Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Does God Tweet?

Over at the OnFaith Forum at The Washington Post and Newsweek the panelists are discussing electronic prayer requests. They are responding to the following:
Thanks to new digital technologies, you can 'tweet' prayers via Twitter to the Western Wall or prayer requests to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. You can pray the rosary or pray the hours from your laptop. You can participate in worship services and discuss holy texts via Facebook. You can create and join faith communities on Second Life. Are social media tools a blessing or a curse for people of faith? Should we use digital technology to commune with the divine? Does God tweet?
Episcopal priest Randall Balmer wrote against this use of technology saying in part,
At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I take a dim view of such technological "advances," and I do so for theological reasons. As a Christian, I believe that the doctrine of the incarnation - God took human form - is a central tenet. God chose to become incarnate in the person of Jesus. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us - not a text message or a "tweet."
Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld thinks that if God is God, then God tweets. He wrote,
To the extent that there is a personal God who receives our prayers, and I believe that there is (mostly), then tweeting those prayers to Jerusalem, Rome, Mecca or any other holy place is entirely reasonable and appropriate. In fact, it's pretty strange to imagine a God big enough to pray to, who is not big enough to understand our prayers in whatever language or mode they are offered.
I agree with Rabbi Hirschfeld in thinking that God can and therefore does see and know what we send via email and tweets. Of course that is so. Yet I also sympathize with Balmer in that the Incarnation is not virtual reality and our faith should always involve real people getting together in real time to be together for worship, for prayer, for hugs. This is how we go about making real the love of God as we bear one anothers burders and share one anothers joys. That's my take. What do you think about God, Facebook, Twitter and the like?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



  • At 8/13/2009 11:18 AM, Blogger Leeann said…

    Well, it certainly lends to praying without ceasing!

    Some more thoughts and information on technology and prayer can be found at the "The Dude Abides" blog by my friend, religion columnist Cathleen Falsani:

  • At 8/13/2009 3:07 PM, Blogger Tom Sramek, Jr. said…

    I think part of the point of prayer is that the act of praying is as much (or more!) for out benefit as it is for God's. It is that personal relationship that matters, and while such relationships can be supported by technology (witness FaceBook) they cannot be replaced by technology. In this case it isn't location, location, location (wailing wall, etc..) but relationship, relationship, relationship.


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