24 April 2008

The "accountability" thing

by Dan Phillips

BoB. One of the questions posed to the Band of Bloggers panel (at which our blog was ably represented by Phil Johnson) was on the issue of "accountability."

I think "accountability" has taken on the status of a buzzword. You say it's important, everyone nods knowingly and murmurs "Mmm, accountability," and you're in. They know you're okay.

But what does "accountability" mean?

In some contexts, it means "infinite-buck-pass." Folks who rankle at submitting to any human authority simply assure that everyone (else) can be trumped by someone. This usually ends in a majority vote. Folks like this feel a lot better about majority-vote.

This solution has long puzzled me. In the Bible, the majority is almost invariably wrong.
Q: Can 10 out of 12 spies be wrong?
A: You betcha!

Q: Can virtually an entire nation be wrong?
A: You betcha! More than once!

Etc.
Further, to whom is the majority "accountable"? With mob-rule, who rules the mob?

The question of accountability strikes me as particularly odd in the context of blogging. Nonetheless, let's take it seriously, and work towards a serious answer.

To whom is a Christian blogger "accountable"? First, we have to define "accountability." Is that an easy task? Let's try to make it easy by suggesting answerable as a synonym. But does that really make it easy? What would you mean by either word? Are you asking who has the authority to censor a blogger, or to reprove him, to correct him? To force him to change his mind, or to change one of his posts?

How about his pastor? I actually think that's a good suggestion for some sort of accountability, since it is indeed the role of a pastor to keep watch over (and answer for) the souls of those under his charge (Hebrews 13:17). We are to respect our pastors and follow their lead (1 Corinthians 16:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7, 17; etc.).

So I think it would be perfectly appropriate for a pastor to read his sheep's blogs insofar as he is able to do so, or at least to check on occasion to make sure that the blogger is representing Christ faithfully. After all, as I mean to develop in another post, blogging is indeed a stewardship with some attendant formidable responsibilities.

Frank Turk has shared that his pastor keeps tabs on him, and I think that's great. I had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Tad at T4G and offered my sympathies and prayers. It would certainly be faithful pastoring to offer correction and encouragement and direction to those under one's charge (cf. 2 Timothy 4:2).

Additionally, we three keep tabs on each other. More than once, each of us has put up a post in "Draft" status and invited the others for feedback. Or if a discussion heats up, we'll invite assessment or criticism or perspective, confident that we'll be candid and honest with each other.

But beyond that, what would one suggest? An advisory panel of Christian Blogger Overlord Watchdogs? What a great idea. We could call it "CBLOW."

But, seriously. What further "accountability" is called for?

I honestly think that to pose the question thoughtfully is to answer it. To whom is a Christian blogger answerable? Good heavens — what is more public than blogging?

Think about it: you talk to a fellow church member, and one person hears you. You teach a Sunday School class, and maybe a few dozen hear you. Preach, and (unless it's recorded) dozens or hundreds hear you.

But when you blog?

Blog, and everybody hears you — or at any rate everyone can. It is right out there in public, all of it, for God and everyone to see, analyze, fact-check, pick over, misrepresent, treasure, slander, repeat, steal, discuss, debate, and any other appropriate verb you might choose.

In the past, and very frequently, I've taken great comfort in this fact. When someone glances at a post-title and then blurts out his immediate emotional reaction, or skims to my last paragraph and rips apart what he imagines I said, or runs off to his own blog or another's to cry and complain about something... the public nature of this entire "conversation" is very comforting to me. I know that any fair-minded reader can examine what I said, and decide for himself — up, down, or sideways.

And if they're not fair-minded? Oh well; wasn't going to win them anyway.

I remember a fellow who angrily demanded that I source a quotation. But I had! I'm obsessive about sourcing. It was right there in the post. I even re-read it myself again and again — but he insisted it wasn't sourced, and got madder and madder at me for being so irresponsible. But everything I had written was on display for everyone to see. Very comforting to me, in that case.

But on the other hand, the knowledge that everything I write will be read by all sorts of people is very sobering as well. Think about it: everything I write will be read by people smarter than I, better-educated than I (the two are not necessarily interchangeable); by people who know things I don't know, and who see things from angles I haven't considered. Some of them will be supportive of what I want to say, some will be very angered by it, some will be bitterly opposed to it. And they all have access to a public forum. Genius or... er, non-genius, they have equal access to the same public forum that I access.

If I did in fact say something foolish and/or irresponsible and/or stupid, they can tell everyone. Everyone. On this blog, on their blog, on anyone's blog. Forever, until I die or am hounded off the scene in shame, known only as "Oh-yes-Dan-Phillips,-that-pinhead-who-____."

How's that for accountability?

And it works, too. In fact, it's a big reason why I tend to crankiness when someone quick-draws (and sloppy-shoots) some challenge to a question I already anticipated in the post. Before I hit PUBLISH POST, I try to read the post from several angles to anticipate challenges and questions it might provoke. I doubt anyone likes to be made a fool in public, and I try to avoid it whenever possible.

But what is the final court of appeal? When I (say) vigorously affirm the sufficiency of Scripture, a lot of folks are delighted, but equally a lot of folks are madder than wet cats. To which group am I responsible, to which am I "accountable"?

In the final analysis, to none of them.

Where the buck actually stops. On the great Day, my ministry as a blogger won't be passed before a majority vote, but before a vote of one (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 4:13).

I know that's got to seem suspiciously convenient to some. Consider these Scriptures, then:
You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:14)

You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 25:17)

For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God (Leviticus 25:42-43)
All these ethical demands, and each has the same motivator: fear your God.

The disabled person cannot avenge himself — but you had better fear God! The neighbor you bilk may not know enough to call your dishonesty — but you had better fear God! Your helpless fellow-Israelite may not have the power to deal with your injustice — but you had better fear God!

One might counter, "But there were courts and judges to which people could appeal. Israelites were accountable to them." Perhaps so.

So who was at the top of the human authority-ladder? Where did the buck stop? Who had no humans to whom he was "accountable," in that sense? That would be the king. As Solomon wrote:
I say: Keep the king's command, because of God's oath to him. 3 Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases. 4 For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, "What are you doing?" (Ecclesiastes 8:2-4)
And where was the king's accountability?
"And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them.... (Deuteronomy 17:18-19)
The king was to learn from the Law the fear of Yahweh. The priests made sure he copied it accurately, but there's no indication of further responsibility on their part. The king was directed to the Word, and the Word taught him to fear Yahweh. That was to motivate him, keep him in line. Hold him accountable.

And besides, ultimately, if the fear of God is insufficient motivation, then we have a problem not soluble by committee.

This dimension should both humble and embolden the Christian blogger (Proverbs 28:1). He will welcome wise criticism without being its slave (Proverbs 9:8b-9; 11:2; 26:12).

He's wise enough to mistake neither his critics' judgment, nor his own, for God's.

Dan Phillips's signature

56 comments:

Tony Kummer said...

Dan,
Thanks for working this out. I think you've nailed it.

David Knapp said...

Maybe we should be accountable for the things we blog but not all of us are. For those of us who are not I think we should always be willing to learn from our mistakes. Life is about continual growth. If I blog complete nonsense, and it is pointed out, I should be willing to learn from it. We should blog in a humble spirit that comes from Jesus.

http://simplyecclesia.wordpress.com

Drew said...

I was encouraged (I think by classical presbyterian Toby Brown and the Presbymergent community) to start using my whole name when I post.

I think for Google/blogger I am still "Drew" but it links back to my blog and my church website, so anybody who reads me can find out my full name, hometown, and the congregation with whom I serve.

It has influenced the way I speak in a positive way.

steve said...

ultimately, if the fear of God is insufficient motivation, then we have a problem not soluble by committee.

Great point, and this applies to everything we do.

This dimension should both humble and embolden the Christian blogger (Proverbs 28:1). He will welcome wise criticism without being its slave (Proverbs 9:8b-9; 11:2; 26:12).

He's wise enough to mistake neither his critics' judgment, nor his own, for God's.


Superb summary. We must always consider our every word and action with God's judgment in view.

I've been reading heavily from bios about Martyn Lloyd-Jones and CH Spurgeon over the last several months. Both men lived with a healthy, vibrant fear of God, and knew when--and when not--to listen to their critics.

I believe this was a key distinctive to their effectiveness as ministers.

agonizomai said...

As a blogger, the verse 2 Corinthians 5:10 immediately came to mind when I started to read your post. I see, true to form, that you have not overlooked it. Christ is indeed where the ultimate buck stops.

This is a tough subject, and not likely to be nearly as popular as some others. I think you have gotten to the heart of it.

In my own case, I have recently re-instituted the comment option just in case there might be a public response to my public material, requiring a public clarification, recantation or apology. After all, as Calvinists we believe that God uses means to accomplish His ends.

And, though I blog under "Agonizomai", my actual name is on the blog and in the profile.

DJP said...

And, Agonizomai, you got near a thought I just had as well.

To put it positively: allowing comments on one's blog is, I think, a step in the right direction. (Though I can conceive of situations in which that would be impractical.)

The Doulos said...

I hadn't thought about this whole accountability thing related to blogging (other than my accountability to Christ and the truth of His Word) until it came up at BoB last week. I have to admit that I never have anyone review my stuff before I hit the post button. I'm not sure who would. I do know that my pastor reads my blog on a regular basis, and has given me feedback a few times. Always affirming - so far.

I also think that the "accountability" term has taken on a lot of psycho-baggage in Christian culture over the past 10-20 years, mostly due to movements like PK, etc. Thanks for more clearly defining it here Dan. Clarity is good.

idaho4hisglory said...

The accountability for the teacher in James makes me tremble.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

Dan,

That was a very insightful and thought out post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Stefan said...

This is something that has weighed heavily on me for a number of months, since I was asked if I would maintain the blog for our annual pastors' conference. (Incidentally, that's when I started using my real first name here and on other blogs.)

Everything on that blog is supervised by one of our more senior pastors, and I'm also in his Bible study group, so there's weekly interaction between him and me. He's accountable to the senior pastor and other elders; the senior pastor is accountable to the elders; and the elders are accountable to each other, to the membership (through the selection of new elders), to teachers of like doctrine outside of our church, and to Jesus Christ.

Apart from that, this blog is the primary forum I interact with, and it has been an excellent forging ground for developing discernment and a deeper sense of what's sound doctrine and what isn't (apart from I learn in church itself and through Scripture reading, of course). I stumbled across TP when I was still a "baby Christian" who knew my salvation had been the work of God and not me, but who otherwise had zero discernment. The year I've spent here has been an amazing blessing, and between this blog, our church, Scripture, carefully chosen non-inspired books, the Holy Spirit has nurtured in me a deeper sense of what it is that I am to be accountable for.

Staci at Writing and Living said...

I had an eye-opening experience in blogging once. I wrote a post on rudeness and quickly received an email from my best friend:

Hey, I just read your blog. Did something happen while you were watching my kids that I need to know about?

The post, in fact, had nothing to do with her or her kids, but when I read it through her eyes I could easily see how she would have thought so. I quickly assured her that I would tell her if her kids did something she needs to know about, but it really made me think.

Fear of God has caused me to hit the backspace button plenty of times, but knowing that people who know me are reading has served its purpose, too.

First, it forces me to get the planks out of my own eye. Secondly, it prevents me from writing things in my blog that should be dealt with personally. Matthew 18:15, after all, doesn't say, "If your brother sins against you, write about it on your blog."

Fred Butler said...

I figure that if I write something, and then Steve Hays gives me a rubber hose style beating in a 4,000 word post on his blog, I may want to go back and re-think what I wrote.

Fred

Stefan said...

Touché.

DJP said...

Ew, French.

Gordon Cheng said...

Dan,

I agree with what you say. I blogged a short thought titled 'The Unaccountable Jesus' on the Matthias Media blog here.

I actually think that the demand for accountability fits better with Roman Catholicism than evangelical Protestantism, because within Roman Catholicism everyone is accountable to the priesthood, who in turn are accountable to the bishops and through them to the Pope. What this has to do with accountability to God, though, is nothing at all.

I take comfort from 1 Cro 4:4-5.

Jason Vaughn said...

Amen Dan,

Great post; you nailed it on the head. Thank you for the reminder :)

This concept, accountability, goes far beyond the realm of the blogsphere. Imagine how we would conduct ourself if the realization of the Bema seat impacted our life in every facet. We might then truly understand Philippians 1:19-21.

Polycarp said...

Great post Dan!

This makes me consider the issue of honesty; I mean, I wonder if all people who blog somehow perceive the words they type, in a rather anonymous blogsphere, as being in need of the same degree of honesty as the words they speak? As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who should strive to always be entirely truthful in all things we say in any medium, I hope there aren't many out there who see the odd embellishment or the inaccurate quote or the scenario that actually happened to a friend and not them as legit in God's eyes.

Polycarp said...

Oh, and the name thing; are we (am I) being honest even when we (I) use another name? Not my main concern, but worth tossing out there on the tail of the last comment!

Messyanic Jew said...

Great post, Dan. I'm struck by the following:

ultimately, if the fear of God is insufficient motivation, then we have a problem not soluble by committee.

I guess what strikes me about it is that it reminds me of any number of professing Christians whom I have heard state some form of, "I am accountable only to Jesus, not to any man," yet who don't seem to have that fear of God. The statement (or whichever variant of it an individual is using) just seems to boil down to, "I am going to do whatever I want to do, and that's it."

Part of what disturbs me about that kind of attitude is that as Christians, while we are ultimately accountable God, there ARE others in this life to whom we should be submitting ourselves in terms of accountability: our pastors for one, and to each other as fellow members of the Body for another. It seems to me that it's a bit iffy to profess oneself as a Christian, and yet refuse to be accountable to your spiritual leader or fellows in Christ.

donsands said...

Good post. Nice comments too. Made me think about some things.

No escaping our being accountable to the LORD on that Day. Standing before His throne all alone to give an account is something to ponder every now and then.

And being accountable to the elders & pastors of the Church is a very healthy thing indeed.

agonizomai said...

Polycarp: Oh, and the name thing; are we (am I) being honest even when we (I) use another name? Not my main concern, but worth tossing out there on the tail of the last comment!

It's a good question. So long as our real names are available in our profiles for all to see I don't see a problem with using colourful aliases. They're more like nicknames. Harmless fun.

But I posted a few things on my blog in the past using the name "Harlan Ames", which name had become a sort of inside joke between me and a few close friends. But the blog reading community was not in on the joke, and when one reader went to the trouble of Googling and not finding the elusive Harlan I realized my error and had to fess up and apologize. Harlan has since died the death. But the sense of annoyance and deception my use of the alias created cannot ever be undone.

Mark said...

Dan,
This post was a blessing! Thank you. Without a proper fear of God - the roots of apostasy grow. Great reminder for us all.

Stuart B said...

Yeah I've learned the hard way who I'm accountable to. And to a large extent, it depends on who you represent also.

Carlo said...

Accountability is good. Some of the ideas mentioned here are also good, fear of God, putting your name linking it to a website of your church especially a church with leaders that really care for the souls of the flock and practice, e.g., church discipline.

But I think it's important to remember that we don't want to fall into a legalistic motive. We don't want to do things to gain favor from God or avoid displeasure from Him, just like we don't want to do things, just to avoid to be admonish by our elders.

Let's remember where sin comes by James 1:14, we are tempted and lured and desired by our own desire. I can't do anything with the scantily dressed woman that walks by, or the stupid liberal, that well, makes stupid comments, and if I react sinfully, it's because it is that desire that's in me which when conceived gives birth to more sin and brings forth death.

I've seen some good examples of Dan excercising love over Christian liberty on his blog - the one comes to mind, is a topic about baptism that came up. He said he would not discuss the issue on his blog because he even though his position is well known on baptism (similar to mine) but because he loves his church (the same as mine) and is putting unity over everything, he doesn't want to talk about an issue that could possibly cause disunity. He doesn't do it because he's afraid of what the elders might do (membership in our church is equal that of membership in the kingdom - trusting in Christ alone for salvation), but I imagine that he does that because he knows others in our church may read it and he doesn't want to cause grief.

Frank Turk said...

{yawn}

2Cor 5:

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

It's not hardly legalism to want to be pleasing to the Lord.

John said...

This is a great post. The knowledge that people who write much better than I, think much clearer and deeper than I, etc... made me delete my blog. Yep, I hit the ZAP button. But then I was rebuked by my wife and a few friends. We are accountable, ultimately, to the King, as you said. Well, may you continue to honor Him. (I've tried to start back with the same hope.)

Puritan said...

In short, what I see happens in blogworld is:
If someone disagrees then they question accountability, or anything they can to attack the man.
But if they agree and someone else is questioning, then they tell them 'don't rebuke them in pubic, do it in private'.

SolaMeanie said...

I feel accountable whenever Frank calls me "dude."

DJP said...

We all do.

Andrew Jones said...

Fear God - the beginning of wisdom

cant argue with that. good post, dan.

Rick Frueh said...

This blog thing is still a little squirrely and it may always be such. One's pastor will always be postively biased toward a blog member in good standing, and since there is wide interpretive parameters what necessitates a correction?

The blog phenomenon has already generated conferences and organizations. Who will listen to waht we share in the public square in our neighborhood? How about the books we read? What we tell our children? And if the pastor expresses concern over some doctrinal disagreement his member blogged about, does that construct a scenario that could lead to conflict?

Be accountable to God and blog away. And all the goofballs that blog? Have a great laugh and enjoy the blog Mardi Gras! In the end this blog thing should not be given the same weight as Spurgeon's writings, unless of course you are pasting Spurgeon's words verbatim! In that case:

He being dead still bloggeth!

Carlo said...

Frank Turk wrote: "It's not hardly legalism to want to be pleasing to the Lord."

My response: I never know about this blog thing, if a response is right after mine is it responding to me. But just in case it was, I never said it was legalism to want to please the Lord. I said it is legalism to do something to gain favor or to avoid displeasure. By the latter, I meant fear of consequences. When I wrote this at the time, I was thinking of what Jerry Bridges says that obedience to God performed from a legalistic motive - that is, fear of the consequences or to gain favor is NOT pleasing to God. He writes that are good works are not truly good unless they are motivated by a love for God and a desire to glorify Him and we cannot have such a God-ward motivation if we think we must earn God's favor by our obedience or if we fear we may forfeit God's favor by our disobedience.

What motivated me to write was reading a couple of comments like if the fear of God is not good enough then essentially not even essentially accountability won't solve the problem or reading comments that we should sign our whole name and link it to a church.

The primary motivation of submission to God should be in response to love and the mercy of God. If someone says the fear of God - that must be carefully defined, and I'm not saying the person was saying this, but that fear must not be fear of consequences or it is legalistic motive and that won't please God.

The accountability must be carefully defined because if it is an accountability, where you are not going to say anything because your name is there and you don't want someone emailing your pastor but in your heart you have seething feelings against a person, that accountability is not acceptable or pleasing to God.

A healthy fear of God and a biblical accountability like church discipline or yes, even your full name attached to a church is a means of grace that the Lord can use to develop holiness in a person so long as the motivation is right.

Sorry, if I was not clear in my previous post, I'm a math and accounting major not an English major.

Carlo said...

Just in case, my "healthy fear of God" comment gets misinterpreted, I wanted to clarify that. Fear of God is not a God where I forfeit God's favor by my disobedience. Bridges says living under the grace of God instead of under a sense of duty frees us from such a self-serving motivation. I don't know if anyone has thought of serving God like the former as a self-serving motivation.

A healthy fear of God would be a fear of God who does show grace to His elect and it is a God who will punish sin eternally in hell for those that did not believe. In my case, it is a fear of Him who showed mercy to but will not or has not show(n) mercy (other than common grace and the general call in this life) to family, friends or acquaintenances.

Stefan said...

Rick:

I have run some things past my pastor before I posted them, that he nixed.

There are some believers here (and elsewhere in the blogosphere) who are in churches that enjoy less-than-ideal relations with their denominations, but are committed to staying in their denominations, just as Frank has advised individual believers to stay in their churches.

This makes it imperative that such people think carefully about what they write, so that no charge can be brought against their church, except that of contending for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

The Doulos said...

I had a reminder today that this blogging accountability thing applies to our commenters and our comments as well as our posts. Had a comment at my blog taking me to task for dissing baptismal regeneration. Fired a bunch of 'proof text' verses at me, called me smug, etc. So I go check out the profile of this commenter to see who they are, where they're coming from, etc. And find no info at all on their profile, including name. No blog to look at. Brand new Blogger account, I was the first profile view, so couldn't even look for other comments elsewhere. Just a semi-anonymous drive by. Not helpful at all.

Seth McBee said...

Good post Dan...and good thoughts on "majority rules."

I simply have my pastor check in every once and a while and another elder has an email subscription to it as well. They will call me out from time to time to keep me in check. It is always good to know that they are "keeping me in line."

SolaMeanie said...

Doulos,

You probably got nailed by a church of Christ adherent (and yes, that's how they spell it -- small c-big C. As to smugness, they wrote the book on it.

Nothing else matters to them as much as being dunked in the tank. Well, daring to use a piano in worship comes close to a capital offense, but anyway. You get the driftwood.

S.J. Walker said...

Sola,

I know this is off topic, but about your point on coCers, my boss came out of "one of those". It's been so amazing to watch him grow recently, but something he mentioned is that if his old church was right about Baptism, he's take a garden hose and a horse trough to the mall and go to work.

Dan,
You mentioned you look carefully at your posts from various angles before publishing. Maybe I should try that too. It's novel. I might at least catch my typos.

hhukeed oN fonniks reeeelee werkks fer mi!

S.J. Walker said...

And what's with all the changed avatars?

I don't know who anybody is by the picture anymore.

sheesh

--With Dan, my condolences to Frank's pastor as well. Poor man. Poor poor man.--More Prozac anyone?

dac said...

Christian Blogger Overlord Watchdogs

We don't all ready have these?

Mike Riccardi said...

Nah... we only have the overlord watchdogs of the overlord watchdogs.

;o)

Frank Turk said...

I live in the fear of the consequences of my blogging as well as the joy that is set before me.

As someone else said, the warning of James to teachers is a serious one, and I doubt that he merely meant "less joy" in referencing what it menas to be a teacher who is judged more severely.

While some people may not get this (people other than you, carlo), God doesn't suffer fools likely, and when we blog like we are fools (cf. the definition of the fool in Psalms and Proverbs; people who deny that God will judge) we are putting ourselves in the scope of God's judgment.

I want top please Him; I don;t wanbt to displease Him. This is not two ways of saying the same thing but two things which are inseparable.

SolaMeanie said...

Christian Blogger Overlord Watchdogs

In other words, "someone set us up the bomb," or perhaps, "all your base are belong to us?"

Strong Tower said...

Speaking of accountability, what was meant by placing Vedar's helmet next to Centuri0n's name?

Huhhhhh?

Rick Frueh said...

Who does a blogging pastor answer to? OK, but what if I am an evangelist? OK, but what if I'm a prophet? OK, what if I'm an apostle?

OK, I take it back, the blog police are ringing my doorbell!

PS - You might be old if it keeps getting more difficult to identify the letters in the word verification!

The Candid Christian said...

Wow. I'm blown away. Really well done. Good food for thought. All of us should be mindful--and prayerful--before hitting "publish." I know I don't always pray and seek God's direction before posting, and I'm ashamed of that. Thank you, brother, for helping me realize the importance of accountability. Grace and Peace...

Bryan Riley said...

Excellent post. When I first started reading it, I thought, why is he writing this about something as public as a blog, but, as I continued reading, I thought it was a good exercise. One thing that I would add is that I love seeing hits to my site from places like Bahrain, China, Saudi, etc., knowing that the person on the other end of that visit might be reading about the gospel for the first time. That thought also keeps me accountable what I write, how I comment, and the like. That also is one of hte reasons why I especially hate sarcasm and fighting in comments.

Steve Scott said...

You're right, there's no real human accountability, but there's a lot of iron out there to sharpen our own iron.

Not many people read my blog. My pastor's too busy, but he knows about it and drops in occasionally. My wife, some of my friends and relatives, and some people at my church read it. Then a few dozen regular readers, some of whom comment. And that is comforting.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Great thoughts by Dan and those who comment. Accountability? My wife who proofreads my post. Outside of God, I fear only her as much. As Charity reminded me, "Charles anything you write on the blog is public before all, and God." That will make you think, twice.

Elders in our church I was attending said, "Charles, don't post things so close to the truth about our church, the pastor would get mad." The pastor would say, "Charles, this doesn't necessary reflect my opinion about the doctrines of Scriptures." I welcome any Elder to read and made comment.

My last article was Progresive Dispensation, this is my view and not necessary that of the elders of the church. But its my view as I have come to know it.

Rather than comments section, I have my e mail address. Most of my readers would rather e mail me. Of course I would love to post all the emails, and have comments. If I say something I am not afraid to debate it.

apologies said...

I go with Gordon Cheng's comment here re the Catholic influence of "accountability" - we will all give an account to God one day, in the mean time that should be sufficient motivation. You're not accountable to me for what you blog or anything else for that matter.
We all will be held account for our obedience though and that is something to consider when blogging... do we for instance obey the command "encourage one another" (1 Th 5:11)?

DJP said...

I'll say what I didn't say so bluntly in the article: I think that some to whom "accountability" is a big issue really mean by it, "Can't someone shut this guy / these guys up?"

You can apply that in several arenas besides blogs.

Rick Frueh said...

"Can't someone shut this guy / these guys up?" You can apply that in several arenas besides blogs.

Ya think? The blog understatement of 2008 so far! I admit to come under that heading sometimes. :)

Lynn said...

Thanks for the post. ^_^ I read you guys every so often, it's often sobering and challenging. woot! Thanks! The beginning of the article made me think of this quote: "Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side." Unknown

haha

~Mark said...

I'd love an accountability partner, but *sniff* nobody reads my blog! *wahh!*

;)

Just in case... http://thegospelshowonevoice.com/Pieces/

JOYce@pfg said...

Very appreciated post, Dan. :-)

Ralph M. Petersen- Always Right;Sometimes Wrong! said...

Thanks Dan,
This was very helpful since I have recently come under criticism from someone I respect in my church about my blog. I have had to check my blog and my heart and I have made a couple course changes. But I have been thinking about this very subject.
Also, I really like the graphic with the rhino; the one about needing to be thick skinned. I copied it to my file. I hope you don't mind. I really need it somewhere in my blog; it fits my theme. Maybe I will post it as a link to your blog.
Thanks again.
Ralph Petersen