Monday, February 04, 2008

Baptists, Blogs, and Liberty of Conscience

I just finished reading a wonderful book called The Anabaptist View of the Church by Franklin H. Littell and I found it fascinating and challenging. After completing it a somewhat random thought came to mind.

I've recently heard Dr. Patterson say that posting inflammatory statements anonymously on blogs is the ultimate act of cowardice. It takes no courage at all to slander someone anonymously and is ultimately a very unchristian thing to do. I believe that he is exactly right, and to argue for this I want to mention the Anabaptists. They lived in a time when they could be persecuted, imprisoned, or even executed for saying what they believe--yet even they signed their works, knowing that they could face being burned alive or drowned. My thought is this. Yes, today a person could face legal issues, or even loosing a job for saying something on a blog, but to anyone who has a word of criticism to say about anything my suggestion is that you sign your name in honor of our Baptist and Anabaptist brethren who came before us. We live in a society today that we don't have to worry about the consequence of death for the things we say, and any consequence that we face pales in comparison to that. My suggestion is that if you have something that you want to say, but you are afraid of the consequences for saying it, just don't say anything at all, or go to the person who you have the issue with (following Matthew 18's advice). Hiding in a dark corner and throwing criticism anonymously dishonors those Baptists before us who died for their faith.

1 comment:

Ched said...

You make an interesting connection here.