I think so.

Ephesians 4:29, in the KJV I’ve got stuffed into my brain, says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is useful for edification, that it may minister grace to the hearers.” I was talking the other night with my Bible study group about what makes an action sinful, about the fact that we can be right in our motives and attitudes, but yet be wrong in what we actually do. I’m of the opinion that anonymous communication may well fall under this classification: something undertaken, perhaps, with the best of motives, and even with a good attitude, but still not the right way to approach a situation.

But I’m open to being persuaded otherwise.

7 responses »

  1. Flash McDirt says:

    I dunno, I think it’s a helpful site…

    or at least good for a few yucks…

  2. Laurie says:

    What exactly would make anonymous communication sinful? Do you define it as someone who’s not giving their real name, or not divulging the “real motive” behind what they’re saying? I can definitely see problems with it, and I think some of those problems are sinful, but I’m not sure I’d say it’s always sinful – I think it would really depend on why they’re doing it and how they’re conducting themselves. On the Hot Dog, We’ve got us a Prophet thread, we had a problem with bloggers who used a made-up name, revealed little information about themselves, and were causing disruption – one got banned and came back under another made-up name – that was a problem child. I do think some people hide behind a fake name and say things they probably wouldn’t say face to face, that’s not good, but then again, even if someone gives a “real” name – how do we know that’s really their name? In a sense, we could say most communication on the internet is anonymous.

  3. Laurie says:

    Something that popped into my head was the situation where Jesus, after rising from the grave, was walking along with two of His disciples, having a conversation with them. They didn’t recognize Him, so they had no idea Who they were talking to. I wonder if Jesus likes to blog?

  4. Byron says:

    Laurie,

    You’re probably right; it’s not sinful, I don’t guess. It just doesn’t sit quite right with me, but you do make some good points.

  5. Derlin says:

    I agree with Laurie here, though the examples shown on that site don’t sit so well with me either. Anonymity does have a place, but I would say it is more often than not not the right way to proceed. In other words, the site would be very easy to abuse in a sinful way, but I would not consider all usage to be necessarily sinful. To be honest I can’t think of a good example of how the website would be beneficial, since anonymity use usually most helpful when the other party is unknown.

    In Jesus walk to Emmaus (thanks Laurie, this is a great example!), I think his anonymity was beneficial. Whether Jesus knew them well (on a human level anyway), is unclear. (Cleopas and Simon are names given, I think) If Jesus had not hidden his identity, I don’t think he would have had as good a chance of exploring the scripture prophecies about the life and death of the Messiah as he recently fulfilled. He does identify himself, and then he vanishes. If he revealed himself earlier, the discussion would have been directed by his companions, probably to things like what it was like, and they’d be too shocked and excited to remember anything. So, I think that if anonymity is chosen in humility, as Jesus did here, for the betterment of his audience, then it is certainly not sinful. When it is taken to protect one’s pride (as this website makes very simple) then it can certainly be sinful.

    I agree with Byron’s initial statement of pure motives and attitudes but resulting in sinful actions. I think the old post about Rosa Parks (http://www.byron-harvey.com/2005/10/was-rosa-parks-right-an-unpopular-opinion/) had some good discussion on this.

  6. Derlin says:

    A very funny showcase of anonymity to correct anonymous (or not so anonymous) behavior is here:

    http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/

  7. Byron says:

    OK, I think I’m convinced. It’s not sinful per se, but it certainly could easily be a place for sin to germinate. And when it’s not sinful, it might be uncouth.

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