Thoughts for Christian Bloggers

A couple weeks ago at the Gospel Coalition Conference, I was fortunate to attend the Band of Bloggers lunch and hear some high profile bloggers speak a bit about different aspects of blogging as a Christian. For some reason, I couldn’t help but think of what I might share, given such an opportunity. What follows is the result of that pondering.

To The Band of Bloggers,

One of the most exciting aspects of creating and keeping Web sites that have a large, engaged user base is seeing an immediate impact from even small changes. Our traffic and profits can rise from a well-executed interface change, but they can also plummet from a misstep. This makes it incredibly important to consider all of our design modifications very carefully, taking into account research, convention, and intuition that comes from years of training.

This phenomenon extends into the business and social spheres as well. A bad product review from a high-profile site can cause stock prices to fall (a good one can cause them to soar), and it can be argued that vicious blogger paparazzi were responsible for the downfall of Britney, and other pop stars. Relentless photographing, cataloging and commentary on a star’s every move can lead to a destroyed life.

I am reminded of one of the most difficult to swallow (personally) sections of the New Testament.

James 3:8-10

“…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

With the same tongue we curse…

As bloggers, we can be especially guilty of this. We are very quick to criticize, judge, and state our opinion on how the latest author or speaker is “off” doctrinally or in practice. We often sensationalize their error, creating the sense that they are extremely far from orthodoxy and perhaps even heretics. In fact, we wield the word heretic in a very cavalier fashion, discouraging and wounding the reputation of people who are not only made in the likeness of God, but are coworkers in the gospel, co-heirs to salvation and glory.

My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

When words are many…

Indeed, there is much godless preaching, possibly even heresy coming from some pulpits in the American church. There is unsound doctrine being written every day (and our “Christian” bookstores are full of it.) Some bloggers, perhaps desiring to protect the flock of God, call it out at every opportunity, but, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking…” (Prov 10:19a). Lacking the benefit of context, relationship, or perhaps understanding and discernment, harsh criticism is aimed in the wrong direction from time to time.

In an abundance of counselors…

When wielding pastoral authority (which is given by God and recognized by a council of other leaders, and is not assumed based on blog readership, and for which the one who wields it will answer to God), especially in the area of pronouncements of doctrinal positions and error, community and an abundance of counsel is critical. “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Prov. 11:14).

Major industry leading blogs are already moving to a team-blogging model. I believe this is the future of blogging. A team of individuals who together are able to produce a much higher quality product than the individual.

When deciding on theological positions, church leaders submit their ideas to counsel. Bloggers would be wise to do the same when they venture outside the realm of observation or commentary into the area of pronouncing error. Submitting one’s writing to this type of counsel will go a long way in avoiding cutting down a brother who is earnestly trying to do God’s work.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”

-Galatians 5:13-15


19 responses to “Thoughts for Christian Bloggers”

  1. Dareena Avatar

    I am not doing this because I want to be the first one.I thank you for giving me this tip as I do blog,and some of my views can be critical,however most of my blogs has been accurate.I think you are Amazing still,and think that your family is precious.

  2. mheerema Avatar

    Dareena – thank you. Where is your blog? I'd love to read it.

  3. epjohnson Avatar

    well said, Matt. let's make sure you get a chance to speak at next year's Band of Bloggers.

  4. Rob Avatar

    Interesting thoughts, Matt. I myself try to stay away from outright criticism of certain things mainly because of my position as a member of the mainstream media (one reason I haven't written anything in my blog about the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision on gay marriage). However, I have considered for certain topics running them by one of my pastors or trusted person (they should know who they are) for their take, especially to make sure I'm not completely off my rocker.

  5. mheerema Avatar

    Erik – I'd love it.

    Rob – Good stuff.

  6. Frank Gantz Avatar

    Wise words. We as bloggers are often quick to post criticisms. I hope to be quicker to edify.

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  8. markmyles Avatar

    Good words, brother. I kinda made a note of this regard on my blog not too long ago. It really bothers me now how much spewing of poison there is out there. If one feels that another is in sin, they ought to go to that person, not blog about it from the mountaintops.

    Anyway…good words.


  9. Dareena Avatar

    I blog on yahoo.On Shine!

  10. Rick Garner Avatar

    I'm reminded of 2 Timonthy 4:1-5

    "1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

    We should do what? Preach the Word. When? In and out of season…or at any chance. For what? To correct (misunderstandings), to rebuke (that which outright against Scripture), and to encourage (something we should do WAY more of).

    Seems we have many people now with itching ears wanting to hear what they want to hear. My blog often addresses topics that by the comments people have issues with my opinion. Indeed, there is a fine line between sharing what needs to be shared in or out season and holding one's tongue (keys) to a more private setting.

    This is when we all could use another swig of discernment. :)

  11. Dareena Avatar

    I just made my own blog page sort of.You can find me on


  12. Steve Kryger Avatar

    Great reminder, thanks Matt. This passage also comes to mind on a related note:

    "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Eph 4:29

  13. John Avatar


    Even those of us whose blogs do not have a large following or much influence can benefit from your post. After all, we are accountable for every idle word.

    A great reminder, sir.

  14. humanitas remedium Avatar

    Thank you for this post. I plan on taking its content before the lord and asking him to teach me how to better blog for him. Thanks again.

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  16. Erik Avatar

    Thanks, Matt. Good reminder for someone like me just starting up a blog and about to take a masters in Theology (or something. Darn decisiveness problem!). I'd only add that I think teaching the spotting bad teaching is probably not unlike spotting counterfeit bills. I've always heard they're trained by knowing the real bills really really well.

  17. Matt Avatar

    Great article and a reminder that we all need to hear. It should apply to a lot more things than blogging but I know that’s you’re audience. Good work.

  18. Mikes Avatar

    Thanks a lot for the reminder. I pray that my every post brings glory to God and build up other people not just bloggers at that!

  19. simon Avatar

    This was an interesting article to read, and I hope all readers/writers examine themselves and their activtity on the internet.Bloggers who are born again believers, must at all times remind themselves they are representing God on the earth and are trying to fulfill His purpose for their lives. Everything we do is recorded in heaven. Therefore our motives, thoughts and feelings must be pure. We are called to do everything in Love to God and man in establishing His Kingdom. Traditional thinking says that everything good comes from God and everything bad comes from God. If that is true, what is satan doing? Please value your gift/talent and the opportunity to use the internet as a medium of communication for the gospel message!

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