Boundaries For Blogging

Blogging is fun.

I get to meet new people and learn new things. It can be an extension of my ministry. It’s a tech thing. It may have spiritual benefits. I hear new perspectives. There are a lot of pictures and videos and more videos. Reading this or this should get you academic credits. One can even take a break without getting fired. I like almost everything about it.

But as many have already said – blogging can be dangerous.

For me the biggest danger right now is overindulgence. I can get so engaged in these conversations that I lose track of time and priorities. So let me share with you a few boundaries that I am installing in my blogging life. (Picture a post-it note at the top left corner of my flat panel monitor.)

  • Bible first – blogging last. In the morning I must not even sit down at the computer desk until I’ve gone hard after God. I’ve made this mistake a few times recently and it ruined my whole day.
  • No blogging after bedtime. For me this means I logging off at 10 pm. This has been a serious pitfall for me. My sleep schedule last semester was a mess. Blogging is an activity that I can do without noticing that I’m tired. Result – it’s 1 AM and I still have 19 Firefox tabs opened that I want to read.
  • No posting without praying. I wish I could hack the “publish” button to say “pray” and redirect me to the Lord’s Prayer. If anyone out there can do this hack I will pay you cash money.
  • No blogging on the Lord’s Day. I mean zero reading, commenting, or writing posts on the Lord’s Day. You can debate this one in the comments but “as for me and my house . . .”
  • Stay away from stats. This is a hard one for me. Stats are cool – the charts, the weird places people link from, the out clicks. So I will now allow myself to check them only once per day. This is starting to hurt.
  • Blog briefly. Have you ever sat down to blog and looked up to see that 2 hours had passed? I need to be conscious about limited my time per sitting at the computer. Maybe I should be a parent to myself and get an egg timer.

So there you go. Another post on blogging. Now what do you think? Am I being legalistic? Or am I creating an idol?

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15 Responses to Boundaries For Blogging

  1. Trevin Wax says:

    I think these are good rules to go by. They won’t work for everyone.

    I will say this about blogging on Sundays… you can adjust the timestamp of a post to have it appear on Sunday, even though you didn’t write it on Sunday. I usually prepare a prayer for Sundays and have it posted on Sundays. But aside from the prayer, I don’t post anything on Sundays either.

  2. Tony Kummer says:

    My conscience will not permit me to blog on the Lord’s Day. I would be interested to hear from more people on Trevin’s question about ‘future posts’ that WordPress will automatically post for you on Sunday.

  3. R. Mansfield says:

    What is it about blogging that would make you find it an objectionable activity on the Lord’s Day?

  4. Aaron Hawk says:

    My first and main comment (aka-the short version)… it’s called, wisdom! :)

    Seriously, anything we enjoy can become a hindrance and you obviously know that. I think it is very wise to limit the time you allow yourself to spend on this and on any other “good” thing. I definitely agree with making sure your heart has sought the Lord first and especially before posting. I am very new to blogging (like within the last week :) and I’m already disturbed at the way some people “discuss” things, with extreme emotive language and seemingly no sense that we need to honor Christ in all that we do. My point is to say “thank you” for mentioning that here as part of your own preparation.

    I will comment of the Sunday thing. Personally, I don’t have any problem posting or reading on the Lord’s day. For me, at least for now (see comment above), it is a pleasure and a blessing. I certainly don’t want to make a habit of using the Lord’s day for this, but do think it would be legalism to say that no one should. Also, yes, I realize that thus far no one has said that. My only caution would be not to look down on others that do (and I don’t sense any of that in your note).

    Thanks for your article and may the Lord richly bless you and keep you near to Himself!

  5. Tony Kummer says:

    From the Baptist Catechism
    # Q. What is the fourth commandment?
    A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy: six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it (Ex. 20:8-11).

    # Q. What is required in the fourth commandment?
    A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as He hath appointed in His word, expressly, one whole day in seven to be a holy sabbath to Himself (Ex. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-14).

    # Q. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
    A. Before the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-14); and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath (Ps. 118:24; Mt. 28:1; Mk. 2:27, 28; Jn. 20:19, 20, 26; Rev. 1:10; Mk. 16:2; Lk. 24:1, 30-36; Jn. 20:1; Acts 1:3; 2:1, 2; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2).

    # Q. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
    A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day (Ex. 20:8, 10), even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days (Ex. 16:25-28; Neh. 13:15-22); and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship (Lk. 4:16; Acts 20:7; Ps. 92:title; Is. 66:23), except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy (Mt. 12:1-13).

    # Q. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
    A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required (Ez. 22:26; Amos 8:5; Mal. 1:13), and the profaning the day by idleness (Acts 20:7, 9), or doing that which is in itself sinful (Ez. 23:38), or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about worldly employments or recreations (Jer 17:24-27; Is. 58:13).

    # Q. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
    A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, are God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own lawful employments (Ex. 20:9), his challenging a special propriety in a seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath day (Ex. 20:11).

    # Q. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
    A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required (Ez. 22:26; Amos 8:5; Mal. 1:13), and the profaning the day by idleness (Acts 20:7, 9), or doing that which is in itself sinful (Ez. 23:38), or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about worldly employments or recreations (Jer 17:24-27; Is. 58:13).
    # Q. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
    A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day (Ex. 20:8, 10), even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days (Ex. 16:25-28; Neh. 13:15-22); and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship (Lk. 4:16; Acts 20:7; Ps. 92:title; Is. 66:23), except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy (Mt. 12:1-13).

  6. Scott says:

    Very commendable! It sounds like a good starting point. I too suffer from not being able to tell time while sitting in front of the computer.

    But this one seems as if hypocrisy could certainly step up to bat and knock one over the 500 foot mark…

    No blogging on the Lord’s Day. I mean zero reading, commenting, or writing posts on the Lord’s Day. You can debate this one in the comments but “as for me and my house . . .”

    I completely understand what you intend here. I support your decision to do so. But to what end? Will you still check the Colts score? Email? Ecampus? Or maybe other media will replace blogging…TV, movies, books?

    Where is it that the line gets drawn? Well and good to limit time, increase praying, read the Bible more. Consistent application will win the day for you however. Not just a one day prohibition.

    I will make my stand with you. As I don’t blog as often as many here do I will make a Flickr pledge. I vow as long as you don’t blog on the Lord’s day to not obsess with Flickr on days ending in ‘y’. Wait…they all end in ‘y’.

    Revision: I will make my stand with you. I will use my time every day with wisdom in order to glorify God. Since I often abuse my Flickr time, I will make that a priority in time-management. Regardless if you are successful in Lord’s Day blogfasting.

  7. I think all of these boundaries are very wise. It is important to strike a balance in blogging so that we don’t fall into a “gluttony” of sorts.

    I don’t think that’s being legalistic at all, as long as you don’t think you are earning favor with God by limiting your blogging! :) I can only imagine that in eternity you will look back at a wise use of this unique on-line experience as a good thing.

    Especially liked the prayer idea. Excellent thoughts.

  8. Tony Kummer says:

    Sorry I dumped the Baptist Catechism on you guys like that. I was running late for a T-ball game and my team needed me.

    I would welcome any of the brothers here who are more accomplished than me (which is most) to instruct me more fully on the question of the Lord’s Day. For now my conscience is pulling me toward the understanding as set forth in the Catechism above.

    This is a new thing for me. I have previously held to the all of life is Sabbath under Christ. While I still believe that is true I can not set aside the 4th commandment without clear warrant. Even more the Sabbath is a reflection of God’s character. This alone in the pursuit of holiness would move me toward the traditional understanding of a Christian Sabbath.

  9. Tony Kummer says:

    My practical objection and the other reason I’ve made this boundary regarding the Lord’s Day is this. I have not been very intentional in family worship or private worship on Sundays. I work about 5 hours at church but have mostly used the day to promote sloth – like the brother above mentioned with Colts games.

    Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate every comment and wish I had more time to respond tonight. But 10 pm is fast approaching.

  10. Aaron Hawk says:

    I would again encourage you to be careful not to look down on people who do. I don’t get the feeling you are right now, but worry you may lean that way later. To do so would certainly be legalism. If it is your genuine conviction, then you are bound by it. For me… as of now, my writing, blogging, and reading IS an act of worship (in general, not just referring to Sunday). It is meditation upon Christ and interaction with others about Him.

    Another thought, Matt 12.1: I doubt they would have died, had they not eaten the corn that day, thus it was neither necessity, nor mercy. I could list other examples, but I think the point is more honoring Christ and less the day. Also, I do believe that we tend to take the Lord’s Day a little too lightly sometimes. In fact, sometimes I think many of our church activities keep us so busy that we may as well have worked. That may be the subject of another thread though ;) I sincerely hope that my words are taken as nothing except a simple, humble submission of thought to a brother in Christ. As I said earlier, I am horrified at the way some write to each other and do not want to even give the appearance of that. Thank you again for your sincere heart!

  11. Tony Kummer says:

    Aaron – thanks for you encouragement. I am in many ways an unprofitable servant. God has often and very wisely humbled me, I pray that he will continue to do so.

    My issue at this point is that I routinely abuse the blessing of Sabbath in my life. Why would I despise my own soul like this? So even as I continue to work out my theology of the Lords Day I am making personal and family worship a priority over blogging.

    If anyone would like to write up a formal argument for or against the Lord’s Day or the Sabbath as an act of Christian worship please email me. I think this is a profitable discussion. I commend those who commented so far for their grace and gentleness.

  12. Thanks for this post. God bless you.

  13. Steve Weaver says:

    Tony,

    I already wrote the definitive paper on the Sabbath/Lord’s Day issue. :) It’s online on my webpage under “Papers”. Here is a direct link to the paper in PDF.

  14. Tony Kummer says:

    I’ll have to look it up. Thanks

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