The Blog Tribes

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve been reading Jaron Lanier’s book “You Are Not A Gadget” and it will be the first book this year that I read twice.  It is a brilliant, though at times densely written, manifesto regarding the dire consequences of- and possible hope for “Web 2.0” (Google it).

One of the facets of the current state of the net that bothers Lanier is the ability for those online to post anonymously.  He believes this has led to a depersonalization that fed a savage tribal mentality online.

Lanier points to such extreme cases as celebrities who have committed suicide after being viciously attacked online by packs of anonymous users, which is apparently called “trolling.”

I have noticed the brutal behaviour of anonymous bloggers even on several well-known Christian blogs.  For example, if you criticize the more progressive wing of the emerging church movement or if you critize the Young, Restless & Reformed bunch then you had better prepare yourself for at least a few barbed comments.  In fact, if you criticize one of those two tribes then don’t be surprised to be automatically tossed in to the opposing tribe. 

Now, It doesn’t surprise me that those who comment anonymously on blogs act atrociously.  There are days when I think the doctrine of total depravity is for optimists!  Yet, shouldn’t those who possess the Holy Spirit of the Triune God be kinder?

I know that Jesus hit Israel’s religious leaders pretty hard and that Paul had little patience for Judaizers but they also had a relationship with the people they were speaking to, had authority to speak as such and did so in ways that they believed were wise. 

Can any of us today really pull that off?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand for what we beleive in but can’t we do so with grace? Isn’t that the wisest course of action? How many people have you seen shouted down that repented and believed in your theology?

Can we as Christians online help redeem the blog tribes? 

We do worship a God that raises the dead, so I suppose that even gracious, peace-filled blogging is possible!

Thanks for stopping by this blog.

Grace and peace.

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Comments
  1. […] Rawlings presents The Blog Tribes posted at Pastor […]

  2. Marty says:

    “I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand for what we beleive in but can’t we do so with grace?”
    That is the key I believe to being a Christian as far as I am concerned. Interesting article. Thanks.

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