Antagonistic Anonymity

I have been too quiet, for too long, about the issue of anonymity. The blogging and internet world is well known for its anonymity. It is a place where you can communicate, and make opinions known, where you can build a person or idea up, and just as quickly kill someone or something without ever having to introduce yourself. The beauty of that is that it allows many who need anonymity to maintain communication with others. There are those whose positions mandate some sense of flying under the radar. The best example that I can think of would be missionaries who need to keep a low profile for the sake of their lives and ministry. These individuals have every right to maintain anonymity, and for them I’m happy to protect it. In addition there are, at times, those who must post anonymously because of job situations, family connections or other valid reason. The sad truth, however, is that these are generally the minority when it comes to anonymous contributors on the internet.

The vast majority of anonymous bloggers, in my experience, are those who have an axe to grind or who desire to tear others apart without having to reveal themselves. I have been increasingly frustrated by the venom, hatred and downright ungodliness of many bloggers who call themselves believers, Southern Baptists, and partners in the faith, and yet consistently use their voice to make unsupported claims and to use unsavory language to tear down others within the church as opposed to building up.

Friends, hear this today as a plea to come out from the fog of anonymity. For the vast majority of us there is no reason, no call at all, for anonymity other than to satisfy our own gutless pursuit of self-satisfaction. We are quickly taking a fantastic form of communication (blogging) and turning it into a battering ram for our own disgruntled attitudes with no real means for accountability. Our generation has become known as the group raising a call within the church for accountability, authenticity, etc. and yet we hide ourselves behind the cloak of a pseudonym. It is time for us to walk the walk. If you have to blog anonymously, do so with integrity. Blog as if the whole world knew your name. Don't allow your unrevealed name to encourage you to say things you wouldn't say to each others' face, and judge what you would say as to whether it's edifying or not.

In addition, do not hear this as a plea to stop the presses. We must continue to push for change, and we must continue to challenge old methodology and immoral, unethical behavior when we find it. We must continue to be bold, and at times confrontational, but we must do so with a heart of love and spirit of unity. Those who desire to tear others down are nothing more than careless, egocentric, Christ dis-honoring cancers. There is no room in the body of Christ for such.

Let’s pledge together to unite around the cross and not around the gossip hall. This has to stop if we are to be taken seriously and make a difference for the kingdom.