The Twitter Epistle
INTRODUCTION TO FIRST TWITTER
First Twitter, written several years ago, is not inspired Scripture, although the author borrows heavily from the Bible. Penned from seat 4B at 25,000 feet during a Delta Airlines flight, the epistle is short and eclectic, reflecting many familiar biblical themes. The purpose of the book is to evoke fresh, heartfelt evaluation of the growing social networking tool known as Twitter.
The author acknowledges that Twitter is a very positive and powerful means for sharing updates and inspiring information. He claims no particular expertise on the subject but expresses a concern for pure motives and Christ-honoring messages amid the countless barrage of “tweets.” Since its creation, the epistle has not seen widespread circulation. The author simply wrote it with the intent of creating a tool to evaluate his own heart and helping others do the same.
As you read this short epistle it is important that the application remain personal and not serve as a means by which to judge the tweets of others. As one verse in the epistle says, “Therefore judge no tweets before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”
THE EPISTLE OF FIRST TWITTER
Tweetverbs for Today
Do not send boastful tweets about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise you, and not your own tweets; a stranger, and not your own mobile device. (Adapted from Proverbs 27:1-2)
Every tweet of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts. (Adapted from Proverbs 21:2)
Twitter on the Mount
Take heed that you do not tweet your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not tweet to all of your followers as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to tweet their prayers to all of their followers that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, send a private text message to your friend as you pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Adapted from Matthew 6:1-6)
The Pastor and the Backslider
Two men picked up their mobile devices to tweet, one a pastor and the other a backslidden Baptist. The pastor composed a message and wrote thus with himself: “Praise God that I am not like other men — boring, inarticulate, and not well-traveled or even as this backslider. I post twitpics twice a day; I give blessings to all those who follow me.” And the backslider, hardly able to type, would not so much as post a pic, but trembled as he held his Blackberry, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a boring person.” I tell you, this man went down to his office justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Adapted from Luke 18:10-14)
But he is a Christian who is one inwardly; with messages that remain of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the Twitter world; whose praise is not from men but from God. (Adapted from Romans 2:29)
For we are God’s fellow social networkers; you are God’s followers (and ours), you are God’s network. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise social networker I have birthed the idea, and another comments on it. But let each one take heed how he comments. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone responds to my tweets it may be gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw; each one’s tweets will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s content, of what sort it is. If anyone’s tweets endure, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s tweets are burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (Adapted from 1 Corinthians 3:9-15)
Do Not Judge
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any social network. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge no tweets before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. (Adapted from 1 Corinthians 4:3-5)
Comparing and Commending
Do we begin again to commend ourselves on Twitter? Or do we need, as some others, RT’s of commendation to you or RT’s of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, created not by tweets but by the Spirit of the living God, not on screens of mobile devices but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. (Adapted from 2 Corinthians 3:1-3)
For we dare not count our Twitter followers or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. (Adapted from 2 Corinthians 10:12 & 18)
Copyright © 2014 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.