Blogging as Public Therapy

April 21st, 2014

One of the things I have become conscious of as a preacher is how much of myself gets poured into a sermon. That, of course, is understandable. It is impossible for preachers to separate themselves from who they are, their interests, and what's important to them.

At the same time, preachers also need to be mindful that the sermon is not about themselves. They must preach, as John Wesley said, on the whole tenor of Scripture, the entire counsel of God, which also means dealing with issues that are not particularly of personal interest. Preaching is a discipline that requires preachers to move beyond themselves, to grow as they preach, and to speak above and beyond our individual interests.

As someone who has been blogging now for going on ten years, it is also clear to me how much of myself enters into my blogging. I simply cannot separate my blogging from who I am, but I must also be mindful that there is more to be gleaned in life and study than my own personal interests and pet peeves. That is not always easy to do. It is easier for me to write on subjects I am passionate about, particularly those things that irritate me, than other topics that I do not find significant.

I sometimes wonder how much blogging is a kind of public therapy, and if that is not always a healthy thing. I have read bloggers who are former liberals turned conservative. It seems that most of their posts are nothing more than getting back at liberals for their oppressive liberal upbringing. I also read bloggers who grew up in a conservative setting whose posts are always going after fundamentalists. It's seems almost as if their criticism of such groups is their way of coping with what they perceive as having experienced an abusive childhood. And it's not just conservatives and liberals. I can cite examples of Christians who were atheists, atheists who were Christians, Catholics who were Protestants, and Protestants who were Catholics, et al. I would never suggest that the discussion and critique of these various positions are unimportant. Indeed, let's have at it. But I must confess, that I wonder if some bloggers are using their blogging more as public therapy to escape or at least cope with their perceived “oppressive” past than to truly engage in the necessary discussion between those who disagree. I wonder if they are just looking for sympathetic voices to confirm their now held views. The echo chamber is quite a nice comfort zone.

Allan Bevere blogs at

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