Gatsby, tweets and tornadoes


In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

I love Twitter. I think if I’m honest it’s a borderline addiction of mine. Facebook is redundant to me pretty much. Twitter gives many possibilities I have ‘met’ new folk, tweeted about films, tweeted my heroes and had a few responses. It’s a whole new world of social exploration and like I say I am pretty much addicted to it.

However last week it unsettled me. Following the tragic tornadoes in Oklahoma many of the Christian pastors, writers, worship leaders I follow were quick to use hashtags such as #prayforOklahoma. Fair enough no problem there. If a natural disaster in any area doesn’t drive us to prayer then you might need to check there could be something wrong with your heart.

So what was the problem? Well ,there were an element who were hanging around Twitter waiting for the ‘crazies’ to do their thing. Westboro baptist church members didn’t take long blaming Kevin Durant (star Oklahoma Thunder basketball player) and his support for Jason Collins (who recently came out).

One of the biggest reactions (in my timeline anyway) was the response to John Piper tweeting verses from Job and then deleteing them shortly afterward, much to some displeasure and instant reaction, the type of instant reaction that Twitter can bring. Desiring God did later offer an explanation of the tweets which can be found here.

To be clear, this is not a post to defend any individual or a post about which theological viewpoint I agree with.

The point is this, after going to see The Great Gatsby this week I was struck by the opening lines. I could have reacted to those tweets I saw but as the film/novel states I have been blessed with a great privilege. Not wealth, not standing in society but the ability to step back and wait for the bigger picture to unfold and not jump on the first thing said. 

I could have walked away from twitter this week, the way in which some Chrisitans jumped on others in relation to what was said was unnecessary and in some ways upsetting to me.I didn’t, like I said I’m addicted, but I would like to say this in surmising my thoughts.

Let’s wait before reacting. Lets remember the tone  the tweeter means and the tone in which you see/hear it are two different thing due to it not being an audible media. Most importantly of all let’s not get involved in theological arguments when #prayforOklahoma says it all.