Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Twittering in Church??

Okay, I admit it--I am a Facebooking and Twittering fool. Just last night, I was out with my wife on our anniversary date and I went out a couple Facebook/Twitter updates. Of course, I was quick to receive criticism from my cousin Mary Lou, to which my mom commented, "I'm surprised he doesn't Facebook from the confessional. Actually, that is where I draw the line. (although I have been known up send updates prior to going into the church)
I'm a little late on this topic it appears. Time posted on article, "Twittering in Church, with the Pastor's Okay on May 4th. http://bit.ly/D3Czn that discusses how some congregations actually use Twitter during church. For those who don't know, Twitter is a social networking site where users make posts in 140 characters or less. It's been called, "microblogging." You get "Tweets" from people you follow (I can be found @JamieMc4525) and you send out your own thoughts to those who follow you.
Evidently, some pastors think Twitter is a way for some to use technology to get closer to God and use Twitter during their services. Church goers are urged to send tweets asking questions, making comments or just to take notes.
Yesterday, I found a post at http://www.justwallpaper.wordpress.com/, coincidentally dated the same day as the Time article, called "4 Reasons to Stop Twittering at Church" http://bit.ly/OarRh. The author, Curtis Honeycutt points out, four reasons to stop Twittering in church (Hence the name of the article--how genius!) His reasons are:
  1. The Church is not virtual. It's Physical

  2. A key part of having your heart stirred in worship is being fully present.

  3. I don’t want the “greet those around you” time to be usurped by the “tweet those around you” time.

  4. The iPhone Bible app doesn’t have maps.

It is a very intriguing article and I encourage you to go read it for yourself. I could not agree with Mr. Honeycutt more. When I go to mass, I try to leave my Blackberry Storm in the car, lest I be tempted to check it for texts or emails. I told you--I'm a geek! What really interested me was not only the article but the comments left--there were 59 comments!! I'm happy if one person leaves me a comment. Many of the comments agreed with the article and many disagreed. Some comments stated, "you worship how you want to and I'll worship how I want to." Some stated, "Twittering is a way for me to take notes to remember later." If you want to read some, like I said earlier--I encourage you to go read the article.

It's time for me to get on my soapbox now. It really appears to me that there is a difference between some of those church services and the Holy Mass. Hopefully every week, you are able to get some knowledge or assistance in your spiritual life from the priest's homily but it should not be a Bible Study where you feel like you have to take notes. The Holy Mass is literally Heaven on Earth. It is where a miracle happens. If you haven't, you should read Scott Hahn's "The Lamb's Supper" to get an idea how glorious the mass really is you need to because I really cannot do it justice.

Bottom line--there are already enough distractions during mass. There are crying kids, bad singers, boring homilies. It's too hot or it's too cold. The guy next to you probably could have bathed this morning. The attractive girl in front of you is wearing clothes that are a little too tight. My own children are acting like beasts (sorry if you are sitting near us) All that competes with my attention deficit disorder and makes it difficult to be attentive. We are called to be active participants in the mass. During the liturgy, we come together as the Body of Christ and should be focusing all of our attention in the same direction as Heaven and Earth come together. (makes you wonder why the priest faces us then huh? ;-) )It's too glorious of a time to be sending out Tweets. So please---leave your iPhone or Crackberry in the car.

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