Christian Bloggers: Write for God, Not Google

There is no sphere in this world where the world’s conventional wisdom does not ultimately come at odds with Christ. That’s not to say that every sphere is wicked and useless. We need education. We need legal systems. We need business. Even entertainment is a grace of God. He made us creatures who laugh, after all.

Still, in every area of life there comes a point where the conventional wisdom in that area hits up against Christian ethics and there they go their separate ways.

How Blogging Butchers Writing

I come up against it a lot in blogging. For those of you who maybe read blogs but have never written one, the written word in blog form is increasingly being commoditized. Good writing, like any art form, really is both an art and a science. The painter works within the science of light and color to make art. The writer’s science laboratory is full of beakers bubbling with words and ideas, figuring how best to get them to interact to produce the desired effect in the reader.

The conventional wisdom about blogging, however, is as mechanical, cold, and efficient as a modern slaughterhouse. It is all about butchering real writing to render quick, consumable byproduct injected with as much keyword filler as you can get away with and still be humanly digestible (readable).

One article I read recently summed up the world’s conventional blogging wisdom perfectly:

The only way to attract long-term traffic to your blog is to start writing for man and machine.

God, Not Google

Said another way, conventional blogging wisdom is surprisingly religious. It is encourages bloggers to leave their first love and bow down and appease Google’s All-Seeing algorithms that rank and rate posts and blogs.

There is definitely hyperbole in my analogy, but you see my point. The whole SEO thing (Search Engine Optimization–the process of mechanically crafting blog posts for maximum exposure across the web), is obviously lame in my opinion. Not evil. Just lame. If I were running a business site, I’d have to conform my posts to it if I hoped to attract business. That leads us to consider the question: Is a Christian blog a business?

As a Christian who writes and runs a blog, do I hope one day to be able to earn a little money off a site like this? Sure, that’d be nice. Nothing wrong with that. But that should never be my first goal, nor the goal of any other Christian blogger. We serve the Lord. We serve HIs people. We serve God, not Google.

Christian writer, let me encourage you: Follow the conventional wisdom about blogging to do what you can, within reason, to increase the visibility of your blog because you want it to be a helpful resource to the people of God. But better to write 500 words of clear thought that makes you happy and pleases the Lord (who may be the only One to ever read it), than to meticulously cobble together some keyword-laden post just to win the praise of men (or machines). Remember,

For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.

Psalm 75:6-7 (ESV)

Jesus: Greater, Stronger, Wiser, Worthy

There’s nothing new in what I share with you today. In fact, if I ever do share some “new” insight from the Bible, don’t ever come back to this site! Let the world and the apostates of God search after new teachings; you and I are blessed to have the unchanging truth of the Gospel in all of its perfect splendor. We may approach it from different angles, but we only ever gaze into one radiant diamond.

In my Bible reading recently, I read 1 Kings 4:29-34:

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men […] and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29-34 ESV

How marvelous it must’ve been to hear Solomon speak. In the previous chapter, as he solved the problem of the two prostitutes and the living baby, the writer records that, “All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king…” (1 Kings 3:28 ESV, emphasis added).

As I thought about Solomon’s great wisdom and what it must’ve been like to hear him I, of course, thought back to Jesus’ own statement about Himself in Matthew 12:42: A greater than Solomon had come.

Pulling back the lens of my focus beyond these passages to bring the whole view of God’s Word into frame, we can survey the landscape and see how our Lord Jesus Christ is:

  • Better than Adam in his perfect obedience
  • Superior to Abraham in his perfect faith
  • The Greater than Moses in His role as prophet and teacher of Israel (Deut 18:15-18)
  • The Greatest High Priest, above Aaron and his priesthood, who offered Himself as the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice to atone for sin
  • The One Stronger than David as both the conqueror of that other Goliath: Satan, and greater because Jesus is King forever of an eternal Kingdom
  • The Wiser than Solomon who came and taught us the way to God

All of these men were remarkable, but each was only a singular color in his lifetime. Together they and the other brilliant types and figures of Scripture unite to foretell the full prismatic splendor of Jesus, the light of the world, who left His throne, took on flesh, and in so doing both reflected and emanated the full divine radiance of the Father.

The Lord Jesus invites you and me to gaze upon His splendor. He shed His blood to reconcile us to God the Father so that we might have the privilege. May the Spirit open our eyes today to see, appreciate, and worship anew the composite beauty of Jesus in each of His great offices.

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Thomas Watson: Christ’s Intercession Works for Good

Below is a selection from Puritan pastor Thomas Watson’s exposition on Romans 8:28. A friend from church let me come over and take my choice of books a client had given her to give away. I’m grateful to the client and to her, and to the Lord, who put another of Watson’s work in my hands. You can read it online for free here, or buy a copy at Amazon here or directly from the publisher here. -AR

Christ is in heaven, as Aaron with his golden plate upon his forehead, and his precious incense; and He prays for all believers as well as He did for the apostles. “Neither pray I for these alone but for all them that shall believe in me” (John xvii. 20). When a Christian is weak, and can hardly pray for himself, Jesus Christ is praying for him; and He prays for three things.

First, that the saints may be kept from sin (John xvii. 15). ” I pray that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. ” We live in the world as in a pest house; Christ prays that His saints may not be infected with the contagious evil of the times.

Second, for His people’s progress in holiness. ” Sanctify them ” (John xvii. 17). Let them have constant supplies of the Spirit, and be anointed with fresh oil.

Third, for their glorification ” Father, I will that those which thou hast given me, be with me where I am ” (John xvii. 24). Christ is not content till the saints are in His arms. This prayer, which He made on earth, is the copy and pattern of His prayer in heaven. What a comfort is this; when Satan is tempting, Christ is praying! This works for good.

Christ’s prayer takes away the sins of our prayers. As a child says Ambrose, that is willing to present his father with a posy, goes into the garden, and there gathers some flowers and some weeds together, but coming to his mother, she picks out the weeds and binds the flowers, and so it is presented to the father: thus when we have put up our prayers, Christ comes, and picks away the weeds, the sin of our prayer, and presents nothing but flowers to His Father, which are a sweet smelling savour.