OK so the other day somebody came onto my blog and the interaction troubled me a lot. It was as if I was being accused and found guilty of a false sin, a sin not found in the Bible. Now, maybe I’m not characterizing it correctly, or maybe I am. But regardless of that, what transpired was an attempt to avoid my argument by discrediting my character. This list is the result of that interaction. I created it because I foresee similar interactions in the future with different people, and I want to be able to link back to this post rather than repeat myself over and over.
10 tips for successful commenting on my blog
1) Don’t make up false sins. Sin is clearly defined in the Bible. Avoid making up false sins. They will lead you astray.
2) Don’t find me guilty of your false sin. If believe you must expand on what scripture says regarding what a sin is, keep in mind that I have no obligation to accept your interpretation. And if you are a Protestant, ultimately I have no obligation to submit myself to you, since you lack authority over me, and I do not acknowledge that you have authority as established by Christ.
3) Discrediting my character will be a losing strategy. Why? Several reasons.
- You are changing the subject and I will point this out.
- I may use it as an opportunity to teach readers about the sort of fallacy you used.
- Your false sin doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how much of a sinner I really am. I have committed actual, Biblical, REAL sins. So there is no need to make up a false sin to find me guilty of committing.
4) Address the substance of my arguments. Point by point, detailed descriptions of why you think I’m wrong work best for me. Be sure that I have not addressed what you are saying. I find that people rush through my posts without reading them thoroughly, and say something in their comment that I addressed in the post. I put a care into what I write, so it means a lot to me when readers use care when reading and responding.
5) I welcome original, thoughtful dialog, and will be suspect of a response that seems canned, predetermined, or unthoughtful. Why? Because my arguments are unique. Marriage is a stand-alone issue, and so, for example, I never talk about gay sexual activity. I don’t have to talk about gay sexual activity to defend marriage. If you respond by accusing me of being against gay people, you are trying to discredit my character by giving a canned response. You either didn’t read my post or you read it but couldn’t/wouldn’t formulate a response to it. Imagine me describing a mountain, and somebody comes along insisting that I am against oceans. It’s a non-sequitur and makes it hard for me to take you seriously. Please avoid it on my blog.
6) I am a convert to the defense of natural marriage. For example, I did not vote yes on California’s Prop 8 marriage campaign in 2008. I converted to this issue in about 2010. So don’t assume that I’ve always held this view. I have not.
7) I defend a broad category called “natural marriage.” This includes the sub category of “sacramental marriage,” but I do not focus my defense on only the sub category. In my view, the sub category is not specifically under assault. It is only under assault to the extent that the broader category is.
8) I am just as hard, if not harder, on other kinds of family breakdown as I am on same-sex marriage policy. A cursory glance at the posts on my blog will confirm this.
9) Comment deletion/redaction/editing policy. Examples of when I might do one of these: criticizing my Church without providing reasons or citations; attacking my character; spam.
10) I view the category of “sexual orientation” in light of Romans 6. Romans 6 talks about being a slave to sin. “Sexual orientation” is used to justify sexual behavior, as if the behavior cannot be freely chosen. Doesn’t that sound like to being a slave to sin? Now, I know from first hand experience that until we get our lives right with Jesus, sin is powerful, and even after we do, we still have to struggle against it. I also know that because of His grace we can choose to reject sin and follow God, day by day.