They don’t give their names, and I think I know why.
When you first visit concernedbrothers.com, you could easily get the impression that it is a site that belongs to Nigel Tomes: “Nigel Tomes’ Response…,” “Nigel Tomes’ Letter…,” “Nigel Tomes, ‘Minister of the Age.'” (The last of these has some interesting ironic ambiguity.) I’ve heard the site even called “Nigel Tomes’ site.” This would not be far off from the truth as to content, even though as to actual ownership the matter is far less clear. Perhaps the site owners would like everyone to think that the site indeed belongs to Nigel Tomes; perhaps Nigel Tomes himself would like everyone to think the same.
But the fact is, the owners of the site are unknown and have chosen to shroud themselves in anonymity and subterfuge. I tried to find out who owns the site by looking up the Internet records for the domain concernedbrothers.com. Interestingly enough, the site is registered to Domains by Proxy, Inc. This fact in itself makes a statement about the real site owners. Domains by Proxy exists to hide the identities of its clients. Sometimes there may be good reason to do that, and the start page of domainsbyproxy.com offers some reasonable uses for proxied domain registration:
“The law requires that the personal information you provide with every domain you register be made public in the ‘WHOIS’ database. Your identity becomes instantly available – and vulnerable – to spammers,
scammers, prying eyes, and worse.” (http://www.domainsbyproxy.com/)
Domains by Proxy registers domains “in the name of Domains by Proxy,” so the contact information of the party paying for the domain is not made public. But one has to ask: why do the “concernedbrothers” (CBs) want to keep their identity hidden from the public? Are they worried about “spammers, scammers, prying eyes”? I suspect that they are worried about “worse” – us common brothers and sisters who happen to visit their site and read their “concerns.” Their deliberate action to hide behind a shroud of secrecy and to do so through such sophisticated means tell us much about how they themselves view what they are doing. If what they are doing is “for the truth,” as their banner verse states, why would they want to hide who they are? I submit that they are not willing to stick their necks out for their “truth” because if in the end they are found to be deceived, they do not want everyone everywhere to turn away from them. There are no “authorities” among us, whom they might fear would come and chasten them, but there are thousands of little brothers and sisters (you and I included) whom they fear will not easily receive them if they are exposed as those who cause turmoil among us. Of course, the saints always forgive, as Christ the Head always forgives, but the CBs will not easily forgive themselves if they are openly and publicly shown to be deceived and deceiving. What else can they do but hide who they are? When you are uncertain of the truth, you certainly do not want to bang your drum too loudly.
Of course, the CBs may say that they remain anonymous because they do not seek glory from men. That could simply be an excuse for being chicken, but we needn’t try to discern that. Not seeking glory from men is certainly noble in some endeavors, but not in the matter of defending the truth or combating error. The apostles defended the truth openly, commending even their own persons to the saints: “Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; yet I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences” (2 Cor. 5:11). Brother Lee comments: “The apostles, conscious of fearing the Lord, persuaded men concerning their integrity, concerning what kind of persons they were, toward both God and men. They did not need to persuade God, for what they were had already been made manifest to God; yet, the apostles hoped that they had been made manifest also in the believersâ€™ consciences” (note 3 on 2 Cor. 5:11). Those who desire to help the saints in the matters of truth or error must themselves be manifest in the conscience of the saints as ones who have integrity. It is not a matter of glory before men; it is a matter of integrity in the conscience of the saints. That being the case, how can brothers who hide behind devices like Domains by Proxy, Inc., be trusted to lead us in any worthwhile discussion of the weighty matters that they so cavalierly hope to define? We should not entrust our consciences to ones who dare not give us their names.