Last year on Palm Sunday, #Christianity was trending on twitter, but not for the reasons we would hope for or expect at the beginning of Holy Week. The tweets associated with these phrases were dealing with a lot of nonChristians that were upset with how Christianity, or more specifically American Evangelicalism, was showing itself. The Church was outraged about vaccines, masks, and mandates, while being apathetic about the systemic injustice in both the nation and the Church itself. More and more examples of misconduct and abuse coverups were coming out of the church, yet Christians were to busy freaking out over a rappers new shoe line to care. Christians claiming persecution at every inconvenience, while actively calling for canceling of other Christian leaders. This year, it was nice to see #PalmSunday and #hosanna trending and being used in the manner we would hope. However, I am also seeing a new trend both within Christian Twitter and the larger Christian media world that is disheartening, and especially in this season of Lent and Easter, can be damaging to the witness we have in the world.
If you have never spent any amount of time on what is referred to as Christian Twitter, or in some circles #WCT or WeirdChristian Twitter, then there are a few phrases that may surprise you. Much like within our physical Church buildings, we have Christian phrases that are thrown around quite a lot, and for those outside the cultural confines of the Church or Twitter sphere, they can be quite confusing. For example, Theobro is a term that depending on which side of the Evangelical Twitter world you are on is either an insult or a badge of honor. This title is given to the accounts that are on the more extreme Conservative side of theology, often promoting an extremist view of inerrancy and complementarianism that more commonly is referred to as the Patriarchy. They are calling for a Theologically healthy Church, free from the cultural influencers in our world. More often than not, these accounts are ones we would refer to as Cold War Theologians, but that is for another blog post. On the other side of this spectrum you have those classified as the “Woke and Edgy Preachers.” These are the accounts that are considered to be more progressive, liberal, or in some cases apostate. Typically you see them post about racial reconciliation, social justice movements, and they typically are more outspoken in their support of women in leadership roles. While this side may sound like an obviously better option, there are just as many problem accounts in this batch as there are with the Theobros, but again that’s another blog post. These labels are oversimplifications, overused, and more often than not the title was given as an accusation from the opposing side. It’s not a great look for the church that claims heavily on one side to be about Reconciliation and claims heavily on the other side to be about a healthy church. Again, another topic for another blog post, because there is a deeper and more disheartening trend that has arose out of these debates.
The trend that has developed out of the Theological bickering is the use, or rather misuse, of 3 words among both the debaters and the audiences of both sides. Truth, Liar, and Repent. These three words are being tossed around in debates carefree, and these three words are at the center of what we believe as Christians. As we approach Resurrection Sunday, I want to take a look at these three words and why, especially at this time of year they matter. And to clarify, the Theological bickering on Twitter is not necessarily a bad thing outright. I maintain that the world needs to see Christians doing actual Theological work in plain view, and that we need to be publicly speaking on behalf of the marginalized, however, my goal with this series is to hopefully see this bickering done in a manner that is more consistent with Paul and Peter in Galatians 2, than members of congress.