I find this disturbing

I just clicked on the tag surfing button, then was reminded why I virtually never do that.

I find it really disturbing how many “sermon”-type posts are published in blogs.

Are people really getting their guidance from blogs?

Do those who post their (often) diatribes really think that they’re having an impact for Christ?

In my most charitable moments, trying to extend a wee bit of grace, at least, I think, “Well, maybe they’re pastors, and their intended audience is their own congregation.”

I dunno, though. 

It has the feeling of standing on a corner with a bullhorn, yelling the message of the Gospel, which, in my opinion, is really ineffective, and possibly doing more harm than good.  But, the guy with the bullhorn feels better after he steps down off the box, because he has “done something” for Christ.  Hm.

Most of those who post the kinds of sermons that really grate on me have eponymous blogs.  This bugs me.  It’s like, “I wanna make a name for myself, I want you to know my name, and, by the way, here are my thoughts about where you’re going astray, and a whole bunch of verses to back me up.”  That strikes me more as personal marketing than true Christianity.

It’s not that I think folks shouldn’t blog about their Christian convictions — anyone who’s read here for more than a few days knows that I’m a Christian.  But, the blog-preaching.  That really bothers me.  Where’s the relationship?  Where’s the accountability?  Where’s the love?  Where’s the church life? 

Again.  I dunno.  Maybe there are some far-flung folks around the world, who simply have no access to a Christian church, and who are eating all of it up, and who are very grateful to be preached to by a stranger.


It just doesn’t, somehow, seem right to me.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 20, 2008, in Blogging, Christian Living, Christianity, God/Christianity/Church. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Karen,
    I so agree with you. I always ask myself – don’t they know, no one likes to be preached to? No one likes to be lectured? And I am so tested to make a negative comment. But then I resist my natural inclination to lecture them and just skip their blog.
    Wishing you a good day.

  2. Then again, Paul said “Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice.” Phil. 1:18

    Maybe the motives don’t have to be pure, as long as Christ is being proclaimed–even from the soap box on the corner or the “Jesus Saves” signs at the end of the parade or the random blog that’s one big sermon.


  3. I hear ya. Though I agree with the second comment as well. You never know what the Lord will use. However, I would guess the only people who read and enjoy such things are those who agree–“the choir.” I enjoy your blog–keep on. From a gluten/casein free, Christian, homeschooling mom in Oregon. Have a great day!

  4. FG ~ I resist the same thing!! I figure, if a lecture-type sermon isn’t doing me any good, me lecturing them isn’t going to, either. 🙂

    Daja ~ You’re right, of course. I guess since I favor relationship-based/friendship evangelism, when I come across other methods, it just doesn’t click with me. But, that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. I also had a BAD run-in from a street preacher in New Orleans who accused me of being a wh*re, just b/c I was in the French Quarter (on totally innocent ‘business’ — I lived in N.O.), and would *not* believe me that I was a sister in Christ. I had to get serious ministry for that encounter. So, anytime I see/hear/read someone with a similar approach, it just brings up bad memories. KWIM?

    Deanna ~ I’m so glad you came to the blog for a visit! I don’t know any other GFCF Christian homeschooling moms IRL, and it’s always so lovely to ‘meet’ others online who have similar needs/convictions/lives. 🙂 Many blessings to you!!!

  5. I don’t “browse” the blogs because there is a whole lot worse out there.

  6. I actually like the Tag Surfing button and have found some decent blogs this way. (Either great minds blog alike or mediocrity loves company, I haven’t figured out which.)

    But I do agree with your thoughts on posted sermons.

  7. I am guilty of soapboxing. Although, I always thought of it as more venting than preaching. I’m sure my 2 readers take me with a grain of salt. At least, I hope they do! 🙂

  8. Melanie. I am definitely not referring to your blog. Goodness, no. You soapbox, but you don’t get accusatory-preachy, ever.

    I mean the kinds of blogs that say, “THIS is what’s wrong with you, and THIS is why you need to change NOW, or fire from heaven will fall on you, you SINNER.” Or, the ones that just present themselves as uppity, mega-holy, “I have all the answers, and click my Paypal button on your way out the door.” Ugh.

  9. Link please. You’re making us curious!!

  10. I found this *relevant* (my fave word!!) article in an AOG magazine:

    I get calls from people all the time pitching their particular approach to ministry….I have no problem with someone who is completely convinced that the way they do things is effective…..it becomes a problem when you insist that everyone should do things your way.

    Scripture does not support a one size fits all approach to ministry. Jesus Himself seemed to avoid any discernable pattern of ministry. Sometimes He preached on a hill. Sometimes He taught from a boat. (And I’ll add this was not friendship evangelism….he didn’t take them to Starbucks five times before He preached to someone) Sometimes He used spit and dirt to heal. Sometimes He just sent His word and healed them.
    I’m convinced Jesus’ diversity of ministry was no accident. It reflect the creativity of God (and I’ll add His many facets–justice, truth, mercy, compassion etc). ….it is not helpful when we insist our way is the only or best way.

    Relativism is not necessary for matters of truth, but it is necessary for matters of style. ….A good attitude to have to have toward various ministry approaches is “both/and”. Hold strongly to your own way of doing thins, but rejoice that God has led others to do things differently so that, like Paul, we become all things to all people so that we might save some.*–Steve Pike

    Now if you are talking pure wack job ala Ted Bundy spouting god authority or an abortion clinic bomber, they don’t count in the discussion. There are always wackos who make any movement look particularly bad.

    On the guy in the French Quarter, in your defense, perhaps he was one of the above. On the other hand, in his defense, I have to wonder if it was just a ‘man looks on the outward appearance’ moment and he hadn’t any interaction with Vineyard folk. If you were wearing your combat boots and your nose piercing and your hair dyed black, he might have been having trouble wrapping his brain around the disconnect of I am seeing what to me screams unwholesome while she is saying, “I’m Mother Theresa! Nice to meet you.” Wrong or right, our appearance can be confusing.

    I saw two chicks in the grocery store recently. They looked punk or emo or whatever term they use today and rather dykish (sp). But then one says Praise the Lord! I was really confused. She sounded sincere and unsarcastic in her proclamation, but her appearance gave me pause. I have had other cirrcumstances like that. I am not advocating for suits and over the ears and above the collar, but just like it’s nice to clearly and immediately tell whether someone is a male or female, it is also sure nice when you can tell someone is Christian cuz for instance, their b**bs are not spilling out of their shirt. I was watching a Wife Swap one night and there was this lovely Christian Mom and overall I was impressed with her, but in some interview segments, there she sat with a cross at her neck with her b**bs jumping out. And I’m thinking, what are people gonna think about this dissonance between the concept of lovely Christian mother & bossoms jumping out? My husband was a heathen till age 22. I asked him if that would have been a bit of a collision in his brain. He said it sure would have.

    On the matter of so called Friendship Evangelism….I had an interesting discussion with an Indian (dots not feathers) Hindu guy when I was recruiting for a focus group in SF. He talked for a LONG time about what he did and did not like about his christian friends. He was hilarious and eye-opening!! He said that he hated it when Christians took him out to coffee for a year and “flirted with him” only to tell them they were Christians and witness to him way the heck on down the road. It bugged him to be befriended first, flirted with!! and then witnessed to later.

    Just some rambling thoughts on the matter.

  11. Shellie ~ First, no links. Maybe I’ll send you them privately!! I just couldn’t post ’em here. On your second comment — you make some GREAT points.

    You’re right — at that time in my life, I had NO IDEA (truly) that I could be sending conflicting messages to others, over what I was wearing. I, like you, wore broomstick skirts virtually every day, so you could certainly tell I was a girl. But, I did have combat boots and my nose pierced and my hair was probably black. Kind of like street-punk meets Jessica McClintock. 😀 And, it was probably further confusing, because I was walking down the middle of Bourbon St (which, for anyone who lived/lives in N.O. knows that that’s the safest street to walk on, because it’s well-lit, has no vehicle-traffic, and lots of foot-traffic, so you can walk right down the middle, so even if your destination was not on Bourbon, you usually used it as your route to wherever you were going and back.)

    It’s tough to find the right ground there. It’s not like God is asking us to become all beige and bland and covered from head-to-toe with a Christian version of a burka. But, neither should our boobs be hanging out…

    Mr. Pike’s ‘story’ about Jesus — LSS, He listened to the Father. He did what the Father was doing. He obeyed His leadings. He didn’t operate out of fear, or out of any kind of unwillingness to break any taboos. I envy that about Jesus. 😉 His timing and ways were SO right-on, no matter what He did. So, He could confidently employ tons of different means to make His point. KWIM? I try to be reliant upon the Spirit, and to not be immobilized by fear, but it’s hard.

    I love what your Hindu acquaintance said!!! And, I must say, I would never do a Secret Agent Christian approach. Like, lemme make you my “friend,” then, surprise!! I’m actually a Christian who wants to proselytize you!!!!

  12. I didn’t think you were talking about me (okay, well I was 99% sure you weren’t), but I got convicted anyway. 🙂

  13. Shellie!!! I’ve found you and Karen Joy!!!

    Saw this link on Amy’s posts at The Homeschool Library. Is this where you all hang out now?

  14. What a pleasant read, both your blog and comments.
    Why I think witnessing/proselytization is a good thing:
    If a friend, or even acquaintance, feels so strongly that she knows the way to true peace and happiness, wouldn’t it be horrible for her to keep this a secret from me? I share when I’ve seen a good movie, and this ought to be much more important.

    That’s why proselytization makes sense. Here’s why it doesn’t: it’s almost never effective. Telling me all about how Jesus is about as interesting as hearing about Vishnu if I’m not already converted. Next you’ll tell me about your belief in the flying spaghetti monster, but I don’t buy it, so I’ll listen to see if there’s something I can learn, but it seems unlikely I’ll convert and start wearing pirate clothes.

    It seems to me the most effective way to help someone see your view, is to live a life guided by your principles and when you *show* that peace and happiness they too are seeking, they may come to you and ask how you’re so successful at just being happy.

    Paul may rejoice in the preaching of Christ, but I doubt many new Christians were found that way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: