Thank you, Allan Bevere

One of the bloggers who got me into blogging announced he is shutting up shop today.

Modern liberals and conservatives continue to control the discussion. Those of us who think otherwise are marginalized because we refuse to accept the power and influence of those who are members of the loony left and the wacky right.

So it is time to close down my blog and leave the discussion to those who somehow think God’s kingdom is embodied in conservatives and liberals who believe their views mean more than the gospel.

May God bless all of you.

Allan Bevere might fairly be credited with being the forerunner of the Methoblog. I recall the happiness I had when I got my first blog post listed on his list of weekly blog posts of interest.

He has been a consistently interesting and faithful voice in the Methoblogosphere. Thank you, Allan, for everything.

Grace and peace.

Merciful blogging

From John Wesley’s second sermon on the Sermon on the Mount:

Because the merciful man rejoiceth not in iniquity, neither does he willingly make mention of it. Whatever evil he sees, hears, or knows, he nevertheless conceals, so far as he can without making himself “partaker of other men’s sins.” Wheresoever or with whomsoever he is, if he sees anything which he approves not, it goes not out of his lips, unless to the person concerned, if haply he may gain his brother. So far is he from making the faults or failures of others the matter of his conversation, that of the absent he never does speak at all, unless he can speak well.

The quote above comes from a long discourse on what it means to have mercy. I quote it here because it strikes me as a good rule for blogging and bloggers. I know too well the temptation to point out the errors of others. I’ve fallen prey to that before. Wesley reminds me here that it is not merciful, and therefore not Christian, to do so.

He makes one exception:

Sometimes he is convinced that it is for the glory of God, or (which comes to the same) the good of his neighbour, that an evil should not be covered. In this case, for the benefit of the innocent, he is constrained to declare the guilty. But even here, (1.) He will not speak at all, till love, superior love, constrains him. (2.) He cannot do it from a general confused view of doing good, or promoting the glory of God, but from a clear sight of some particular end, some determinate good which he pursues. (3.) Still he cannot speak, unless he be fully convinced that this very means is necessary to that end; that the end cannot be answered, at least not so effectually, by any other way. (4.) He then doeth it with the utmost sorrow and reluctance; using it as the last and worst medicine, a desperate remedy in a desperate case, a kind of poison never to be used but to expel poison. Consequently, (5.) He uses it as sparingly as possible. And this he does with fear and trembling, lest he should transgress the law of love by speaking too much, more than he would have done by not speaking at all.

How many of us who go by the name of Christian take such care before writing about the sins and errors of others?

Blogging, Piper, & Evans

I won’t link to all the posts that go behind the link I’m about to include. The back story is simple: John Piper tweeted some biblical verses after the Oklahoma tornadoes. Rachel Held Evans sprung quickly to criticize Piper and his theology. Evans later apologized, sort of, for going off half cocked.

All that leads to this helpful post by Derek Oullette that is based in the above scenario, but I commend it to my fellow bloggers for the observations it makes about Christian blogging.

Wesley’s advice to bloggers

Richard Hall, a Methodist minister in Wales and one of the first Methobloggers I started following regularly, has an excellent reminder about the dangers of “evil speaking” sparked by reading Christians being unChristian in blog comments on another blog.

Chad and Amy Holtz testifying together

Some of the most active blog posts I’ve ever had were back in 2011 when former United Methodist pastor Chad Holtz was making UM news for his preaching and writing about Rob Bell, hell, and his addiction to pornography. Here is the post that got the most attention in comments.

I was greatly encouraged earlier this year when I saw that Chad had been brought to his knees and lifted back up again by Christ.

Now I add to that by learning — via a comment on this blog — that he is writing again. Actually, he and his wife, Amy, have been writing on a shared blog since July 2012. The blog is now on my blogroll. (Amy’s posts about how she has endured Chad’s betrayal of their marriage and found her own healing through it all are powerful reading. Here’s a link to one she wrote in October, but a scroll back into the summer is worth the time, especially if you know people who are living through similar things.)

‘The Christian blogosphere is a disgrace to Jesus’

Derek Oullette explains in a very long post that includes a new video by Rob Bell why he has closed his blog. The gist of it is this:

The Christian blogosphere is a disgrace to Jesus and the Gospel. We are a laughing stock to the world. And we are all to blame. I am. You are. We need to stop passing the buck to the people we disagree with. We need to stop point our weapons at each other start finding creative ways to overcome our differences so that we can shine the Gospel into this enormous online world.

He closes with this:

If there’s one petition we need to get out there, it’s a petition to all of the Christian bloggers out there and all of the Christian tweeters out there and all of the Christian Facebook users, Googlers, Mac lovers, Youtubers out there: Together we need to actively, intentionally, contribute to a positive image of the Kingdom of God online.