20 August 2014

8 days later

by Frank Turk

Technically, I am still on hiatus.

You know, I have been at this for more than a decade.  I've been doing this since before there were hit counters, and before some people realized they could make careers (or at least: make up their own titles or become pastors) by saying things and doing things which, let's face it, would get them man-handled in person by actual men (if any could be found).

In that 10 years, I have personally be accused of being a monger for sensationalism.  I have been accused of making up controversies for the sake of driving the stats, and of course it's sort of a meme around here that we do everything for the sake of the traffic and the stats.  Sure: it's so absurd, might as well hug it like a long lost effigy, a rag doll filled with our old laundry so that our pets might mistake it for us while the torch and the pitch fork crowd do their worst.

Let me be clear about something that needs to be said: not once ever in the history of this blog have I ever climbed up on the dead body of the victim of a disease or a tragedy to make sure people were reading this blog.  I am sure I have said some things and done some things in the last 10 years which still sting some people, and once I am certain I spoke the meaning of Christmas into a tragedy so great that only God could be the answer, but not once ever did I use the death of a famous person to create traffic and stir up views for the sake of notoriety.

OK: so how can you know you did this? It's a fair question your readers ought to ask you, and of course the most dastardly response is, "well, they're not allowed to judge my heart." As true as this might be, they can judge your actions, and I think here are some guidelines for that:
  • How often in the last 18 months have I mentioned or opined on Robin Williams' career or life in this blog? How relevant has he been to my on-going content?
  • How often have I written about suicide and depression in the last 18 months? Am I qualified to do so?
  • Did I wait for the initial findings to come out to see if this was a suicide, or did I simply reach my own conclusions before there were any facts (that is: did I write my post before there was any disclosure about what happened)?
  • Did I think about this subject as it appeared in a list of trends which I follow? Was my point to make a sport of being miserable, or was it to bring comfort, especially in a Gospel-centered way?
If this was not you, great: nice work.  if it was?  Please read below.

Anyone who has done that in the last 8 days needs to apologize for it, and repent.  That sort of thing is so ugly, it borders on the kind of idolatry only found at the end of the Chronicles of Narnia and in the deepest, darkest parts of the Old Testament.

It's a good thing my Hiatus is not over for 3 more weeks.  Otherwise I'd be naming names.


Robert said...

Otherwise I'd be naming names.

So does that mean when you come back from hiatus you'll be sorting out the donkeys and the apes?

In all seriousness, I like that you are making these points. They could be used for the mess that is going on in Missouri as well. As I am sure Dan could point out from his preaching through Proverbs, being slow to speak on a matter is usually the best course. It just takes discipline in our days of instant gratification with the internet there as a ready tool to unleash our knee-jerk reactions upon the world.

J♥Yce Burrows said...

Generally blogging to create traffic and stir up views for the sake of notoriety ~ rather than for the glory of God IS problematic. Yet how does a reader see into the heart to the intent of the writer to know when only God is privy to that? Your thoughts cut straight to the heart of examining ours.

Sooo, am thankful to God for those that point to what God says and means, current events notwithstanding.

And look forward to your current hiatus being officially over.

Scott Barber said...

What's wrong with the end of the Chronicles of Narnia?

Unknown said...

This is kind of blogger to blogger, inside baseball, IMO. Maybe it's bad of me, but I don't really care what the motivation of a blogger is. If it's good, it's good. If it's lame, it's lame.

More importantly from my end, the reader has to examine himself. Am I reading this because I enjoy gory details? Feel better if others are suffering more than me? Or am I reading because I want to learn to be a better servant to those suffering?

FX Turk said...

There's nothing wrong with the end of the Last Battle as far as this post is concerned. But it spells out the kinds of wicked and intransigent idolatry which will be exposed at the end of all things. That is my point.

FX Turk said...

Brad - I think that's exactly right. But someone need to say something about whether or not we are doing things for the sake of itchy ears and hungry eyes, or are we doing it for another reason which is long-term and of a higher mind.