As a guy who preaches sermons every week and has written a book, I realize that blogging has the most intriguing potential out of any communication platform right now. Each article can affect thousands of people I’ve never met and the message can still reach someone years after I first write a piece.
Having said that to recognize the value of blogging… I sure do get frustrated by it sometimes.
To me, blogging is a sure sign that the online Christian community is beginning to give in to what Paul feared would happen, that people would accumulate for themselves teachers (or writers) who would tickle their ears by telling them what they wanted to hear. What’s my evidence for that? Consider a few points…

  • The Matt Walsh Blog is arguably the most popular “Christian,” conservative commentary site, garnering millions of hits per month. Matt Walsh says a lot of things that are absolutely true, and he says a lot of things that others aren’t willing to say. I’ve even shared a few of his articles on social media. However, what Matt Walsh doesn’t do is persuade. People go to the Matt Walsh Blog to have what they already believe confirmed for them by a confident, often abrasive voice. In every one of his articles it seems he intentionally offends those who disagree with him… and yet his popularity soars among those who already believe and practice what he says. Is it fun to watch him ruthlessly dismantle baseless ideologies? Sometimes, sure. Does it accomplish anything? No, in fact it’s typically counterproductive because it drives those who disagree away. I don’t say this to slam Matt Walsh (though I don’t often agree with his approach these days). I say it to point out that the kind of things we like to read make us feel good about ourselves but alienate anyone we might reach.

  • Matt Walsh isn’t the only one whose readership has this tendency, though. Even on the Focus Press Blog, three of our four most popular articles are those which call out things Christians already disapprove of (two on homosexuality, one on “50 Shades of Grey”). I wrote those articles because what I said needed to be said… but how many Christians actually grew from those posts? How many of them learned something new or were motivated to change what they were doing? Such an overwhelming response makes it tempting for us as writers to tailor our posts to that angle, but what’s the point of writing if it only reaches those who agree and doesn’t change any minds or help anyone grow?

  • Other Christian bloggers I follow will often produce outstanding material on how to be a better Christian that largely goes unnoticed, but when they write something that points out what the denominations have gotten wrong about doctrine or how non-Christians have misunderstood the Bible, it becomes incredibly popular. Or, even worse, when an article that is critical of some other Christian (usually a prominent one) is shared, everyone feels the need to pass it around and tell others just how much they disapprove of that particular person (without ever actually talking to that person, of course). People all over Facebook and Twitter will share the article confirming what we believe or smearing some Christian public figure, but rarely do we pass on those things that convict and challenge us to do better.

  • Our friends at Strong Church have always enjoyed a solid following, and their article readership has been pretty steady, until they introduced, a site aimed at ending pornography addiction among Christians. Nooooobody wants to talk about pornography. Nobody wants to share articles about it or click “Like” or “Retweet” on an article taking a candid look at how the majority of Christian men and an increasing number of Christian women stumble and fall to this widespread temptation. We breed a culture that keeps people with such struggles in the dark, afraid to look for help because we silence the subject at every turn for fear of what people might think. But that article about what’s wrong with homosexuality or that Facebook post pointing out a flaw in instrumental worship, sure, I’ll share yet another one of those.

Do you really need another article on baptism, the instrument, or homosexuality? Are we really growing by rehashing those for the millionth time? Our Internet habits reveal two interesting facts about modern Christians in America.
First, we’re incredibly defensive. We feel so overwhelmed by worldliness and false doctrines that we bristle against every attack and do everything we can to hold the line on the next big issue. Instead we should be defending the truth by going on offense. How do we do that? By getting our house in order first, by helping the church become what it should be and by strengthening Christians in our battles with sin, and then by teaching what the Bible does say rather than only combatting what it doesn’t.
Second, we often come across as hypocritical. It’s not hard to find people who will dismiss all of Christianity based on the hypocrisy of Christians. For them it’s a convenient, go-to excuse to get out of commitment. Unfortunately, we don’t do much to take that excuse away when we point out what everyone else is doing wrong and share articles that slam our opponents while refusing to pass on material which makes us consider our own sins, shortcomings, temptations, and doubts.
Truth be told, this is exactly what the Pharisees were guilty of in Matthew 23, when Jesus accused them of washing the outside of the cup. They were always pointing out what everyone else was doing wrong and patting themselves on the back for having their doctrines right, but weren’t ever open about their own sins. They wouldn’t be found saying “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!” but “Lord, I thank you that I am not like this homosexual. I attend on Sundays, I worship without instrumental accompaniment, and I understand the biblical role of women in the church.” I’m not saying homosexuality is right or those doctrines are wrong, but if that’s where our confidence lies we’re exalting our obedience over the blood of Christ.
That’s something we’ve got to stop. I’m not saying this to increase my own web traffic or anyone else’s or to put any of my fellow bloggers down. I’m saying this in hopes that Christians will start considering how they use the internet and what it says about us when we get fired up over that which slaps other people around but never that which strikes at the heart of what we need.
By Jack Wilkie
Jack Wilkie is the author of “Failure: What Christian Parents Need to Know About American Education” and is the speaker for Focus Press’s “The Lost Generation” seminar. To schedule a seminar at your church, contact