Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Christian Blogosphere

Before coming to our new town I had never read a blog. Ever. I knew someone who one time said to me "yeah, so I have a blog now" and I had to ask her what it was. But since that time I have become well acquainted with the Blogosphere. And more specifically, the Christian corner of it. I read mostly blogs of the discussion type: ie blogs that aren't of a personal update nature, but rather want to discuss things pertaining to the universal Christian walk or things going on in Christendom. Most of the blogs I read are of the Reformed circle, but not all. And I do read some blogs that are designed more of an update variety. (Carrie, if you're reading this-blog more! :) )

On the more discussion bent blogs which actually get traffic (so, mine isn't factored into this) there seem to be a few basic categories of posting.
1. Joel Osteen
2. Rick Warren and PDL
3. The Emergent Church movement
4. Current controversial topic "X"
5. What our role should be in the church and home
6. Personal experiences of growth
7. Book reviews to help ones walk
8. Some post of encouragement

It struck me the other day while discussing a blog post with my husband that those last 5 topics are posted on a fair bit but don't generate a lot of discussion amongst the saints in the internet. However, you post something on topics 1-3 or some other thing which can really be debated and a highly visited site could get 100 comments. Why is that? Why do we want to talk more about the evils of PDL or if yoga is ok to have at a church retreat than we want to talk about how to be a benefit to the body and share in what somebody is being taught?

When we get together for face to face Christian fellowship I think all of the topics listed up there are often covered. But I haven't noticed the vast unbalance like is in the Christian blogosphere. I'm not suggesting that addressing the topic of Lakewood is a bad idea, not a bad idea at all. In fact, it seems like a very good thing to discuss. I just don't quite get why we don't go at the core of the Christian life with the same gusto.

Well, then again, maybe I do....after all debating is fun. And it is fun to be right. And in topics 5-8 there really isn't anything to debate, it just is what it is. Many don't take as much pleasure in a bunch of people sitting around agreeing with each other. But what is really of more profit to us? To all debate Osteen or Warren till we're blue in the face or to exhort one another to serve the saints, love your spouse, care for your children, know God. If someone you know wants to base their ministry around "your best life know" it may very well be time for a good hard discussion. But for the most part we all just need to work on loving the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourself.

So what's the solution? Well, I think the problem lies in the commenters, not the blogs for the most part so the solution starts there. Let those whose blogs you read know the impact that their encouraging post had on you (thanks Bill and Shannon!!!) and even share a story about how it helped or how it was similar to something you went through last summer. Ask questions when things are unclear. Ask for additional info if there seems to be something missing. When someone reviews a book, add your thoughts if you read it and maybe other similar books that could be of use. If no one comments on the more mundane posts I think bloggers are more inclined to post on the more controversial topics, so comment on the good stuff as well as the other. Also, blog owners could shut down comments after the first 50 have said nothing new and are just serving as a means to get the body mad at each other, just a thought. Things for myself to remember if I ever get a real blog. It may happen someday.

Love to all my readers (what....4 of you?) and to all the blogs I read. It is amazing this global online Christian community we all have the opportunity to get to know. Let's use it for the building up of the body and exhorting each other towards Godliness.

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