Why We Don't Allow Comments
September 22, 2014
Comments are not allowed here at Reformation21. Why?
Well, someone has to be in charge of editing out all of the stupid, vitriolic, inane, off-topic, and poorly worded comments that appear with great regularity on blogs that sometimes discuss controversial issues. If those wishing to comment are willing to pay the Alliance to hire someone to do that job then please send your credit card details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, we take seriously our Lord's warning in Matthew 12:35-37 ("...I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak...").
Perhaps we ought to consider what types of people have oodles of time on their hands as they live the dream of Internet theologian.
To the Pastor, who:
Does not spend enough time on his sermons, or with his people, or in prayer, or staying fit, or with his children, because he's too busy commenting on blogs:
To the Seminarian, who:
Doesn't have a clue (yet), thinks he knows a lot more than he does, needs to work to pay off debt, needs to learn the biblical languages, and doesn't know how to speak to old ladies about spiritual things, or complains about never having any "spiritual duties":
Stop it. (And then go visit an old age home.)
Seminarian: "But I'm really smart."
Me: "No, we don't go there."
Seminarian: "But I go to RTS."
Me: "No, we definitely don't go there."
To the anonymous person:
Get a life, be a man (unless you're a woman who comments anonymously), and:
To the layman, who:
Likes to criticize what he can't understand, needs a job, and hasn't ever published anything related to the topic (but still feels qualified to discuss the matter at length, while simultaneously critiquing others who have published on the topic under consideration):
To the scholar, who:
Tries to reason, clarify, and discuss the matter in an attempt to help people - certain people who aren't too interested in learning, but love to divert the conversation to another topic once you show them the errors of their ways - see above, and:
To the internet troll, who:
Likes to upset or disrupt a conversation. You are a narcissistic psychopath with sadistic tendencies.
Please, stop it.
To the retired person, who:
Has enough time to comment on blogs, has done sufficient reading on the topic to make an intelligent contribution to the discussion, and isn't on "the Facebook" all the time:
Go steal computers from the people above.
The conclusion of the matter:
In all seriousness (actually, the stuff about "trolls" above was serious), I've rarely seen people publicly change their minds, admit they are wrong, or stay on topic, in the comments section of blogs where a debate is taking place. Some of us probably need to consider what an almighty waste of time "internet debating" can be. Sure, the "great post" flattery is harmless - actually, no it isn't (Ps. 12:3) - but I digress...
Plus, as a pastor, I love questions and discussions with my people. I know who they are; they know who I am. We can usually talk face to face, and progress is typically made. Even if we don't end up agreeing - I still have some holdouts in my church that reject the biblical practice of infant baptism - we still love one another. It seems to me that this type of "debate" is fruitful. But the "debate" that often takes place on blogs is sort of like an old banana that has been left under a car-seat for a month.
In conclusion, a pastoral masterclass:
Pastor Mark Jones has asked the Alliance the open comments for this post, but it looks like they've refused.