This post has no agenda other than to answer a question asked of me from time to time: Why don’t I write more controversial blogposts? After all, it’s an easy way to get blog traffic. People always slow down and look at traffic accidents and fights in the blogosphere.
First, let me be clear that the way I write is my preference; it is not an indictment on how others write. Indeed, I am not trying to make this post controversial by implying that other bloggers have it wrong.
Second, I have on rare occasions written a post of a more controversial nature. I don’t avoid the potential of conflict altogether. There is indeed a time to have a prophetic voice. I just don’t desire to provide a regular serving of the negative and controversial.
Third, I believe healthy debate is good, particularly when we discuss such important matters as the Bible, theology, and the local church. Unfortunately, many of those healthy debates degenerate into name-calling and ad hominem attacks. It’s easy to be brash behind the comfort and security of a keyboard.
I have five primary motives for avoiding negative and controversial blogging as a rule. These five are in no particular order.
- A controversial post often creates sides, dividing people who probably agree on most issues. Again, healthy debate is good. It is difficult, however, to keep our emotions in check when someone takes a position counter to ours. Thus an otherwise unified group can be become fragmented rather quickly.
- As a Christian I see one of my primary roles to be the building up the body of Christ. “So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds one another” (Romans 14:19). “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
- Divided Christians are a poor witness for the watching world. I understand clearly that many who are not Christians read blogs by Christians. Some of the blog conversations are anything but a positive testimony for the gospel.
- Negative and controversial blogposts can lead to more negative and controversial blogs. I spoke with a blogger who stopped writing negative posts. He saw his readership decline precipitously, so much so that he was tempted to revert back to controversial blogging. If you feast on writing controversial posts, you must keep the negativity going to keep the readership; otherwise it’s famine.
- Negative blogging drains me emotionally and spiritually. I desire to put my energies into other areas. For me, life is too short to spend so much of my energy that I fail to give time to prayer, the Word, my church, and my family.
I hope I don’t stir up debate with this post. Remember, this perspective is mine and about me personally. It would be ironic if a blogpost about avoiding controversy stirred up controversy.
What is your perspective? What do you think of my perspective?