Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blogging when there is a personal cost

There are hacker and plodder bloggers like me, folks who sometimes foolishly think everyone else might like to drink from their incredibly deep wells of wisdom, wit, and insight. Take these with a bit of skepticism and not always seriously.

Then there are a few bloggers who feel compelled to address what they see as genuine wrongs and serious issues in their churches or in denominational life and who do so at a considerable personal cost.

While I appreciate a number of others, I can only think of two whom I would classify as the latter: David Montoya and Tom Rich.

David Montoya is a pastor and is (or was) the Spiritual Samurai, an odd name for a Baptist blogger in Texas. I've written about him in the past. His ire and indignation over wrongs in the Baptist General Convention of Texas led to the open knowledge of an appalling scandal with BGCT missions money and also led to his being sued. He says he is quitting. I hope not.

David hasn't always been right about things and sometimes says things he has to retract but if not for him I doubt the BGCT valleygate scandal would have been uncovered. I'm not so sure that many SBCers in my lifetime have successfully brought to light such an important matter.

I admire him.

Tom Rich is a layman, the FBCJax Watchdog, one of the early church/pastor critic blogs and to date the most well-known of this genre.

Tom got stirred up by a pastor change at his church and some of the things associated with it and started blogging about it. As is well known, the church played hardball with him and his family, law enforcement got involved, lawsuits were filed and, only recently, finally settled.

I don't buy all of his stuff but his bull-doggedness probably changed the way high profile pastors (those with an ounce of sense which would be most but not all of them) look at some of their church critics. I admire him for not shutting up and going away when his former church ratcheted up the pressure on him.

Any yahoo can belt out their opinions on stuff but there are a few people who do so at considerable personal cost.


Bennett Willis said...

Don't forget Debbie Kaufman and others on the Caner issue. They took a lot of grief for stating the obvious--well it was obvious once you got to looking.

Anonymous said...

Add Wade Burleson to that list as well.

Tom Rich said...

William - thanks for the mention. The blog is still gaining readership, and I don't plan on quitting. I was sorry to see David say he was going to stop blogging; but I think he'll be back. I "quit" a few times along the way, but realized I needed to keep blogging. I learned a lesson: if I ever DO decide to hang it up, I won't tell anyone, readers will just wonder "gee, it's been a long time, when is the next post coming?"


Peter Reilly said...

You should invite a couple of these fellows over to I think the secularists are in the lead right now. You guys are probably mostly preaching to the choir in your blogs.

William Thornton said...

Peter, most blogs by Southern Baptist pastors focus on inside baseball Southern Baptist Convention ecclesiastical stuff. I've observed that when I write an article on the minister's housing allowance, something that should be of acute interest to my SBC colleagues, I get little response.

I do enjoy and benefit from your articles on the housing allowance, and the comments that follow.


Tim Dahl said...

I know David Montoya. I'm fairly certain that the blog: Spiritual Samurai is done. He might blog again, but it won't be about Baptist stuff.