I joined the WWW through Prodigy back in 1995 with the dial tone and no one to email. In January 2003 I began this blog.
For almost eleven years I have written this blog. For the most part I have loved it. I love writing. It has been a discipline in my life to write something biblically-based daily for 11 years. It’s been cool.
Through this process I have met cool people and can even say I have made new friends.
One commenter, Scotte Hodel, commented many times, much to my enjoyment as he had a great sense of humor and was quite insightful. Scotte commented on my blog up til days before his death from cancer back in 2009. I never met Scotte, but I consider him a friend and I still miss his comments (here’s one as an example).
That’s just one example of the power of the internet. Another is the fact that a handful of Australians read my blog, which blows my mind with its coolness! (Hey, my Australian friends, have you seen Andrew Ucles? How cool is that guy?!)
On the other hand, the internet has its dark side.
Many readers of this blog have no idea who I am, all some know is that I said something one time they didn’t like, so they refuse to grant the benefit of the doubt, to give me some time to actually see what I’m saying. Some of it is just funny. Most is irritating and wouldn’t happen if we were speaking face to face.
I am the pastor of a church. I have people I need to care for. They like me and I like them. We give each other the benefit of the doubt and I think this is what Christian fellowship is all about. No, I am not perfect. No, I do not say everything the way you would. No, we do not agree with each other on everything.
I am cool with this; many are not.
For eleven years I’ve shared my theological views online every day except a few occasional breaks. Go ahead and share all your doctrine for eleven years on the internet sometime and see how it goes for ya! I’ve noticed that hostile commenters don’t blog regularly.
My point in being a pastor and in blogging theology is to get people to think and read the Bible. That’s it. I want people to think and read the Bible.
Many think I want people to agree with me, that I have some theological agenda to push. I don’t. I spend no time haranguing people who disagree with me. I view my job as letting God’s word speak, and one of my favorite ways to do this is to point out verses that most ignore.
Charles Spurgeon famously said, “The Word of God no more needs defense than does a lion in a cage. Just let the lion loose, and it will take care of itself!” I think that is well said.
My job is not to indoctrinate people into my beliefs: my job is to teach people to use the Bible and stand on it.
I have ignored many people who pester my blog, trying to convince me I should be in their theological camp. Encamping is not my point. My point is to get people to think and read the Bible.
No matter what you believe, I guarantee I can raise a verse that makes the opposite point! This is annoying and this is my point. Note the subtitle of this blog “2 Timothy 4:3. Doing my God-given duty to not tell you what you want to hear.”
Here’s an example: I conversed about pacifism for over a year with a pacifist I’ve never personally met. Since I have a pacifist streak running through me, he wanted me to read his book he wrote on pacifism.
I did. He skipped many verses I thought an intellectually honest writer should include. So I brought them up–Jesus told His disciples to take up swords. John the Baptist never told centurions to resign, and some other passages he skipped that didn’t completely agree with his hardline position.
My point was to help him be more thorough, to show him there are other verses he’s ignoring to make his encamped view. He ridiculed me, insulted me and never spoke to me again (that’s pacifism don’t ya know. Anti-war rallies are always the most violent.). I wasn’t encamped to his comfort and I wasn’t buying what he was saying, so that was it.
This is what I’m talking about. I don’t care if you’re a Calvinist, I like a lot of what Calvin said. I don’t care if you’re an Arminian, I like a lot of what Arminius said. I don’t care if you’re a pacifist, or a charismatic, or post-tribber, or whatever.
What I do care about is that you are going to the Word of God and honestly thinking about it and using the whole Word to grow by. It’s also what I care about for me and my faith. I care about this enough to have read the Bible 30 times cover-to-cover in the last ten years to make sure I am also knowing the Word.
I block one-issue-commenters who won’t drop their one issue. The internet has handy tools to eliminate unwanted communication, praise God!
When you have an issue that becomes “your issue,” you cease to be able to read the Bible for what it says. All you see is proof for your position and you skip the rest. I’ve seen this so many times. It destroys faith, breaks fellowship and has done much to destroy the foundations of the Church.
The work of the Word is there to fully equip us to do what is right. Nothing else can claim that power. Go to the Word. Don’t be an encamped, issues-driven bloviater who ignores 3/4′s of biblical revelation so you can “be right.”
Not interested. Read the Word and think about it.