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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogging and Christian Ethics #3

Sorry, but I have not been consistent on this series. For the previous posts see here and here. Today's topics covers disagreements and anger.

BryanL has recently posted on the frustration of interacting on blogs with people of a different theological framework. In it, he notes angry tones, name calling, and the polarization breaking down to the point of no communication. That does not sound like the path God has set for us in His Word.

Unfortunately on blogs we generally do not know the people with whom we interact. We are not going to see them at church or work, so the tones we take get ignored. We get angry with someone, write with an angry attitude, click "submit," and go on with our day. We have a negative mindset, but there is no intention or thought given to the fact that reconciliation is probably in need with our brother/sister blogger. (I am operating under the assumption that Christians are on Christian blogs. I know...BIG assumption.)

Is that the way we are told to handle our differences? Of course not. We read how Paul pleaded with Euodia and Syntyche to make up. We know the process prescribed to us on how to handle it when someone sins against us. I think it is safe to say that the attitudes in blogging are often sinful. How we treat fellow believers in the blogosphere may be just as important as how we treat each other when we gather at church. For when we gather at church, we are generally with other believers. Yet, with blogging communities there is no way to know when non-Christians are watching our behavior. If you were not a Christian, would you want to be part of a group that treated each other horribly? Probably not.

What should we do? First, I think it is important that we take the humble road. In a disagreement, we should do all we can to keep our conversation cool and reasonable. Second, when there is name-calling, we should remind Christian bloggers that such discourse in not advancing God's Kingdom or bringing glory to God. Third, and this is might be the hardest one, seek forgiveness or extend forgiveness. Finally, if we cannot go to a blog without getting in a blog-fight, I think it would be wise to stay away from it. To modify Paul: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, BLOG at peace with everyone.

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