Apparently there was some controversy in the blog world recently, at least amongst a small group of Christian women bloggers. I came in to the whole business a bit late and in all honesty it’s really not that big of a deal, but it did get me thinking. So bear with me as I don’t think I have all the facts but I won’t let me stop from commenting anyway.
Here’s a recap for those who have no clue what I’m talking about. Recently a blog held an award contest looking for nominations for things like “best blog design” and “most inspiring blog” and some mom stuff. Anyone nominated could post a little button on their blog saying they were nominated and anyone could vote for their favorite blog in a particular category. I was nominated in one of the categories (and I’m pretty sure I know by who) and posted the button on my sidebar.
Now here is where I may be a little fuzzy on the details but I think the jist of it will suffice for what I have to say. I guess Marla made a post pointing out her observation that the majority of the blogs nominated for these awards were either Mormon or Christian. Strange bedfellows…but nothing overtly wrong with the whole thing, there were no prerequisites for the nominations with regards to religion. But Marla’s ensuing posts over her observation obviously upset some people and I guess some mud-slinging occurred, mostly at Marla.
My original tip-off to this whole mess was based on a post by one of my favorite bloggers - Carol at She Lives. Carol made a very thoughtful, gentle argument against there being any problem with being nominated in a blog contest alongside non-Christians. I don’t disagree with one thing she said. But when I went over to read Marla’s posts on the subject, I didn’t feel like she was saying that a Christian shouldn’t be in a blog contest with Mormons, she was just making an observation that the mix of Mormons and Christians together was a bit curious.
Now, Marla did go on to offer a discernment award for anyone that could pick out the Mormon vs Christian blogs. I think this tactic is what upset people the most, but I think her main point may have been missed. I believe her point was that there are many Mormons who could be mistaken as Christians based of the content their blogs (ie quotes from Christian authors). Lump Mormon and Christian blogs together in a contest and perhaps the line between the two becomes a bit more blurred for non-believers or less-mature believers.
Here’s where I think Marla got the short end of the stick. I think her observation is worth taking a look at, just as a point of caution. It is clear to me that Marla has the gift of discernment and one of the benefits of that gift is seeing trouble coming long before anyone else. That is also a downfall of the gift for the discerner as sometimes their distress calls are seen as judgemental or oversensitive. Discerners can seem like troublemakers or chicken littles and often don’t get any credit when their “prophesies” finally come to pass.
Now, am I convinced that the intermingling of Christian and Mormon bloggers is a sign of something bad to come? No. But I do think it’s something to be aware of and keep an eye on. Especially if Mormons are starting to call themselves “Christians”. Mormons are not Christians, they are a cult as Marla explained and if you don’t know much about them I suggest you read Marla’s posts. I wouldn’t want a seeker or immature Christian to think that there is any common ground between Christianity and Mormonism and personally, that has made me question my own involvement in the blogger contest run by a Mormon site.
But to be honest, I’m not sure what I think is right or wrong for me in this case, but it has helped me to make clear decisions about things I could run in to in the future. For one, I wouldn’t put a Mormon blog link on my sidebar. I wouldn’t want a visitor to think I support the Mormon religion in any shape or form. Jesus is the one and only way to heaven and any religion that says anything different is leading people astray and I can’t tolerate that. I’m sure there are some very lovely Mormon ladies who have blogs and I have nothing against them personally, but they have been deceived and I pray that they will be set free and turn to Christ.
Last point (I think). The one thing that I noticed about this controversy that breaks my heart was that some self-described Christians attacked Marla (I'm not talking about Carol's post here - Carol did a good job of expressing her differing opinion without attacking anyone). As I said, I really don’t believe Marla did anything wrong, but even if she did, her fellow sisters in Christ should not be saying bad things about her or posting nasty comments. If genuine reproof were warranted then it should have been done in a loving, gentle manner and best by private email. A differing opinion is certainly fair game for the public arena but it too should not be done in attack mode.
I was once part of an email group of Christian women and saw a similar type of attack happen when one member made a comment about how she disciplines her kids. Other members starting throwing around labels like "child abuse" and just belittled this mother. I was astonished. One of the things that became apparent to me was that anyone can call themselves a Christian – that doesn’t make it true. Christian women should never be associated with the words "cat fight".
Well, I think I hit all my main points. I don’t have any strong feelings about this whole issue, but I thought it was an interesting lesson on human nature, discernment, and the pitfalls of written communication. I think that a lot of what Marla had to say was simply misconstrued to be bigger and worst than it was intended to be. It was in my opinion an interesting observation that brought up some good thinking points for true believers.
Finally, I was reminded of these verses as I thought over all of this:
1Corinthians 10:18-33 (NIV)
Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."
If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another's conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
Christian Women Blogging
Articles for Christian Women
- Christian Thumb Wars?
- When to Just Walk Away...
- My Thoughts on Mormons and Christians
- Switching Gears?
- A Christian's Obligation to the Poor Continued
- Bono, Africa and the Christian
- The Love in Food
- The Body is Weak
- The Secret of Contentment
- Christian Charities Continued
- Favorite Charities?
- Strength to the Weary
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