However, there is a tenuous thread attached to the cyber-optic internet connection, too. Some of the older bloggers (not chronologically by age, but having been blogging early on), have developed specific voices to specific issues and sometimes they are misunderstood by the newbies logging on for the first time. These personalities may offend, distract, annoy, and divide–where there is no intent to do so. They may also assume everyone knows specific “terminology” having been concocted during the course of several years of blogging banter.
I have a confession to make. Before, I began blogging, I really didn’t know there was all this talk about “politics” in the SBC. Seriously. I was oblivious to that stuff. I’ve written before when I use to contribute to SBCImpact, that when the CR was going on, I was playing volleyball with the youth in my husband’s first church, teaching them classes on spiritual growth, and leading them to Jesus. God was taking my husband and I through two decades of ministry in Kentucky and we were struggling to be all He wanted us to be in our church ministry. We attended one SB Convention during the entire time. Our main focus was on the associational and state level. But we never saw anything we did in a “political” sense. Just figuring out ways to serve God better in a cooperating body of churches. And we figured that is what was going on in the convention at large.
Today, when a new person comes into the streams of conversations, simply hoping to dialogue, they can find themselves labeled as being in this “camp” or that, in this “group” or that, or having a specific agenda with a certain identity. This causes more confusion. And, sometimes, poor communication.
I know this, because early in my blogging experience, I logged on as SelahV because I didn’t like my real name and didn’t want everyone misspelling it, etc.–so I made up that as a moniker. The only person I knew in blogland was a certain blogger, so everyone assumed I thought exactly like him (when in fact, I was learning what he thought as I read him). I had no clue what was going on in this world of blogging and was simply stepping into a new world to ask questions–to learn, make friends, and write “stuff” to help deal with my own personal situations. I didn’t know about all the skirmishes, or the divisionary lines that were drawn or being drawn. I didn’t understand the majority of the terminology (and still am confused by most of it). I believe most people assume they have a term, ideology, identity, or issue locked into a specific slice of the pie, when in reality, there are choclate chips, pecans, and walnuts all mixed into the slice. No one is totally clear on the whole pie’s ingredients. I was constantly looking up terms from posts (still am) and trying to figure out all those five syllable words writers were using. Sometimes when I commented, I’d be called a “legalist”, other times a “fundamentalist”, often a Biblicist, and occasionally–a “liberal” (go figure). Then there were the Calvinists and non-Calvinists, the Arminians and the non-Arminians, and the 2,3,4, and 5 pointers. The tulips and the roses. I was so baffled by it all, that I wanted to simply go pick daisies and blow dandelions in the wind.
I did learn, early on in blogging, that most bloggers take umbrage to someone asking an innocent information-seeking question. I tried it on a few sites and came out scratching my head at the attacking voices I found. Luckily, for me, there were always a few folks in any particular website who would jump in and help me out–very often chastizing the others and emailing me for a while to help me understand the issues before me.
So, I’m wondering, for all you new bloggers. Are there any questions, terms, camps, groups, or identities you would like clarified or defined? I’ve been blogging for nearly three years. I’ve yet to find a person who can clearly, succinctly and absolutely pigeon-hole any particular camp, group or identity without adding a caveat or two. So, I say, good luck and God’s grace be with you all if you find an undebateable answer to your questions. selahV