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I like the internet a lot. But, I have moments in which I have a deep disdain for it. Particularly when it comes to stupid things Christians will do or say online.
Christian Bloggers Who Critique Pastors. It's gotten a little out of hand in my opinion when every pastor is called a heretic by someone else. You can't really make a judgement call on a pastor simply because you watch a five minute clip of him on YouTube. The context of the sermon has been stripped off. Context is incredibly important. I don't think a pastor's entire ministry should be judged on a meager five minutes. We need to realize that pastors are not perfect either. They have their lousy moments of preaching. Give them grace, stop participating in "conversations" on YouTube, and go listen to the sermon in it's entirety if you feel the need to.
Christian Bloggers and Their Awful Book Reviews. If Jesus were walking in the flesh on earth right now, I'm pretty sure He wouldn't be clicking away reading reviews of the latest Christian living book. Maybe I'm wrong, but just think about it. Christian bloggers spend way to much time critiquing books. Seriously. Am I saying we should be totally blind in our reading choices? No. But, some need to take a chill pill. There isn't a book sitting on your shelf (other than the Bible) that doesn't have some kind of flaw with it.
Christian Bloggers Who Attack Other Christian Bloggers. From time to time we all get those nasty, mean comments. And I'd be lying if I said that when I get them I don't take them personally, because I do. I've been accused of being overly (or too conservative) in my views, as well as not being spiritual enough (or too liberal). Like that's not confusing. We need to keep in mind that when we visit someone else's blog, it's their blog, not ours. There's a real human behind it. Don't say something in the comment section if you wouldn't say it to them in person, face-to-face. The internet in many ways robs us of conveying tone, approach, and presentation in our words. And when you consider that fact that 80% of communication is nonverbal... well... the internet doesn't work in our favor there. All I'm saying is that if you're going to critique online be overly careful and slow in doing so. Don't make it a habit. And realize everyone else is reading your comments as well, not just you and the writer. I don't believe in publishing really nonconstructive, terrible comments, simply because it's a bad reflection on the commentator. If a non-Christian ever were to read them, I couldn't blame them for the conclusions they might make. But, the thing that bugs me the most is how Christians will call into question another Christian's faith or salvation because they don't agree with them 100% or because they don't share the same "view" on the gray issues of the Christian faith (which I wrote about here). Be slow and weary to start calling someones faith into question because she wore an immodest outfit or he has a tattoo or... whatever... fill in the blank in his/her Facebook profile picture.
Facebook Debates. I just don't particularly like them, and you're not likely to find me participating in them. Social media is not an avenue I'd want people to debate with me... so it's definitely me holding to the philosophy of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's just way too easy for things to be interpreted wrongly be it words, intent, or tone.
Having said all that now...
- Feel free to call me a hypocrite on the book review thing. I've written a few on the blog.
- If you want to debate with me, call me on the phone or arrange a coffee date with me at Starbucks, we're not going to "have it out" online.
- Take the time to learn blogger etiquette. My friend Allie wrote a post on this and then linked to several other awesome posts as well.
- Chandler, Horton, and Keller on Disagreeing (Good Stuff in this Dialogue)
- If I've ever written a nasty comment on your blog or Facebook, forgive me.