Friday, May 22, 2009

Let's Not Twitter in Worship, Please


I'm really going to show my age with this post, but like Martin Luther, here I stand.

The PCUSA Moderator, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, who is an avid user of all things technological, posted about the responses to an informal quiz he linked to on Facebook which asked if it is okay to twitter during worship. Bruce gives his responses to the arguments against twittering during worship in this post and goes on to say he is going to write a post about the benefits of twittering during worship.

What????

This reminds me of the time when El Jefe was serving as lay leader in worship and got caught BlackBerrying instead of listening to the sermon. Our daughters were mortified and rained judgment down on his head all the way home. What's the difference between responding to emails and twittering during worship? I don't see any difference. Both activities remove your focus from worship of the Almighty God to your own thoughts. Both activities remove your mind and spirit from the gathered community of faith.

And heaven knows that it is hard enough to focus on worship, anyway. We all struggle with fighting the urge to make grocery lists, fret about what we have to do at work or at home, or grieve over problems with relationships during worship. We all struggle to engage with others in our congregations. It seems to me that while twittering may be seen as journaling, or note-taking, it is primarily a tool to communicate with others who twitter. That leaves out those who don't twitter. It also puts your focus back on yourself rather than on worship of God.

Full Disclosure Statement: I have a Facebook account (much to the chagrin of my kids who couldn't believe us oldsters had discovered this) and a Twitter account. While I do find Facebook useful, I confess that Twitter is not interesting to me. My observation is that most tweets are banal and often snarky. (Not yours, Bruce.)

With all due respect to our Moderator, I can't imagine encouraging twittering during worship any more than I can imagine encouraging emailing or playing games on the cellphone. You can include me among those who would say "thou shalt not twitter during worship."

11 comments:

Gannet Girl said...

Preach it, girl.

I was dumbfounded when I read that post. But I will admit that it provided me with a new jumping-off place for pondering the meaning and practice of worship.

Reyes-Chow said...

Thanks for the thoughtfulness as always in your assessment and response. I think i am going to press with one because I still not GET why the all the hubbub about it. I think there is to some extent a drastic differing in understanding and usage from those that gravitate towards it and those who do not. Now I HAVE to go with the benefits post ;-)

Bad Alice said...

Heavens, I can't imagine how you can concentrate on Twitter and worship at the same time. I couldn't

Twitter amuses me to no end, but I follow odd people who specialize in surreal tweets. A lot of reporting on daily movements is pretty dull unless you know the other people well.

Wendy Bailey said...

I'm not against twittering in worship or in presbytery meetings ... I am not an avid twitterer, though, I do use it in specific cases. I find that twittering a live event can help stay focussed ... and twittering in worship could actually make worship an interactive experience which is good.

My favorite twitter moments were watching the presidential debates with my twitter friends around the globe ... I can only begin to imagine the benefits of twittering during worship.

ceemac said...

Thinking again of the Len Sweet APCE.

Twittering might be distracting.

But there is the very strong possibility that it will make it more EPIC.

Quotidian Grace said...

Bruce, I'll read the "benefits" post with interest!

Presbyterian Gal said...

I could only go along with Twittering during worship if someone like Joel or Victoria Osteen were preaching.
;)

Stushie said...

Amen, Jody. I've tried to support Bruce in a lot of issues, but this one makes me think he is leading a lot of young people down the wrong path. We used to call it idolatry...

Quotidian Grace said...

PG,

I can just imagine the tweets that would result from you and me twittering at Lakewood. Surely they would rise to a new level of Snarkitude!

Gannet Girl said...

Some more ramblings at my place.

I'm trying to restrain myself on the subject of twittering at Lakewood.

Reformed Catholic said...

Why are you talking about the twits at Lakewood, they are a nice enough couple, and they seem...

eh, what ... twitter?? Oh, that's different,

Never Mind !!