The Evangelical Alliance recently organised a meeting of Christian bloggers called “Godblogs” and produced 10 commandments ranging from 5. Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes.
7. You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s blog ranking. Be content with your own content.
These new, blogging 10 commandments have been widely reported in the news and have come in for critique including noting a lack of social and environmental consciousness. Some have noted that there is a misunderstanding of the concept of sabbath – can we not preach on the sabbath? What about posting prayers, prayer reflections, reflections on the scriptures on the sabbath? Are you allowed to schedule posts to upload automatically on your day off?!
Best response I saw was on Ben Myers’ Faith and Theology blog:
1. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the Gospel. Your posts are not beams of light into the darkness of cyberspace; they are not the power of God unto salvation; they are not even (thank God) a reforming influence within your degraded society.
2. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with Jesus. No one imagines you to be a model of sinlessness; no one is particularly interested in your integrity or your godliness.
3. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a church service. Your readers are not your congregation, you are not the shepherd of their souls, your posts are not the bread of salvation. The first step towards healthy blogging is the recognition that nobody needs your blog.
4. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the papacy. Readers are allowed to disagree with you, or think you’re stupid, or cuss you in a comments-thread. How can you tell if you’ve confused yourself with the Pope? Just check whether your blog features a Very Serious List (VSL) of “commenting rules.”
5. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the Holy Scriptures. No one cares whether you’re infallible and inerrant. You can change your mind as often as you like – sometimes, you can change it two or three times in a single post.
6. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with an electoral poll. Obsession with stats, or with schemes to increase those stats, is one of the first signs of the Very Wanky Blogger Disorder (VWBD).
7. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a corporate teamwork retreat. We’re not all equal team players, we’re not brainstorming together or creating mission statements, we’re not empowering one another or learning to respect and value one another’s differences. Just once in a while, you should go ahead and tell someone that their opinion is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. Go on. It’ll make you feel so much better.
8. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a university. No one expects your posts to be the product of years of careful reflection. The purpose of blogging is to express hasty, half-formed opinions, and to eliminate the customary time lapse between thinking and publishing.
9. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the school headmaster. Resist the temptation to create stupid and pompous lists of rules for blogging – and ignore anyone else who invents such rules.
10. Finally: Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with God. If you ever catch yourself acting like God’s cyber-spokesperson, or if you ever feel tempted to describe your blog as a “Godblog,” just remember that God is not a blogger – in fact, She probably hasn’t even heard of your blog.