Twitter is a funny invention. Last night in ‘defending’ a friend I joined in with a twitter argument/discussion with some people that I have never met. All this got me thinking a little about twitter and its uses and non-uses. The discussion in question was about whether God demands worship or love. Now in many ways I think this is non-question. The Bible does not see anything but worship as love of God. To understand worship of God which is not love and love of God which is now worship is impossible in a Biblical understanding. The dichotomy only comes into play when you have a pagan view of God. That is God somehow need placating or feeding and worship is meeting that need in God. One tweeter asks:
may I ask why does God need worship and demand it – to what end (@Thabo99)
It is the right question. God needs nothing from us. To see worship as offering something to God which he needs is essentially a pagan view of God. The God of the Bible does not need to be in relationship with anyone. He is eternally in relationship within the Trinity and needs nothing. By his grace he creates human being that they may share in that relationship. And yet they rebel, as such God’s justice demands that blood must be shed, in the Old Testament this works out in animal sacrifice; but this will not do:
…it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
The need of sacrifice is not God’s but ours. Our sin leaves us guilty and deserving of God’s wrath, but out of grace (unconditional love), rather than need, God offers his own Son, that our sin is dealt with as God wrath is satisfied by Jesus’ death on the cross. So then since God has done all that is necessary for us to be right with him through his Son the pagan view of worship is an offence to God. Hence the reformed repulsion of the mass viewed as a sacrifice.
So the NT (as in fact the OT does see the prologue to the Ten Commandments Ex 20:2) views worship as response to what God has done:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
As such then we should view worship not as something we offer to God but response to his mercy. In this only those who have received God’s mercy may truly worship God. We all owe him worship; we owe him everything since he created us. But he needs nothing and only demands acts of worship in response to his mercy.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
I have not explained it fully and there may well be revisions needed to be made. But my point is this, all of this (particularly if I were to work out all the consequences) takes more than 140 characters. Of course that doesn’t mean that twitter is worthless. But it does remind us that sometimes our desire is for short answers is wrong, submitting to God means we must be prepared for more because he wants to give us a proper explanation. In fact we need 66 books to understand it properly.
I don’t know if @Thabo99 (who started the discussion) is reading this but having shown the weakness of twitter, here surely is the strength. At least the discussion happens (in short form albeit) and perhaps that leads to a further conversation. What would Jesus tweet? I don’t know but maybe he’d tweet something just to get people thinking. You can’t say a lot or even enough in 140 characters but maybe you can start something which is ultimately worth more than a few characters:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (140 Characters)