I saw this comment on Facebook just moments ago and it instantly resonated with me...
Pastor Scheer makes a good point. There is definitely a vanity to blogging, what with the ability to immediately pipe one's words across the internet. It's gratifying to the ego. Does it mean one shouldn't write in that format? Not necessarily. But it should give us pause and lead us to consider what we say, how we say it, etc. I know that my own "blogging" can sometimes take on the character of subtext, indirectly referencing ongoing conversations and letting them govern the direction of what I'm saying, rather than Scripture, Confessions, etc. A good thing to do is be candid if one is in fact writing in response to current debates. Avoid excessive reliance on the "some people say" if possible. And be charitable, of course. Candor and charity help to diffuse the accusation that you are being passive aggressive, or some suchlike.
*- T David Demarest
That's good advice, I think.
My daily struggle? Among other things, this blog is certainly one of them!
It's a constant balancing act, because I know how incredibly helpful other blogs have been in helping me to finally escape Evangelicalism by helping me to learn God's Word as well as our Lutheran Confessions.
It doesn't matter if I start off each and every day with the best intentions either (or that I know that God has definitely used this little old blog for His glory, honor, and praise too), because I also know the very real spiritual danger to oneself and to other people that a Christian blog like this one can cause.
The truth hurts! A lot of times, it doesn't even matter how careful, and loving, and patient you are in exposing the truth. Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) means that someone is in error and that realization can be both offensive and shocking to them; it will hurt.
At the same time, sometimes choosing to say nothing at all due to fear makes you just as sinful.
That's why it's always helpful for me to also recall...
"You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say." #MartinLuther #ThisIsMostCertainlyTrue— LutheranLayman (@LutheranLayman) July 21, 2015
Managing a daily blog or merely having any kind of a presence on social media will be a constant challenge no matter how careful and delicate you are about who you write about let alone what you write about.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, anyone with a blog (especially a Christian blog like this one) must begin each morning praying for the Lord's grace to be humble and the grace to be able to think twice before typing and publishing anything.
At the end of the day, whether it's selfish or not, I have to admit that I pray that the Lord uses this blog for my own personal sanctification more than He uses it for the sanctification of others.
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!