Friday, July 01, 2005

Are you a teacher?

James said, "Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged by God with greater strictness" (3.1 NLT).

Are those of us who blog about Christian ideas and who cite bible verses actually teaching? Or are we simply offering opinions? Or is there any difference? Someone who reads what we write is going to be impacted in some way be what he or she reads.

Does the phrase "in the church" qualify this statement--we aren't technically "in" the church. Or is this talking about the church body as a whole and pertaining to all Christians any time, any place? The NIV text of this verse doesn't even use the phrase "in the church": "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." (This brings to mind the topic of accuracy in bible translations, but that's another blog.) So does this mean that anyone who teaches anything will be held to a higher standard?

I always am very careful about what I say here. I spend a considerable amount of time finding the best way to express my ideas, sometimes rewriting a single sentence again and again until I'm sure that the words I use and the possible tone they convey are expressing the exact meaning that I want to get across. I'm always thinking about my audience and how they might interpret--or misinterpret--what I say. So far I haven't been called on the carpet for anything, but I'm sure the time will come.

So I guess I'm going to continue to err on the side of caution and be very careful of what I say here.

5 comments:

Tony Arnold said...

When we state our views, teach, comment, blog, etc. in a public forum, we must take responsiblity for what we say. It is important to understand this. I believe so many have a false sense of entitlement; that, "along with my freedom to say or write anything I wish, comes the freedom from any consequence of such actions."

That is a totally false belief. If you put it out in the open, be willing to live with the results.

By the way, in this case, when I used the word public, I meant anything outside your own thoughts or secure storage. Saying something to a friend is public in its way.

Tony

Bar Bar A said...

Excellent reminder. I sometimes use my blog to express what I am thinking at the moment and don't always take into consideration that someone may read it and be misled in some way.

Thank you for stopping by my place and posting. I apprecitated what you said very much.

Bar Bar A said...

Excellent reminder. I sometimes use my blog to express what I am thinking at the moment and don't always take into consideration that someone may read it and be misled in some way.

Thank you for stopping by my place and posting. I apprecitated what you said very much.

jettybetty said...

Another excellent blog--with some thoughts that all of us bloggers need to process before we post things! I do believe we are responsible for what we say.

I can tell you pick your words carefully! I think that's one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much!!!

Blessings!
JB

David Kear said...

I agree with Tony that all of us (bloggers) must take responsibility for the things that we publish. I also think that how you represent yourself has something to do with it. There may be a greater responsibility if you represent yourself as an authority on a given subject than if you represent your self as giving a layperson's opinion. No matter which, you still must take responsibility for any factual references that you make in support of your opinion and so on.