Wednesday, March 31, 2010
...and in the blogosphere in particular, critical responses so frequently are mean. Ad hominem is everywhere. And it makes me wonder, how in the world can Christians keep spouting the claim to “hate the sin but love the sinner” when we so frequently seem unable to “dislike the idea but love the brother or sister who holds it”?Raises and interesting question does it not? Is your blogging loving? Raises a more interesting question, "How do we love a blogger we have never met?
We can certainly do better than we are in blogging, but apart from actual relationship, there are limits. There are a few inherent problems out there. For one thing the anonymity and facelessness of blogging tends to help us forget that there is a person out there writing those things. Secondly, is our ability to divorce ourselves from our own ideas. Ideas do not, of themselves, hurt people - but how we express them and how we respond to those that disagree can in tremendous ways. That means we have to spend some actual time blogging. We need to put thought not just into expressing what we think, but in expressing it in a way that is effective and loving. Finally there is the issue that we tend to think blogging is about our being able to express ourselves. It's not - it's about reaching an audience with our ideas.
Frankly, most of the issues Stackhouse addresses are in comments, not blog posts themselves. Comementers are often by nature troublemakers. If they were capable of argument beyond personal insult they would write a blog rather than comment. How should we respond to such comments - especially when they are aimed at us? I am not sure we do. I think maybe we insert a comment that says something like, "We prefer at this blog to discuss the ideas, not the people that have them." and let the commenters go.
The other thing that it is terribly important to remember - angry commenters are usually angry at some pain they feel. Reaching out can often be effective.