Getting the Point Across

August 26, 2005 — 4 Comments

What does it take to get a point across? Sometimes it seems like no one is listening, and you have to go to drastic measures to have an audience. Other times you have no audience at all. But with a blog, you can get your point across. You can have readers, and people who really listen. If you’re good, you’ll hold them captive by your words, and convince some to believe as you do on an issue.

But when we take a look at some comment sections on blogs, a place set apart for discussion (that’s a key word), on many blogs, we wish we had never seen them. Liberals, potty mouths, weirdos, and the like all seem to hang around there. It’s like the comment section is the bad part of the mall. And I can see why so many dislike them.

And other times, we see some good come out of them. We see enlightening discussion. We have both harsh and kind words, yet points are being made without feelings being hurt or people being torn to shreds.

On other blogs, things are so censored, you don’t even want to comment. You know it will probably be deleted. Only the “crowd” can comment, and you must be in the elite to say anything worth being kept, or satisfactory to the blogger who moderates the comments.

“But it’s a PERSONAL blog! They have the right!”

Absolutely. They have a right. Unfortunetely, that right, in my opinion, is being taken so that the writer hears only one side of an issue. If a blog is about discussion, and it only allows one view, then that’s not right. It has to allow both sides to comment with humilty and respect towards each other.

In my comment section I delete personal attacks, spam, fouth mouths, and the occasional trouble-maker. But people do disagree with me on issues. In the area of theology, I must let others voice their views because my theology is not perfect, and I want to hear what they have to say. As long as they say it with humility and respect, I’ll accept almost any comment. In the area of homeschooling, I listen to everyone. I don’t think I’ve ever deleted a negative comment towards homeschooling. I’ve let them through. Both sides of the issue must be heard.

Some say blogs are not supposed to be objective–it’s your blog, and you voice your opinion.

Again: absolutely.

But we can go overboard with that. If we focus on one topic, we can limit ourselves to hearing nothing but our own voices, and censoring anyone against us.

I know many bloggers who have strict comment rules, and uphold them well. But the way they do it is to allow related comments, even if those comments disagree with the post. If they’re done in humility, respect, and honor, and correspond with the post, then they approve it.

If they delete a comment they state why.

But some bloggers do not. They censor anyone who holds opposing views. I don’t believe they are right, but they are certainly entititled to share their views and to be given a voice.

But in many areas, I see people who have an opinion on an issue, and have been so sold on it, that they won’t listen to arguements against it.

But I have to tell you…you can’t win if you don’t fight sometimes.

When I listen to someone argue against Christianity, I respond to them (as Christ would respond). I don’t turn them off, delete them, or forget about them.

I respond in Christian love. I look to point out the mistakes I see, and consider what they’ve said. I really think about it.

Then I respond, in love.

Even if they seem to “tear apart” my words or construe them: I respond in Love.

The other day, I sat down and flipped open my Bible and found this verse:

“Remind the people to…slander no one, and to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men.”

Yes, that’s “no one” and “all men.” I do not wish to slander anyone. People may take many things wrong, and be warped and over-zealous in their things to fight about. The Bible tells us that the man who has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels over words, is a conceited man. He is continuously looking for envy, strife, and using malicous talk and holding evil suspicions.

Don’t be that man (or woman). Don’t allow conceit, and hardness come into your heart. You may think you’re on the right side of an issue, but in reality, your heart may be seared.

When it comes to issues in Christianity, I always confirm one thing that all must have in common: We all believe Christ died for our sins. Without him we’d be going to hell. He died, and defeated death by rising three days later. Now we have forgiveness and eternal life by asking Christ for forgiveness. It’s not hard. The simplicity of the gospel is amazing.

Sin and a Savior.

We can agree on that if we’re Christians. But many times the body of Christ seems to jump to one side on a debatable issue, and say they’re right and sear their hearts to anything opposite of their own view.

We cannot allow ourselves to do that. It’s not right–it’s dead wrong.

Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a 22-year-old writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

4 responses to Getting the Point Across

  1. Very well stated, Tim. Healthy debate is extremely valuable…”As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Prov.27:17, and we must bear with others in love, disaplying the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our discussions and debates.

  2. I think it is great that you listen to opposing viewpoints. Most people won’t do it. They don’t realize that the person could just possibly have something of interest to say.

  3. And just because you disagree with them on one thing, doesn’t mean they’re wrong on everything. Valuable lessons can be learned from those who disagree with you.

    Good post, Tim.

  4. Disagreeable commenters are lots of fun. They let you know who you have to convince.

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