Friday, September 15, 2006


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.


At 10:32 AM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

I believe you are right. Disagreeing with someone's view does not need to mean we hate each other. If we can agree with each other that Jesus is the only way, not a way, to have eternal life we can get beyond all of the junk!

At 10:42 AM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Yes, and it helps a lot if we refuse to "de-personalize" folks by keeping in mind they're more like us than we'll admit.

Thanks for dropping in.

At 12:23 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Wade Burleson said...


Very, very good words.


Also, thanks so much for the complement. Because it comes from someone I respect so much it means a great deal more.


At 9:09 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Chandra said...

You know, for a long time, I thought my purpose in life was to alert everyone else as to what they were doing wrong and how God had revealed the right answer to me alone. I spent a lot of time trying to be the only one right. I was very unhappy and I'm sure many people were unhappy with me :) As I have matured (I hope) I have learned to accept that it's OK for someone to have a difference of opinion from me without me necessarily being wrong or them being wrong. I guess I've learned that I've got so much of my own "junk" to deal with that I don't have the time to always point out everyone else's downfalls anymore! Things that I think are black and white may not be. That's up to God to convict them of that. Since I've accepted that I can share my opinions more openly and enjoy hearing others as well. Praise God for that!

At 10:42 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Amen, Chandra.

How about sharing that, Sunday?

There's simply no substitute for knowing what we know, and also realizing that we see through a glass darkly. Combine those two things and we must conclude that we can have security in our faith, and still realize that we don't really have it any better than anybody else.

Those two, together, are tremendously liberating.


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