Has John Piper ruined Twitter?

John Piper ruined Twitter.

This blogger thinks so. He blames Piper for the rise in cringeworthy Christian status updates – particularly on Twitter.

I like the cut of his jib. Piper can get away with it. If you’re following Piper you expect to encounter the real, passionate man that he is. If you’re not that man (or woman) don’t pretend to be.

But then I lost all my normal “friends” on Twitter.

They all turned into little John Pipers. I used to see real tweets from people.  Some would talk about their latest blog posts or posts they found interesting. Others would talk about their recent studies in Scripture or what books they were reading. Many of them were fun and humorous.

Now many of them are just pretentious and therefore obnoxious.

Once the nature and style of Piper’s 140 characters or less were released, people started to mimic him.  Gone are the “fruitless” tweets about how their toddlers did something cute or about the interesting things that happen day-to-day.  It has been replaced with numerous (and annoying) pithy statements and faux-holiness. How do I know these are “faux?”  Because most of you changed over-night. While it takes a lifetime to be sanctified, it only took your Twitter accounts 24 hours.

Amen brother.

But I’ll balance this critique of all the wannabe Pipers with a critique from Piper that made me think a little… When Abraham Piper (John Piper’s son) asked what he should say to a room full of Christian bloggers his father replied:

Tell them that it takes relentless intentionality to keep a Christ-exalting blog from become a clever blog. The temptation to entertain is almost irresistible.

Now. I started this out as a clever blog – being a Christ-exalting blog hasn’t really been my “intention”. Maybe it should be. Though then it would lose its place as an outlet for my cleverness.

John Piper ruined my blog.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

8 thoughts on “Has John Piper ruined Twitter?”

  1. I don't follow many people on twitter, but already know exactly what you mean. The disease is more far-spread than we realise!!

    Also, I agree on the 'faux' holiness thing too. Not only because people's twitters changed overnight, but the ppl who you know in real life are NEVER like their twitter/facebook updates. Not that they're ungodly, its just that in real life people don't offer all these pithy introspections about themselves. They're just normal.

  2. Don't think John Piper can be blamed… isn't this just like the FB statuses you've been complaining about? It happens in all areas of the net… I don't think it really can't be traced back to and blamed on Piper.

    Perhaps it's Piper's fault that the OP's friends changed their tune… but I don't think that can be said for the trend in general.

  3. @Mikey and Mike – Nice to have the endorsement of the Tasweigian contingent. Spread it throughout the island. Your tiny corner of the nation getting on board might be enough to start a movement.

    @Luke – It's weird though. Imagine how much more (if you're like me) you'd dislike people who were actually like the pithy one line faux spiritual statuses. It'd be like hanging out with the person who wrote Footprints… Maybe you're not like me.

    I do like someone who practices what they preach – so long as they preach brokenness and the need for restoration through Christ.

    Leah – I don't think Piper is to blame. Well, not entirely. He certainly did put the challenge out there, and he's very popular.

    Lee – thanks to the miracle of podcasts I can at least experience the privilege it must be to sit under his teaching. He is a great man. It would be nice if more people were as passionate about Jesus as he is – it would be nicer if more people trying to appear as passionate as he is did so without invoking cringes from all their non-Christian friends on Facebook and Twitter.

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