January 17, 2021

An Open Forum for New Commenters

This is long overdue.

For awhile, I’ve wanted to give opportunity for people who have never commented on Internet Monk to join the conversation.

So, today, the mic is yours. Welcome!

Perhaps you have been reading Internet Monk for years but have not added your two cents’ worth, for one reason or another. If you’ve ever felt like letting us know what’s going on inside that head of yours, now’s the time.

Maybe you just happened upon this site today or in recent days and you are still finding your way around. Please say hi and let us know how you found us.

You might be a bit shy. I’ll admit we can be somewhat intimidating at times. Just like church and Cheers, we have our regular gang, and some of us have developed ways of talking to each other that unintentionally shut others out. It might seem like a clique to you or maybe you think your point of view will get shouted down or dismissed. Here’s your chance to introduce yourself while the rest of us step back and shut up.

Maybe you don’t understand some of the things we talk about and you’d like to ask more questions, but you feel embarrassed. This is not a school and you need not have passed any prerequisites to join the class. Ask away.

There could be any number of reasons why folks don’t join the conversation. Whatever the reason, it’s OK. But we want to give you a chance today to join an open forum with others who are new commenters like you.

So, there’s only one rule — NEW COMMENTERS ONLY. If you are a regular commenter on Internet Monk, sit this one out. Today, you be the reader who listens in and lets others do the talking. I, Chaplain Mike, and the other writers will be available only to new commenters for this post.

Fair enough?

I can’t wait to make some new friends today.


  1. I have been checking the site out for several months. Growing up in the evangelical free denomiation I never realized what I was missing until attending a Roman Catholic wedding and saw a liturgical service for the first time. After that I tried several other denominations I settled on an ELCA Lutheran church. Actually, Chaplain Mike’s posts on the Lutheran denomination were helpful to me on deciding on a new church home.

  2. IM has been a regular part of my Saturday morning routine for several years now. I left a pastorate in 2005 to “re-enter” the marketplace and after several months of “detox,” have not regretted one minute of my decision. I ran into IM about that time, and immediately began to drink the refreshing water of Michael’s posts. I (still) look forward to getting my Saturday Ramblings fix every Saturday morning! Although many of the posts “stretch me,” I look forward to reading each and every one of them. (Sorry—my Southern Baptist roots get shaken when the evangelical circus is exposed!)

    I must say, however, that of late the site has begun to “feel like” a church where the long-time or perhaps more keyboard extroverted members were gathered together to visit with each other while the others weren’t quite part of the club.

    Thank you so much for creating this forum and I will continue to join the IM bunch every Sat morning (even though I am cheating and hanging around on a Friday today)

    God bless you and thanks for your willingness to give of yourselves

  3. Michael S. says

    I think I might have commented once or at most twice previously, but generally I’m a frequent “lurking” reader. I’m something of a misfit… somehow, I find myself much more in agreement with the articles and posts themselves than with the comments below. I can think of at least a full dozen occasions on which I’ve written a lengthy reply in comments and then deleted it rather than submitting it, because I just didn’t want to get in on a debate that I knew I’d lose. I’m a United Methodist, who leans more Baptist in some matters of doctrine and polity and so forth. I’m in the “doctrine-upholding, God-said-it-I-believe-it-that-settles-it” camp on most issues including those that “liberal” Christians (I hate the terms liberal and conservative because they mean so much that they mean nothing) disagree on, and I do respect the Bible as God’s authoritative (and relevant) teachings even if they seem out of date sometimes. With that being said — in a few ways, I’ve come to the “non-fundamental” camp in the sense that I believe in an “old earth” rather than a 6,000 year old one, and I’m willing to accept that not everything in the Bible is meant literally or historically. With that being said…. the lengthy replies that I usually delete rather than offend people with usually deal with a trend I see towards taking the Bible as less-than-authoritative, buying into the “it’s all good, there’s more than one way to skin a cat” treatment of salvation, and the occasional buy-in into human morality rather than “God said thou shalt not, so we shouldn’t.” I recognize it’s a very mixed audience and that in these ways, “post-evangelical” actually doesn’t describe me at all. That’s why I try not to be too loud about it. That being said… one thing that no one will ever convince me isn’t true, is that God is real, heaven and hell are real and are literally as good (and as terrible, respectively) as “classical teachings” would have us believe, and that only a personally-accepted faith in Christ will save you from hell, no amount of works-righteousness or all-roads-lead-to-God will do the trick. I believe in living an ethical life, of course, but to me that falls under “Works come after grace” rather than “Some people only claim to be Christian, but then when you look at them they don’t act like it.”

    Oh, and I’m also the pianist at my local church, also with Methodist lay-speaker training (which, for those who don’t know, is a series of classes at the end of which you are accepted by the church as qualified to preach a sermon in the real preacher’s absence. We don’t believe that God has to specifically approve one person to preach instead of others, of course, it has nothing to do with your “holiness” or anything else…. it’s purely human training about writing sermons, etc… we don’t believe our pastors are any more “qualified” than the laity, we fully accept the priesthood of all believers – we just think it’s a good idea for people to have had some human training.)

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