Blog Etiquette: No Anonymous Posts

To date, hasn’t had any rules. Until today, we’ve never deleted a post. We’ve had some unwritten values such as transparency, authenticity, mutual submission, and respect for one another. Those unwritten values have helped us engage in open, honest dialog. Nearly all of our posters/contributors have shared under their own names, which has created a really wonderful community.

Recently, a very few people have begun posting anonymously. It has been requested that we disallow anonymous posts since they seem to violate our desire for openness, authenticity, and mutual submission.

Further, there truly is no such thing as anonymity. I don’t want to be held responsible for maintaining the secrecy of anonymous identities. We have multiple contributors who have access to administrative logs. When you post here under your name and then post under an anonymous name, using the same IP address, the two names are easily connected. It is very easy to see who you are. So, the best policy is to be yourself, own your ideas publicly, and love one another.

So, the one rule we now have is that you need to post using your own name, preferably your first and last name. If you have a church website or a personal blog, link to it in the comment fields so people can get background on who you are and can even participate in discussion with you in those venues as well. Thanks.


49 Responses

  1. In the interest of transparency I am Senior Pastor of the Lighthouse Church of God in Fort Lauderdale and my blog is

    P.S. I also like mountain sunsets, warm puppies, football in HD, the smell of bread baking in the oven and discussing doctrinal and practical issues facing the ministry……sorry, that is probally more than you were looking for!

  2. James – give me a call the next time one of those mountain sunsets pop up in Fort Lauderdale. (Yeah, I know….that was mean)

  3. A sunset more like Pastor Alldredge would see is at the bottom of this:

    This photo turned up on–I am not kidding–the site of a Broward County yoga instructor. She wanted a South Florida sunset for a blog piece she posted and linked to it. Becuase of the wide variety of stuff on my site, I do get many visitors who would otherwise never venture on a Christian site.

  4. Tom S- good call on actual name posting…and on killing the name posting at the missional meeting. How you get there does affect the destination- thanks for your initiative and wisdom.


  5. Tom – thanks for crushing my dreams, you know you can take the boy out of the mountains…

    To the geographically challenged FTL is on Florida’s EAST coast, great sunrises but unless you like the vision of the sun setting behind the facade of the local used car lot / tire and body shop (no shirt, no shoes, no credit, no problem) the sunsets leave much to be desired.

  6. Thanks for our first rule! If there was going to ever be one this one tops the list in my mind.

  7. Jon Augustine – I think the meetings ended up in a good place overall. Wish I could have had some time in Starbucks with you.

    And…to the screen name “jonathanstone”…I’m glad you agree with the first rule…. Now…who are you and what is your real name?

  8. Brother Sterbens, I love this rule and say well done…but of course I love the rule, I’m a conservative old time Holiness preacher…..rules are awesome (don’t take that too serious.)

    And my blog is at: . Would love to be added to that long list at the right of COG boys that are putting a piece of them out there for public consumption.

  9. Todd – I will submit that to the MissionalCOG review committee for approval.

    (Hey Trav…can you stick his name over there? I am still technologically handicapped in linkology)

  10. Rules, Rules, Rules!

    Next thing you guys are going to do is require us not to teach, preach or publish anything not in line with the Declairation of Faith.

    I miss the good old days of Anarchy!

  11. Recently I had an old acquaintance visit our website and then call me. he told me how awesome my site was, and how much he enjoyed listening to a couple of my sermons. He commented that he really felt that anointing (that was my first clue he was lying!). I got on and checked my IP’s – you guessed it… he only hit 3 pages on my site and was on my sermons page less than a minute.

    It amazes me how net-ignorant people are. Like, who comes up with 5 different nick names and posts 5 different opposing opinions and doesn’t realize that web-master can tell all 5 are the same guy. Duhhhhh!!!!

  12. Tom,

    Thanks for making it a bit more ‘official.’ Fictitious names do not make for honest and responsible dialogue. We need to be held accountable for the things we say and the things we write.
    This is not Acts-celerate.

  13. Hey Tom, I’m not really sure how this email thing works, so please make sure this email doesn’t end up where everyone can see it.

    And please don’t tell anyone that I’m also Yo Dude. I’ll stop double posting, I promise!

  14. Could you just go back to posting under “The “Cullman Cowboy?” (And dude….I won’t tell anyone.)

    Jerry, just so you will know, this email technology is very private. By the way, did those last injections help with the herpes? Still praying.

    Looking to hear from you soon.


  15. Speaking from a ‘medical’ point of view… you do know that most of us have the herpes virus already in our system, including yours, Tom. Don’t worry, Jerry, about the herpes.

  16. Thanks Doc…….LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (Can’t wait for Jerry to read this…..still laughing!)

  17. Tom,

    I’m sorry, but it’s a hard habit to break. Not sure where I came up with the screen name “jonathanstone.” But I promise to try again.

    Jerry Lawson

  18. Tom (et al)

    Dealing with the herpes nicely. thanks for the concern. How are you old guys dealing with the ED?

    Man I’m glad we finally got an anonymous board where we can just get it off of our chest.

  19. “Just get it off of our chest” ?

  20. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Been waiting all day for your reply…you out did yourself! (I will not pursue the Freudian opportunities you have so graciously provided…you know what Jesus said, “Unless you righteousness exceeds the righteousness of pastors from Alabama you will not see the kingdom of God.” )

    You should be up here brother…Travis is takin over your place on the river!

  21. […] posting this. It did get a pot shot from one “Hey Doc,” but he got his just desserts here.  In any case, after posting that I have noticed more people openly proclaim their love for the […]

  22. Just tell Travis not to get in the cool tub upstairs.

    BTW, I’m bringing my own canoe when I come up this fall.

  23. it’s refreshing to hear ‘old guys’ use words like authenticity/transparency mutual submission!

    Lee student/ possible future cog ‘pastor’ blogging at

  24. Chris,

    Thanks for affirming the ‘old guys’ 🙂 And thanks for joining the discussion!

  25. Had I known that raising the bar and disallowing anonymous posting would result in lowering of social inhibitions ala Sterbens and Lawson, I might have made anonymity a requirement.

    Welcome to the brave, new COG, folks. 😉

  26. And I thought that South Florida was the place “where the animals are tame and the people run wild.”

  27. Jerry – did you use all three bathrooms?

    Chad – thanks for the affirmation…do you play shuffleboard?

    Jonathan – a brother tries to affirm geriatric viability…and just when I am feeling better about my Metamucil there you are…always sniping…always…so small…so pitiful.

    Travis – Jerry is really making some great breakthroughs in terms of personal transparency…he has real issues…please don’t discourage him with your coarse remarks.

    Don Warrington – Who are you and what did you do with the real Don Warrington? The real Don Warrington never posts without a hyperlink back to his blog. (Learn more here

  28. I thought you needed the break, Tom.

    Besides, if you click on my real name, it does go back to my blog.

    Some of us have figured out how to do this. Others…

  29. Reading these posts is giving me some great entertainment this afternoon. I really enjoy MissionalCOG and read it daily. After all the intense dialogue prior to the Assembly (for which I am appreciative, btw), it is good to read some “light-hearted” comments. And just so Travis knows… he inspired me to start posting on Actscelerate using my real name (and I had never posted there otherwise). I realize some might not appreciate my comments there, but I am more than happy for them to direct any complaints to Travis. 😉

  30. Thanks for the laughs. I needed it today…

    Jerry, can you call Chris Moody and tell him you are really Yo Dude? He’s convinced that I am 🙂


  31. (Psssst….Don… was a joke).


  32. Tom – yes, I used all 3 bathrooms and took one bath in the river. Also, swam across the river to go for a ride on one of those cool-looking cows! A week with no tv, phone, or people…..I had to do something to change the scenery.

    BTW, did Travis brang the gloooory down at New Hope?

  33. 1 You can take the boy out of Alabama, but….oh well…

    2. Travis preached about the “Jesus of Sevierville, TN.”
    You know….our church was really right there with Travis until he took a shot at women who carried skoal in their back pants pocket. He should have never gone there. That’s gonna hurt our attendance next week.

    However, he really tried to help us see expanded dimensions of God’s Kingdom…seeing through the eyes of other brothers and sisters…like those who attend Life Pointe Church in Miami. Some of the things he did that really helped us was taking us through some of the liturgical expressions common to his church …like the weekly passing of peace…. “Touch your neighbor and say…there is a greater than 70% chance that your hub caps will be raptured while worshiping at Life Pointe this morning.” And then of course the music for the altar call was, “We’re Not Gonna Take it Anymore,” by Twisted Sister (corrected).

    But what really put it over the top was at the very end when he started singing an extemporaneous “new song,” entitled “Nose Rings In Heaven” to the tune of the old southern gospel standard, “No Tears in Heaven.

    Nose rings in heaven
    Nose rings in heaven
    All will be glory in that land
    Tattoos will happen
    Angels are rappin
    Nose rings in heaven won’t be banned

    That’s when it happened………it really broke loose. You need to have him in Cullman real soon!

    (OK… I made up most of it – bet you couldn’t tell – but that was his sermon title…and he did make that offensive skoal joke…mostly)

  34. Travis has a unique view that is refreshing to anyone who will honestly listen. I would pay real money to get to hear him preach at Alabama Campmeeting.

    But here’s one thing I keep thinking about. Think about that visitor who made his first visit 2 weeks ago, then came back last week. All he has ever been to is a traditional ole’ Tennessee Southern Baptist church. Then in 2 weeks he heard Tom Sterbens and Travis Johnson. Man, that guy is so messed up, he doesn’t know what the heck has come of the body of Christ.

  35. About having Travis in Cullman – can’t do it. My people already think I’m the most radical preacher there is…..can’t have Trav ruin that for me!!!

  36. Tom,

    I think it was “Twisted Sister” that sang “We’re not going to Take it”

  37. Travis,
    Please, for the love of God, post something on here…these guys are killing me!

    I’m trying to launch an experimental learning initiative at my middle school using woodworking as a hand’s-on learning approach. Would you like me to have some of the kids to whittle you a new cane? Or perhaps a spittoon for the Ladies Auxiliary at New Hope?

  38. I said nothing about hubcaps being raptured. The tobacco chewing women thing? Yep, that’s true. When I said that, half of the deaconesses at New Hope got up and walked out. It was awkward.

    The cool thing? Brenda Sterbens just leaned over and spit on the carpet and shouted out, “preach it, brother!”

  39. Pete – You are indeed correct….I corrected it…only further unfortunate evidence of the accusations of aging (as previously noted in cruel disrespect….).

    Jonathan – speaking of cruel disrespect….
    In response….alas…yet another humorous Freudian opportunity…(just let it go Tom….just let it go). Such grace us old guys have.

    Travis – that is so incredibly rude and a lie! She told you personally that she always spits in an empty Coke can during worship service. For crying out loud…..

  40. okay…don’t know anywhere else to ask this, and get a response….how do other COG bloggers get their blog added to the right hand side on the homepage as a COG blogger? Do we have to always agree with you guys? Pay someone some money? Send some Krispy Kremes somewhere? just curious and requesting to be able to play with the “in crowd”.

    (all said tongue in cheek, lest anyone should read that wrong)

  41. Money…money helps. It’s the rights size, color, and smells great. LOL.

    I’m adding it now. I’m so far behind in emails and won’t get caught up until the end of the week. I owe you one, Todd…thanks.

  42. Tom:
    I’m thankful for your grace…that could have gotten ugly! 😉

    Weclome home!

  43. Gentlemen,

    I am calling what this conversation is: comedic stress relief after a long, strenuous race for the General Assembly. I just want you to know that your greater reading population understands. You needed this outlet. Its perfectly understandable. I also wanted to bring healing and comforting words for you to remember when you later realize what you wrote on here for such a wide audience. 🙂 My husband not withstanding.

    It sure made me laugh, though…and prompted my first ever Missionalcog post. Perhaps I will celebrate my courage in the face of such noble men!

  44. Thanks, Emily. Pull up a chair and have a dip with Tom’s wife.

  45. […] 2008 by travjohnson Emily Stone says that coming out of the General Assembly, we’ve been blowing off steam here on MissionalCOG.  I’d have to agree.  Some of the main culprits can be found creating […]

  46. Brother Johnson – thanks for adding me….money? Shoot, I’m a bi-vocational COG preacher, the only person with less money than me is the Full Time COG preachers.

  47. I read this section of Missionalcog when it first came out and was conflicted. For the past two years I have posted under a username on actscelerate out of respect to my pastor. I never felt that he would have disagreed with anything that I said or posted, it was more that I would hate that anyone would misread anything that I said and consider it coming from his mouth, even indirectly. I have always understood that when I talk I speak for those that I work for and those who have fathered me. I now set at a desk that my father/pastor had nothing to do with buying and I feel free to openly discuss anything in my own name, because I am operating in my own name now. So before we forget that all username people are evil, remember there are some of us that out of respect to others have remained anonymous.

  48. Jon,

    We know how evil you are. Nice try. But, no amount of justification will change that.

  49. First Canada and then… the world.

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