You probably don’t use Twitter (most Christians don’t). You may even think it’s the devil’s hell hole (it can be). But every journalist, politician, CEO, celebrity, and prominent Christian influencer are heavy users. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Twitter has a theology. Just look at its mission statement.
As of today, Twitter’s mission statement is “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers.” As of today, Twitter’s website states that they seek to provide “a free and global conversation” where people have “safe, inclusive, and authentic conversations.” Elon Musk may shake things up. “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter,” he said, “because that is what free speech means.” Musk promises to “defeat the spam bots” and “authenticate all real humans.” See? Twitter does have a theology!
Twitter theology is about having free, safe, inclusive, authentic conversations with authenticated real humans—in less than 280 characters (although most tweets are only 33 characters). Gee, I’ve been on Twitter for 10 years. Have I ever experienced such “authentic conversations” with my 496 followers? Twice … maybe.
Even so, I like the concept of Twitter theology.
Free conversations help people find their voice. “Fools … only want to air their own opinions” (Prov 18:2). Unlike Mordecai who encouraged Esther to find hers. “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place … who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Sometimes all it takes is a little “tell me more” and a bit of “what do you think?” to get things going.
Safe conversations never interpret disagreement as hate. “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,” sings Taylor Swift in a delightfully catchy tune that condemns anyone who doesn’t appreciate her. If it is hateful to express a different view, then every committee meeting, every marriage, friendship, and relationship would implode. Safe conversations do not mean everyone agrees in kumbaya ecstasy. No, safe conversations happen when everyone can disagree and grow in humility and wisdom. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”—in other words, it is impossible for one tool to become sharper without clashing with another (Prov 27:17). Without disagreements, both blades would be dull and useless.
Authentic conversations in real time with real humans are life-giving and life changing. I admit, I literally feel sick when I watch my students come to class, immediately pull out their phones, and ignore each other. I almost burst out crying at restaurants when I see Moms and Dads staring at their phones while their kids are eating in silence. Sometimes I want to scream “put your damn phone down” at meetings. It’s rude, death-giving, and arrogant (there I said it). The only one who can multitask and be fully present at the same time is God. “Authenticate all real humans” with your life-giving, life-changing attention.