Hey world, I need to go to the bathroom! 30

My family and I regularly enjoy watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, and over time we’ve come to recognize certain genres of clips that routinely make it into the show. One such genre is the toddler or young school kid who, often in the middle of some public performance, stops everything and announces in a loud voice, “Mommy, I need to go to the bathroom.”

It’s funny because it’s embarrassing for the parents, though I can’t say I’ve ever seen a clip of an adult shouting out the same thing. Sure, it would be embarrassing, but for very different reasons. It also probably wouldn’t be funny, except in a Jerry Lewis movie.

With that in mind, after a long flight last week from Atlanta to Honolulu, Perry Noble checked back in with his followers with this little observation:

Gotta tee tee SO bad…taking forever to get off of this plane!!!

One can just imagine the poor man standing trapped in the aisle, legs crossed and eyes bulging. Can I push past that lady? No. Can I climb over the seats? No. What can I do??? Got it. I’ll Twitter!

We’ve all been there, and I do empathize with his plight. I do. But isn’t there a kill switch on Twitter? (In radio, announcers use the kill switch to temporarily turn off the mic if they have to cough or do anything else of an embarrassing nature on the air.) Does Noble have no mental filter that asks, Should I really be saying this?

Perhaps I don’t understand this newfangled media world, but what would drive a man to report the state of his bladder to 8,000 people?

Gregg Doyel, a sports columnist for CBS, addressed a similar phenomenon with how sports stars and their fans use Twitter.

Twitter … is the new narcissism. For the sender, I mean. To wake up before 6 a.m. on a typical day, as [Lance] Armstrong did last week, and send a faceless, voiceless good morning to your “audience” … that’s the height of narcissism. You really must be self-centered to believe thousands of people are waiting to know you’re awake. But then, if you’re Lance Armstrong, you’re right. Thousands of people really are waiting….

For the receiver, Twitter is something even worse than narcissism. It’s voyeurism. And it’s pathetic. You can’t be Lance Armstrong, you can’t be his friend, but you can receive his tweets. So you do. Congratulations…

Am I sounding negative? Even petty? Sue me. Everybody has a limit, and I’ve reached mine with Twitter, which isn’t just the world’s fastest-growing social networking tool. It’s a religion, filling the hole in regular people’s regular lives. Twitter is society’s new church. It’s a personal savior. Twitter Christ….

For celebrities, Twitter is a gigantic ego stroke. It’s a game of narcissist strip poker, and you’re the thong.

Doyel started his rant after a simple “Good Morning.” Imagine what he might have said after receiving the reverend’s Tee Tee post.

30 thoughts on “Hey world, I need to go to the bathroom!

  1. Tommy F. May 25, 2009 9:19 am

    JDuncan: it appears you have an unrealistic expectation regarding the proper use of twitter. Did you not know that twitter is a useful device for solving bodily function “problems”? In fact, it appears to be a trend for NS employees.

    I stumbled upon this exchange last week following up on Shane Duffey’s reference to Pajama Pages (he deleted it shortly after he posted it). Following his tweets, I landed in Allie Howell’s twitter feed. She is PNoble’s assistant.

    She advises another NS staffer on how to handle a difficult situation at the Post office. Problem. Solution.

    I find it amazing that people feel the need to share this stuff on twitter. A kill switch is needed, but I imagine they wouldn’t use it. You’d have to be able to determine what should be killed. Apparently, NS staff and leadership are totally unaware of the need for a kill switch. What they need is a filter that keeps this stuff off twitter – before they even type it. Or simply etiquette lessons might be in order. I feel like I’m back in middle school.

  2. Jamel May 25, 2009 3:45 pm

    Why is everyone hating on Perry and Newspring…Never been there but I know they are doing GREAT things for our Jesus…

    jus sayin…

    • James Duncan May 25, 2009 3:49 pm

      Jamel,

      This has nothing to do with NS or what they are doing for Jesus. Neither is it hate. It’s commentary about what drives a man to tell eight thousand people about his bathroom activities.

      You don’t find that at least a little bit weird?

  3. Jamel May 25, 2009 3:54 pm

    I see where you are coming from but being a former none believer …i am much more attracted to someone who is genuine and isn’t afraid to be real…instead of someone who takes a “more holy than you” approach by only posting bible verses or things of that nature.

    • James Duncan May 25, 2009 4:02 pm

      Message received, especially as I, too, am a former nonbeliever.

      I’ll try to stop posting Bible verses and things of that nature.

      (Are you kidding me?)

  4. Jamel May 25, 2009 4:12 pm

    No I’m not kidding you.

    I honestly just have a problem with people who personally attack those trying to build the Kingdom.

    you make me want to vomit…

  5. Jamel May 25, 2009 4:14 pm

    This blog is mine alone and does not necessarily–or very often–represent the thinking or sentiments of anyone who disagrees with me, my wife, my employer, my friends, my family, my pastor, my brother, my church and, almost certainly, God. After I hit the Publish button, it doesn’t always even reflect my own thinking. It does seem to often reflect the thinking of Tommy F, Twit Conway and some guy in Minnesota, however

    good thing your blog doesn’t “almost certainly” represent God…cause we aren’t suppose to be like Him are we…

    Way to be mistaken for Jesus….

  6. James Duncan May 25, 2009 4:56 pm

    I apologize for confusing you.

    What I hear you saying is that I should be less genuine and real, and quote more Bible verses and things of that nature.

  7. Jordi May 25, 2009 8:56 pm

    I guess the standard web browsing rule would apply here.
    If you don’t like it, don’t read it.
    No one has to visit Perry Noble’s Twitter page. Neither does anyone have to read Pajama Pages. It all a matter of what the blogger or “twitterer” feels their audience would find funny, interesting, or entertaining.

    The beauty of the internet is that it’s filtered only by the browser. I don’t want to know when someone has to tee tee, buy cat food, or fix a toilet clog… so I generally avoid reading such things. Wouldn’t that make the most sense?

  8. Tommy F. May 25, 2009 8:57 pm

    Jamel

    Your 4:12 post closes with: “you make me want to vomit…”
    This would perfect for a NS staffer or leader to tweet. Or you could as well. It’s an improvement over what they normally post.

  9. James Duncan May 25, 2009 9:14 pm

    Jordi,

    It sounds like you have a healthy approach to Twitter, which PP applauds. I suppose one of the questions, as Doyel asks, is why so many people do read the tee tee/hungry/workout/vomit posts.

    PP reads PN’s twitter because it seems like a clever self parody. Perhaps it is, and we’re all being taken for fools. But who are the people who are taking this seriously? Are there any?

    Since observing PN and TF’s twitter feeds together in the sidebar, it is remarkable to me how similar they are. Many times I have to double check which author a Tweet is coming from.

  10. James Duncan May 25, 2009 9:18 pm

    As I wrote the self-parody comment, Perry Noble was apparently considering taking off all his clothes in the Atlanta airport.

    That seems much more like something Tommy would do after too many Starbursts, wouldn’t you say?

  11. P.M. May 26, 2009 5:31 pm

    if you came across some random person’s tweet about the urge to pee, would you really devote a whole blog post to it? i don’t know you personally, but from reading a lot of your posts, my guess is that you wouldn’t. i think you only wrote about this tweet because it was posted by a pastor you don’t particularly care for. are you so anal in picking a person and organization apart that you have to follow silly tweets for ammo? are pastors and church staff not allowed to be goofy, show some personality, and be their OWN people? i don’t understand why everything you don’t agree with that is said/done by a newspringer turns into another reason backing your bashings of their church. you know, people can just be people goofing off…it doesn’t always have to be related to ministry or your narcissistic plot to bring something down just because you think you know better. geeze, let people be people without being irritated by that. so a pastor of a church thinks it’s funny to share about the state of his bladder…get over it. if it was the pastor of a church you loved, i don’t think you’d be quite so eager to share with the blogosphere. you could use your time in better ways.

  12. James Duncan May 26, 2009 6:03 pm

    P.M.,

    This post had nothing to do with NewSpring, and was more of a critique of Twitter use than anything deep or theological (I look forward to reading your comments on the Simeon/worship post–surely something much more important than this).

    If you look closely, you’ll see I take a shot at three items:

    1) The author
    2) The audience (that’s why I quoted Doyel)
    3) The medium (Twitter)

    As for coming across a random person’s tweet about their urge to pee, I must say I don’t come across all that many. Perhaps Twitter does show who PN really is and he is being his own person. If that’s the case, are you really impressed with what you see? If he acted or spoke like this at some regular job or at your home, how long do you think it would be tolerated?

    As for me, I’m warming to the theory that this is a clever self parody, which kind of adds a delicious layer of humor to it. How else do you account for the boy-band poll today?

    Also, just speaking for myself, if it was from a pastor of a church I loved, I’d quite likely reassess my love for that pastor and/or church.

  13. Albert May 26, 2009 6:24 pm

    @ P.M. (Since you have brought the pastoral role of PN into this post..)

    I don’t know about you, but I would like the person (and the church for that matter) I am subjecting my self to as my God-ordained minister to have a certain amount of professionalism about him. Wouldn’t you? This would include the things he says, the way he acts, and the things that he publishes (yes, Twitter is a form of publication). It just makes sense that I would want the person who I’m relying on to help guide my walk with Christ to be intelligent and to regularly offer some sort of knowledgeable insight.

    Noble has not demonstrated much professionalism in the things he has published.

  14. Amy May 26, 2009 9:54 pm

    As I have sat here and read several different posts and comments on your blog, it has broken my heart. As a Christian , my desire is to make Jesus Christ famous and glorify Him in a way that He deserves. I want to reflect His character to the world so that everyone will see Him, and want Him, and recognize that He is the only one who can fulfill the gaping hole in their lives. As written in Isaiah 26:8, His name and renown should be the desire of our hearts. We should want that above all else.

    With this being said, what is the aim of this blog? Is it to glorify the Lord or to bring down a church that you disagree with? Do you not think that God will bring down anyone who tries to misrepresent His bride? Though I do not know you personally, I assume that you will protect your bride-and if any other woman tried to tell people that she was your bride, you would probably put her in her place. I know and trust God will do the same.

    He commands us to love. 1 Corinthians 13, goes in to detail about what that means. Paul gives so many examples of good things like prophecy, knowledge, faith-but all of those things are meaningless if we do not have love. Not that a Christian has to like everyone or everything that they hear, but the issue of NewSpring has not been approached in a way demonstrating the greatest command that God gives us-LOVE. This does not even have anything to do with NewSpring, it has to do with the fact that you could potentially distort someone else’s view by representing and demonstrating what you seem to think a correct Christian is-one that targets and demeans.

    If you feel that NewSpring and Perry Noble are misrepresenting the character of God, and that is your focus…I would challenge you to evaluate your own manner of glorifying Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:1-5 talks about the way we Christians should view and handle situations with other Christians. We are to first evaluate ourselves, then move on to others.
    With this being said, I do not always represent Jesus Christ in the way He deserves. I am human and I do give into the temptation to sin; however, I try to make my lifestyle reflect Him with brilliance.

    I beg you to ask God whether or not this is something that He is pleased with, if this blog makes Him proud of you.

  15. mere May 26, 2009 10:01 pm

    Amy-

    Ditto.

  16. Amy May 26, 2009 10:49 pm

    I have sat here and read several of these posts, and my heart broke. As a Christian, my desire is to glorify the Lord, make Him famous, and to make others want Him. I want them to see that He is the only thing that can fill the gaping hole inside of them. Let me be the first to say, that although this is my desire I do not always do that. I am human, and I do give into the temptation of sin; however, I am trying to glorify Him.

    Isaiah 26:8 says that His name and His renown should be the desire of our souls. That should be what we as Christians desire above all else, to make Him famous. We were created to glorify our Creator, to reflect His brilliance. It appears as if the aim of this blog is to target and demean NewSpring, Perry, and other staff members.

    The Lord has said that the church is His Bride, and although I do not know you, I trust that you would protect your bride and if anyone else tried to falsely claim that she was your bride…you would put her in her rightful place. I trust that God will do the same. He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:13-14).

    1 Corinthians 13 deeply explains God’s greatest command to us-love. Paul mentions so many good things like knowledge, prophecy, speaking in tongues, and even faith-but if we don’t have love, we have nothing. The subject of this blog has not been approached with a loving manner. You are an intelligent man, and you have the potential of influencing people that read this blog. With this being said, this blog represents the way you view Christianity as one that targets and demeans rather one that spends time in effort to glorify the Lord.

    In Matthew 7:1-5, we are instructed on how to deal with others. We are to evaluate ourselves first, rid ourselves of evil and then talk to our neighbor. I beg you to ask God if this blog is something that brings Him glory, if this makes Him proud of you.

    Perry Noble is a man trying to bring the news of Jesus Christ to a hurting world, and whether you agree with it or not, God is using Him to break through to people. Yes, it is different that we in the south are used to-but it is working.

    Praise God that more people are being saved from Hell, that more people are reflecting His goodness to the world, that more people are against Satan, that more people are finding fulfillment from the Life Giver. Who cares how it happens. The fact is, it is happening. Although you do not have to agree with Perry, you have to agree with God. The salvation’s are real, and I ask you to read Isaiah 25:9 and rejoice over those salvation’s.

    You are an intelligent man and a wonderful blogger, consider using your talents for good, for God’s glory.

  17. Amy May 26, 2009 10:51 pm

    My first post said that it did not post, so I wrote it again. Not sure why that happened. My bad.

  18. Twit May 26, 2009 11:12 pm

    @PM It’s precisely because the quote didn’t come from some random person’s tweet but from PNob – someone who leads a congregation that averages 10,000 and is involved in training other church leaders – that there’s a whole blog post about it. I agree with you that if it WAS from some random JDuncan wouldn’t post.

    What does it matter what PNob tweets – he’s just being himself. If PNob’s tweets ARE a true and accurate reflection of himself, you’ve got to ask yourself: Should I be modeling myself after him and should he be involved in discipling other church leaders?

    It’s absolutely true that what we say (Luke 6:45) reveals more about who we truely are than what do. That’s why it’s important. That’s why we must hold ourselves and others to account.

  19. Tommy F. May 27, 2009 9:12 am

    Amy

    I find it interesting that your post basically ends up saying: “Go away.” For such a lengthy post, I would think some space might be involved in defending the main thrust of the NS portion of this blog which is to cast a light on a church, and ask questions.

    Why won’t someone supply a coherent answer that actually defends NS? Why just: “Go away”?

    I think it’s because the actions and words that NS leadership weekly say and do are at their core indefensible. If they were, we’d be reading lots of posts by PNob supporters explaining why, how, etc.

    This blog posts some very lengthy, very important pieces (check out today’s, or check out the one re: PNoble’s butchering of the Simeon passage), and yet very few people ever engage the real issue.

    It seems your complaints – the Go away crowd – should actually be confronting PNoble about what he says and does, rather than a blog. The blog just highlights what NS does. If it’s defensible, then by all means let’s hear it.

  20. James Duncan May 27, 2009 11:39 am

    Amy, let me repeat, this particular post had nothing to do with NewSpring, except to the extent that it used its pastor as an example of an interesting trend in social communication. If you look at the category and tags I applied to this post, you’ll note that it is categorized as Media and tagged as Twitter. Check out most other recent posts and you’ll see that they’re categorized as Church.

    Often when I’m teaching a class, I’ll notice a student leave for a couple of minutes before coming back into the classroom. I assume they’re probably going to the bathroom. They and I know that they don’t need to announce that fact before departing (except in an exam). Students who did so–interrupted the class to announce their personal digestive schedules–would be snickered at, and in the case of a rare socially inept student, I’ll tell him or her that they can slip out quietly in the future.

    Now, if we all know that in a class of 20 or so other people you don’t loudly announce “I need to go to the bathroom,” why is it acceptable on Twitter? In Noble’s case, his leak tweet was distributed to 8,000 people and archived on the Internet for the whole world to read, if they really cared that much.

    My post (and Doyel’s) was intended to ask the question, why do people engage in the kinds of gross intimacy exemplified in this post (and in the couple of Tweet’s Tommy linked to in the first comment)? I suspect that Noble pushes the edge of propriety a bit further than most other people, but Twitter’s seductive ability to induce such high levels of intimate self revelation is genuinely fascinating to me.

  21. P.M. May 27, 2009 1:00 pm

    my main point is that you seem to be so consumed with tearing down a church that you can’t even post a blog about twitter without using pnoble as an example in it. i think you could be focusing on more important things and totally agree with amy’s post.

    i went to newspring as a visitor for quite a while and chose to not become a member, going somewhere instead. it’s not my favorite place and i don’t agree with 100% of what they do but i don’t think any church is perfect, and i don’t think any church deserves to be scrutinized and harped on for doing things differently than you prefer.

    i’ve read your other posts and if you believe that there are huge theological discrepancies then fine. it’s your right to speak your mind about those things, but i wish you would notice that there are probably man churches who have beliefs you don’t agree with. being so stuck on bringing one church down rather than just talking about truth seems very unhealthy to me. so talk theology if you want to, but do you and your readers really have to analyze EVERYTHING…including how people you disagree with use twitter?

    the last thing i would like to say is that john (who prepared the way for Jesus) ate bugs. you can’t really get any weirder than that. a few of your commenters have suggested that a pastor twittering about peeing should bring his leadership and professionalism into question. the question was raised, shouldn’t one step back and take a look at the pastor they are following because of an “odd” sense of humor. well, if i stepped back to re-evaluate anyone, it would be the bug-eating man. yet, God chooses who he wants to do his work, and sometimes even uses unusual, unprofessional, or “crazy” people.

    in response to all your posts about newspring and pnoble as a whole… i hope you realize that God is really big, and whether or not you believe he is working through newspring and noble, doesn’t mean that he can’t. and although you haven’t come right out and said that Jesus is nowhere to be found at that church, the energy you spend pulling up any form of dirt on them suggests you think there is not any good to be seen there. that comes across as only arrogance to me. if you think you are adding to the kingdom or changing the world by pointing out every mistake in part of the Body of Christ, you should know you’re not changing anything. be constructive rather than destructive. go out and change the world yourself rather than blogging about how you think someone else should be doing it.

    • James Duncan May 27, 2009 1:46 pm

      PN invites visitors to his site to follow him on Twitter. He got my attention, so why are you complaining? As Tommy keeps pointing out, isn’t that what he wants? Must all attention to PN be fawning and positive?

      For an explanation of why PN and NS fills up so much space on this blog, here’s why.

      The reason I haven’t come right out and said that Jesus is nowhere to be found at the church is because I don’t believe it.

      Whether one is being constructive or destructive depends in on what you are doing. From my perspective, testing and critiquing error is constructive and does build the kingdom of God. Peter (and God) thought so too. If you want to convince me and my readers that I am being destructive, prove to me that my critiques are wrong (on their substance, not just on the fact that they exist).

  22. JT May 27, 2009 4:36 pm

    JDunc (It is OK if I call you JDunc, isn’t it?)-

    This looks like a nice place for me to jump back in.

    I agree that “testing and critiquing is constructive and does build the kingdom of God.” In the past I tried encouraging this critical approach for your blog’s NewSpring posts. Let’s be clear about one thing: NewSpring and Noble should not be above criticism. And they certainly should be held to account when they publicly sin in their ministry.

    However, the personal attacks, the constant belittling, the snark, and the unceasing search for every misplaced word that comes out of the mouth of the NewSpring crowd is not “testing and critiquing.”

    You wonder why nobody bothers to defend Noble, Cooper, etc. here at Pajama Pages? Simple- It’s hard to take an insult comic seriously when he actually has a good point. As long as you resort to snark to generate page-views, people will dismiss your well-thought-out criticisms as simply the irrational attacks of an obsessed critic. You began your blog’s NewSpring focus with some good points, but now you and your chief commenters are so easy to dismiss! And that annoys me. Having an honest, loving, and constructive discussion about the theology and methods of NewSpring would be an incredible boon to the Body of Christ.

    Try less snark and more love. Then people’s hearts will be receptive to your message.

  23. P.M. May 27, 2009 6:09 pm

    JT said what has been in my brain, but so much better…thanks.

  24. James Duncan May 27, 2009 8:40 pm

    JT. you can call me anything you like, so long as you don’t call me Tommy or Twit.

    Let me repeat: this post had nothing to do with theology, and it had nothing to do with NewSpring.

    There is no constant search for every misplaced word. They are front and center, and often offered up by NS supporters. Most of them I dismiss, but a few are worth commenting on, so I do.

    If I’ve learned anything from the general responses to this blog, I agree with you that it is easy to dismiss.

    But is it easy to refute?

  25. Tommy F. May 27, 2009 8:50 pm

    JDuncan

    The NS defense typically does not refute what you say. I’m convinced it’s because they can’t.

    Posting long comments that amount to “go away” is much simpler than engaging in a theological, constructive, serious debate about such matters.

  26. Sophie May 29, 2009 12:18 am

    Amy- If you are my Amy (which I assume you are because of Mere’s follow up =), I am your Sophie, and we have discussed NS together many a time, both coming from very different opinions and backgrounds. I understand the fervor in which you defend NS and I know few that seek the Lord as whole heartedly as you.

    This blog is certainly knit-picky. I agree with (most of) the theology, but I can see how a post about Twitter seems tedious. But that is the way that Dr. Duncan has chosen to fashion his blog. To be quite honest, when I see a post that is a commentary on a tweet, I skip it, because that is my right as the reader. Likewise, I would encourage you to do the same. You and I are not obligated to read.

    However, I would also encourage you TO read the post that concern theology and Noble’s teaching. While I read this blog simply because I like it, you should read it because it contends with your pastor (at times). Challenge Duncan! But instead of arguing that NS is bringing people to Christ (which I know it is, I’ve been witness to such beautiful events =) read, word for word, what Duncan is saying. Debate those words. Just as you sharpen me, see this blog as a similar opportunity.

    If you met a man that said he did not believe in Christ, you wouldn’t shout at him “You’re wrong!” and walk away… You would lovingly and respectfully challenge him. Likewise, read this blog not in a defensive mindset or as just another attack on NS, but see it as an opportunity to see both sides of an argument and form an opinion based in the truth of what you know and what you have searched for.

    If you have any argument to what I’ve said, please respond! This is a market place of ideas and truth can be found from each of us sharing our voice.

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