Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Power Blogging

I don't know if you know it, but Machiavelli was never able to use the strategies he wrote in his book, The Prince, to get back into office. After the people read his book, there was no way they wanted someone like him in power. He should have written a later addendum entitled: Don't Publish a Book Revealing Your Strategy. His power trip was short lived and mainly in his mind, like a whole lot of other people. They do power lunches wearing power ties to discuss power plays and forget all about gravity. Yes, gravity. Gravity is where the real power is, and it isn't even noticed during most power meals. Gravity was what kept their power corned beef on rye with bean sprouts fastened to their power plates. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that He personally possesses all power in heaven and in earth. Then He transferred all of that power to His institution, the church. He authenticated that power just a short time later on the Day of Pentecost. The church still has that authority and will until He raptures the saints.

When I was in college, I travelled with a choir through New York City and we stopped in to look at the United Nations building. A friend of mine and I proceeded to act like ambassadors from a foreign nation. We had as much authority in that building as most bloggers on the world wide web. I think most people already know this, but does it matter? Having a keyboard and an above average vocabulary doesn't equal Divine approval. The blog becomes a shortcut for them. With their new blog, they've landed on 'skip eleven spaces.' They missed the faithful study and obedience in the local church, the spiritual mentoring from the Godly man of God, and at least some kind of concurrence that they are ready to go. They've gotten their theological decoder ring and official blog certificate from Texarkana and now they are ready to tell people who is wrong, what everyone should believe, and how people should live the Christian life. They develop a hugely inflated sense of who they are from comments from people who don't know them. They get the attention of quasi-legitimate authorities with whom they agree, and think that this stands for authentication. They have had cyber-hands laid on them. They have opinion, will travel. On top of this, on the internet you would not know if your latest blog guru was a genuine church-sent believer, a legitimate pastor, a warlock in the Church of Solar Subconsciousness, or a teenager typing during a break from playstation.

No doubt a certain amount of fellowship and sharpening can occur between believers isolated from substantive theological conversation. However, it shouldn't circumvent a very important institution, which just happens to be the pillar and ground of the truth. The comments and ideas and streams of consciousness often avoid the important grid of local church agreement. In many cases this proceeds from an extrapolation of Christian liberty. 'No verse says: Thou Shalt Not Blog; the absence of this command equals permission.' No, it doesn't. A person speaking without authority, speaks without God's approval. No approval might equal disobedience. It certainly equals danger. False teaching bouncing around the universe at the speed of light. "And how shall they preach unless they be sent?"

But how can all of this matter when I've got a decoder ring and a laser printed certificate that says Brussels, Belgium? "I'm ready to change the world from behind this keyboard. I'm Microsoft called and Blogger sent."

13 comments:

Throwback 13 said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg.
* I am not sure what the statement is that you waltzed around so eloquently, but it sounded to me like you believe that only people with authority from their church should "blog". Can you please clarify this?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joel,

I'm essentially sounding a kind of warning to many different sides of the blogging practice or issue. That's essentially it. It isn't real ministry without church authority, doesn't come with God's approval.

Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Dr.Charles Swindoll writes: "General McAuliff, the great American general who found his army surrounded at Gastogne assembeled his soldiers and announced, 'Men, we are surrounded by the enemy. We have the greatest opportunity presented any army. We can attack in any direction!'.

David Gill.." We want heroes! We want reassurance that someone knows what is going on in this mad world.We want a father or mother to lean on. We want revolutionary folk heroes who will tell us what to do until the rapture. We massage the egos of these demagogues and canonize their every opinion!"

1 John4:1"...Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone outinto the world".

I am often times confused by the preaching of the preachers; the music of the musicians; the teaching of teachers; the prayers of the unrighteous; the actions and reactions of the church; the books we write, publish and read; the styles we choose to follow and so forth...I am sure you get the picture. Not everyone should write;nor teach; nor sing; nor play; nor design; nor preach, etc.
BUT, those who do should be honest, knowledgeable and most of all accountable.
How shall they learn lest they be taught? How shall they write?
Why will they blog if not to be read and receive response? to read to respond, etc? One feeds from another and it continues.
Surelly you expect response when you Blog? Isn't that the idea?
You have your Baptist Believers Blogger Block and enjoy it. Some other have their Rightful Responders Receipt..and so it goes!
Good writing does not always make good reading, but good reading sometimes makes good writers.
"How shall they know lest we blog"? I have my Certifed Ceremonial Critics Certificate from the CCC School of Certified Brandenburg Bloggers. Does that mean I can stay?
ILA

Anonymous said...

WOW!! ILA...that is a way kewl post! Kudos. I never heard of those people but sounds good to me. Do we have a response Bro. Kent? Can she stay?

Kent Brandenburg said...

With the certificate. Yes. She can stay. Anonymous wants anonymous to stay.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

I would think that blogging, just like witnessing, handing out tracts, etc., when done by a church member, is de facto under the authority of their church. The pastor ought to have oversight over it, in a general sense, just as he would to make sure when a church member witnesses, that they're not telling the people at work or the store some false doctrine. Everything a Christian does is, in some form or fashion, representing their church body, which is why we ought to be making sure we're walking in the light all the time.

Fred said...

The thing is everybody can blog, but not every blog is worth reading. Thus we pick and choose wisely who we should read.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Yes, Fred. An appropriate question, of course, would be: I wonder what this guy's background is; if he is in a church.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I agree Titus, in your case. I think many freelancers are floating out there, operating as if their blog is their ministry, and it runs totally disconnected from a church. But you know that. And we know ones like that. But yes. Smiles.

Jerry Bouey said...

But how can all of this matter when I've got a decoder ring and a laser printed certificate that says Brussels, Belgium?

Aw, you got all the good stuff! Mine says "Cracker Jack" - of course, my training was tastier! ;)

I do agree that it is good to know where someone is coming from. Not that every blog must be under the authority or supervision of a pastor - my pastor in general knows what is on my websites, but he does not frequent the web, so he does not know what I blog about - THOUGH I AM PRETTY SURE I WILL NEVER BLOG CONTRARY TO MY CHURCH'S STANDS AND DOCTRINE (otherwise I wouldn't be there if I didn't completely agree with it). Yet, I believe it would be very prudent and helpful if those out there reading our blogs knew that they represented ourselves, our own opinions, or our church. Too many wing it and people are made to assume. For someone searching for answers on an issue, that might leave them more confused or even lead them astray. Oh, brother so and so stated such and such in his blog; that must be where his church stands - only to find out later that he went off on his own and is only loosely connected with his church in the first place (you know, the Christmas and Easter services!).

I will have to think about this issue, and decide what to add to my Profile or intro on my website, so others know where I am coming from. Good food for thought though.

Jerry Bouey said...

But how can all of this matter when I've got a decoder ring and a laser printed certificate that says Brussels, Belgium?

Aw, you got all the good stuff! Mine says "Cracker Jack" - of course, my training was tastier! ;)

I do agree that it is good to know where someone is coming from. Not that every blog must be under the authority or supervision of a pastor - my pastor in general knows what is on my websites, but he does not frequent the web, so he does not know what I blog about - THOUGH I AM PRETTY SURE I WILL NEVER BLOG CONTRARY TO MY CHURCH'S STANDS AND DOCTRINE (otherwise I wouldn't be there if I didn't completely agree with it). Yet, I believe it would be very prudent and helpful if those out there reading our blogs knew that they represented ourselves, our own opinions, or our church. Too many wing it and people are made to assume. For someone searching for answers on an issue, that might leave them more confused or even lead them astray. Oh, brother so and so stated such and such in his blog; that must be where his church stands - only to find out later that he went off on his own and is only loosely connected with his church in the first place (you know, the Christmas and Easter services!).

I will have to think about this issue, and decide what to add to my Profile or intro on my website, so others know where I am coming from. Good food for thought though.

Anonymous said...

You could take your own advice. Or are you "approved"?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Well, the people who approve me are anonymous. I hope that's OK with you.