Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hashtags, Mom's Basement and Twitter Theology Fails

The last couple of days I have been following the tweets coming from the wiki14 conference by Five2.  It has been an interesting experience.  I am not going to talk about the content of the conference, I wasn't there and don't have copies of the presentations so it wouldn't be right.  However, I am going to comment on the Twitter Feed for #wiki14(I am not posting any of the tweet pics because I don't want it to become about the people - only the ideas).

I found it very concerning.  What ever the content was of the conference people's take homes were Law.  Almost ever tweet from the conference minus the fun "hanging with my peeps" type tweets was some form of Law.  And that frightens me.  The Law is important and the Law teaches but missions is about the Gospel.  The Gospel is the one thing that sets us free and it should have been the focus to such a point that the take home money quotes people were tweeting should have been over flowing with the Gospel.  Instead, I saw Law and the few times I saw Gospel it made me wonder if the speaker knew the meaning of the word.  And that scares me more than anything.  It makes me think we are inheriting all of the crap that is destroying American Evangelicalism and the Reformed Churches.  To see my fellow Lutherans lapping up the foul poison of positive legalism that The Gospel Coalition and Liberate have taken a stance against saddens me greatly.  I pray we learn before it's too late.  I hope the wiki conference folks rethink their speakers and bring folks who rightly let the Gospel predominate their speech.

I also found it semi-amusing to watch those who were not thrilled with conference hijacking the #wiki14 and attendees then tweeting how awesome is it to see the hashtag trending.  But it was only a minor amusement that gave way to minor annoyance as I was trying to sift through all of it to find the tweets by attendees.  And this brings me to my next point.  I wish people who tweet theology material would be willing to engage the folks who make honest points.  I don't blame people for ignoring the angry and mean tweets, but when people bring up honest questions or counterpoints be willing to engage.  Do not see the every questioning tweet as a personal attack some tweeted because of genuine concern and well some of the wiki tweets were pretty much heretical.  Let's get this straight now, we are not the Gospel ("We don't go in preaching the gospel because we are the gospel"#wiki14).  Jesus alone is the Gospel.  His perfect compassionate life, death and resurrection is the Gospel.  We can love people as ourselves to our dying day but we will never be the Gospel.  Leave the Gospeling to Jesus and just love people by giving them Jesus.  And while you are at it please for the love of all that is holy be clear and don't leave people confused ("Leave the congregation hanging and confused so they r forced to engage Jesus" #wiki14).  Clearly give them Jesus and He will do the engaging.  Seriously, do we want people to be confused about whether or not Jesus cares for them?  Ugh, I gave that tweet to my congregation and they all looked at me funny and said give us Jesus.

What is more is that the tweets poisoned the well.  Any decent ideas that could have come from the wiki conference that non fans would have listened to are going to be summarily rejected.  I have already seen it happen with one of the few wiki articles I read.  The author had a great point about the importance of tightly written sermon (btw his sermon outline sucked) but his point was pretty good.  But because the tweets had already made people leery most just didn't even bother to read the article and many of those who did focused on the horrible proposed sermon outline (Oh yeah, it was horrible because there wasn't any GOSPEL!  If I wanted do more - try harder, I'd go listen to a Joel Osteen sermon.)  A few of us, including yours truly, did point out that the author had a good point.  But that well was thoroughly poisoned.  If you are thinking well they wouldn't have liked it anyways, maybe this might get through.  I have many sympathies with the wiki folks, I share their concern for reaching the lost and I was completely turned off by the tweets.

One last thing, when people question your theology don't respond childishly with comments about people living in their mom's basement. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Buzzwords, buzzwords, and more buzzwords

The title pretty much sums up my impression of pastoral discussions anymore.  Nobody actually talks in real language anymore.  Now it is nothing but buzzwords.  Just the other day, I came across a new one from some "missional" group called FiveTwo (I spelt it out lest you be confused with real numerical language - even the name of their group is a buzzword) they were talking about "sacramental entrepreneurs"  WTH, the sacraments are a business?  Meanwhile, my "confessional" brothers keep talking about "historic liturgy".  I keep wanting to ask them which one, the one that included the blessing of the beer or the one where we repeat "Lord, have mercy" more times than a praise song chorus? Now, we could probably produce an entire series on the stupid buzzwords the church keeps developing that could run from now until Jesus comes back and believe there are things wrong with the a fore mentioned examples.  But that is not why I am writing today.  I want to know why we are wasting our time on buzzwords when the world is dying.    It seems we are more content to develop a buzzword than we are to actually do something about the problems at hand.  But then maybe that is the point.

I am no longer content.  I am done with the buzzwords.  It's time to upset the status quo because the status is not quo.