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Fundamentalist Pastor forbids teen and member blogging

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Message Dennis Diehl

I realize an open letter to anyone for any reason usually does not reach the intended audience. But an open letter is an attempt to draw attention to something that is so profoundly wrong that attention still needs to be drawn to the topic.

This is an open letter to the teens, AND adults who are affiliated with the Restored Church of God in Wadsworth, Ohio. I am writing in response to the following article and associated commands to teens AND adults in RCG to refrain from blogging on the internet or having a personal website, unless strickly for business, as now being forbidden by RCG, according to this article. The intro to the article is as follows. This is from the Ambassador Youth Magazine, as written by Kevin D. Denee on behalf of the leadership of the Restored Church of God.

"Blogs and God's Youth

The “blogosphere” enables people to share daily journals, photographs and audio—instantly. But should teenagers and others in the Church “express themselves” to the world through blogs?"

Obviously, from the intro kids, the answer is going to be "NO, you should not be blogging." It's going to take some time to get there, with typical warnings about pedophiles and giving up personal information to the web, which is wise, but this is just the intro to the real point. That point is summed up nicely near the end of the article and is the whole point of all that preceeded it, which I will also comment on for your own sakes.

Here is the conclusion of the matter for teens, AND adults, so lets be clear, the article was not written just for teens after all and is a warning to ADULT church members to also avoid blogging and websites that are not approved by "the Church." "To teens and others," is code for "everyone had better be listening to me." Let's go right to the conclusion first. I'll let the author of the article speak for himself...

"The Conclusion—and Solution

So what have we learned? Recall that a blog provider stated, with blogs “there are no rules.” This is obviously not true with God. He does have rules and guidelines, but not everything is spelled out in the Bible. We must take principles and consider the overall big picture.

Should teenagers and others in the Church express themselves to the world through blogs? Because of the obvious dangers; the clear biblical principles that apply; the fact that it gives one a voice; that it is almost always idle words; that teens often do not think before they do; that it is acting out of boredom; and it is filled with appearances of evil—blogging is simply not to be done in the Church. It should be clear that it is unnecessary and in fact dangerous on many levels.

Let me emphasize that no one—including adults—should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes).

When this policy, now being instituted, was discussed with Mr. Pack and other Headquarters ministers, there was not a shadow of doubt in anyone’s mind that blogs are something youth should not be doing in any way.

As has been said before, Jesus Christ and His Church have standards. Those who desire fewer standards should go to the splinters or to the world.

When trying to justify something, teenagers will often narrow in to specific areas, and say, “Well this particular thing isn’t wrong!” They will then use this as proof that the larger thing is okay. Do not allow yourself to think this way. Consider all the elements we have discussed.

Blogging has become a socially accepted practice—just as are dating seriously too young, underage drinking and general misbehaving. But just because someone else “jumps off the cliff” does not mean you should do the same.

Some questions naturally arise: “Can I have a photo gallery?” For example, maybe you visited an exotic country and want to share your photos with close friends. This can be done, but certain guidelines apply. Of course, there should never be any inappropriate pictures (again, be careful of the appearance of evil); it should be private and password protected, and only shown to family and closest friends.

Is this article saying that every blog in the world is wrong? No, of course not! Again, there are some professionals and specialists who use blogs to serve a proper purpose." Kevin D. Denee. Restored Church of God.

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Dennis Diehl is a former pastor of 26 years,  who outgrew the Literalism of Fundamentalism.  He writes about Pastoral and Church abuse and is available to speak on such topics or be helpful to any church suffering under abusive (more...)

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