.

ouch.

2:27 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Kirsten, I read your comment and started to walk away from the computer... then suddenly a question popped into my mind...

Do we see spirituality as independent from social life? Or, to put it another way, is social life in any way spiritual?

2:34 PM  
Blogger deb said...

I think social life is very much spiritual.
How can we love each other if we are alone in a room reading?

of course, that doesn't mean that I didn't just enjoy my couple of hours tonight, alone in a room reading.
but you know....

11:13 PM  

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