Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blogging Seminar

a Biblical thought...
They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. (Luke 7:16-17)

a Book thought...
The ultimate act of humility as a leader is replacing ourselves. (p179 Logan & Miller)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday in Melbourne at the On Fire exhibition I was responsible for hosting a seminar on blogging and social networking. It was really interesting to hear peoples insights on blogging and engaging with others online and their opinions on the different ways to interact with this medium.

Commissioner Knaggs spoke about how he was challenged many years ago to blog daily to get current SA news out to the cyberworld and gets over 250 hits a day. Captain Stephen Court began blogging in 2003 and sees it as opportunity to inspire not to debate and be questioned. Simon Mapleback uses his blog to help bring people to salvation. We talked about the good and bad of allowing comments on your blog, and also the way anyone can interact with our TC which is unique in the SA world. General Burrows also let us know she has 450 people waiting to become her friend on Facebook.

Just a thought.

8 comments:

Jack said...

As a frequent commenter on various Salvo blogs, I find them to be sometimes interesting and though- provoking, but frequently disturbing. I started off reading them as I was genuinely interested in the opinions of other Salvos, however this quickly turned to great concern at the words that I read. In fact these have been a main catalyst to me carefully examining my own beliefs, as essentially I came to the conclusion that if what is frequently written by officers and soon-to-be officers is what Christianity and Salvationism is really all about, then I want nothing to do with it. If what is written was by people with no influence then it would not bother me nearly as much, however because they are people who are either now, or will be in the near future, leaders in this church then it concerns me greatly.

You said that Stephen Court does not believe that his blog is a place to be questioned, therefore he is free to make all manner of statements without anyone being able to challenge him on his words. With him being a person of some influence, I find his mix of hardline fundamentalism, Booth worship and naive acceptance of all manner of ‘signs and wonders’ extremely disturbing. The fact that he is given free reign to infect the officers of the future with his warped view of Christianity makes me grieve for the future of the Salvation Army in this country.

You yourself appear to never engage with those that comment on your blog – you make your statements yet are not prepared to defend them when questioned. Why is that?

One thing I wonder is if you and your fellow bloggers would be more inclined to engage with people like myself if you know our identities. I choose to remain anonymous when commenting for two main reasons – the first being that I want my words to be taken on face value and not filtered through the lens that would be applied with knowledge of who I (or anyone else who comments anonymously) is. Secondly, with so many Salvo bloggers being belligerent fundamentalists, I believe that they would cause me grief via my friends and family if they knew my identity.

So if bloggers like yourself and Stephen are not prepared to deal with dissenting opinions, what can people like me do? Am I completely powerless and just have to just sit back and watch the future unfold under the leadership of people like you, Stephen and your young followers? Or do I need to make formal written appeals in my name to senior leadership in order to try and pull back the reigns on the madness that appears to be on the rise. I have great concerns for people I know who intend attending your “Insane” conference in January – are you going to allow some of your fellow bloggers (I’m sure you know who I mean) to put on their ‘casting out demons’ and ‘signs and wonders’ sideshow, which will no doubt confuse and distress many?

I think that’s enough from me for now. I realise you may or may not choose to allow this comment due to what you may view as the personal attack nature of some of it, however I would appreciate your thoughts on what I have said.

David said...

These people are arrogant. They present that way when you meet them.

Why would expect them to participate in a conversation with you, Jack? Their focus is upwards, i.e. climbing the greasy career pole offered by the Salvo machine. They're not going to waste them time talking to a scoundrel like you.

Anonymous said...

David, so now I get to read your comments on Daves blog as well as on the TC's. I am pleased that God is working in your life so much that you are continally led to read blog entries from Salvation Army members because you are challenged by the ministry they have and, understandably, you have questions. We all do...

You say that some Salvos are arrogant, climbing the greasy pole of success and have no interest in scoundrels... yet, you keep coming back. I think you love us!

Maree

Anonymous said...

Jack, welcome to the blogosphere. And yes it has its dangers – vanity and narcissistic traits and celebrities being at the top of the list. The blogospehere also frequently confuses the value of information with the cool quotient of the person spreading it.
Don't be fearful of the cut and thrust of debate - be prepared to get involved and be willing to stand in a hot kitchen from time to time. That is if you can get a reply. David has be very silent - just one way traffic - suggesting his position is the all authoritative one. Stephen deliberatly blocks his blog - does want to get involved I guess.GG

Anonymous said...

I for one am very excited about the passion and return to the Salvaiton Army of the Holy Spirit Power that originally fanned into flame the early Salvation Army. If you read the early writings you will see mention of the miraculous and this was their weapon and this is how so much was accomplished in such little time. Not by their own power but by the power of the Holy spirit. If it were not for the people like david and stephen and others we would still be in massive decline. Our young people now have some direction and I pray that we will continue to allow the movement of the Holy Spirit to be our driving force.

Blessings..

GB

Anonymous said...

Strange how we seem to think the Spirit was at work in the "good ol days" but has been absent up to the appearance of people like Dave and stephen and so credit them with turning us around and saving our bacon. A pretty narrow view. If we are truly be turned around we need a crucial understanding of the Spirit's role in:
The creation of the church if we are to correctly understand its missionary nature;
And the Spirit's shaping of the church's ministry if we are to understand our purpose.
The Spirit-led, missional church is responsible to participate in the redemptive reign of God by witnessing to that reign of God in Christ as good news, and through inviting everyone everywhere to become reconciled to the living and true God.

Jack. Unfortunately most blogers are not interested in engaging their audiance. What's important is their own opinion and what the links are on their site.

Anonymous said...

The "blog," by nature, is a seemingly narcissistic vehicle for one's own opinions.

I have occasionally being sucked in by someone pumping up an event or opinion on a blog to the point where I believed it to be important or even factual.

For those who don't really agree with what these "Primitive Salvationists" are blogging I guess maybe they need to try and find out what effect they are having in the "real" world.

Are their opinions holding as much sway on the street?

Any thoughts?

Maybe we should all think about the true motivation of someone who writes their own blog.
The motivation of these blogging Barmy folk.

If we had to categorise them using the Myers-Briggs Personality Method would they end up being similar types of people?

Hmmm.....I am sounding like a post modernist! Asking too many questions?

Peace,

Kenny.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmn. Interesting. The nature of the Web log does not necessarily imply 2 way discussion. That would be what a forum is for. Yet the comment function does seemingly contradict this basic premise. I guess the opportunity to comment doesn't promise discussion.

Ironically, the criticisms provided here of prominent bloggers are just as applicable to us commenters.

If you want a "succesful" blog then you want David to demonise you - that's a sure way to be promoted up the greasey pole of Blog popularity.

just a thought.