“Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person.”
For a very long time I've tried to put my finger on why I'm bothered by much of what is called Christian blogging. It's not the act of blogging which disturbs me (of course not); nor is it the efforts to expose untoward behavior of Christian leaders and Christian ministries; nor is it the defense of high-profile Christians who come under the intense scrutiny of others.
I think I was finally able to pinpoint what bothers me about Christian blogging. It came to me this past weekend.
It's all the 'demands' for repentance. Everybody wants everyone else 'to repent.' Church members are demanding church leaders repent. Church leaders are demanding church members repent. High-profile Christians are demanding discernment bloggers repent, and discernment bloggers are demanding high-profile Christians repent. Blogs expose Christians who have lied, and demand they repent. Christians who have been 'attacked' on blogs demand bloggers repent of their bullying. Everybody demands everyone else repent.
It seems to me we like playing the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (John 16:8). When the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience, it is not relationships with others that bothers him, but his relationship with God—
I wonder if we began to understand that true repentance in another person will only spring from our goodness towards that person, then maybe we would stop demanding that anyone else repent. Maybe if we would simply seek to be kind towards sinners, then maybe we would become an instrument for real repentance.“Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil." (Psalm 51:4)
Of course, that doesn't mean we 'hide, or cover, or enable' sin in other Christians or Christian ministries -- but it does mean that when we expose what we believe to be wrong, we always speak the truth in love, and we seek creative ways to be good toward those of whom we are writing. It means that instead of always 'demanding' others repent, we would personally delight in doing good toward those who are in sin -- even our enemies.
If "it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance" (Romans 2:4), then maybe that should be 'good' enough for us.