A Reflection on the Difficulties of Internet Conflict

How wonderful to know that Christianity is more than a padded pew or a dim cathedral, but that it is a real, living, daily experience which goes on from grace to grace. Jim Elliot link


7/9/17 Update: In order to bring some peace to an individual, we are removing the unnamed emails in this post.

(1 of 2 posts today.)

TWW has been in existence since March 2009. We have tried to accomplish something that is very difficult. We want to expose and discuss abuse, particularly in the Protestant church. We have tried to build a reputation for quoting from sources involved in the particular instances that we discuss. We give our opinions based on what we read and learn.

However, since we are involved in discussing abuse, it is only natural that the blog would attract those who have also been abused or let down by the church The Deebs are amongst that group. We do not want to be merely *talking heads* although we take our role in exposing abuse very, very seriously. We have also tried to build a supportive community for those who have been harmed by a callous church or organization.

We are victim advocates. We want to be a place that a person can come to tell their story and be believed since, in many instances, it is the pastors or leaders who have access to the microphones and support of their church membership. Many people refuse to believe that their pastor could do anything really wrong or that there could be a pedophile among the congregants who is intent on deceiving and harming children.

When we tell someone's story, we do insist on knowing who they are, and we often will investigate the entity that has *done them wrong.* Our readers might be surprised to learn that we are in regular contact with some of the more well known folks in our stories. Much of that communication is confidential and we are adamant in maintaining their privacy.

On the other hand, we do not demand such knowledge of our readers/commenters. We want to give everyone the space and freedom of anonymity with the hope that some might find a supportive group of people who do not demand exacting transparency. 

Within that context, the Deebs sometimes notice a person who has had particular difficulties and want them to feel a part of our blog community. In other instances, we find readers who have talent and skills that they might like to put to use in helping us out. Our motivation in all of this stems from love, compassion and relationship.

Since we have posted our pictures, along with our life stories and hints here and there about our daily lives, it is quite easy to find out about us. Some of you have done so. One day, I was walking through my church and someone called out "You're Dee of The Wartburg Watch!" I was startled! I asked why she was at the church, and she said she figured out which one it was from hints I had given in my blog posts. We went to lunch and had a great talk!

On the other hand, we do not have the same luxury if individual commenters do not share intimate details of their daily lives. Nor do we want to ask about those unless the person feels safe in sharing, especially in a public setting. That means we must rely on comments, emails and *gut* feelings. That also means that it is easy to get it wrong even with the best of intentions, which are rooted in love for others.

There is much that we could say. In fact there is much that we could prove. But, once again, if our motivation is love and compassion, the last thing we want to do is hurt anyone who is already hurting in other ways. There is a place for turning the other cheek when the motivation is to be one less person who causes pain to another person who is struggling.

Nevertheless, there is one thing that the Deebs must insist upon. If someone agrees to work with us in any capacity, they must have the means to speak with us should a difficult situation arise. Today, Dee and Deb have talked 3 times and will probably talk twice more before day's end. These discussions have covered a variety of issues regarding upcoming posts, etc. If someone refuses to speak with us, that person cannot continue working with us. 

Even worse, when we are told to leave someone alone, without ever having spoken with them, there is nothing we can or should do except to respect their wishes. If we fail to do as requested, we could be accused of harassment. That is why we might cease attempting to reach out.

7/9/17: For example: one individual claimed that she was/is unable to speak with us because she has no free time, the Deebs are on the East Coast and she is on the West Coast, and she apparently is having extensive dental surgery. Said individual also requested that Dee no longer attempt to contact her.

Finally, the buck stops with the Deebs. We are the ones who ultimately decide who helps us on the blog. When things go wrong, we take the blame as we should. We deeply apologize for what has occurred. Pray that this does not make us shy away from reaching out. Pray that God increases our wisdom quotient.

This will be our final statement on the matter unless something unforeseen happens. We are closing comments for this post, and we hope you understand. 

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