Thursday, January 05, 2006

Fresh air in the blogosphere

I guess I'm something of a snooper. That's how I end up at blogs of people I don't know.

I followed the link of "Lauren," who commented at my buddy Rick's website and the two appear to have established a blogging connection, not unlike the one I have with Brad.

The link took me to an interesting blog with a refreshingly honest post..

Lauren talks about her past year blogging under a different blog title, and how her expectations were dashed once she realized the God Blogs are dominated by people who have God, the Bible, the Church, and all things spiritual in a tightly condensed box called "My Knowledge Trumps Yours."

Upon first reading, it dawned on me that I'm old enough and experienced enough as a church-going person to have actually met many people like that in real life. I suppose my expectations of God Blogs were really, really low because of that, and so all of you wonderful people I've met since last February have been delightful surprises.

But that's not really what Lauren's post is about. It's really a confessional, and whether or not Lauren's perception of her own blogging excesses is accurate, her conclusion is breathtaking:

With this new blog, I entered the blogdom on a different note and with a single goal in mind. I wanted to make friends. You see something had happened to me, that I didn't like at all, the first time around; I lost myself. I was changing in order to try to fit in with the big boys, and I was beginning to lose my sense of humor and my joy of life.

In a profoundly introspective and simple way, Lauren captures a problem endemic not only in the blogosphere but in the Church at large.

Blogging was created not as a means for everyone to become their own op-ed columnist. Blogging is not supposed to be a monologue. It was created for the purpose of freely sharing ideas. The understated, underemphasized point is blogging is supposed to engender fellowship. As Christian bloggers, we should be reveling in this concept.

Furthermore, as Christians, we should be above high school-type social situations. You shouldn't have to wear the right kind of designer theology to join the discussion. As much as Trinity-based, Bible-believing, Gospel-bound Evangelicalism is challenged by people who wish to stretch it too much, we are still supposed to be an inclusive, tolerant bunch. We do not rule by edict or seer, and by such, the grace we profess should cover the excesses of those we should clearly publically and privately recognize as our own.

When we go to church, we are there to worship God not as individuals, but as a group of believers who hold to the most important doctrine of corporate Church: God commanded us to worship Him in unity.

No doubt, we are segregated for some very good and some very weak reasons, but the bottom line is we wish to worship God in the ways that best represent our own conscience. I would not expect an SBC member to feel comfortable in my Vineyard any more than I would feel comfortable in the United Methodist church down the street. However, if there is such a thing as Evangelicalism and we do agree on the main and plain things of the Gospel -- and we agree we are part of the corporate Body -- then we are obligated to God to agree to agree whenever we are gathered, however we are gathered, in the interest of the highest form of faith we tell the world is so simple and so fulfilling.

This does not rule out disagreement, but certainly there is a level of discourse that should be set apart from the nature of this world.

I'm glad I found Lauren, and I'm glad she has also found this site. This single post has shown me we have a kinship -- a shared spiritual understanding -- that supercedes what other differences we might have.

These moments are the reason I surely began blogging.

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