Friday, October 28, 2011

Information and the control of its distribution....

Even as a blogger I am ambivalent about the practice of blogging.  I have a definite point of view but not a particular "political" agenda.  I know that there are those who use this media simply to sound off and complain and I know that there are those who have a definite political goal behind their blogging.  I appreciate blogging for the disbursement of information.  Lord knows, you could end up with cob webs in your ears waiting for some of this stuff in LCMS news releases, Reporter stories, or the like.  I understand that but it is important that information find its way out (example University Lutheran Chapel building being sold).  So often we only find out about things when they are over and done with and have no way to register our concern before the deed is done.  So blogging does provide a conduit for timely distribution of what is going on -- good or bad.

I try to be responsible in what I post.  I do not target individuals and do not make things personal -- if I have, I ask you to point it out to me so that I can correct it.  It is not fair to say that bloggers must be objective -- the whole point of blogging is personal perspective.  Most of the bloggers I pay attention to are similarly circumspect in the way they use the medium.  There are some more apt to be personal or to get personal with their (church) politics but I do not generally comment on their blogs nor accept their information without additional sources.

I think it is unfair to paint bloggers in our Church with the broad brush or to identity them with a certain infamous rag out of a small town in Missouri.  Even when the concern may be similar the methodology is clearly different.

My concern has been heightened because some have issued public or private warnings to the bloggers and some of these have come through official or semi-official channels.  This is a sad state of affairs.  Most of the blogs that I know are passionate for the larger cause of faithful Lutheran confession and practice.  Even then, the various blogs are different and the bloggers are likewise different.  That is not a bad thing.  Different perspectives and points of view are healthy to the larger discussion.

I do not moderate comments.  I retain the right to remove comments that are objectionable in language or tone and do not speak to the issue or topic of the post.  I expect the folks who comment to be civil even when they are passionate in their points.  I do not spend a great deal of time going through comments and, truth to be told, I rather like it when a good discussion gets going.  I think that unmoderated discussion is good in the larger arena of our Synod.  Too much of the debate of the past years has been shaped and defined by others to the point where we have not spoken as honestly and forthrightly as we should.  If our Synod is to find peace and enjoy more solidarity it will happen only where people speak the their points of view and the truth in love, in a free and open discussion.

Just a few rambling thoughts as I hear some raise some concern about folks like me who blog...  BTW, in case you are concerned about the time I put into this, I spend about 30 minutes a day on my blog or reading others.... generally somewhere around 6 am.  Some days I do not read any.  Many of my own posts are scheduled so that I have the freedom to ignore this blog from time to time.  But all the content is my responsibility...


Phillip said...

Pastor Peters,

I think you have a most excellent blog and want to encourage you to keep writing.

It is disturbing to read that you are getting criticized by "official" or "semi-official" channels. Blogs such as yours are simply a modern platform for the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren" which our Lutheran Confessions (Smalcald Articles) commend as a means by which the Holy Spirit builds up His church.

Families communicate. If someone has a problem with this, I have a problem with them. The Church should not be a place where people are afraid to speak. To squelch dissent is uncharitable at best and cultish at worst. There should always be room for brotherly exchange of ideas and opinions among us.

God bless you sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. I have learned much from them over the past couple of years and hope I will continue to enjoy reading your perspectives. You are a kind, wise pastor who has much to offer all of us.

So, please, keep it up! :)

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you allow us to
make anonymous comments. Some blogs
really get uptight and ban all of
the anonymous comments. A comment
should be judged on its merits and
not on the name behind it.

Anonymous said...

For the love of peat, keep blogging, Pastor!!!

Carl Vehse said...

Anonymous posters do have a particular responsibility to substantiate claims they make with references or links. This is especially true when including short excerpts from not readily obvious books or articles, so that readers can, if they so choose, track down the reference to verify the context of the excerpt. It is not useful for an anonymous poster to report gossip and unsubstantiated inside information, which violates the 8th commandment.

Personal opinions, particularly about individuals, need to be clearly identified as such and not packaged with weasel words so that the anonymous writer can waffle if questioned about what he said. And if an anonymous (or not) poster is questioned about a claim he made or a reference for it, it is in poor form, and evaporates the poster's credibility, to respond with evasive ad hominems and red herring wisecracks.

James said...

Pastor Peters wrote: "My concern has been heightened because some have issued public or private warnings to the bloggers and some of these have come through official or semi-official channels."

I wonder whether or not it is even possible for the owner of a blog to remain anonymous. How can District or Synodical officials try to shut you down if they do not even know your true identity?

Keep up the good work, Pastor Peters! Synod tried to silence Todd Wilken, but Issues, Etc. is now more popular than ever! Confessional Lutherans need all the whistleblowers they can get.

Timothy C. Schenks said...

I do not agree with Phillip that blogs have anything to do with the Mutual Consolation and Conversation of the Brethren.

Not too long ago I was asked by a member of the current LCMS administration to remove a post from my blog. I complied and removed the post.

I was also slandered by the Publisher of CPH, who refused to respond to any contact after he banned me from his blog. Then, when I reposted my question on my own blog, he banned me from his Facebook page and a Facebook group. Still no response.