8 Commenters You Meet on Christian Blogs
I have been blogging for a while, and reading blogs even longer. Here are a few of the commenters I regularly see on Christian blogs. How many do you recognize?
Engagers: Most people fall into this category, and these are commenters you want—the crème de la crème. It’s not that they agree with you, they often don’t. But when they disagree, they’re thoughtful and respectful . . . and on topic.
Givers: These are a subset of Engagers who share their personal, and often touching, personal experiences with insightful vulnerability. They’ll often break your heart while adding an important perspective to your post.
Hosts: It’s like these well-meaning people come into a party you’re throwing and need to make sure your guests are doing alright. They respond to everyone and start holding court. It can be unnerving, especially if other commenters are getting the impression that the Host is somehow speaking on your behalf—but Hosts are mostly harmless.
Evangelists: An Evangelist is going to approach the comment section of your blog as a place to set up their soapbox. They’ll post a very long, off-topic, and theologically spurious comment and wait to draw others in.
Generally, all Evangelists end up doing is creating a firestorm of comments from Correctional Officers. Sometimes 70% of a post’s comments will come from the nonsense stirred up by an Evangelist’s input.
Contenders: Similar to the Evangelist, the Contender has an agenda, albeit a less noble one. On Christian blogs contenders are often atheists (but can be any ideologue of any ilk) who show up to tell everyone they’re stupid and stir up some trouble. But let me get this straight, I see Christian Contenders who are guilty of the same annoying behavior on atheist sites.
Contenders want to control the discussion because they basically have a script. They’re pretty good at inflaming almost everyone else on this list. The drag with Contenders is that they shed a negative light on Seekers.
Correctional Officers: Did you know that the Christian internet is patrolled by individuals specially deputized by God to keep theology pure? It’s true. The only problem is there’s no theological standardization in this group so they don’t agree on the areas you’re wrong.
These guys don’t disagree with you the way an Engager might. They’re not here to dialog with you (maybe argue however); they’re here to give you or other commenters notices of infractions and move on. You can usually spot them by their condescending and definitive tone.
Correctional Officers will quickly become the worst sort of Hosts if they’re not ignored. Don’t let them get entrenched.
Worriers: This subset of the Correct Officer is often called a “concern troll.” They couch their correction in motherly, empathetic language. They generally think you are going to take their correction more seriously if they can get you to think they have your best interest at heart.
Seekers: These people come from all walks of life: atheists, hurt Christians, agnostics, etc. They’re not necessarily buying what you’re selling, but they’re thoughtful and willing to engage you about it. If you’re interested in seeing things from different perspectives and having ideologically rich and intellectually challenging conversations, these people are gold—and often will shame with you with the earnestness they have for finding the truth.
Whatever you do, protect them from Evangelists and Correctional Officers.
These are a few of the regulars I see crop up on blogs. What am I missing?