Is there a redemptive value in blogging? Why is it worth one's time to blog? And why should anyone read my blog or anyone else's?
Blogging is a fad for some. Some who at one time blogged now post notes on Facebook instead of blogging. No problem. To each his own. Others are up-to-date on every nuance of technology. I really do admire these folk, but I am not one of them. I'm still trying to learn how to prevent spam from coming through on my Blackberry.
Bloggers differ in their approaches. Whether informational, marketing, focusing on issues, preaching, or a simple comment or homily (I do that from time to time), each blog distinguishes itself by the thread of posts and comments. Think of a genre and there is likely a blog somewhere that fits it. Some say things well, others not so well. And some, who view themselves as "prophetic" (to be certain, some are) can also really get under the skin of those people and/or practices against whom they blog. But consider this.
In the Scriptures, prophets of truth seldom if ever got a second invitation and most of them didn't get the first. They were sent by God to deliver a message of truth to people who did not want to face their own sin. Sometimes sin is individual. Sometimes it is within the structures of society. Read Walter Wink's books on spiritual warfare. I do not agree with all of his exegesis and conclusions, but he is worth the read when dealing with the demonic in its relationship to structures of society, both religious and secular.
Prophets of old used the communication tools of their day. Those today do the same, which is inclusive of blogging. Some do go overboard in their criticism of personality rather than issues. Some prophets (and bloggers) might walk into a room and see a snake. Instead of taking a hoe, a rake, or some other tool and excising the snake, some simply dynamite the room!
But for everyone serious about following Christ, the real question is how shall we live in such a way as to extend God's kingdom and not our own or another's agenda?
Speak truth. If you are reading a blog, ask the truth question. Relationships are important, but far too long truth has been sacrificed on the altar of relationship. Without truth, there is no authenticity and without authenticity we cannot achieve biblical community. Relationships can be utilitarian. Perhaps that is why much of the church in the West today is indeed, utilitarian, refusing to deal with real issues and encouraging constituents to just move on or fit in for the sake of the organization or some other larger-than-life entity that crushes all in its proud way.
What C. Peter Wagner and others identified as one descriptive principle of church growth called the "homogeneous principle" has now become prescriptive in many places. Translation: "We only want our kind here."
A number of years ago a young pastor had scheduled me for a revival meeting. He wanted to check me out. The Conservative Resurgence was in full swing in Southern Baptist life. He said, "I am Baptist born and Baptist bred, and when I die, I will be Baptist dead." Cute, but really stupid and utilitarian. And I am a Southern Baptist!! You see, it does not matter who you are in terms of denominational identity, if you are that sold out to anything other than Almighty God, His Word, your spouse and children, you are already dead as far as usefulness in the Kingdom of God is concerned.
Speak truth in love. The love chapter is still in 1 Cor. 13 and still inerrant, inspired, God-breathed. Think of it - the breath of God is His word (2 Tim. 3:16, "inspired by God" is literally, "God-breathed"). I often hear, "I just love you." Really? Read Paul's definition then talk to me.
Practice Matthew 18 in your relationships and stay out of that which you do not know and is not your business. Whether you are a leader, a wannabe, or like so many of us - just one of the common folk seeking to live and serve Christ, these words from Proverbs are helpful in determining character.
"A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends." Prov. 16:28, NASB
"Drive out the scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease." Prov. 22:10, ESV
"Drive out he scoffer, and contentions will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease." NASB
"For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down." Prov. 26:20
These are indeed words for all of us. But it seems there are some these days who are ready to destroy other people's lives. I have been on the receiving end of such activity. One's dignity and honor can be destroyed because congregations typically hear a word of criticism and seldom check it out for its truthfulness. Unfortunately, there are too many "friends" in low places who are unwilling to simply let people "be" and get on with their lives.
There is another verse from Proverbs.
"He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him." Prov. 26:27
I am praying and waiting. I determined long ago I would not call out people on my blog. I trust the Spirit to use whatever I may do or say to open hearts. Closed hearts will never be opened by man...only by the Spirit of God. And I am far from He. I do not know all that goes on inside someone else, and really struggle with all that inside myself (Jer. 17:9).
What I do know is "He who rolls a stone....". As my friend Freddie Gage has said, "There are no qualified stone throwers."