When Menno Simons renounced the Roman Catholic Church in January of 1536, he was considered an enemy to the church he had served faithfully for many years. When he was eventually forced to hide from the authorities for one year, he used this time to devote himself to reflection and writing. Had there been computer technology in the 16th century, would Menno Simons have used it during the time he was in hiding?
Today a reader (who has chosen to call themselves Menno Simons) has made the following thought provoking comment which deserves consideration:
I think if Menno Simons had a blog, he would include his name.
Do you really think so?
Menno Simons went into hiding for a time from those who did not accept his message.
Just because there are those who are reluctant to reveal their identity on the internet does not mean that their message is cowardly or false. It could simply mean that they are obedient enough to speak under the conviction of the Lord, even if it is with fear and trembling, but do not feel free to jeopardize themselves, their career, or their families, by stepping into the public spotlight. But somehow, their message needs to go public.
Consider also the fact that there are many well known writers who have chosen to use pen names for personal reasons. Does this invalidate their words, books, or opinions in their articles?
Not too long ago there was a group from a certain Mennonite seminary that called themselves the 18 Men, who came on the blog scene temporarily to try to make a difference. They had biblically based concerns and godly convictions regarding some serious doctrinal issues within their Bible seminary, but chose to remain anonymous for personal reasons. Their efforts were successful. Does this mean that their message was invalid? Hardly.
Also to consider are the following well thought out comments (which surprisingly have thus far been allowed to remain) under the famous article below. These are very helpful in regards to the valid reasons why some bloggers might choose to blog anonymously, and whether Menno Simons would have done the same:
The Trouble with Blogs
When the bold and outspoken ministry of Menno Simons jeopardized his safety, he went into hiding after a spiritual struggle of 11 years. This is what he wrote during this time:
“Pondering these things my conscience tormented me so that I could no longer endure it. . . . If I through bodily fear do not lay bare the foundation of the truth, nor use all my powers to direct the wandering flock who would gladly do their duty if they knew it, to the true pastures of Christ — oh, how shall their shed blood, shed in the midst of transgression, rise against me at the judgment of the Almighty and pronounce sentence against my poor, miserable soul!”
At the above link we also read:
Menno spent a quiet year in hiding, finding a sense of direction for his future work. During this time he wrote “The Spiritual Resurrection,” “The New Birth,” and “Meditation on the Twenty-third Psalm.” Late in 1536 or early 1537, he received believer’s baptism, was called to leadership by the peaceful Anabaptist group founded in 1534 by Obbe Philips, and was ordained by Obbe. He also married. From this time on his life was in constant danger as a heretic. In 1542 the Holy Roman emperor Charles V (1500-58) himself issued an edict against him, promising 100 guilders reward for his arrest. One of the first Anabaptist believers to be executed for sheltering Menno was Tyaard Renicx of Leeuwarden, in 1539.
Thankfully, we are not in danger of arrest and martyrdom for telling the truth about what is happening to the Mennonite Brethren denomination today as it leads its members back (via the emerging church and contemplative spiritual formation) to the Roman Catholic church and her doctrines which their namesake, Menno Simons, so bravely denounced.
The Emerging Church: Another Road to Rome
Anabaptist Anonymous Blogging Throughout History…