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On Blogs, Blogging, and the Greater Community

April 29, 2009

The main “occupational” hazard of theology is the division it can (and usually does) cause among the Redeemed. While it is fine and good to be as exact as possible on a true theology, and while it is also good to know and recognize the areas that we disagree on and continue to hash out the issues, it is an epic failure when it gets personal.

My distaste overall is that we are really a house divided. We pit teacher against teacher, teaching against teaching, view against view. We are of Paul, Apollos, Muller, Calvin, Luther, and on and on. Even when we (you) say we are NOT committing that crime, even when and if it is as simple as disagreeing that gets to crazy we are still leaving the impression that we ARE divided over non essential issues. (which is actually rare in itself).

An example of division that I have always abhorred is the churches that have a closed table for the Lords Supper. How audacious of anyone to close the communion of Christ and his Saints because they are not of the same theological persuasion, same synod, what have you! And, we do the same thing over and over on such minor issues.

Which is why our blog roll lists solid Christian blogs. In the big picture of edification and communion, it is not Arminian vs Calvinist, Presbyterian vs Baptist or even a list of blogs that only agree with us. I can take a licking from Greenbaggins, Scott Clark, or any other, yet the edification their blogs bring to myself and anyone else if more important than our disagreements.

I daily read the strict 5 pointer blogs (Green Baggins, Riddleblog) and the Dispensationalists (Pyromaniacs), I read Paedobaptists and Credobaptists. We all should be able to heartily and vigorously disagree but we should never result to name calling and fighting.

We fail when we are so protective of our standing, academic pedigree, or theological persuasion, that our discussions turn personal and not Christological. Way to much of this blog on blog war is sinful and self centered. When we (you or me) write with a heavy heart and personally protective spirit, its downright sinful.

I appreciate the blogs like Contend Earnestly, where the author and usual commentators more often than not recognize each other as brothers before they dig in and disagree. One thing blogging has taught or at least reminded me is that we heroize our favorite theologians to much. Pretty much in the same way to many Christians are shocked the first time they learn their Pastor actually sin.

We all have to reel back and remember why Christian and Theology blogs exist. It is not about White, MacArthur, Muller, Calvin, or any other thousands of theologians over the years. It is about and for Christ only. Right or wrong, when our disagreements turn personal and protective its time to step back and regroup. It is just wrong to try and discredit a Theologian or teacher or any Christian for that matter over a non essential/salvation issues. When you discredit an individual over an obscure academic view, you run the risk of discrediting them overall.

Believe it or not, being right for the wrong reason and with the wrong motives is still wrong. To often we confuse putting information “out there” for others to read and add to their struggle to find the best answer with a defensive and poorly argumentative spirit. To often we totally bypass the entire reason we started to blog for.

It is not about us it is about Christ. It is less about being right or wrong than it is about the Christian spirit it is done in.

St. Augustine says:
In essentials unity,
In doubtful things liberty,
But in all things love

If we actually loved our neighbor as we love ourselves, we could bypass this name calling and discrediting that is so rampant and open for the world to read.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2009 8:35 am

    Thanks for this, Josh. One thing I’ve found also is that people will say any number of things on the internet (because of that safe anonymity) which they would never say in person. This is why I seek to make a strict test, asking myself about every comment and every post: “Would I say this to that person if he or she were standing right here in front of me?” It really is amazing how much easier it is to get along with people on the internet when that one simple principle is followed.

  2. Josh permalink
    April 30, 2009 12:21 pm

    Thanks for stopping in Lane. We should be attaching ourselves to other Christians over and above our differences not the other way around.

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