Lately, as we’ve been working our way through Genesis 1-2 at church, I’ve been thinking about life in a perfect world. What would it be like to work without ‘thorns and thistles’? What would it be like to be married without conflict? What would it be like to know the physical manifestation of the presence of God as the whole of creation becomes his dwelling place?
Those types of questions can seem be very hard to answer; they seem so far from reality that it’s hard to even imagine.
Here’s something else that’s hard to imagine: What would it be like in a perfectly Christian blog world? To try to conceive of such a thing, I think we’d have to develop a framework from the basics. What is the main business that Christians are to be about in general? If we know that, we can apply it to blogs.
The Greatest Commandment Requires the Greatest Volume
If our greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then our Christian blogs should reflect that. The greatest volume of posts should be focused on magnifying God. And the greatest volume of excitement should be expressed when we speak of the goodness of God in the gospel. We should be reflecting his love for us in the gospel for the glory of his name.
If that should be our preoccupation in life, it should be our preoccupation in blogging.
A Second Commandment is Like it
A practical outworking of the first commandment, we are to love our neighbour as ourselves. That is especially true of Christians who talk to or about other Christians (John 13.34-35). We must be different than the world in this one thing, if nothing else: we genuinely love each other and lay down our lives for each other. Even as we blog.
Our Present Reality
Sadly, blogs often become places for Christian gossip. We spend more time talking about other Christians (and generally those we don’t agree with) than we do about the God who purchased our hearts, our lives, and our blogs with the blood of his own Son. How tragic that so many Christian websites are so focused on the need to ‘smite’ their theological opponents or stand ‘against the world’ of Christians who disagree. Surely we need to stand for truth and correct error by preaching truth in love; but far too often self-publishing platforms like blogs just become a place where those who ‘desire to be teachers of the law’ can make their divisive voices heard, forgetting that the aim of the gospel charge is actually love (1 Tim 1.3-7).
So Leaders Must Lead
This reality is far from the perfection we would hope for. But it is nowhere more felt and nowhere more tragic than in the cases of pastors who make a reputation for themselves by blogging critically. Undershepherds are called to be ‘examples to the flock’ (1 Pet 5.1-4). They are supposed to be those who display their wisdom, not by tearing others down through online articles, but by displaying their ‘good conduct’ in the ‘meekness of wisdom’ (James 3.13-14). God’s wisdom is displayed in meekness, not in judgement of others.
Here’s the truth: If you are a leader, there are people following. And if you lead in being critical, you are training others to be critical. Despite what you teach, people will catch what they watch and follow where you go.
Aiming for Perfection
So let’s take stock and aim for a new direction. I’m challenging myself with this as much as anyone else. Let’s make it our aim to speak more of God than others. Let’s ask ourselves what we classify as success: more hits because of controversial posts attacking Christian leaders, or faithfully ‘wearing out the path to the cross‘? What gets us more excited as we blog: Bringing down someone for their silly theology or writing to deepen our grasp of the love of Christ?
Let’s blog by the Spirit and aim to speak only what is good for building up that we may give grace to those who hear (Eph 4.29). That sure would make this a much-closer-to-perfect Christian blog world.