Tag Archives: twitter

Hashtaggery

#FiveWordsToRuinADate was trending on Twitter yesterday, and the circles I swim in had (possibly too much) fun with it. Below are some favorites, with a few contributions of my own:

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All Sorts of Trouble

That is most interesting, because I generally find that staying true to my heart is a really, really, really bad idea. Gets me into all sorts of trouble. And of course, there’s that pesky little verse in Jeremiah 17: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

But then, I guess “your best life now” doesn’t really allow for that sort of thing.

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t follow my heart to the grocery store, much less down the path of life. So what say we stick with the Psalmist?

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa. 119:98-105)

Pardon me. That’s Scripture, Mr. Osteen. It momentarily escaped me that you seldom have use for that.

Of Islam and the WBC

If you’re on Twitter, chances are this nugget of wisdom has popped up in your feed at one time or another:


What bugs me about this statement – besides the fact that, as of now, it’s been retweeted over 8,000 times – is that it sounds wonderfully coherent without really being so. It’s predicated on the assumption that Islamic terrorism and the WBC both share the distinction of being fringe movements. Which is false. And here’s why.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church are, indeed, on the fringe. (Actually, they fell off the fringe a long time ago.) The “gospel” they espouse is no gospel at all, and their “Christianity” is a Christ-less one. When the WBC preaches its hate-filled messages and engages in its hate-filled demonstrations, we can point out, with complete honesty, that such behavior is inconsistent with – indeed, diametrically opposed to – the teachings of Scripture. It shows nothing of the “family resemblance” of the family of Christ.

But what about Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, currently suspected of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombings? Can we really and truly say that their actions were “inconsistent” with the teachings of the Qur’an? What about Mohammed Bouyeri, who shot Theo van Gogh eight times, cut his throat, stabbed him in the chest, and left two knives embedded in his corpse with a note attached? Can we really and truly say that this assassination was “diametrically opposed” to the core tenets of Bouyeri’s faith?

No. No we cannot. Not when a basic understanding of Islamic history and the Qur’an tell us otherwise.

Are all Muslims bloodthirsty killers eager to strap on C4 and hijack an aircraft? Of course not. I have no doubt that there are many Muslims who decry acts of terrorism with as much vigor as the rest of us. But let us not confuse the individual with the ideology. Moderate Muslims do exist, but moderate Islam? the so-called “Religion of Peace”? It exists only in fairyland.

In conclusion, therefore, my point is simply this:

The behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church is inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible. The behavior of Mohammed Bouyeri (and Tamarlan Tsarnaev, and any other Islamic terrorist) is perfectly consistent with the teachings of the Qur’an.

Sorry, @Yasirajaan, but that analogy is a no-go.

Of Twitter-Ingrates and Getting Dressed for Christmas

While thumbing through my Twitter feed earlier today, I saw this:


So I did. And the tweets I ended up reading reminded me of a line from King Lear: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child!” A few examples will suffice:

I’m yelling **** CHRISTMAS cause I only got 4 gifts under the tree.

I’m not even that excited for Christmas cuz I’m not getting an Xbox 360.

Only got an iPad 2 god mum I wanted a ****** iPhone 5 **** sake

And my mom went directly against me. she asked me if I wanted the black or white iPad. I said white, of course. tell me why mine is black..?

Well I guess I didnt get my much wanted iphone. **** my **** life and every ******* thing it.

Got That 60″ I Been Asking For, New PS3, & Like 4 Bills! No iPhone 5 Tho…

There’s something darkly funny about all this griping, and I’m tempted to make a crack about the fuzzy-wuzzy sentimentalists who think the Christmas season magically brings out the best in us. For now, however, I shall refrain. The point of this post lies elsewhere.

There’s this thing called the R.C. Sproul Jr. Principal of Hermeneutics, and the principal is this: “Whenever you see someone doing something really stupid in the Bible, do not say to yourself, ‘How can they be so stupid?’ Instead say to yourself, ‘How am I stupid, just like them?’”

This situation is different – I’m “studying” Twitter, not the Bible – but the basic idea still applies. So instead of adopting a self-righteous stance and giving these Twitter-Ingrates a condescending eye-roll, I should consider: how am I an ingrate, just like them?

I may not fill my Twitter feed with whining, railing, or blue language. I may not blog about how disappointing it was not to get that coveted iPhone (or what have you). I may not use Facebook as a way to vent my wrath against the cold and heartless universe.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not griping deep down inside.

In his book God Rest Ye Merry, Douglas Wilson observes that people are often trapped by “the expectations game” during the holidays:

Because everyone around you assumes that the day is going to be ‘really good,’ ‘special,’ or ‘fantastic,’ and is constantly telling you to have a ‘merry’ one, it is easy to assume that having a merry Christmas is an actual possession of yours, and if not a possession, at least a birthright. Consequently, the tendency is to sketch out in your mind what you would like that possession to be like. But it turns out, metaphorically speaking, that you get socks instead of the shotgun, or cookware instead of pearls, and the expectation lost is a set-up for real disappointment. This is one of the why holidays can be such an emotional roller coaster ride for so many, and Christmas is no exception.

Now take a look at Colossians 3:12-17, where Paul tells us,

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Says Wilson,

The text obviously deals with how we as Christians are to live all the time, and not just during the holidays. But the holidays are nothing other than what we normally do, ramped up to the next level. And so as we prepare our hearts for this celebration, ramp this up as well. Problems arise when we exert ourselves physically, emotionally, financially, and so on, and we don’t exert ourselves here. Think of this as getting dressed for the season – here, put this on. What should you put on? Tender mercies, kindness, humility of mind, meekness and patience (v. 12). That is holiday garb. When you are clothed this way, what are you dressed for? Snow pants are for going out in the snow, right? What is this clothing for? It is getting dressed for forbearance and forgiveness (v. 13). You are all dressed up and therefore ready to drop a quarrel, and to forgive  as you were forgiven (v. 13). But that is not enough – you need to put on another layer. Over everything else, put on charity, which is the perfect coat, the perfection coat (v. 14). When you have done that, what are you ready for? You are ready for peace with others, and that peace is saturated with gratitude (v. 15). You are also ready for some music, and particularly the music of grace and gratitude (vv. 15-16). And then, to crown all else, you are dress for everything – whatever you do, whether in word or deed, you can do it in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to the Father (v. 17).