Christianity 201

January 23, 2012

Putting Potential Sources in a Box

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:31 pm
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A devotional blog post will follow momentarily, but I wanted to share something first.

Occasionally I get sent links, or discover new blogs on the blogroll of blogs I’m already reading.  Or I find something through a keyword search on Google on WordPress. 

And immediately, I start digging to see what I can find out about the author.  Where are they coming from?  Can I trust them enough to recommend them to my readers, who may click around to other articles?

I found myself doing this today for a different reason while reading old emails.  WordPress has changed the manner in which they notify me of new subscribers.  Often these readers have blogs of their own and the notification will recommend recently posted items.

So I go through the same process, wanting to assure myself of their spiritual pedigree.  Oh, how we humans like to put other humans in boxes.  I guess we do it to organize future retrieval.  If your box is on my shelf without a label on it, I might forget it’s there.

So the process begins:

  • Do they have an “about me” page?  That’s a big help.
  • Are they in ministry or a lay person?
  • What kind of church; denomination?
  • What Bible translation do they seem to be quoting most?
  • What other bloggers do they link to?

And on and on it goes.  Really, the “about” page is usually suitable, but human nature propels me further into my analysis of their doctrine or spirituality based on a cursory reading of two or three screens’ worth of articles.

The point is, God might have something really unique to say through an online source that I might not otherwise support.  Furthermore, most of my readers may have just enough discernment to know when article “A” is right on the money, but article “B” is wandering off down a wrong path. 

And sometimes, my so-called doctrinal preferences are simply no-adjective preferences.  Do I like this person?  Would I invite them into my home or out for lunch?  Then why should I let them on my computer screen?

They say everybody should find out what is the thing that they’re good at; and some days, I worry that I’m most good at being judgmental.  

So…I wonder what the labels say on the boxes I’ve been put in?