Boring, but Better

I wrote a post earlier this week that you will never read, but this cartoon illustrates the gist of it.

Here’s what happened. I heard about some Christians who did something that I thought unwise, that I thought hurt the church. So I wrote what I hoped was a kind post warning others from doing the same.

Then, instead of uploading the post, I did an odd thing. I paused to think. I asked my wife Courtney what she thought (“Um…you called out a lot of people”). I asked some other friends of mine who kinda know the people in question. Amazingly, they didn’t yell at me–they even agreed with some of what I was saying. But they also told me some things I didn’t know.

This post is less exciting than the one I wrote earlier in the week. That one had some names that everyone knows. I was even going to use a name in the title–a sure way to draw people from Facebook to my blog.

Oh well.

We have a significant problem when our theological discussions are increasingly characterized by frenzied, reactionary responses to something that’s only been online for a few hours. The immediacy of the internet age seems to lead more and more of us to fear that failing to offer instant commentary renders one obsolete, out of touch, and destined to forlornly discuss yesterday’s topics with an empty room.

The internet has stripped patience from the theological landscape.

To what effect? I wonder if a blog ever changes minds–or simply reinforces a preconceived viewpoint. My guess is that most blogs have roughly the same power of reconciliation that Bill Maher or Glenn Beck wield over their detractors. And here’s the rub–Beck and Maher are not Christians, and both make a living almost entirely from titillation. So it’s fine for them to be polarizing and inflammatory–in fact, that’s exactly what they’re paid to do. But that’s not what we’re paid to do.

What does it say when when our theologians mirror the methods of our entertainers? Why are we shocked when that same political divisiveness invades the Church?

Love compels us to react less and listen more, write less and read more, critique less and seek answers more.

We are called to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. This should probably include our blogs.

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About Tim Owens

I'm a husband, father, and Christ follower. I also live in Albany, NY, where I work as a pastor.
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6 Responses to Boring, but Better

  1. Well said… it seems unless you get caught up with the frenzy of discussing which controversial evangelical pastor said what, and what his enemy evangelical said in response, and how you can offer a third way that no one thought about, making you look generous (when in fact your just rebuking factious people for being wrong rather than factious) than it’s nearly impossible to get traffic – which is what we bloggers are desperately after. Yet we know in our hearts that while we may be generating traffic, we’re contributing to the larger problem. This post nails it.

  2. TimWitten says:

    Boring is good. Solid, substantial, sufficiently boring. I’m bent to see error and plant red flags, but Grace is having its effect on me too in this area. I’m also realizing that I can find error anywhere… its the sin norm. What I’m looking for now is to highlight the wonderfully boring posts that simply offer live, peace, joy… Jesus.

    There will also be times for getting irked and expressing it or going on a rant over some news article, but mostly I want to be characterized as one who didn’t turn the moneychanger’s tables over everyday or every week.

    Glad for your post today Tim. Thanks.

  3. Thanks for provoking thought over reaction. I too believe we need to “consider the source” before we go off “half-cocked” on one irrelevent topic or another. We live in a world that has forgotten the ageless principles in God’s Word, and rather insists on “keeping up with the Joneses”. Bravo for your blog.

  4. frank says:

    Good post, i had the same experience last week with a post Jeff showed me. I responded hopefully in kindness to the author but decided not to continue the conversation publicly.

  5. Anonymous says:

    More time to listen and learn (be understood & understand), read and reflect (Grow in wisdom); less time to react and respond (let patience have its perfect work)…..good points Tim. more margin….more time. I’m with ya’ Keep the conversations coming!

  6. quick to listen, slow to speak outworked as write less (or slower), read more – That’s a really great thought, thanks!

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