Why Permit Anonymous Postings?

So what about this anonymous posting stuff? Prayingheart (PH) believes that anonymous posts & comments by professing believers are not inherently sinful. In fact, there are times when they are very appropriate.

An individual that PH believes to be a man pursuing personal Godliness sent PH a terse email. In the email, this writer was called “cowardly and sinful”, and it was implied that this writer is a “lurky wolf”. Genuinely curious, PH sent back an email asking simply “curious as to what makes it sinful?” Since this man is one tasked with caring for and about PH’s immortal soul, PH was very disappointed when no response was received.

Anonymity protects those who want to avoid death by character assassination. Mars Hill, especially Mark Driscoll, have, as they say, the “bully pulpit.” In the past, those that have angered Mark Driscoll or Mars Hill Elders have been threatened, publicly mocked and slandered by Mark and/or other elders. Look at Paul Petry…unsubstantiated charges, kangaroo trial, and then retroactively put under church discipline two months after Mars Hill accepted his resignation. Those of us who want to protect our families (and ourselves) will post anonymously. Additionally, PH wants to keep the attention on the message, NOT the messenger. PH has no desire for this to become a “this person versus Mark” or “this person versus Elder X”. Please, judge the message for content and credibility, whether you like the messenger or not.

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One Response to Why Permit Anonymous Postings?

  1. Stan says:

    Excellant post PH,

    As I have read on this site and others (eg “Rise & Fall…”) the only argument by the defenders of MH Elders is “criticism is divisive and therefore sinful so stop it”. These arguments seek only to attack the messenger and don’t deal with the legitimate issues being raised.

    Ironically, MH will only meet with people and entertain questions in person in a private setting… which is, effectively, anonymously – they will not discuss the issues publicly nor answer anything in writing or reproducible e-mail etc… and recording those private settings is verboten. No answers come from those meetings – typically (I have spoken to quite a few individuals that have gone through the exercise) they are either a polite listening or an attempt to intimidate, there is no effort to address issues.

    The Ask Your Elders Anything was a one time, three day deal and then it came down when they posted their responses so that there was no ability to compare their version of the questions with the actual questions asked. As one elder said: “This is not a dialogue.” – THAT message has been loud and clear.

    It seems the charge of “anonymity equals no credibility” is merely an attempt to make an ad hominem attack rather than address substance. It is a lazy response.

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