Volume 2, No. 2: Anonymous Letters

 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:8-11


My topic today is not a happy one. 

A few days ago I received an anonymous letter. 

With this being my most readily available way of communicating with the constituency of the Illinois Church of God, I thought I’d send a brief review of how I treat anonymous letters.

Having been in church leadership as long as I have, I am no stranger to receiving anonymous letters and here is what I do.  When I open a letter that has no return address identifying the sender and no letterhead identifying the sender I immediately stop and shred the letter—never reading it.

It saddens me to do this for I know that there are legitimate issues and concerns that people have.  But I have also learned that when we do things that we are ashamed to put our names to that that should be a huge red flag that we shouldn’t be doing them. 

We should never be afraid of speaking the truth in love and attaching our name to it.  Matter of fact, if we are speaking in the spirit of Christian charity and seeking to find a Holy Spirit-directed solution, then it is absolutely essential that we be willing to be a part of that solution and that will require identifying ourselves. 

I hope the person who sent me that letter happens to read this for I want them to understand that I do care and am willing to listen and help as I can.  But hiding behind anonymity is never the solution and I refuse to be a part of it.

It was Robert Menzies, former Prime Minister of Australia, who said, “Never take any notice of anonymous letters, unless you get a few thousand on the same subject.”  But I think I’ll go with Yogi Berra’s policy – “Never answer an anonymous letter.”

Thanks for hearing me out and please know that I care…so much that I must insist on all of us never being ashamed of attaching our names with the truth. 

With warmest regards,  

David L. Kemp

Administrative Bishop