On June 12, 2009, A front page article in the Chicago Tribune told the story of a woman who had been telling everyone that she was pregnant. People were brought closer to the story when she shared that her baby was terminally ill but had decided to carry it to full term. All of this was communicated through a web-log or blog and…all of this was a hoax.
You can read the full story HERE.
Many could take such a story and paint anti-abortion activists in a bad light. Frankly, that would be a weak argument. Millions of people connecting to a powerful and compelling story is not a sign of irrational behavior. It is very rational. It is people connecting to people, reaching out in compassion, and standing strong on what is right in the face of opposition. We need more of that in our world. But, this is not the main point of the story.
The main issue here is the power of words…words on the internet…for all to see.
When we write comments on websites, messages on twitter and facebook, or write blog posts (like this one) we tread on difficult ground. When you are sitting in front of a screen or holding your cell phone it may appear that you are safe from the reaction of others…or that your words…regarless of what they are…are sort of devoid of consequences. We tell ourselves that no one can be negatively affected or hurt by them because they are just words on the internet.
Thinking and writing in this way is dangerous. If we think that our words don’t make an impact we are lying to ourselves. Blogging especially can be full of this sort of sin. We can hurl insults, question character, and undermine authority and relationships without ever giving stock to the consequences.
If we are too afraid to speak to people face to face, if we are unwilling to be accountable, we shouldn’t be writing what we write. Doing so undermines the reality and priority of Christian community, spiritual leadership, Biblical Truth, and just normal human interaction.
I’m not naive to think that technology isn’t effecting human interaction, but I do know that it doesn’t excuse sin.
As I write, I want to be appropriate, clear, humble, bold, etc. all under the authority of Scripture, pastors, my friends and my family. I want to keep in view a goal of pointing to Christ as our all, His Word as our guide and His Spirit at work within us as our treasure and joy. God helping us.