Friday, 15 February 2013


I recently read a semi-anonymous article by one Christian criticising several others, which reminded me of the need to be accountable.

Every "public" Christian - which includes anyone who makes comments of whatever kind on the Internet, which is a public forum - should publish their name and the contact details of the church to which they are accountable. There should be no effectively unaccountable, pseudo-anonymous Christians - at least, in countries where it is not illegal to be a Christian.

According to The Wayback Machine, I have done that since the first time I published my homepage, in February 2007. Nothing bad has happened through those details being available. If you believe that if people can locate you then you are in danger, then don't participate in public forums. Participate and be accountable for what you say; or avoid being accountable for anything via not participating. But don't participate without being accountable. That's not godly.

I was challenged about this, about a decade ago when I made a snippy comment about a theologian I didn't like on a third-party blog. Instead of addressing the comment, the blog owner asked why I needed to make the comment anonymously instead of in my own name. Good question. I had no good answers. So I repented. Nothing bad has happened to me since; and even if it had, it would still have been the right thing to do and I can trust the rest to Jesus. And I'm sure some good things have happened, because every time I comment I am reminded that everybody can know who I am as I do so. I'm a Christians; and the name of Jesus Christ is involved. So best to be careful before I click. And if I'm going astray, it's best if there's an opportunity for me to be put right again, rather than me pre-empting the proper mechanisms for that to happen through. That means, the church which you answer to and which has the power to disfellowship you from its meetings and celebrations of the Lord's Supper (regardless of what particular membership system they operate).

If you, as a Christian, living in a country where you are free to profess Christianity, fear to be accountable - then what do you think you will do when tougher times come? There are two options - be accountable, or be quiet. There is no need for a third option.

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