"For better or for worse, internet blogging is here to stay. The mantra that once heralded blogging as a sad waste of time has largely been dropped, and many who formerly stood in opposition to the medium have now discovered the benefits and have even embraced it as their own. However, there is still much about internet blogging that is a sad waste of time. In recent months I have had the opportunity to scour more blogs that I would probably ever like to in my lifetime, and have come away largely disgusted at much of the product that I find. Emotionally-driven tirades, logical fallacies, and un-Christlike speech have been the calling card of much of what I have come across, and yet I’ve largely remained silent (these two posts notwithstanding). My reasoning for my silence is simple. First, I am a firm believer in allowing individuals to fight their own battles for themselves, and in many cases I believe that their silence sends a deafening message to their critics who would to have the opportunity to engage in discussion and consequently drag them down their sad little road. Second, I can tend to become much too emotionally involved in situations about which I opine. This emotional involvement does little to advance the cause of Christ, and I’ve had far too many occasions upon which I’ve looked with hindsight and thought “Man, I wish that I hadn’t posted that.”
That said, when I opened my Google Reader this morning, I saw red. I came across a blog to which I subscribe, and was introduced to a blog-post by a local-church elder that screamed of anything but Christian conduct. This writer engaged in emotional tirade, ad-hominem attacks, and the preponderance of demonstrably false information. He openly attacked a fellow believer, stating that he “didn’t like him,” made a confusingly inappropriate allusion to a sickeningly deviant act, and followed lines of reasoning so scatter-brained that I’m fairly confident that he even confused himself by the end of the post. And did I mention that he is the leader of a local assembly? I can hardly imagine him printing his blog post off and reading it verbatim to his congregation this Sunday morning. No way, no how. I was angry, sad, and confused. I wondered, as I stared at my computer screen, “What would Jesus blog?”
First, I’m not even sure that Jesus would blog. Not in the way that it was done this morning, anyhow. Sure, I could see Christ utilizing current technology in order to discourse with people regarding matters relating to church health or the furthering of the kingdom, but I’m fairly certain that He would never use His web domain as a place to attack others in the universal body of Christ, no matter how justified He might feel in doing so. I had breakfast with a friend in Indiana last week, and he said something that really made an impact on my thinking. While discussing the topic of blogging about other people, he said, “Chad, do you know why I don’t do it? For three reasons. First, I have relationships with people. If I want to find out the truth on either side of an issue, I have people that I can go to who can assure that I get correct information, and even if I disagree my relationships will not allow me to go there. Second, I have a thriving, active ministry. I’m responsible to my family, my ministry associates, and the church of God that my ministry serves. Those who spend time blogging about other people largely don’t have an active ministry. Third, I have a vision. I feel as though I know what God wants me to do with my life, and blogging about people is not one of them that fits into the big picture. Chad, people who blog about other people are usually going to be deficient in at least one of those three areas.” Jesus was not deficient in any of those areas. I can hardly imagine the Lord sitting down at the end of a long, hot day, and typing away furiously about Judas, Peter, or John. Sure, he spoke out against the religious leaders of the day. He did it with venom and fire that is seldom seen in the pulpits of America today. But such speech is massively different then the speech that I read this morning. Christ called out those who were confusing the very gospel that he came to earth for. Many of today’s blogs? Not so much. Christ’s words were useful for the edification of those whom He called. The blog this morning? Not at all. In fact, contrasts between the two are much more apparent than comparisons. Jesus might have blogged, but He wouldn’t blog about other believers.
Second, Jesus would blog about the truth. Jesus, being the truth, would have no other option than to stay consistent with very identity, and write about things that are truthful. Arguments based on how things “seem,” or centered around how the author “feels” are not truth. They are speculation, and when stated dogmatically they can easily be lies. Blogging about truth involves careful research, and having the ability to admit that when opinions sharply differ, you just might not know all of the facts of the issue that you are dealing with. Jesus might have blogged, but he would have blogged truthfully.
Finally, Jesus would have blogged in a spirit of humility. Perhaps that’s what has bothered me the most in the past few months. There is no humility in leveling accusations that hold no water. There is no humility in acting as if yours is a perspective of omniscience. There is no humility in looking back on issues and situations, and pontificating as if you would have handled everything to a theological, pastoral, and ethical “T.” Jesus might have blogged, but he would have blogged in a manner cloaked in humility.
There are far more than three observations that could be made. I am well aware of that. Perhaps the scariest part of all of this? We are all susceptible to the scintillating thrill that seems to come from bashing other people in an online forum. We are all susceptible to the error of feeding untruthful information to our online audiences, sometimes perfectly innocently. We are all susceptible to the devastating sin of pride. God help us.
I came away from this morning’s experience profoundly thankful for the power of the gospel that gives me the grace-filled enablement to desire to blog a little more like Jesus."
Posted by Caleb