Yesterday, I lamented my having been blackballed by Tim Challies and the Reformed Illuminati known as The Gospel Coalition. Through years of faithful blogging I have been disregarded and mostly unnoticed.
Hopefully you caught the humor in what I was doing and nobody actually took me serious. I love Tim Challies, The Gospel Coaltion, and all those involved. I’d be part of the Reformed Illuminati if they’d let me in. I wrote what I did yesterday because I hoped to make a point today. (Hopefully my point is not lost on anything that I wrote yesterday).
Proverbs 18:17 says, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him”.
Everything that I said yesterday could, theoretically, be true. It really could be possible that there is a conspiracy within the ranks of Challies and TGC. They really could have read my stuff and somehow decided that I am a dangerous blogger that they should not give an audience to. It really is possible. And if you only read my side of the story from my very limited perspective (and if I hadn’t written it in such a ridiculous fashion) then you very well could have bought into this little conspiracy theory.
There are two possibilities, though, that I absolutely refuse to accept that would refute my conspiracy theory. The first possibility is that Challies and TGC have actually read a few of my posts and they are simply not up to the quality that they would like to feature on their blog. Maybe my writin’ ain’t good enuf.
A second possibility is that even though I follow Challies, TGC, and others on Twitter and Facebook and even though they may have me as a “friend” on their facebook account, or have seen my name appear on comments, they actually have no idea who I am. They have honestly never read my blog. Maybe an article here or there, but not enough to actually catch their attention. They aren’t snubbing me—they just don’t know I exist.
What about Challies not saying hi to me at Band of Bloggers? First of all, I doubt very seriously he would even know me, much less have a reason to say hi. Secondly, I’m not sure many people on the internets even know what my face looks like. You’d have to do some digging. My Facebook profile is usually something ranging from Don Knotts to Gary Coleman. And my twitter profile picture has been Ron Swanson and/or Prison Mike for the last few months. Even if they knew my name they’d have no idea what I look like.
Be really slow to jump on stories of conspiracy on the internet. I have been involved in church discipline cases were it would have been wrong to have aired every aspect of a grievance. Often times because people only hear one side of the story the assumption is that there must be some sort of mass cover up going on. While that is certainly possible, and churches and Christian gatherings like TGC are not immune to power-gluttons, it is also quite possible that these are humble men and women that are simply using wisdom.
What appears to be “going on” is not always what is actually reality. This does not mean that only “insiders” ought to be blogging or asking questions. But it does mean that those who do not have a good majority of the information and are not privy to both sides in an issue should be very cautious and careful about making assumptions.
What this also teaches us is that even in our everyday relationships we can wrongly assume that somebody is mad at us, blackballing us, ignoring us, giving us the silent treatment, etc. but in reality they have no idea what is even going on. I have witnessed relationships be destroyed just because of a perceived offense or snub. If you really do feel like you have offended a brother or if a brother has offended you the gospel calls us to make every effort at peace and reconciliation.
If I really were offended or really were blackballed by Challies and TGC the method for reconciliation would not be to blog about it and expose them for all the world to hear my side of the story. Reconciliation should happen by me emailing them and asking if my crazy theory is correct.
Of course if I’m loony enough to believe such a conspiracy theory I am probably going to think that their gentle “no, there is no conspiracy” is really part of the conspiracy. But at the end of the day I am still to make very effort to be at peace with them. And if they are blackballing me (which they are not), and I have made an effort to reconcile, and then they do not reconcile, that is on them. I don’t serve the Lord by exposing them. I serve the Lord by praying for them and entrusting them to the work of the Holy Spirit.