I have found that Proverbs is one of the most helpful places to turn for help in Christian blogging. The Proverbs frequently help us in our communication with people; both fools and the wise. Hopefully Christian bloggers write to edify the wise. Sadly, Christian blogging is often hi-jacked by the fool. Therefore, Proverbs is one of the best places to turn for help in online communication. To that end this begins a lengthy series (going through every applicable chapter of Proverbs) to find help for Christian Blogging.
#1 Christian Bloggers Should Not Join an Ambush For Traffic Gain
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse”—
my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
(Proverbs 1:10-19 ESV)
It may seem like a stretch to call the worst of watch bloggers “those whose feet run to evil and make haste to shed blood”. But calling everybody to “accountability” and trying to torch Christian believers seems to me to be very similar to what is being discussed in this Proverb.
If we are not careful as Christian bloggers we can be tempted to “walk in the way with them”. Our hearts can be tempted towards the “unjust gain” of increased blog traffic. Controversy sells. It sells in linking to controversial stories and sites. It sells in engaging controversy and writing about it. But at the end of the day the traffic gained from throwing our brothers and sisters under the bus will “take away life”.
Of course there are debates that need to be had. There are discussions and even controversial ones that must take place. It is not wrong to get blog traffic as a result of a thoughtful, gracious, and helpful piece that deals with something controversial. What is wrong is joining in an ambush for the sake of blog traffic.
1:15 says, “my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths”. Decide for yourselves if this is a stretch, but I think this Proverb is telling us to simply not play the ambush game (neither as a fellow ambusher or as one trying to lay a snare for the one doing the ambushing). Just walk away and go a different path—even if its rough, rugged, and filled with the hard labor of cutting out your own path to finding an audience.
You can gain a quick following by being a controversy seeking and controversy centered blogger, but at the end of the day it reeks of death and not glory. I’d rather have a small blog that is life-giving rather than a highly visited tomb.