In the past, anonymity was both rare and difficult. People tended to live in close-knit communities where every face was familiar and every action was visible to the community. Travel was rare and the majority of people lived a whole lifetime within a small geographic area. Os Guinness remarks that in the past “those who did right and those who did not do wrong often acted as they did because they knew they were seen by others. Their morality was accountability through visibility.” While anonymity is not a new phenomenon, the degree of anonymity we can and often do enjoy in our society is unparalleled. “For most people most of the time, their villages or towns were sufficiently cohesive and their relationships sufficiently close that behavior was held in check. In small towns neighborliness was often ‘nosiness’ just as in cities anonymity was often ‘liberation.’ But the point still stands—traditional morality was closely tied to accountability.”
For the believer, traditional morality is still closely tied to accountability, and I thank God daily for it. I am not so long a believer that I can convince myself I do not remember who I was in the flesh. My life changed drastically [again, PRAISE God!!] when the Holy Spirit became part of my everyday living. I must confess there are days I still desire to be anonymous long enough to “stir the pot”. They are few and far between, but they still exist on those days where I [in my flesh] have perceived that I have been wronged. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit steps in to remind me who I am in Christ. On those days I need to step back, enter in prayer, and take the time to listen to His urging. Those times I don’t step back and do that, I am inclined to act upon my flesh and dishonor my Savior.
Additionally, in regard to Internet anonymity [be sure to read Tim’s post], I think it well to remember one is not as anonymous as you’d like to think. I – a mere homeschooling mom – can tell who has been on my blogsite, at what pages they looked, how long they were on each page, the location of the ISP — I think you get my point. And I have learned, since my original tracking set-up, there are trackers you can use that do not have to be “posted” on your site. Yep that’s right, they’re anonymous!!
On another front, Erik Raymond [Irish Calvinist] has posted a review by Patrick Abendroth [Sr. Pastor at Omaha Bible Church]. Pat writes his feelings on Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis. I had read Pat’s review earlier and have been waiting for an online account of it to link to! So, here you go.
Over the weekend, I adopted Abraham Piper’s “quirk” of blogging using only twenty-two words. This, of course, does not count titles – which can get quite extensive. The first post [of my weekend] was quite accidentally only twenty-two words. Once I realized it, I decided to finish out the weekend in the same manner. I don’t normally count my words – but am finding Abraham is probably correct in thinking everyone SHOULD for the most part!! His name [above] is linked to his blogsite. You should check it out, I think you will be truly edified and amused.
As you can tell, the twenty-two word phenomenon was only over the weekend! All these words and not an original thought in the whole bunch!
I’m just saying……