James Chapter 3 to a blogger
After several and frequent forays into the christian blogosphere since the beginning of the year I am learning a thing or two and continue to learn. One thing I have learnt is to be patient in reading and slow to post any comment. I have read some great and edifying comments and I have also seen savage verbal battles with a lot of cyber-bloodletting. Some of these battles border on the ridiculous and could be considered comedy but for the fact that we are dealing with eternal issues.
I am weaning myself off some blogs and have discovered new ones by following links. Recently I read a very timely post titled "Who watches the watchers" on a blog called Cerulean Sanctum, which is now one of the blogs I read most often.
I have been wondering what the The Apostle James would have written to bloggers (and their faithful commentors and footsoldiers) if he was writing in the internet age, where anonymity often breeds boldness and carelessness. Maybe, James Chapter 3 could have come across this way as the Apostle writes to me, because I am applying this scripture primarily to myself as a guide to what I post here or elsewhere from this day forth.
"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" Not many of you should presume to be bloggers in eternal matters, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who blog will be judged more strictly.
"We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts" Likewise a finger poised on a keyboard connected to the internet can affect thought and emotion across these United States and the whole World and wreck great disaster.
"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. The finger on the internet keyboard about to comment on a blog can do the same to a person.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison". Can a man or woman tame his fingers as he approaches the blogosphere?
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing." With the finger on the keyboard we write to encourage and bless and with the same finger we launch cyber attacks on people we do not know.
"My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."
Here is one of my favorite hymns which speaks to us to encourage and rescue. I shall strive to keep the lower lights burning in what I say and write as I trust the Lord to take care of the lighthouse.
Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave! Some poor struggling, sinking sailor you may rescue, you may save.
Dark the night of sin has settled.
Loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights, along the shore.
Trim your feeble lamp, my brother,
Some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost. - Philip P. Bliss, 1871
You can listen to the tune and sing along at http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/l/llowerlb.htm