The Worst Christian Tweets of 2016

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In this week’s podcast (embedded below) Nate Claiborne and I discussed the strange world of Christian Twitter and went into detail on some of the following tweets.  It’s a fun listen; check it out and consider giving the podcast the one star ratings it so richly deserves.

For now, though, a few qualifiers: this list could have been 100 tweets long, but I wanted to keep it fun, so I didn’t include any overly partisan tweets.  No Matt Walsh rants, no Rachel Held Evans rants, and no overwrought Trump/Hillary tweets from buffoonish twitter theologians.

This list is just goofy, dumb stuff from Christian Twitter figures who should know better:

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Here’s how to make a mess on Christian Twitter:  A) Post a cryptic-yet-promising message on your social media accounts.  B) Allow your long-suffering fans to whip themselves into a frenzy because they think that DC Talk is going to record/tour again after two decades.  C) Announce that no, there is no reunion, just a CCM cruise where fans have the privilege of paying thousands of dollars to be on the same boat as DC Talk.

The backlash was so strong that it prompted full damage control mode, with the members of DC Talk putting out multiple statements to try to get ahead of the story until they were rescued by Sandi Patty, and that is a real thing that happened, but come on guys, just put out a single or something.

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Why is this person allowed to tweet?

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By itself, this is not a bad tweet.  (It’s more so the 600+ replies) Is it a sin to have church on Christmas?  Of course not.  Is it a sin to forgo church on Christmas morning?  Nope.  So we can just agree to leave this issue to an individual’s conscience and the guiding of the Holy SpiriLOLOLOLOL NO

That’s not how Christian Twitter works.  You throw out a take, hordes of insecure strangers arrive to signal their holiness, then you descend into the hellish underworld of the tweet’s responses to punch at shadows.  You waste a bunch of time, you end up building an echo chamber by blocking people who disagree with you, and no one ever wins.

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The progression of this tweet, in drafts:

Perry Noble fired.  May he get the help he needs.

Okay, Todd.  That’s good

Perry Noble fired. May he get the help he needs.  A cautionary tale 4 immature hipster pastors. 

TODD, STOP

Todd.

Todd.  Don’t question his salvatio–

Perry Noble fired.  May he get saved & the help he needs.  A cautionary tale 4 immature hipster pastors.  #unqualified

Ugh.  Come on, Todd.  If you had just done that tweet in moderation, you would have been okay.  But you just. couldn’t. help. yourself.  Pretty much the same thing that got Perry Noble in trouble–except you’re better than he is, right?

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John.

John.

Go outside and get some fresh air, bud.

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so some people try too hard to be cool huh

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Geez, Patty.  Phrasing!

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I mean, when the website header of someone’s ministry contains the word POLEMICS, you can’t really get surprised when they’re not nice.

P&P are the spiritual successors of Jack Chick; they are simply against everyone.  They exist in a state of perpetual conflict, always attacking, always scrounging for some shred of offense to construe as a grand conspiracy against the faith.  And since P&P’s merry band of polemicists are the only ones who recognize these threats, a closed feedback loop is created: they are fueled by the adrenaline of spotting enemies that no one else sees, then their feelings of superiority are confirmed by the inevitable apathy of mainstream evangelicals.

To read P&P is exhausting; they condemn charismatic practices, female pastors, and Arminian theology, but also attack ostensible theological allies such as John Piper and Russell Moore.  They have a running battle with the CCM industry, in that as soon as a particular artist achieves a measure of fame, he or she will invariably find themselves targeted by P&P for associating with the wrong person, or taking the wrong selfie, or singing an ambiguous lyric.

Also, there are the small matters of bullying women, calling people rapists, and bullying suicidal teenagers.  Polemics, man.

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Wait, what?

[if you don’t recognize that name, he is the pastor from the infamous deposition video]

[he also raises people from the dead through facebook, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice]

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If you put all of Christian Twitter into a pot and distilled it down into a single tweet, it would be this tweet: a terse, academic insult between a couple of theology dweebs slap fighting on the playground.

Backstory: radio host Eric Metaxas was one of the first prominent evangelicals to endorse Trump for President.  This angered Patheos blogger Throckmorton, a Kasich supporter.  Throckmorton called out Metaxas, Metaxas blocked him, and Throckmorton launched a weeks-long tweet spree of retweeting anything he could find that was critical of Metaxas.

Do Throckmorton and Metaxas agree on >95% of core Christian beliefs?  Probably!

Did that prevent one of 2016’s pettiest feuds on Christian Twitter?  Nope!

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I knew it

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Again, why is this person allowed to tweet

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