Rick Warren Joins Twitter

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has finally been swept up by the Twitter craze and started posting in the popular social networking site.

"My staff tried to get me to start using Twitter to communicate three years ago (when it launched July '06) but it seemed like a narcissistic time waster to me," Warren informed his network of pastors Sunday.

"But recently John Piper and I preached a funeral together and I saw John's article on why he uses Twitter for ministry. It made sense, so I started an account this week," he added.

In the June 3 article by John Piper, the popular preaching pastor highlighted the two kinds of responses he's seen to social internet media such as blogging, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

"One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul's capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem," Piper wrote.

"The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can," he added.

Together with his ministry team at Desiring God, Piper decided to "lean" toward the second response, noting that "lean" is different from "leap."

"We are aware that the medium tends to shape the message," the pastor noted.

"But it seems to us that aggressive efforts to saturate a media with the supremacy of God, the truth of Scripture, the glory of Christ, the joy of the gospel, the insanity of sin, and the radical nature of Christian living is a good choice for some Christians," he added, while acknowledging that they may not be good for all and that some of these media should be abstained from.

With this in mind, Piper said he would not be inclined to "tweet" when the cat pulls the curtains down at 10 a.m., but might tweet a verse from the Bible that such an incident might remind him of.

Warren similarly said Sunday that rather than answering the question "What are you doing?" - which he believes is "boring" - he will be using Twitter to share what he's thinking.

"You cannot win your enemies to Christ. You can only win your friends. Treat everyone with love, respect, and dignity," he wrote in one post.

"Those who waste time attacking perceived faults of others never grow up.Envy & bitterness shrink their hearts.Jn 8:15," Warren wrote in another.

Before Warren's first "tweet" was made last Monday, over 5,000 Twitter users were already "following" the Southern California preacher, who catapulted into national prominence with the success of his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.

As of Sunday night, Warren had over 9,400 followers.

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