04 June 2012

Twitter and Its "Christian Powerhouses"

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a story entitled "Christian Leaders are Powerhouses on Twitter." It relays the discovery by a Twitter staff member that some of the social media network's most popular tweets come not from actors, musicians or sports figures, but are posted by men and women who are popular in professing Christian circles. The article states:
Why are some tweets more popular than others? 
When a Twitter staff member set out to answer that question 10 months ago, he thought the answer would emerge among posts from N.B.A. players, politicians or actors. Instead, he found a mystery: a set of messages that were ricocheting around Twitter, being forwarded and responded to at a rate that was off the charts. 
“They were punching way above their weight,” said Robin Sloan, who discovered the anomaly but did not recognize the names behind the tweets. 
Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado and Andy Stanley were not well known inside Twitter’s offices. But they had all built loyal ranks of followers well beyond their social networks — they were evangelical Christian leaders whose inspirational messages of God’s love perform about 30 times as well as Twitter messages from pop culture powerhouses like Lady Gaga. 
This realization led Twitter to send a representative to the recently concluded Catalyst conference, in order to further engage and entice pastors and churches to begin to build their Twitter network.
Should Christians rejoice at the apparent influence that they have gained in this popular forum? Perhaps the answer to that depends upon the content, truth and basic theology of the "tweets" being sent by these "Christian leaders."

The quote above includes the well-known names of Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado and Andy Stanley. Later in the NY Times article, T.D. Jakes is cited as well. The theology of some of these individuals is considered questionable at best by many.

Both Joyce Meyer and T.D. Jakes are well-known for their propagation of the Word Faith heresy. Max Lucado has seemingly endorsed the mystical and unbiblical practice of contemplative prayer, especially in his promotion and participation in a DVD called "Be Still." It is no secret that Andy Stanley was recently the subject of much controversy surrounding a recent sermon wherein he spoke against the sin of adultery, yet seemingly ignored the other blatant sin in his sermon illustration, homosexuality. At Apprising Ministries, Ken Silva has written a detailed account of the events of this controversy.

Yet, the Times article quickly determines why it is these types of Christian leaders are most popular on Twitter; it is due to their "inspirational messages of God's love." As a Twitter friend asked me earlier today, "Would Sproul, Lawson, or MacArthur tweets do as well?" Likely not. In fact, it is probably safe to assume that, just as Joyce Meyer and Andy Stanley were once unknown names in the Twitter offices, so are the names of Sproul, Lawson and MacArthur. Unfortunately, these names likely will remain unknown by most in that office building. Why? Let's do a tweet comparison to find out.

Here is a recent tweet from Joyce Meyer:
And from T.D. Jakes:
John MacArthur, Steve Lawson and R.C. Sproul do not themselves tweet, but a quick search of their names reveals that many are tweeting out quotes from these biblically grounded men. Here is the most recent John MacArthur quote (as of the writing of this post) that was tweeted out:
Here, from Ligonier, which is R.C. Sproul's ministry, is a most un-seeker friendly thought:
Well, now the difference is obvious. Meyer and Jakes offer warm, "inspiration" thoughts. Yet, MacArthur and Sproul's quotes are not nearly as pleasurable for those itching ears.

So, while "Christian" leaders may be making waves on Twitter, we have to ask: what kind of theology is being spread? What kind of seeds are being scattered? Those that will bear good fruit, or those that will bear bad?

(Thanks to Elizabeth Prata of The End Time for reminding me of this NY Times article.)


  1. Have you ever notice how the Charismatic's are so consumed with Satan?

  2. To the popular teachers: “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets." Luke 6:26

    I turn to Barnes Notes for the explanation, "When all men shall speak well of you - When they shall praise or applaud you. The people of the world will not praise or applaud "my" doctrine; they are "opposed" to it, and therefore, if they speak well of "you" and of "your teachings," it is proof that you do not teach the true doctrine."

    If I was as Twitterificly popular as some of the mentioned teachers are, I'd be very, very worried.

    You did a great job writing clearly about this. The comparison tweets were terrific. You're an excellent writer, and I always look forward to reading your stuff. Thank you for covering this!


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