Dear God, please don’t get all political on me…

I hate twitter. There, I said it. Please forgive me for this counter-cultural idea, I’ll explain. I believe the point of expressing yourself to another human is to converse, learn and grow. That may happen on twitter, but it’s not the goal. It’s more like a one-way blast into outer-space, in hope that a few random Martians are knocked over by a particularly witty statement. I still do it (@tanyariches if you want to help me make it more worthwhile), but as a social experiment. I ask myself all the time – why do I tweet? My answer: because friends tweet. An interesting observation – lots of pastors use twitter, but not so many academics. I’m not sure what that says. I have loved connecting with tweeting indigenous leaders, which alone makes it worth it. But, there’s now an emotional disconnect in my feed – between tweets about land rights, human rights abuse, and “10am church will be phenomenal!!! :)” After reading an article that the most “successful” tweets are up-beat, I tried a couple of times but failed, and then decided to follow @NeinQuarterly, the fictional depressive German academic featured in the New Yorker. I was thought I would just struggle through with these strange disconnects. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I found God.

It’s not actually God. I guess I should say that. An atheist comedian, David Javerbaum, uses the twitter handle @TheTweetofGod in ingenious ways. Mainly to discuss the types of hangups people generally walk out of a church with. I enjoy it, it’s refreshing. After attending seminary for a really long time, reading God’s thoughts as an atheist cracks me up. It’s an antidote to preachers that condense the bible happily down to 140 characters while I’m sitting with 60 page assignments on those same topics. God says things that are complete heresy at times. But I firmly believe a conversation about God dominated by atheists is pretty much what every Christian needs. It’s amazing what atheists walk out of the church thinking – There are tweets about masturbation, homosexuality, sex, selfishness… and then just funny ones, like this:

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He has 1.32 million followers, so I guess other people are laughing too. I love most when God’s theology is mixed up – Roman Catholic and American Southern Baptist notions feature quite heavily. Like this: Image

featured just before this one:

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Like Florida???! …Let’s say, it was all going along swimmingly until God started tweeting about gun rights following the U.C. Santa Barbera shootings recently. He tweeted:

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But at that point, American national identity was challenged … by God. People became conflicted, The tweeters knew it wasn’t actually God, but it seemed disrespectful to respond to this like he was an ordinary human. They wanted to defend their rights to have and own guns. Some were angry, and swore. Others of them were upset that the angry tweeters were swearing at God. Then there was this tweet, and I felt that it summed up my generation’s perspective completely.

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But it struck me – I see this all the time. Christians want their Christianity and their concept of God to be ‘neutral’. The thing is, when we say that, we’re actually just asking God to reinforce our own political views. It just means we don’t want to be challenged.

The reality is, everybody is political. We live in a global order that benefits some and exploits others. We walk past the poor every single day, and we don’t always act on their behalf. But, this made me stop and think. Perhaps it’s a good time for us to take a couple of moments to #Selah. Would we be OK if God “gets political”?

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