It is not often something with no history just explodes onto the scene like blogging has. It seems these days everyone has a blog about something, and everyone’s voice can be heard. These new ways to communicate has been a great encouragement to me, because now I am able to be fed by some great people on a daily basis, and I don’t have to go fishing for it.
I’m thankful for blogging because it has allowed me to continue to formulate thoughts, keep in touch with family, and even offer evangelical views on hot topics out there. Before I switched over to this blog, I never realized how many people look at this blog. I’ve already had over 1,300 views, surpassing the 100 views in one day mark last week. It has made me realize how many people are involved in conversations without saying anything.
This leads me to my warning, which is really two-fold. The first is that though we may not think many people are reading our often lame thoughts, there are many who are. People have already been charged with slander for things that they have said about someone else on their blog. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see this increase exponentially in the future. As Christian bloggers, we must make sure that everything we say is sprinkled with grace and compassion. It is easy to make an off hand comment, and I’ve surely been guilty of that myself.
The other warning is probably more immediate. One of the great things about blogs is that it allows people who normally would never talk to communicate with each other. One of the common forms of communication is the debate. Conversations that unbelievers normally would never hear are now out in the open. They are not intended to have that affect, but I don’t think people realize how public our arguments are.
You could have a small group of people having a serious debate about a theological subject and none of those people are offended. But this conversation is now out there for everyone to read and gloss over. I can’t help but believe that many people see this as a revelation of backbiting within the church.
Many do not understand that these debates are good and healthy. But as often as we say that, the debates can turn nasty and sometimes there are personal attacks. I have witnessed this first hand in the past couple of weeks, as John MacArthur has been grilled for his message about pre-millennialsim. People exploded onto the blog-dom, saying things they NEVER would have said to his face.
Though this medium appears to provide a good opportunity for debate, it in no way can be a conversation. You can write something down, not meaning for it to be dissected and torn to pieces, and suddenly someone gets something out of your statement that you never intended to say. And you don’t know about it until days later, when you check back in on the blogs you posted on.
It does not allow for true conversation, because that can only happen face to face. People can not deduce what your tone of voice was. Sarcasm becomes a malicious comment, and humor turns to a source for anger.
So is this a call for people to cease debating on these forums? No, that would be foolish. What it is, is a call for people to not take this casually. More people are reading than you think!