Drive By Blogging (by Jon Allen) Part 2
What is a Drive By Blogger?
Someone that is using an internet blog to defame, misrepresent, damage, or bash someone's reputation or work. They do this in a way that provides little to no accountability for what they are saying. Sometimes this is even done totally anonymously
Why is it bad?
Although this type of blogging may result in higher view counts than other forms, it is bad in general because people will say things from behind a computer screen that they would never in a million years say to someone's face.
Why is it worse for Christians?
Christians are charged with a very unique and difficult task. We are to spread a message of love and acceptance, while remaining bold and certain of our doctrines. Historically Christians have had to balance being defenders of orthodoxy against heresy, blasphemy and idolatry; while still displaying Grace in a world whose traditions, understandings of God and standards are changing constantly. So when we are given a medium such as blogging in which to voice our beliefs and opinions, we must be Christ-like stewards of this new medium. We live in a day and age where tearing someone down in the public eye isn't all that difficult. It is just as easy to start a fan page for someone as it is to start a hate-mail campaign or a negative blog.
What is the Solution?
It is tough for me to imagine very many situations in which it is ever appropriate to publicly defame, denounce, disgrace or damage someone or their work. The solution is yet another D word: "Disagree". If you do in fact have a theological difference or even just a preference of ways in which you think Christians should act or practice their faith, an internet blog bashing another person's viewpoint is not the answer. The answer is to promote the way in which you believe it should be done. You can do this still by drawing contrast between different methods without calling someone's reputation or beliefs into question. You can get the same view count boost by giving your article or website a great creative title. Obviously people are attracted by controversy, but Christians are called to bring order into a chaotic world, not to bring more chaos.
First remember that this is an online community. Right now our technology still allows for people to anonymously throw twitter bombs or hate mail at you. They can even set up a blog that doesn't reveal who they are. So treat them that way. If someone makes a negative comment anonymously, then treat that comment as if it really did just come from nowhere. Press delete and move on. If someone writes a negative article about you, it is best to use the virtue of humility. One thing is for sure, nobody is perfect. All of us will attract some haters of some sort. Make sure that you focus on extending the grace and love of Christ. Remember if even Jesus had haters that went to extremes to tear him down, what makes us think we can do any better? If we as Christians are doing our jobs, then we are almost guaranteed to run into some opposition from other believers. I think Dan Boones' book, "Charitable Discourse" gives us some great examples that show us how to have these "disagreements" without the "destruction". Thank you for reading. -Just Jon