February 27, 2013

be discerning.

Blogs are strange things. Throughout my year in blogdom I've been amazed at the vast variety of different blogs out there, ranging in categories from lifestyle to photography to fiercely depressing poetry. I tend to read blogs that lean more towards the faith and Christian life categories (although I do occasionally look at some craft blogs, but promptly get tired and feel sucky at crafts and go back to apologetics). I've found some very interesting and inspiring writers out in my internet travels... and also some pretty bad eggs.

Here's the thing about blogging -- just like facebook, twitter, and any other type of social media outlet, it's possible to make yourself appear exactly like you want to appear, and the majority of the time, your readers will believe exactly what you tell and show them.

As such, writers hold a very weighty amount of power in their keyboard-tapping fingers. Not only can they easily convince readers that their lives are exactly as they appear in the about me section, but their chosen post topics and opinions have a far-reaching influence over every person who comes across their site.

This isn't such a big deal when it comes to photography blogs. You took a great picture, please share it! Your life probably isn't as great as that macro photo of a Starbucks latte makes it seem, but this won't really change how I think about life or how this plays into my walk with Jesus.

It's a different story when it comes to blogs that focus on Christianity. It's easy to draw followers when you've got a slammin' blog template and some CSS savvy. You might even be really good at writing! But what drives me crazy -- and I mean drives me crazy -- is when you take your opinions and your fallacious hermeneutical arguments and you prooftext the God of justice right out of the Bible. I'm aware that I don't have theological training, but I can still tell that something has gone wrong when you turn the mighty and majestic God of the universe into a total sap who sings you Taylor Swift love songs while ignoring your blatant rejection of His Word. And there are hundreds of girls in the most influential stages of their Christian walk reading your blog and drinking all this in and just loving it.

The Bible makes very clear that one of the marks of a fruit-bearing Christian is discernment (see pretty much all of Proverbs). This characteristic is even more important and necessary in a world where opinions and information are available instantly. There have always been people manufacturing their own interpretations of scripture and God and the resurrection and who Jesus is -- the only difference is that the Sadducees didn't have access to Blogger. Twisted truths aren't anything new, so this post isn't directed at bloggers who are rightly exercising their freedom of speech (although I would recommend reading your Bible and getting some facts straight before posting -- don't be an accidental heretic!), but more towards their readers. 

When you read something that doesn't quite sit right with you, try and figure out why. Read your Bible. See what other people are saying on the subject. Don't allow your critical eye to be won over by moody alliteration and pretty photos and social fads. Be discerning.

"Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgement and discretion" (Proverbs 3:21).

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