Monday, May 11, 2009

Interesting Person

I was posting on another WELS related blog last week about the current Synod financial conditions and such and a blogger emerged out of the woodwork who is an interesting specimen. Apparently the topic of closing prep schools tripped his trigger.

I, yes..I, had to just stop posting because posting anything on a topic with him around is impossible. Something about his posts just has been hard to figure out and almost disturbing. It's not his point of view. That's easy enough to figure out. He went to a synod school, seems to have had a bad experience and it would appear related to not being in the "in" crowd. He decries everything the WELS stands for now. He is deeply entrenched in post modernist/humanistic reasoning, truth is relative, toleration, etc.. So much so that his very words could be the examples used in an illustration that said, "A post-modernist would typically say something like this...." The actual disturbing part is his paranoia, defensiveness, and perception. Everything is a threat and intimidation. Yet I'm not sure anyone can figure out what the threats have been yet but he seems to be threatened easily.

Last night I just had to read his posts to my family in the car on the way home from Madison. I wanted to get their opinions as to what might be wrong. My wife said it almost sounded like a personality disorder like maybe paranoid schizophrenia or maybe a brain injury. My daughter thought he was just nuts and used a lot of big words trying to sound smart, but didn't know how to write. I have been leaning towards the psychological issues. At first, I had been thinking maybe it was someone pretending to be 28ish but actually is 18 and has severe low self-esteem. Perhaps he heard something in freshman philosophy at the distinguished public university he is so fond of and was finding an outlet to argue for rationalism and reasoning instead of faith and the Bible.

So I don't know. How do you tactfully suggest to someone that he should perhaps pursue counselling because his writings seem to indicate a level of paranoia beyond the normal person? I'm pretty sure his defensiveness would not take the suggestion to heart. Or maybe I'm nuts and there are tons of people out there like that. I just have not run across someone like this before. Since he doesn't seem to hold to any of the beliefs of the WELS maybe he just came to the board to be a pin in the butt. I don't know, but all I can say is if he is legitimately experiencing the feelings and making the judgements he is writing about then I hope he gets some help soon.


Anonymous said...

Maybe he needs to stay away from the booze before posting...

CLJ711 said...

Well, I say, as I have said before, they are ALL crazy! and your obsession with those blogs is going to drive you there, too (or is that a short walk? :-) )!

I went to see what you are talking about, and nothing anyone says makes sense. I got bored.

I'm thinking their parents never told them what mine told me: "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". I am thinking these blogs are doing more harm than good. (Especially in the eyes of people like me who are on the fence about the WELS now anyway...)

PS you got front page on Icky again. All I can do is roll my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Front page today; back page tomorrow buried by tons of psycho babble a.k.a. horse dung.

Great to see what's happening at Victory, Tim. Lord's blessings!!!


Tim Niedfeldt said...

I know. It is sooo disappointing that we don't stay there long enough. I consider many Ichabodians as unchurched as the people we deal with in the local community, so it would be nice to get more exposure and referrals. Somebody just might learn something.

Do you you think I should send Greg the entire BQ schedule? Because he has already missed the Golden Lion Tamarin and I bet the Fox won't get a lot of coverage either. I think he should acknowledge the entire animal staff ministry and not just play favorites with the penguins.

Oh these blogs won't drive me crazy. I acknowledge that they could be confusing for a WELS noob, but that is why I would never link someone directly there. I also acknowledge that very few people read my blog besides family and you two so my own impact is limited even more.

I do not worry about these two blogs per se because their impact is very minimal. The average joe (not you Joe..a different Joe) has a slim chance of finding these things. For as much as I scour the web I only came across them accidentally. Also note that the blogosphere is still a niche place to hang out. So my first point is to not let our familiarity with these things cloud our perception that there is some danger in mass proliferation of these venues.

Here is why I think the blogs have value. #1 they serve as a testament that there is nuttiness amongst us. I don't think it is new is the same nuttiness that has always been out there. The loners in the congregations with the extreme ideas, is very rigid, opinionated, outspoken and tends to lean toward the legalistic. They stand up in the church voter's meetings and everyone else anticipation of yet another wacky interpretation or condemnation etc.. Well BW and Ichy are a place for them to gather. Apparently they understand each other and share a certain wavelength.

#2 I still think someone should always be there to confront them every so often. If there ever is a stray noob out there and they were to believe this sh*t as gospel someone should stop by and let them know that of all the things posted out there...the truth is not one of them. I would slightly modify a favorite Dicken's quote to be "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of [grave] than of [gravy] about you, whatever you are!"

#3 There is education to be had. In dealing with the unchurched I have learned much much much in the last ten years. But now I am learning about the uniqueness and the thoughts and ideas of our own people. It helps to understand the WELS as a whole. My perception now compared to what I thought about things 10 years ago is hugely different.

Remember waayyyy back in the annals of history when we first met, Cheryl? July marks the 10 year anniversary of when I spoke to the congregation about the 1999 WELS convention and my nemesis that @#$%@# MLC Chapel. Soon after that, Terry and I hooked up over the "Harry Potter incident" and the rest was history (would not the person involved in that "incident" fit in with BW and ichians? another thought...was not that email chain...the blogging of the day? Our very history began because of pre-blogging)

Now that you are thinking about that era...remember some AIM convo's and email convo's about my nasty WELS superiority complex over your pagan origins in the ELCA? I will tell you now..I may still be many things but I am not that person anymore. There is a great deal of humility to be learned by the WELS laity and I credit these two wacky blogs with helping me in learning about taking other's views into consideration.

Whereas I know that much of what they spew is legalistic garbage or at a minimum strong cautions, on the otherhand I do find myself analyzing the lyrics of the songs and making sure we keep em to a high standard. I make sure the band is not a showboat and stay off in the corner as much as possible...etc etc. Perhaps I'm just more vigilant that we keep our contemporary service... lutheran.

So there is much to be gained. The key of course is being strong and not taking things personally. In that area i excel and that is why these blogs are fine sport for my personality. Take a notice...look who gets crucified out there..its the emotional ones, the serious ones. The opinionated ones who start these things or gravitate to this medium see them and chew them up for lunch because they "feel" a certain way.

Well off to 3 hours of product demo's perhaps I will play games on my phone. :-)


Anonymous said...

I also follow your blog, Tim. Also following BW and Ichabod and a couple others on occasion.

The "interesting person"'s posts on BW have disturbed me. I sent one reply comment but I'm not sure I will reply again. I'm not sure what his/her point is or where he/she is heading with this.

CLJ711 said...

thanks Tim....

BTW. The times you do get front page on Icky's site, go to his live feed. There you will see who arrived from where, and who left via Victory of the ... or Ventosus Veritas blogspot... there are several, not counting the people who say "ignore my browser", so a lot of people DO come here to your blog. Obviously more than you think.

Also, I too see the great things happening at your church, even from my distance. God bless you guys. :-)

Isaiah 40:31
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim... yet another occasional reader of your blog here. I find your bw posts interesting... sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree with you. Though I like reading it all as it helps me understand different viewpoints (whether or not I agree) and lets me consider how I might respond if personally faced with these views.

GJ is an interesting case, that's for sure. If you missed out on his old Geocities website days... oh boy, you sure missed out. Back in those days his WELS-hating paranoia was even easier to detect, from the title ("the unofficial WEL$ website") to the table of contents (with a section devoted to "Murder" in the WELS). Oooh... I found it, it still exists. Someone oughta preserve it for posterity.

Anonymous said...

There are fragments of GJ's stuff out there on the web going back probably to the mid 90's. I found it very disturbing. I'm as sinful as the next guy, but I wonder how GJ will make an accounting, if he makes it that far...