Here is Georgia there is a hotly contested Georgia Baptist Convention election coming up in November when the GBC meets in annual session. There are two candidates, both outstanding men and heavy Cooperative Program supporters, but I'll blog on that and them later.
Somehow you knew it was coming. Sure enough, some clever fellows have started an anonymous blog, sort of a GBC Information and Criticism site: GBC Insider.
It is pretty tame and, so far, no individuals have been singled out for criticism although certain practices, spending, and departments have. The bloggers describe themselves as, well, GBC insiders - former employees or executive committee members, or folks who are in tight with convention leaders. One wouldn't be surprised that since the GBC has downsized a good bit in the past few years, there just might be an disgruntled ex-employee or two who has an ax, or a hatchet, or a penknife to grind.
The writers explain why the blog is anonymous, here. They are correct to say that if they affixed their names, they would quickly be in the crosshairs of the powers that be in the GBC and in this state; hence, anonymity.
Both GBC presidential candidates quickly distanced themselves from the blog and not a few commenters have been quick to slam the bloggers for their anonymity. These commenters are anonymous themselves and offer GBC Insider readers a good laugh over the odd scenario of anonymous commenters complaining about anonymous bloggers. Sorry, fellows, you aren't granted the spiritual high ground by being an anonymous commenter trying to pull a Matthew 18 on anonymous bloggers. Nice try, though.
So, are such anonymous blogs helpful or harmful? Acceptable or anathema?
The GBC Insider blog, so far, looks to me like people who are sharing relevant information in an appropriate manner, information that folks in the pulpits and pews of GBC churches ought to know. When openness and transparency is lacking, either by design or by leaders not paying attention, these alternative channels of information will inevitably arise. Need anyone be reminded that in 2011 every level of Southern Baptist life has to justify not just their funding but their reason for existence?
Incidentally, after the first week of the GBC Insider blog they reported 7,000 page views. Not too shabby. Instant success.
They may be loved, hated, praised, or condemned...but they are read.