1. The false intimacy of anonymity (blogged about yesterday).
2. The unrestraint of self-discipline. One of the first blogs I read was Challies.com. He did a review several months ago on Jerry Jenkin's book Hedges, and summarized the premise of the book like this:
The book is premised on Paul’s admonition to Timothy, found in 2 Timothy 2:22 that he "flee youthful lusts." Jenkins tells us that this verse teaches that "We are to run. To flee. To get out. To get away" (page 45). He believes that God does not give victory over lust in the same way he allows victory over other sins, such as temper, greed and pride. While we can learn to avoid stealing, gossip and lying, he contends that no man will avoid a peek at pornography if he was convinced that no one would find out.
As we all know, fleeing lust on the Internet is one of the big challenges of our age (personally we use the BSafe filter on our home computer). But sexual temptation is not the only threat. In the blogosphere we struggle with the destructiveness of pride, jealousy, impatience, anger, arrogance, self-justification, strife, divisions, etc. I'm sure you've seen it. Why is this? Why does the Christian blog world seem to have such a lack of self-discipline in controlling the sin nature? I suggest that we have a mistaken concept of blogs. Many of us were introduced to blogs as a personal journal and told that we write for ourselves. So we think we can write whatever we want (after all, it's my blog).
But there's two errors, as I see it. First, I believe even in a personal journal/diary what we write should be true, honorable, pure, lovely, commendable. We may be writing about personal struggles and voicing doubts, but as followers of Jesus we can still exercise self-discipline in what and how we write (see the Psalms).
Second, unless yours is totally private, blogs are for public consumption. We may forget that as we sit alone in front of our screen. But we are not just writing for ourselves. Thus we have a responsibility for building up others in our posts. I'm not saying we should be superficially cheerful all the time. We can be real, but also be self-disciplined.
I know how tempting it is to write that comment or post that blog that's bursting inside of you ... especially in such a fast-moving medium as the blogosphere (things become old news pretty quick). And sometimes our words seem so witty or justified. But there are many times when we should think twice before we press "enter." I like what Scot McKnight said in one of his posts. While I haven't reached the same conclusion that he has after studying Hebrews, I appreciate his approach to blogging about "Post-Calvinism":
I want to thank the many who have responded to this series. I sat on the idea awhile because I thought it could divide more than unite. What I do think is that an autobiographical approach is less divisive, though our differences do remain.
"Sitting on an idea" or getting another opinion can be helpful when we know our words will be controversial or even incendiary.
Next: A Medium for Misunderstanding.