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8 Commenters You Meet on Christian Blogs

Photo: iwona_kellie

Photo: iwona_kellie

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?

Photo: iwona_kellie

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. I would add the comedians. They try to leave a funny reply regardless of the topic.

    August 29, 2013
  2. Jayson, these individuals are not unique to the Christian blogging subculture. I blog off and on about history and the same types of commenters are common to my blog, and others I read, as well.

    August 29, 2013
  3. I friggin’ love you, man. I’m a Christian blogger and I’ve seen most every one of these.
    I’d also like to talk to you about Jesus Christ being your Lord and Savior…

    August 29, 2013
  4. Carl O #

    There are atheist sites? I must need to read up on atheism. Seriously, I can’t fathom what a bunch of people who are brought together by ‘nothing’ have to talk about.

    And I’m not trying to be a ‘Comedian’ here.

    August 29, 2013
  5. Darren Beem #

    Two more, which I’ve experienced and occasionally fallen into. . .

    1) You Might As Well Be Sally Field: Which is to say, we like you, we really like you. These are commenters who will comment because they like you and not always because they have anything to say on the topic. They will pick out the random throw away things you say on your blog and comment about them. These are the Cliffs and Norms of your blog.

    2) I Can’t hear you. Can you Hear Me?: These are people who will take every post you write, as an opportunity to share something on their mind. Usually, what they have one their mind, has nothing to do with what you’re sharing. For the most part, they’re harmless, just don’t expect to understand the connection between what they’ve written and your post, because there might not be a connection.

    August 29, 2013
    • Ha. Those are good. I think I have a couple of the former on Facebook, too. Thanks for chiming in.

      August 29, 2013
  6. Geez, now I’m wondering which one I fall into–probably all of them at some point. Scratch that. Most of them. I could never be an Evangelist or Correctional Officer, ’cause I’m quite sure I’d get it wrong. And now I’m also wondering which one this comment falls into.

    Thanks for making commenting so stressful!

    August 30, 2013
    • This one falls securely in the “Engager” category. Thanks for chiming in Whisperer.

      August 30, 2013
  7. Ed Sumner #

    Given the large amount of incorrect theology often spouted on blogs and FB groups, a correctional officer isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    September 6, 2013
    • Sure Ed, but which correctional officer? They often have different, contradictory theology. In fact, the only thing they all have in common is their conviction they’re correct.

      September 6, 2013
      • Ed Sumner #

        You as the person in charge have to weigh their statement and see if it lines up with Scripture. (I wouldn’t post something if I didn’t think I was at least partly correct, unless I was looking for answers.)

        September 6, 2013

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