GOD'S GOOD AT CHOOSING TOPICS
I love reading the blogs. Even commenting, on occasion. I try to limit comments to those times when I actually have something to say.
In fact, there's been so much going on with the well-known blogs, that I see no need to comment here on any of that stuff. I'm not into re-inventing anything. So .... lately, I've been struggling to think of something to write about.
I started one on things I don't understand about what's going on in the SBC. Saved that one, then started one about having lunch this past Monday with Alan Cross. It was terrific, but I didn't get it "fleshed in" with anything other than I had a great time and a great hamburger. Then, last night in our Thursday night intercessory prayer time, a friend walked past where I was sitting (there were 4 of us there, so not a lot of distraction) and God slapped me with a thought.
He chose a good topic.
My friend's name is James. He's a relatively quiet guy who has really, really gotten bitten by the prayer, praise, and worship bugs. From one of the more reserved guys I know, he's turned into a flat-on-your-face prayer warrior, a stand-at-the-altar worshipper with hands in the air. We have a pretty special fellowship.
What smacked me last night was that I have no idea where he stands, on a lot of the peripheral stuff that's being slung about in blogdom. I know he believes the Bible and that it's inerrant. I know he's a believer. But I have no idea whether he's pre- or post-anything, moderate, conservative, how he feels about women in the ministry, missionary eligibility, or any of the rest of that. I do know we're brothers and I love him as though he were my own brother. Well ... keeping in mind that his middle daughter is 2 years older than my grandson.
Therein lies the real deal: he's a real live person, to me. He's not a faceless name on a screen. He's not limited by what I've read, that he's written. I know him. When we get to slinging stuff at folks, based on something they've said on a blog, we depersonalize them. More likely, they never seemed like people to us in the first place. At least, that's not been the thought, of them, in our minds.
See ... when we read a bit of what someone's said, we tend to invent the rest of them in our mind, based on what they said and how we reacted to it. And, I suspect, what we think of folks that we do know personally, who've made similar remarks. So, in a very real sense, the person we attack in blogdom is probably someone who doesn't exist anywhere but in our mind.
Shame on us.
Wade Burleson stands out in that respect, I think. I surmise that he sees people as people .. Christians as brothers and sisters. If my friend James said something I didn't agree with, even in writing, I know how I'd respond. I must keep that in mind when I'm reading what others, whom I do not know personally, write something with which I do not agree.
Paul said something that applies, also, to a lot of what I see.
2 Timothy 2:14: ...... Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. (NIV)
Try to tell me there's not a lot of that.
Anyway, thanks, God. And thanks, James.