Monday, May 20, 2002

Edifier du jour-Colossians 4:3-5:
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
This ties in to an interesting musing this weekend by Bloggedy Blog's Andrew Careaga. He had just gotten back from a Christian conference where one of the seminars was on using the web. Careaga has this telling quote the reflects my meatware life.
What's up with all of us Christian bloggers hanging out almost exclusively with our own kind online? Check out my links on the left-hand side of this site. You'll find nary a link to non-Christian blogs or sites. How sad of me. I mean, if I have this message to get out to the world, as I claim I do, then why am I talking exclusively to the folks who know the message?
I haven't been the greatest evangelist as of late in my non-cyber life, as the problem comes up that when you get hooked up with a good church, you're quickly assimilated into the collective (Resistance is futile). I spent Wednesday night at a prayer meeting, Friday night at a Bible study, Sunday morning at church, Sunday afternoon having lunch with old friends from another Bible study I used to go to and Sunday evening back at church. Add parents and a fiancée of like faith and you only see the heathens at work or at the store. This will be getting only worse for me, as I'll be starting teaching at a Christian college next month, so I'm left with interaction with neighbors and shopkeepers (or the student who doesn't know the Lord yet) to be reaching the lost. Strangely, my cyber life's more evangelistic than my regular one. Through this blog, I get about 100 sets of eyeballs each day. About 20 people a day wonder in looking for topless Kashmiri girls (laugh not, I get quite a few Google hits looking for purty and dirty pics of females from countries in the news. No can do, guys.), links for Jello recipes or people looking for stuff on Jan Peter Balkenende and Harry Potter or some strange combination of words that happen to match what was in five different posts. I hope that my theological musings might plant a few seeds in them. Just having a blog will bring some unsaved eyes through via search engines. I've heard quite a few testimonies over the years of how a person channel-surfed into the Christian radio or TV station and was convicted by what was being said there. It's a bit too new a medium to have that kind of anecdotal evidence, but I'm sure we'll hear a future testimony tell of how someone's blog changed their life. Another batch of eyeballs are the secular readers who will come over for my non-spiritual stuff. My interests extend to politics, geopolitics and economics, and I get a fair amount of traffic from secular poliblogs and warblogs. While I haven't seen much spiritual feedback from non-believers at this point, a good argument will change minds. To give an example on a non-spiritual issue, I remember Doug Turnbull posting on how arguments Bryan Preston and I posted on vouchers got him moving in that direction. There are secular minds being changed, even if your just planting some facts and thoughts that can be used to good effect by other believers in the future. I would imagine quite a few secular readers that will come across some lively debate on theological issues and think that these Christians aren't the idiots that are portrayed on TV. No, you do not have a frontal lobotomy performed when you're baptized; a Spirit-filled life is more fun that bar-hopping. I wouldn't recommend trolling for hits for hits sake on secular sites, but where you have an interest and some expertise, interact with secular sites that aren't overly unedifing. There is a risk of being dragged down to their level, of having your mind gunked up by the things of this world, but if you can add something to the secular conversation while focusing on God, you'll gain some friends who will hear you out on other things. Lastly, don't discount your interactions with other believers. Even if your preaching to the choir, the choir still needs to hear the message. A good quip or a keen insight might be used by one of your fellow believers in their interactions with others.

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