Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Break glass in case of deletion

It's gotten downright funny.

A representative from the group oxymoronically named "Integrity Does Count" (You down with IDC?) made some statements last night regarding the mysterious nature of their organization. My response on the oxymoronically-named "Open Forum" lasted only a matter of minutes. Thankfully, I didn't un-learn the previously-learned lesson, so here's the post in question, which addresses a key point in the way the IDC sub-group does its business:

Mike Bratton said...
Tim said...
bepatient,

There is no fear involved in the Board of IDC. There is a matter of effectiveness and right now they may have more effect anonymously.


Because, of course, non-profit organizations do some of their best work from the shadows?

Could you explain the rationale there, Tim?

Since when has releasing names become an issue in your eyes. The church has a legal responsibility to do so and gain your support in refusing to do so.

Actually, the church has no legal, or moral, responsibility to release much of anything to a group whose raison d'etre is to work at cross purposes with the church. Or was Mr. Coombs' response not factual?

IDC has no legal or other responsibility to you and you take issue with them because of it.

You do, on the other hand, have a moral responsibility to let those you disagree with know your identities.

Imagine the scene. It's a clear, beautiful July day in Philadelphia, the year is 1776, and the Colonies are moving to assert themselves. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, strides up to the Declaration of Independence and with a bold stroke, signs it thusly and like so:

"Anonymous."

Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? I mean, centuries later, who'd want to do business with the Anonymous Life Insurance Company?

This is actually far beyond a double standard.

No, actually, it's right-smack-dab in double-standard territory.

Releasing names for one is a legal requirement

You and yours had your collective hat handed to you on that one, didn't you? Why, then, do you still pursue it?

and the other is to satisfy your curiousity.

If you were smuggling Bibles to China, I could understand the need for a certain level of secrecy.

Wait--you're not smuggling Bibles to China, are you?


There is a moral responsibility to identify one's self to those with whom one disagrees. The propensity to avoid doing so, combined with the convenient dismissal of inconvenient facts, is increasingly eroding the base upon which the IDC and Mostly Closed Forum claim to operate; when that base is gone, it cannot be reclaimed.

And folks, it's just about gone.

--Mike

8 comments:

david S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david S said...

let me try restating this more gracefully:

You're right, Mike. People should identify themselves to those who disagree with them. That becomes slightly more difficult when you observe what happened recently to a young man "Ace." I will not use his real name. When able to uncover who he was, the blog admin. published his MySpce page and had a public trashing of someone they did not like. Of course, this all happened while they stayed behind their private screen names.

Now: If that is what will happen if someone steps out in public, why should we disclose who we are? You have been treated... uh... less than kindly over there. If exposure means public ridcule and in Ace's case threat of legal consequences, why would anyone do that?

of course, the problem was that he (ace) made some threats of his own. However, I didn't undertsand the creation of an entire blog discussion just to blast his identity.

I do realize that with conviction comes a cost. For the cause of Christ we are willing to lose all. For the sake of discussion... is it worth it?

Most of us understand some of their frustration. However, legitimate concerns are being lost in personal attacks.

It is time for sound voices to once again call for a business meeting, Mike.

Mike Bratton said...

david S said...
let me try restating this more gracefully:

You're right, Mike. People should identify themselves to those who disagree with them. That becomes slightly more difficult when you observe what happened recently to a young man "Ace." I will not use his real name. When able to uncover who he was, the blog admin. published his MySpce page and had a public trashing of someone they did not like.


I hate to say it, but "Ace" precipitated a good deal of what transpired when he misrepresented his actual identity.

Of course, this all happened while they stayed behind their private screen names.

Funny how that works, isn't it? If I belong to a particular anti-Bellevue clique, I can question others' salvation or make pretty much any other damning statement I am pleased to make without fear of significant repercussions. Yet no one may raise an eyebrow to me.

Now: If that is what will happen if someone steps out in public, why should we disclose who we are? You have been treated... uh... less than kindly over there.

Since the "less kind" would blow up their own anonymity, not to mention their witnesses and their reputations, by saying in person what they say from the shadows, it's really not so bad.

If exposure means public ridcule and in Ace's case threat of legal consequences, why would anyone do that?

"Ace" misbehaved. He was intoxicated by the freedom to speak without consequences, just as are many of the so-called "Open Forum" clique members.

of course, the problem was that he (ace) made some threats of his own. However, I didn't undertsand the creation of an entire blog discussion just to blast his identity.

To stretch the analogy a bit, it was the OF clique's equivalent of a kegger.

I do realize that with conviction comes a cost. For the cause of Christ we are willing to lose all. For the sake of discussion... is it worth it?

Just keep in mind that real people (generally, real brothers and sisters in Christ) are at the other end of your posts, and you'll be fine.

Most of us understand some of their frustration. However, legitimate concerns are being lost in personal attacks.

And all God's people said?

A-men.

It is time for sound voices to once again call for a business meeting, Mike.

Right there with you.

--Mike

RE said...

In the course of time

When emotion subsides

When reason returns

When exhaustion is complete

When there are no more arguments

When no one is listening

then......

will we be at tne end of ourselves

and we will look heavenward

to realize it's not up to us

and we give up



........and God answers

Bepatient said...

Since I am the one who started all this mess I will add that wanting the names of the board of directors never had anything to do with curiosity...

I just think it is ironic that for a group that vilifies those who show "blind faith" to those in leadership of the church, are in turn asking people to join a group that ask you to have "blind faith" in those leading the group. They keep telling me that it is not a secret to those who join, but doesn't that defeat the purpose if you have to join first? To me, that is like voting in an election and not finding out the name of the candidate until after the fact. At least at the church we know the names of the men we are supporting up front.

I am supposed to want to throw my good name (and money$$) in the ring with these people and trust that they will make wise decisions but they won't even tell you who is leading the charge! You only get to find that out after you have paid your money and added one more to their count of "noses".

Seems unreasonable for those who demand transparency not to provide it themselves.

And as far as people who are afraid of risking their jobs- if they believe that what they are doing is in the will of God, they should trust that God will provide for them or protect their jobs. If they are willing to lead this group and take this step, they should be willing to live with the CONSEQUENCES (another little bit of irony for those of you that follow this)of those actions!

Mike Bratton said...

Bepatient said...

...

And as far as people who are afraid of risking their jobs- if they believe that what they are doing is in the will of God, they should trust that God will provide for them or protect their jobs. If they are willing to lead this group and take this step, they should be willing to live with the CONSEQUENCES (another little bit of irony for those of you that follow this)of those actions!


Many years ago, I lost a gig for just those reasons--and God (gasp!) provided.

Without going into too much detail, I managed a radio station that wanted me to do something directly, clearly at odds with revealed Scripture. The response from my boss was, and I quote thusly and like so, "Theologically, I agree with you, but we need the money."

Unfortunately, the money from that ad buy didn't keep the ownership from having to sell the station.

I'd rather face the consequences of obedience than of self-reliance.

--Mike

Bepatient said...

I have heard so many compare what is happening to the uprising of Martin Luther (inasmuch as not submitting to authority, I don't think they really believe it is on the same level)but my point is...

If Martin Luther had not been willing to stand behind his convictions and had hidden behind anonymity, do you think the events would have unfolded the same way? Or even on a smaller more personal scale, Dr. Rogers was known for his stand in the SBC, do you think he would have been able to stop the changes and direction they were headed if he had hidden his name? Part of why he was so successful is because he had his reputation to stand on and he wasn't afraid of the repercussions.

Mike Bratton said...

Bepatient said...
I have heard so many compare what is happening to the uprising of Martin Luther (inasmuch as not submitting to authority, I don't think they really believe it is on the same level)but my point is...

If Martin Luther had not been willing to stand behind his convictions and had hidden behind anonymity, do you think the events would have unfolded the same way? Or even on a smaller more personal scale, Dr. Rogers was known for his stand in the SBC, do you think he would have been able to stop the changes and direction they were headed if he had hidden his name? Part of why he was so successful is because he had his reputation to stand on and he wasn't afraid of the repercussions.


When people aren't willing to publicly claim their convictions, they aren't really convictions.

--Mike