Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Uses for Anonymous Notes

I just love anonymous notes. It's funny how most anonymous notes have a consistent message: I don't like something after the fact. There is nothing inherently wrong with anonymity. In some settings where there is oppression and fear of retaliation, it's the only way to express thought. There is nothing wrong with confidentiality. There are some areas of life that do not need public airing and scrutiny. But anonymous communication in the church is less than helpful for two big reasons:
1. Anonymous notes send the signal of fear and hiding. I cannot tell you who I am because I'm afraid of repercussions. Therefore I must disguise my voice so you will never guess who I am.
2. Anonymous notes trigger suspicious thoughts of conspiracy: who could that be who wrote that note to me? Is it you, or you, or you? Is it one person or a group of persons? Does it come from a person who is a chronic complainer, or from a long-standing saint? Since I can't tell because it's anonymous, it must be from everyone...maybe my wife wrote it to me!!
In the body of Christ the connective tissue is the Holy Spirit and love. A healthy physical body knows exactly where the pain comes from and does not punish neurons that transmit pain signals. There are no anonyous nerves. So too should it be in the body of Christ. I love the members I serve and together we love Christ, the head of the Church whom we serve together. A valid concern should have an identifier so we can build bridges and learn together.
Therefore, I have a standing policy of not responding to, validating or reading anonymous notes. They really serve no purpose. A better use for anonymous notes is:
-kindling for the fireplace
-mulch for the compost
-coasters for coffee mugs
-paper airplanes when large enough
-blotters for drippy pens

Any other uses???


At 9:29 AM , Blogger CAF said...

Thank you for you thoughful points. I was looking for something that would clearly state why for Christians anonymous notes are not appropriate. In Christ, Charles


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