Monday, October 06, 2008

A Note on Comment Policy

Today I had someone comment on a blog post with what was essentially an invitation and a link to his own blog. This was mildly annoying, not because I have any problem with people linking to their own blogs from the comments section here, but because neither the comment nor the website it led to had anything to do with the post allegedly being commented on. It was made more annoying by the fact that the subject of the website was, in fact, an argument for a theological position with which I disagree, and by the fact that there was no hint of this disagreement in the comment which included the link. I am left to conclude that the author of this site is either a) randomly spamming theological websites of any stripe whatever with links to his own site, or b) specifically choosing to draw readers from sites with which he disagrees by an innocuous invitation.

(It didn't help that this was one of those irritating pieces of writing that start out by telling the reader that he must read the whole thing from beginning to end and not skip over anything, etc., etc. I'm sorry, but unless you're my professor and I'm taking your class for credit, you don't get to tell me how I have to read your material. I'm not a novice on this topic and I'm not going to slog through all your introductory material just because you're convinced that you've created a perfectly logical sequence that will inevitably cause any open-minded reader to agree with you. A word of advice: persuasion doesn't work like that.)

So anyway, I deleted the comment. I do this so seldom that I feel it necessary to explain why, and to let readers know that I've always reserved the right to do so. As a matter of fact, I've always considered the comments section on this site as moderated, the reasons for which I described in what serves as the Magna Carta for this blog. As time went on, I allowed comments to be published without moderation, as I discovered that I didn't have enough readers or comments (let alone unwelcome ones) to justify the hassle and the delay involved in pre-publication moderation. But I still reserve the right to do what I consider to be post-publication moderation.

Now, the funny thing is that if this person had commented on one of the posts that actually touches on the issue on which we disagree, had interacted with that post in his comment, registered the disagreement, and linked to his own site in the process of doing so, I would have left the link in, as I've done on other occasions. So if you're back and you're upset at being "censored," well, I've just told you how not to be censored. Be civil, stay on-topic, and it's all good. Knock yourself out.


  1. Let me guess:

    If so, then this/these person/people have left two comments on my JacobusArminius blogspot.

    I e-mailed him/them and thanked him/them for the invite, but requested that he/they stop doing it; I am not interested.

    How obnoxious to leave your blog address on another blog with whose theological bent you are in complete disagreement. Ugh!

    He/They must want more "conversions."


  2. I guess I'm in good company. Maybe I should consider it an honor.

  3. Speaking of that . . . It used to bug me to no end that Calvinists on campus would constantly come up to me and challenge Arminianism (I never, ever approached them, to challenge them).

    And then I had an epiphany! Perhaps some of them challenge me because they find the system to be a variable threat to their system. Perhaps there is some thing(s) about Calvinism which does not sit well with them, and they challenge me as a result.

    I mean, c'mon . . . I don't challenge them because I don't find their system to be a threat.

    Just some meandering . . .

  4. Well, I thoroughly disagree, of course, and I want to take the opportunity to spam you with copius links to my own blog site, naturally, and I want you to read every post from beginning to end before coming to a conclusion. You must keep an open mind, of course. And if you need any body parts enlargened or reduced, please come back again.

    Because nothing says great conversationalist like drive by link-littering.

    :: sigh ::

    Most of the time, bloggers just don't get the medium.


  5. Oops!! I just left a comment on an old post you did on hearing God's voice inviting you to come to my blog! I promise I'm NOT a spammer. I'm on your side! I just thought you'd enjoy browsing my blog. Hope I didn't offend!

    Sandy Cooper

  6. Hi Sandy. Welcome!

    No worries. Sorry my cranky little rant caught you off-guard. No, you interacted with my post, and then suggested that I might be interested in your blog. That's a totally different thing, and completely acceptable. I'm glad you stopped by, and I appreciate the kind comments.

  7. Keith,

    Thanks for checking out my blog and for leaving a comment.

    I just wanted to say that, although I don't know the particulars of your current longer-than-expected break from ministry or nature of the specific voices you have been hearing, I do know one thing for sure:

    "you will never be used again" and "you've blown it somehow" are not consistent with God's character or His Word.

    I think you know that...but sometimes you just need another voice to confirm the Truth.

    BTW, I've browsed your blog a bit and I think it's fabulous. It's hard to find good theological blogs...well-balanced, well-written and conversational. The "theological" ones are often so stuffy, it's hard to believe a real person is writing. The "charismatic" ones are so fluffy and flighty, it's hard to gleen anything substantial. True in life as well...why should I expect anything less in cyberspace?

    Just wanted to encourage you to pursue with great passion the God who called you to ministry. And the "ministry" will naturally flow from that. Again...something you know, but I just wanted to reaffirm.

    I'll be back!
    Sandy Cooper

  8. I've been hit by him twice but deleted it. I would not let it bother you much. It is fairly common. By the same token I usually leave my blog address in my signature when leaving comments so I cannot be too hard on him although the invitation to come learn great things at his website was somewhat pretentious.

    Blessings in Christ

  9. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Hi Travelah,

    There wasn't any problem with him (or you) leaving a blog address in his sig. If his comment had actually had anything to do with my post and he'd actually had anything to say, I'd have left it up. But you're right--it's no big deal. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Why don't I get these kind of people? Ah well, mine's still new, and I guess there are some benefits to that :). I think your reaction Kieth is very reasonable.