It often takes little effort to put together a post blasting something that we don't like, don't approve of, or don't think is right. In my case, for example, it is simple to target various things related to the institutional church such as large buildings, salaried pastors, planned meetings, etc.
It is much more difficult and requires more work to put together a post that speaks more about the positive. As per church issues, this might deal with participatory meetings, house gatherings, full meal Lord's Supper celebrations, etc.
It bothers me that writing negatively is easier for me. I'm serious. It bothers me. If I dare to be a bit introspective, it shows at least a little immaturity and bitterness.
I'm not suggesting that we should never deal with problematic issues. In fact, some of the best blog posts (mine and others) constructively compare positive and negative things and then draw conclusions. This may deal with the church or any other topic.
What is problematic is when we bloggers are drawn at a visceral level to take aim at whatever we disagree with. If I currently look through my list of blog post ideas, there are a good number that wage war upon all things institutional church. I'm beginning to see more clearly that this has very limited benefit. I might feel good after I post negatively and others who agree with me may comment. But in the end, what good does it do?
It is possible to write in such a manner that we deal with negative things in a positive way. The tone of this type of writing is gracious, humble, instructive, balanced, and seeks positive outcomes for all sides involved. This is far different from simply sending word-based missiles flying at what we dislike. It also strives for unity instead of division.
It requires much more work to see anything good in what we don't prefer. As per church things, I can see some good that comes from institutional church bodies. However, it's a struggle to write about those aspects. In my flesh, it feels so good sometimes to say, "That's not biblical!! Knock it off!! You hypocrites!!"
I write this post because I'm going to try to blog more positively about church life. Of course as I do this I will at times compare and contrast what I believe is biblical with what I think are man-made practices. This will by nature have some negative bent to it. However, the goal will be constructive.
This is all easier said than done. I'm tired a lot these days. In my fatigue, it will be simpler to get negative, destructive, and mean on this blog. I'm determined to avoid that downfall. Therefore, I hope you see somewhat of a shift in tenor here.
The outcome may not be exciting. I've seen over the years that I get more comments on blog posts that are more controversial, inflammatory, and in-your-face. Oh well. If I get fewer comments, so be it. I think it will honor God by striving for more constructive dialogue (however you spell that word) about both what we believe and how we live this out.
It may be easier to blog about the negative, but I'm determined to go more positive. If it's more work, that's probably a sign that it's a good thing.