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 westPsalm 75:6-7 (ESV)
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.