Evangelicals publish 10 commandments of blogging

Ten cyberspace commandments are to be posted online to give bloggers a moral edge in a virtual age.

Based loosely on the real Ten Commandments from the Old Testament, the revamped version for guidance in online communication emerged from an event reflecting on the ethics of today's most popular form of public comment.

The commandments are intended to cause bloggers to consider the social impact of their blogging, and include not making an idol of their blog and not stealing another person's content.

Godblogs, a gathering held by the Evangelical Alliance on 23 September, was designed to give Christian bloggers an opportunity to network face-to-face and think through a Christian approach to blogging. The group, aged from 18 to 87, reflected on how to honour God with their blogs and in their relationships online.

Dr Krish Kandiah, Churches in Mission Executive Director at the EA, said: "During the Godblogs event, we discussed ideas about how to communicate a code of best practice to evangelical bloggers.

"Unlike the original, these commandments are virtual rather than set in stone, but are offered to the blogging community as a way to link the Ten Commandments with the art of blogging.

"In the ever-changing information age, what we need is wisdom for life, and God communicates wisdom to our culture through the Bible on every issue from social justice to social networking."

He added that the Alliance is inviting bloggers to feed back on the commandments, which are on the Alliance website, www.eauk.org, and make suggestions for improvement.

Rev Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister for All Souls Church, Langham Place said: "The internet is merely the latest step in the evolution of human communication - and so like any other new medium, it presents us with huge opportunities as well as challenges.

"It is essential that Christians make the most of it, not least because we believe we have good news that is as relevant to those in cyberspace as it is for those in real space."

Rev Meynell began the day by taking the bloggers through a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Christian blogosphere, followed by talks about relationships in invisible communities by lead elder at North Shrewsbury Community Church, Phil Whittal and Web 2.0 and the Bible by Peter Sanlon, an Anglican Ordinand from Cambridge.

A Blogging Relationship Commitment for Christians has also been produced as a result of the day to encourage Christians to think through how they can communicate in cyberspace in a Christ-like way and promote good relationships between Christians.

The ten cyberspace commandments are as follows:

You shall not put your blog before your integrity.

You shall not make an idol of your blog.

You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin.

Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog.

Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes.

You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings.

You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind.

You shall not steal another person's content.

You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger.

You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content.