I decided it was kind of fun to go back and see what folks are most interested in from time to time, so last month I started a monthly review of the most popular blog posts. In a few cases this time, there was more than one popular post on a common topic, so I am grouping them by subject for this month, rather than just listing the top five articles. So without further explanation…
“Honorable Mention” – Christian Exorcism Leads to Gay Teen’s Suicide
This story about Eric James Borges just missed being among the top articles on my blog, but I’m including it anyway for two reasons. First, this piece stirred lots of interest on some other sites where I contribute, and overall, it was an important subject of discussion in the Christian sphere. Second, the story was an emotional one for me to even write, so I can only imagine how reading over the accounts of the tragic loss of this young life must affect those close to Eric and those people of faith within the LGBT community.
#5 – On Asperger Syndrome and Broken Hearts
This story hit close to home on more than one level. Part of the piece is about when we told our son recently that he has Asperger Syndrome. His response was, well, awesome! It also shares the story of a young family in our church who is expecting a son in the next few months with a rare disorder of the heart. their willingness to share their struggle with our church was a unexpectedly special gift.
#4 – Examining John Piper’s “Masculine Christianity”
It’s kind of remarkable to me that, decades after both the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements, we’re still even having conversation about women’s role in the Christian faith. Yet here we are. While there are plenty of places in scripture to cite when trying to keep women in their “place,” I keep coming back to Jesus saying, over and over, “The Law says ______, but I say _____.” It seems to me that one central thrust of Christ’s ministry was to free us from the letter of Law and to urge us to listen to our hearts. I don’t know about your heart, but mine says to affirm women’s role as leaders in all areas of faith.
#3 – GOP Nostalgia is a Symptom of Privilege
I was surprised by the amount of interest in this article, which goes to show that any blogger who tells you they know what the public wants is kidding themselves. I do believe that privilege in our contemporary culture is something that often is overlooked, and so I’m greatly encouraged when there is spirited conversation on the topic.
First, I wrote a piece about disciplinary action taken by Mark Dricsoll’s Mars Hill Church toward Andrew, a young man who was a member there. I title the piece provocatively as Mark Driscoll: Sadist Pastor on the (Mars) Hill). But I don’t think the “sadist” label is hyperbole in this case. It seems to me that there is some bizarre system of complicit abuse going on in such church cultures, and for me, it has to be called out.
I wrote another piece about the risk of letting such insular church communities operate without outside accountability, as are many independent Christian churches today. Though I understand the disenchantment with larger systems of church governance, but as cumbersome and even oppressive as they can be, total autonomy presents an even greater potential risk to the individuals involved. I explored this specifically in reference to Mars Hill’s response to bloggers writing about the disciplinary case involving Andrew. I called it Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill: A Case for Accountability.
Together, these two pieces generated thousands of hits, which tells me this is, again, something we have to keep talking about.
And finally, it is with some ambivalence that I announce the far-and-away most highly trafficked topic on my blog for the month…
#1 – Bad Lip Reading Videos
Hwy, these things are hilarious, which is why I posted them. Basically, some guys take clips of people talking, turn the sound off and then make up gibberish that it look like the speaker is saying, creating a collage of ridiculous nonsense that makes you want to pee yourself laughing. There are all kinds of figures used in the videos, but given the GOP horse race going on, the candidates have been the focus of their most recent videos.
Most popular was the clip of Mitt Romney. There are lots of great ones on the Bad Lip Reading site, but I think this one is my favorite. Next, I posted what I called a “Cage Match” between Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. This one drew a little bit of heat, but for my money, these videos are all pretty innocent and in good fun.
In all, we welcomed over twenty-one thousand readers in the last month, which is a new record for traffic. Thanks so much to all who follow or have visited the blog. I consider the time you spend here to be an investment that I should not take lightly, and I trust I will continue to earn your interest in the coming months.