28 October 2011

I think it would be

true to note that in general, church bureaucrats distrust and dislike blogs and blogging.  And why?  Why the need to constantly run down bloggers as though they were some evil force in Christ's church?  I think it is simply because it drives them BATTY that they do not control the flow of information anymore.  And I say:  hurray for that!  Oh, ye bloggers, fight the good fight and do not give up!  Speak the truth and bear the calumny that is dished out in your direction.  It's worth it.

13 comments:

vdma said...

Amen. God bless you Pastor Weedon.

Jim Huffman said...

Good words. But I think the vitriol toward independent sources started way earlier. James Adams (in 'Preus of Missouri') posited that the reason the synod started 'The Reporter' was in response to Otten's CN. Leaving aside questions of Otten's reporting, I think the venom toward him in official LCMS circles stems from his independence (in several senses of the word)and the inability to control him.

Pastor Peters said...

I know from personal experience that some Districts are discouraging Pastors from blogging and have issued warnings about the practice. Have you heard this?

William Weedon said...

Thanks,

VDMA.

Jim,

I think you're right.

Fr. Peters,

I've heard negative remarks from a couple district presidents about the practice of blogging - and since they both know I blog, I took it as a bit of a "warning" if you will. I don't give a rip. I believe overall it has been a blessing. I kind of laughed to myself too when the Synodical President was visiting here and mentioned to the congregation during Bible Class that their pastor had one of the more popular blogs in Lutheranism - he didn't seem the least bit concerned with blogging. In fact, he has had a blog for a long time that's been quite a blessing.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

We had blogging touted as a good thing at our Fall Pastor's Conference - a way to reach people via the new media. Of course, our presenter was Dr. Rast, computer geek. But as Oklahoma has no full time Churchacrats, I don't get dumped on - at least locally. And nationally - eh, what do I care if a national paper pusher doesn't like something.

revalkorn said...

Of course, you have to be careful in some cases so as to avoid being run out of your church and placed on restricted status by your DP. But that's blessedly rare.

Terry Maher said...

The Lutheran blogosphere is a large part of my being Lutheran. Frankly, I would have an entirely different sense of LCMS if it were based only on my IRL experience. And maybe that's what synodocrats fear -- the lack of control, or more exactly, lack of their control. Being a lay blogger, I don't have the ecclesiastical pressures blackbird bloggers do, so Past Elder will continue unabated.

Daniel Baker said...

I greatly appreciate and am indebted to all of the LCMS pastors (well, and deacons . . . and laymen, as the case may be ;) whose blogs I follow. Without the proclamation of the Gospel, exposure to the Confessions, and connection to the early Church that was revealed to me thereby, I would be very lost right now. I thank God for you every day and try to include each of you in my prayers.

As far as I am concerned, the Lutheran blogosphere should be greatly encouraged, not discouraged. It is a fulfillment of Jesus' High Priestly Prayer:

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."

We Confessional types need to stick together, you know? How can we be One if we have no way to communicate? :)

Christopher D. Hall said...

Wait a minute...I AM a churchacrat, Eric Brown's in fact.And I blog...or used to a lot, and trying to a lot again, or whatever. But for the record, Bill, as a church bureaucrat I trust bloggers and blogging. :)

Is it always good? No. There is a lot of kvetching and complaining and gossiping that goes on out there.

But you are right about its power.

Timothy C. Schenks said...

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.

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

Encouraging words, Fr. Weedon, and good to hear. Thank you.

Besides the bureaucratic annoyance you mention, I have also noticed another type of reaction, and this one I judge much less harshly, though I think it is a fundamentally wrongheaded reaction. Namely, Lutherans who are simply striving to be good, faithful Lutherans, and who feel the best policy is positivity and support of the synod, and who feel that Christian love is compromised by the blogging impulse.

My own efforts have tapered over the last few weeks, as I am trying to get used to my new work schedule, and figure out how best to manage my time and energy for this aspect of my life. But there is one thing of which I am certain, for some of us, being publicly engaged in the theological and churchly issues of the day, via blogging or whatever, is vital to who we are. Doing so out of love, and with reason, will always be important. Yet speak up we must. As the psalm says, I believed, and therefore will I speak. Or as the blues song says, It's in him, and it's got to come out.

Brad said...

In our age of open communion (think church bureaucrat), the only sins to address as divisive of fellowship are Second Table ones. It’s not what you say (think First Table), but how you say it (think Second Table) that matters. And, of course, my perception of how you say it depends to a large degree on whether or not I consider you to be part of my inner circle of........ whatever. Otherwise, you step to the plate with two strikes against you already (good luck with that, especially in the blogosphere where no one can perceive your tone of voice or body language).

Something people could remember: as the farmer “sins” with forks and hoes in his calling, or the mason with brick and mortar, so when the pastor sins in his calling, it is, as James points out, with his tongue. And he doesn't need a blogosphere to prove that, only a divine call. Doesn’t make it right. Underscores why few should become pastors, and why those who do should be mature, full of mercy, and able to control their tongues. But it also underscores this: where the manly strength of the First Table (think doctrine, Christ, gospel, faith) prevails, the weaknesses and shortcomings under the Second Table will, in time, be forgiven and forgotten. Otherwise, they will fester and destroy fellowship (think, again, church bureaucrat).

Jesus: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Luther: “The First Table is our glory, the Second Table our stench.”

While there is always a place for words of correcting and rebuking, so what of the blogosphere (or, for that matter, certain pastors and churches), if, amid all their sorry weaknesses, the brilliant light of the gospel is shining through? "Let it shine, let is shine, let it shine, all the time”--even if the treasure is being delivered in earthen vessels (think cracked, broken, annoying, sinful....).

David Garner said...

The greatest danger I've found in blogging is the prideful impulse to take myself too seriously. Which is probably ironic since I started my blog first and foremost because it became apparent to us that some of our Lutheran friends in our previous parish had not been made aware that we left or why.

I think blogging is in the main a good thing. I agree there is a bureaucratic impulse among some Lutheran powers-that-be to quell any perceived dissent or criticism. Free flow of information is dangerous to those who want to quell dissent or maintain unity of a certain message. I also think blogging can devolve into something "me-centered" that is inherently dangerous.

But I'll say that your blog and others like it were instrumental in forming us as Lutherans, and Orthodox blogs were instrumental in us becoming Orthodox, so I appreciate your efforts and those of so many others. Quite frankly, if an idea cannot be discussed in the open with all sides free to agree, disagree, dissent and debate, it probably isn't a very good idea to begin with. As far as that goes, I say keep up the good work. As is probably obvious, I still read your blog frequently and will continue to do so as long as you continue to write.