Today Fox News reported that a severed foot washed ashore off the coast of British Columbia, making it the fifth foot to show up off the coast of British Columbia in a year. Investigators are treating the incident as a criminal investigation. But let me posit this question: why are they treating the discovery of a severed human foot as a criminal investigation? Why is this even in the news? I mean, it’s just a foot. What’s wrong with a foot? The problem, of course, is not the foot—it’s the fact that the foot is not attached to a human being. This makes it news. This makes it a possible crime scenario. This makes it gruesome; not the foot, but the fact that it is not attached to a body.
It is this kind of lovely imagery that makes Paul’s illustration of the Church in I Corinthians 12:12-31 so powerful. Here Paul compares the Church—the community of believers—to a human body. Like the human body, there are different members in the Church, each with his or her own gift and function. Although some members of the human body differ in terms of prominence (everybody can see the mouth, but nobody can see the stomach), each member is important. And, whenever a member (like a foot) is removed from the body, the body is left with a kind of deformity, and long gazes at the detached limb usually lead to nausea. Why? Because feet were meant to be attached to a body.
So it is with the body of Christ. When a member is severed from the rest of the body–that is, cut off from regular fellowship with believers, corporate worship, and the accountability of local church and her leaders–not only is that church affected, but that person begins to look unnatural and out of place. Usually, when Christians remove themselves from the regular fellowship and accountability of the local church, pride begins to fester, sin takes deeper root, and strange beliefs tend to wedge their way into the wandering Christian’s heart and mind. I’ve seen it happen many times.
With this in mind, I would like to suggest that blogging, because it can serve as a mode of both social interaction and spiritual teaching, is something that all Christians should bring under the accountability of their local church. It can be very easy to “cut ourselves off” from other Christians who would otherwise hold us to a Biblical standard with regard to our writing because we want to create an online facade and portray ourselves as someone we are not. Or we may fear to have our poor teaching exposed, or our inappropriate conduct called into question. We may like to sound spiritual online, but we are afraid that our friends at church know the real story.
Whatever the temptation, I would say that it is patently unwise to blog without the accountability of our local churches. If you find yourself hesitating to tell your Bible study leader or church elder or pastor about your blog, then you probably need to sincerely question both your motive for blogging and the content of your blog.
Positively, I would suggest that we need to open ourselves up to the scrutiny of other the believers in our local church, and invite them to regularly peruse our blogs so that they might offer insight, correct errors, point out misguided and harsh words, and help keep us be faithful to honor Jesus Christ in our blogging. I do not think that all of us need to tell the senior pastor about our blogs—they are busy enough already—but I would recommend that we seek out those who are either older than we are, or in a kind of leadership position over us, whether it is an elder, a Bible study leader, small group leader, or ministry leader. Our hearts are deceitful. Sin is deceitful. We need each other. Go tell someone about your blog.
Photo: Jon Ottosson