The Wondering Eagle is noticing that some Neo-Calvinist churches are starting to dis-engage from Twitter. Here in the Washington, D.C. area I noticed this with Justin Pearson’s Sojourn Fairfax and Jeff Hoenshell’s Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax. Also the Sojourn Network out of Louisville, Kentucky encouraged its churches to quit social media.
The world’s a bubble.
As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”[a]
18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 NLT
Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax
I am beginning to notice something on Twitter that I want to draw attention to, especially as I write about some of these churches and their problems. It deals with how some Neo-Calvinist churches are responding to social media.
Are Neo-Calvinist Churches Abandoning Twitter?
The young, restless and reformed movement cut its teeth on social media and created a vibrant online presence. Not only did they embrace flashy websites but they also adopted platforms on Twitter and other forms of social media. Twitter is a means for many churches to connect to the public within areas that they live. Plus in communities that have young people who are more technology prone Twitter is going to be more effective. Here is another way to pose a question. Where will Twitter be more influential? Cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C.? Or places like Fond du Lac, Wisconsin or Bakersfield, California?
Recently I was looking for the Twitter feed of Justin Pearson‘s Sojourn Fairfax. Sojourn Fairfax is a combined Southern Baptist, Acts 29 and Sojourn Network Church. Sojourn at one point had an active Twitter account then suddenly the church deactivated it and it went cold. You can check this out for yourself here. Another one that I noticed this with also took place in the Washington, D.C. area. Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax is a part of the Great Commission Collective and is led by Jeff Hoenshell. The other day I was looking for the Twitter feed of Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax and I noticed that it had also disappeared. Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax had also gone cold as well. Now this appears to be a developing trend among Neo-Calvinist churches. It needs to be noted that individual staff and pastors still have an their Twitter feeds active. For example Jeff Hoenshell has an active Twitter feed. So this is something for people to notice as they engage on social media.
What the Sojourn Network Emailed Out on August 16, 2019
As I began to notice this development an email that was sent out by the Sojourn Network also grabbed my attention. Casey Smith is the Communication Network Director for the Sojourn Network out of Louisville. On August 16, 2019 in an email a TED video that featured Dr. Cal Newport calling on people to quit social media was sent to the Sojourn Network. Dr. Cal Newport is a Georgetown University Professor who is a critic of social media. He does not use social media and writes about the problems with it. While Cal Newport may have some points that are legitimate I honestly don’t think the Sojourn Network is interested in the claims that he makes in that video. I think the Sojourn Network feels threatened by social media and wants to control the narrative.
Neo-Calvinist Theology can Only Thrive in a Bubble Cut Off From the World
So this begs the question why is this happening more frequently? The only thing that I can think of is that many of these Neo-Calvinist churches are feeling threatened on social media. They enjoyed it when they had control but as more people engaged them it became problematic. Here is the problem with the theology at places like Sojourn Fairfax and Harvest Bible Chapel Fairfax. This theology can only function in an echo chamber or bubble. This theology can not function outside that environment. Its not designed to as its often taught in ways that people are cut off from the world. The teachings in these communities can’t endure the pressures of challenges of life. And social media just affirms that considerably. Think of it like this, some of these Neo-Calvinist organizations are the ultimate snowflake that you can find. Their bark can be louder than their bite and some also have an attitude problem as well. So as more places withdraw expect to see more problems.