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The Twitter Patter 5 (Week #6)

So, according to that bastion of truth known as Wikipedia...


Patter is a prepared and practiced speech that is designed to produce a desired response from its audience. Examples of occupations with a patter might include the auctioneer, salesperson, dance caller, or comedian. The term may have been a colloquial shortening of "Pater Noster", and may have referred to the practice of mouthing or mumbling prayers quickly and mechanically. From this, it became a slang word for the secret and equally incomprehensible mutterings of a cant language used by beggars, thieves, gypsies, etc., and then the fluent plausible talk that a cheap-jack employs to pass off his goods. Many illusionists, e.g., card magicians, use patter both to enhance the show and to distract the attention of the spectators.


If we're talking about Christians on Social Media, and Twitter in particular, then we must add "sinners" to that list of the types of people associated with the use of patter.

And so, with that, the "Twitter Patter Five" is born! Cheesy? Maybe, but I do love cheese (especially Dubliner!), and I also love to have a little fun when it comes to learning and then sharing what I've learned with others, and if there's one thing we've seen from our friends at Table Talk Radio, it's that such an approach can be highly effective (even if you're only "mediocre" too).

Despite the somewhat negative connotations to the term "patter" (not to mention the negative perception associated with the often unholy marriage between Christians and Social Media), there's actually a lot of thought-provoking Biblical truth that can be found on Twitter that's shared in a mere 140-character tweet.

My goal in this weekly series is to highlight the "good" rather than the "bad" and to promote the ones we should prayerfully consider from the ones we should "mark and avoid" (Romans 16:17) since they pervert our cherished and shared faith.

Here's how this will work.

I'll select just 5 Christian tweets from the week (hopefully, 1 from each day of the week leading up to and perhaps even including Saturday and Sunday) and give you the "Twitter Patter Five" Finalists for that week.

Then I'll select the one that I like the best as that week's "Twitter Patter: 'This Is Most Certainly True' Top Dog" (yeah, I know it's a MOUTHFUL, but please gimme a break, because I'm trying to incorporate some distinctly Lutheran language here! haha).

The best part of this weekly feature? It's also a contest that every single one of you with a Twitter account can play at any time! Just include #TwitterPatter in your tweets (if you can; helpful, but not necessary though).

At the end of the year, we'll take a look at all the Weekly Winners and select only 1 to be the best of 2015...but we'll do it "Bracket Busters" style (think the NCAA March Madness Tournament!) by setting one Weekly Winner against another! Should make for some fun and entertaining theological discussions once we get to that time of year!

Oh yeah, the 2015 Champion will receive, courtesy of A Lutheran Layman, the ultimate Twitter tool: What Luther Says... It's a $60 value and "this book contains more than 5,100 quotations on 200 subjects from the writings of Martin Luther. All quotations are alphabetically and topically arranged for quick and easy reference. The introduction explores Luther's life and writings, gives a historical perspective for this volume, and provides a description of how Ewald Plass went about producing this book."

In case you missed any of them, check out the Twitter Patter Archive for all the past winners from previous weeks. 
Now, here are this week's Twitter Patter Five Finalists (in no particular order)...



TWITTER PATTER FIVE - WEEK #6








Wow! Choosing ONLY five tweets each week is going to be very tough for me!

I really must commend all of you. I mean, the range of rock-solid theology consistently presented by so many of you in a mere 140-character message is mind-boggling and this past week was no exception.

Ok, drum roll please...

This week's Winner?


'THIS IS MOST CERTAINLY TRUE' TOP DOG - WEEK #6




So many good tweets from this past week (heck, so many god tweets from just the past 24 hours alone!), but this is the one that resonated with me given its relevance to so many issues Christianity is facing today regardless of one's denomination.

The thing I've come to like about @Ryan033 is that he has a backbone. There are men and then there are manly men. In all my interactions with him he seems to be the latter.

What I mean is that we've somehow lost the ability to disagree and discuss doctrine within Christianity (especially the men it seems) all because of the 11th Commandment of "Thou Shall Not Offend" and that's what's led to the Pollyannas and Peter Pans in our churches today. Well, he's no Peter Pan!

I just like the fact that he's willing to challenge others when they spit out Christian platitudes if not outright error and he's not afraid to try to correct them by pointing them back to the Word of God. Plus, it helps that his resume includes being the one I credit with starting the #YOHBT trend.

See, there's this silly notion that "doctrine" is somehow separate from Jesus Christ Himself; like they're two vastly different things and as long as you "have Jesus" you don't need to "have doctrine" or something. His tweet shatters that myth with the truth.

In addition, it was quite the week for me personally, and so I'm sure my selecting his as this week's "Top Dog" also had a lot to do with my own experiences.

I remember something Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS Synod President, once wrote: "Here's a passage from Luther's 1535 commentary on Galatians. It's quoted in Walther's 'Church And Office,' and is thus an official doctrinal statement of the LCMS. The quote is under Thesis VIII b. on the church: B. Every believer for the sake of his salvation must flee all false teachers and avoid fellowship [Gemeinschaft] with heterodox congregations [Gemeinden] or sects."

Yet, in the span of a single week, I cam face-to-face with some pretty ridiculous stuff from Christians who, quite frankly, should know better when it comes to that subject, especially if they call themselves Lutheran.

First, I saw a very popular "Confessional Lutheran" group promote the writings of heretic Ann Voskamp and when I asked them why they would do that (and even provided quotes from her book that would make anyone cringe) the response was several hours of silence followed by an admission that they didn't have the slightest clue who she was! Well, then why are we promoting her as somehow we should be reading and learning Biblical truth from!?! Am I crazy to think it's reasonable to expect that we know a little about the belief, teaching, and confession of those we ask others to follow and/or read for Biblical truth?

Second, a controversial picture from a certain Christian Conference ignited a Social Media firestorm it seemed, and I spent several hours yesterday going back-and-and forth with some brothers in Christ who I never would've guessed are Lutherans. I mean, to be a Lutheran and act like false teachers and false teachings aren't that big a deal when the church you belong to was born in response to false teachers and false teachings doesn't quite make sense to me.

To be blunt, I'm a saint and a sinner, and my sinful "Old Adam" is losing patience with some brothers and sisters since this past week has demonstrated to me that I think I've had it with all the doctrinal debates with those from "Within The Same Camp" so-to-speak.

That is, I'm getting really frustrated and tired of having the same debates -- debates that were already settled by our Confessions hundreds of years ago -- with other Lutherans who should know better.

If you want to move the discussion outside of the denominational realm, then I'd also say that I'm getting tired of trying to discuss Scripture with Christians from other denominations attempting to use Scripture to support my assertions only to have those Christians ignore God's Word that I cite if not refuse to counter any claims I make with Scripture to support their position. It's maddening sometimes! So much for Sola Scriptura, huh?

In any event, @Ryan033 says about his Twitter account that "y
ou'll figure it out by reading my nonsense" but I'm here to tell you that I've already figured out that this guy's confession of faith is anything but "nonsense" as it's actually quite enlightening and inspiring to this "Newtheran" over here who's escaped Evangelicalism and knows just how dangerous false teachers and their false teachings can be to the sheep. For that, I am grateful.

Remember, as fun as this little weekly contest is, it's NEVER about us and ALWAYS about Jesus Christ in the sense that we should want to point people to Him and not ourselves by proclaiming Christ crucified for the sins of all mankind.

Unfortunately, one of the real dangers of having a Social Media presence of any kind (whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and/or with a blog like this one) is that you quickly become susceptible to the sin of pride setting in.

If you're not careful, you can become disillusioned into thinking it's all about you, your words, and your followers when it needs to remain all about Jesus, His Words, and His followers (of course, this can occur even without the use of Social Media).

Sure, we're all sinners, which means we're all bound to fall into this trap from time-to-time. The key, as you know, is repentance. If the situation should call for it, then it's also ok to detach, sign off, and take a step back if you need to.

So, yes, use online tools like Twitter to confess "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) and let the Holy Spirit do His work when and where He pleases (John 3:7-8; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration II, 56).

Just remember it's Him who does the work of converting souls through the preaching of the Word and the administering of the Sacraments -- not you through your own witty tweets (John 6:44).

Well, that's it for this week's edition of Twitter Patter. Please feel free to let me know if you come across any tweets that you don't want me to miss so that they can be considered for next week's edition (@LutheranLayman).

In a Lutheran layman's terms, keep it short, keep it sweet, but above all, keep it Biblical in all your "Christian" tweets!


[TWITTER ICON IMAGE SOURCE HERE]


NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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