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Why do you guys fight on here? and I have a proposal for you...

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by findinghispath, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. TexUs

    TexUs New Member

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    So a blanket statement of "no insults", it seems, doesn't provide near the definition of insults as it's highly subjective.
    That's my point.

    Either let it go. Or write a black and white code. Or institute the Biblical method of discipline (which implemented on these forums would begin as you suggested- a PM).


    Hammer I think people will abide by whatever you implement... But the point is: implement something!
     
  2. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    So why are you here?
     
  3. TexUs

    TexUs New Member

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    Debate is good- got to admit I've never seen the level of heresy as on this board before- LOL- I guess it keeps me interested.

    I'm OK with Hammer leaving things as-is. My point is don't expect people to abide by rules they haven't been given...
     
  4. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    I think there needs to be a basic level of human respect given to all people - whether you believe they are heretics or not. I know I am guilty of making harsh statements - I try not to insult people directly and when I am harsh, I usually include myself. I have been called a hypocrite on this board a lot - I tend to dismiss it because I've already included myself in my original statement. I try to speak generally because I am speaking about myself, as well as others. In any case, I do want to apologize for my behavior when I lose my patience - I realize that my reaction says more about me than anyone else.

    I believe we are all sinners

    We all fall short of being good Christians, in mind, heart, and spirit.

    All I can do is receive correction and love better in the future - I consider this working out my salvation.

    Anyway, I think this is a discussion we need to have. I agree with TexUs that the rules may need some adjustment. I also see how difficult a job Hammer has - trying to make rules concrete and flexible enough to invite thoughtful conversation is not easy!

    I mentioned on another post how much I enjoy this board - I appreciate that there is not a heavy handed moderator, yet he is receptive and willing to intervene when necessary. It is rare to find this on the internet, these days.

    I do not think running this site will ever be easy, but we do have community here, despite our disagreements and I think that is valuable.
     
    HammerStone likes this.
  5. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    My profession leads me to recognize patterns of behaviors within groups. I have included myself in the statement I made. I will make it clearer next time. Actually, I think you may have a point Foreigner - when making critical statements in the future, I will try to only speak for myself - hopefully that will cut down on any unintended condescending tone in my posts.


     
  6. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Well things are not going to be left as-is.

    If I can work to make things more black and white - I will do it. However, do understand that I feel a word like insult is pretty black and white many times, but there are always the exceptions. The quandary I experienced with this is that certain words can mean things in varying contexts. IE: I tend to let comments like "you're blinded to the truth" or you're "ignorant of the Word" go so long as the author does not continue to use terms like that. However, there is an undefinable point where if a person uses those phrases over and over in the same post - well that then comes into the flaming/insulting realm. Who is to say that specifically 4 or 5 times is worse than 3? What about the word hypocrite? When is it an insult and when is it a fair admonishment? Would not the statement - "that is hypocritical behavior" be a better way to make the case than "you're a hyocrite?" The Biblical cases I can think about didn't break down into shout matches. Take Paul and Peter. I never saw the lines: "Peter you're a liar!" "Paul you're an idiot!"

    Here is the HCSB translation of what took place:

    [bible=Galatians 2:11-21]
    When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

    When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

    “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

    “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

    “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
    [/bible]

    If you were to port that same situation to our site, it'd sound more like this scenario:

    Poster #1 (OP) It is a sin for Jews to be amongst Gentiles - they're unclean!

    Poster #2 [Insert Bible verses.] God's Word clearly shows that you're wrong. You're a babe in Christ not ready for milk! It's hypocrisy for you to say this about the Gentiles because we're saved by Christ not by the physical act of circumcision and the law.

    Poster #1 I'm not going to throw my pearls before swine. You need to go back and read the OT and NT to see that we are still under the law! You are clearly lying about what you read in Scripture!

    .... {End Scenario}

    Most of those lines are taken from posts made here. I've literally also had Poster #2 report Poster #1.

    I appreciate your experience at moderating other large forums - perhaps you can share things that have worked there - I've been at a couple with 10k's or 100k's of posters and I'd say I have far more issues here. (Granted, these were fairly benign secular topics.) My point is that I welcome suggestions, but I have been there too. Sometimes it's a different dynamic when dealing with faith - and it should be.

    I've resorted to sending PMs first, followed by warnings (which deduct points and ban after x times), used some temporary bans and permanent bans. I've had complaints that this is not enough. I cannot make everyone happy and will not attempt to do it, but I prefer the personal message. If you'll notice, the Account Disabled title is given to people who were banned as well as people who have their accounts shutdown or whatever else they may want. I jump to public rebukes when I see it going on between multiple members or I feel like I need to make a point.

    I get the feeling we're having trouble distinguishing what I mean. I'm not trying to quell argument and debate, I'm trying to point out that the methods in practice are the problem. Disagreement is fine; but how you handle that disagreement can range from well to very poorly. Right now the very poor handling of it is rampant. You have to account for personalities that just do not get along of course, but the discussion here has moved well beyond that.

    Let's jump back to your heresy comment. If you feel that way about CB, why do you stay here? Do you feel better off antagonizing the heresy or is there maybe something of value here? I don't ban for an answer to a question like that, it's just an interesting statement to make.

    Yes, you are correct in that one of our moderators indeed believes in Universalism. I had a struggle with this one aspect of his - and we talked about it and we clearly disagree on the subject. However, we mutually disagree with respect. I've also seen this moderator handle situations with patience and we agree on Jesus being the way with no compromises.

    Are you not then doing the passive aggressive tactic that you accused another member of doing - perhaps be it a little more overtly? "Well you guys essentially throw the Bible out and step on the Word because you appointed a Universalist to the staff." I'd say that's a paraphrase of what was said, correct? Well, my reply is simply that we'll all be wrong on things. My prayers spent over the topic lead me to realize that this person maintains the Jesus-only reality of Christianity and that things like that are what matter. I personally believe that souls will essentially be annihilated in the lake of fire which conflicts with the traditional Milton view of hell, and so be it. I'd appoint a moderator if he or she believed in a hell of eternal torment. Last time I checked, there wasn't a card for believing in hell that we had to carry to be Christian. It's simply not a salvational issue, and personally I think it says something about the character of the person that they'd accept the Son now instead of "enjoying" the world to be saved at a later date. I know of Christians who'll preach a hell hotter and more painful than any other, but boy they'll turn they're back on you in an instant. I've had it done firsthand to me in a situation not related to our beliefs (which they did not even know mine about hell).

    Well, if you'd be interested in helping here, I'm all ears.

    I will say that I make a terrible administrator. I've had to learn the hard way and the Lord has knocked me quite hard anytime I get too proud or too happy about numbers. Christianity Board has touched lives - I've had the first hand testimonials of it. One guy went into seminary because of this website. Others came here when they had nothing else. We're headed towards averaging 10k uniques a month again. We've literally reached dozens of countries and touched some lives along the way. Yes I was apart of that and I founded this website 5 years ago this month. However, God did it. Not me. Even when I neglected my duties God shepherded. There was no logical reason this board jumped into the top searches just months after it was born. There's no logical reason that this place held together in my absences from time to time. Yet God sent the perfect people at those times to get it through. Sadly this website broke a couple friendships - they may even be reading this thread - but the moments it helped me to get by are more than worth the anguish.

    My point is that you literally never know who reads what. Heck folks, we don't know that we might be talking to an angel (a cup of water, a morsel of food - Matthew 25:35) in one of these threads. At the same time, you might be talking to a person who got on this forum after a Google search in a last ditch effort not to commit suicide and end his/her life. You never, ever know. We Christians have to handle ourselves as the light and that means showing the same grace our Lord showed us. In the grand scheme, you and I can be wrong and it won't affect God. His will gets through no matter what, but that is why Christianity is different. It's not about following a set of laws to reach another plane. It's not about following laws to look in the right direction at the right time of day. It's not about just generally being a nice guy/girl. However, we have to have the discipline to choose battles and more importantly choose words. When the Holy Spirit moves, it never was about insults in the Bible. He manifested the power of God which might have shown that person to be an idiot (for lack of a better term), but the focus was on the power and majesty of God and not the stupidity of the human on the other end.
     
  7. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    I think you hit on something important hammerstone - naming behavior is fine / insulting the person is out of bounds. I think it is fine to make a statement like - "claiming the Jesus is not divine is considered heresy by multiple Christian standards" rather than "you are a liar!"

    Unfortunately, asking people to moderate their language is often received as suppressing the truth or political correctness. I just think it is basic manners, but I think I am in the minority.

    Maybe including a list of message board manners along with a basic set of rules might help. It would be a service to many people to learn proper behavior for posting here. Violators would be considered rude according to the community here, rather than right or wrong according to the Bible. It would take the theological argument out of the equation.

    Just a thought.

    One more thing - have you thought about setting up a place for formal debate? People could agree to take their disagreements to a special location - the dialog would benefit everyone. First person to use ad hominem loses.
     
  8. TexUs

    TexUs New Member

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    I will point out that John plays hard-ball religion and blatantly calls people out and labels them liars.

    Thus, I do not agree.
    There are basic fundamental truths to the gospel.

    I'm supposed to just allow it to continue unchecked?

    Like I pointed out above... There are core values to the gospel. I think step 1 is to figure out what those are.
    If you do not hold to those, and preach against them (What would be called heresy): your account remains regulated to a Non Christian/Other forum.
    "What about non believers asking Questions" well- let them ask. It should be apparent when something goes beyond asking questions to preaching against it.
    In other words... Everyone should have full access from the start. Your core values determine if you'll be removed from Christian discussion or not. You don't want heresy spread in threads where young (in age or maturity) Christians don't really know what's true- they can easily be swayed.

    So like I said... Determining core values is a must.
    In my opinion Christianity entails:
    1) Christ is God.
    2) Christ died physically.
    3) Christ rose physically.
    4) There is only one God.
    5) Tri-Une God (Distinct but Equal).
    6) Jesus lived a perfect human life.
    7) The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
    8) Hell exists and non believers will be sent there.
    9) Heaven exists and believers will be sent there.
    10) Salvation is only by faith in Christ alone.

    These are all key tenants of basic Christianity. There's more I'd "like" to add but I don't believe them to be "core".

    I don't think it was passive aggressive I thought it was straight to the point, myself.

    Then what are we saved from? Seems like we're just spinning our wheels doing alot of "Saving" from nothing, then.
    It's a core value.



    With the exception of really only a couple threads (one active right now)... Most discussions can still continue under those 10 core values.
    But it also calls into question... How far do you take them? Does the Catholic worship of Mary fall under, "There is only one God"? Or when they argue that it's really not worship, do you let it go? I'd say the latter but you see the point I make.
    I think blatant attacks against the core values should be easy to spot. The post should be deleted (or hidden), their account disabled from posting (or just restricted to the Non Christian/Other forum), and a PM sent to make sure of their beliefs.
    If they repent but continue, it's simply a three strikes rule- record the infraction severity on their profile- three of them and you're out (or like I said, at least limited to the Non Christian forum).

    The questionable ones, do you have a Moderation forum (that only you guys can see)? The questionable posts should be posted in that forum for the moderation staff to take a vote on the action to take.



    That addresses the core values issue...

    Behavioral issues- I can help you come up with a better black and white list but it's really not hard. When things are getting "iffy"- a warning PM suffices. Let's say, if I question if they've gone to fourth grade or not (Yes- I've done that)- I should probably get a warning PM from that one.
    If it's a blatant attack ON THE PERSON (not the issue)- delete the post and issue an infraction to the profile. Set it that three infractions within 6 months is a perma-ban. If I call someone a retarded fool- that's a blatant insult.
    Porn (I'm not talking about historical paintings or something that might actually be of use) or other images used for purely malicious purposes- immediate ban. As well as any illegal doings. (I've actually never seen an example of this happen- people aren't that stupid I guess). Threats (on life/safety) also, immediate ban.


    Can't really think of anything else at the moment.

    But the two big things.
    1) Core Christian values
    2) Infraction system
     
  9. Rach1370

    Rach1370 New Member

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    I think Hammerstone is doing a good job! It's obviously not an easy one and at any given point in time he will be offending someone!! But as long as he has in mind the only one he needs to avoid offending is Jesus, then it's all cool with me!

    As far as the vicious squabbling that goes on...I think everyone has noticed it...and even though few of us enjoy it, we all seem to be sucked in a one point or another.

    Even starting out the with just cause of defending scripture can lead so easily to hurling insults...I've been convicted of it several times. :(

    Surely there has to be a line, that as Christians, we can walk. One that allows us to stand firm on what the Bible tells us, but that also shows our love and new nature to others...be they brothers and sisters in Christ, or those we hope will be!

    I have no answers...and even if I did, they would probably be disagreed over!! All I can perhaps suggest to everyone who truly calls Jesus their Savior, is to pray...pray that while we all talk, that He may help us be wise, gentle, loving and supporting...but still firm in Him.
     
  10. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    I think the porn issue really needs to be addressed - there have been some nasty things posted in the past. I reported one post because there was a link to NAMBLA in the post!! The crazy part was that only a picture of two men kissing was deleted - as far as I know, the NAMBLA link is still there - that is frightening.
     
  11. tomwebster

    tomwebster New Member

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    Christianity Board Rules (These are posted near the top right hand corner of the board)
    http://www.christianityboard.com/index.php?app=forums&module=extras&section=boardrules
     
  12. jacobtaylor

    jacobtaylor New Member

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    If the owner of a site or business finds it does not reflect his or her standards its most likely they don't spend time there, or have people working for them that don't enforce the expected standard.

    The problem is easily solved by real time full time moderators. Unless someone is in the observation deck full time its really difficult to understand the flow of members post, their replies, along with their current attitudes. It takes two to fight. You can't just peak in several times a week and have an understanding about the problems with members. The problem is yours hammerstone, lack of supervision, its really that simple. You can't simply depend on members to notify you as well. By the time it gets to that stage you have already lost control. Sites that don't have such problems have mods that post warnings in the thread for everyone to see at the first sign of disrespect. That sets the expected standard with enforcement if needed. It also lets members know that they are being watched. To much moderation you end up with superficial discussions, members won't discuss topics in depth for fear of being reprimanded.

    Its your job to provide a level playing field for honest respectful discussion, deciding what level of debate is appropriate, it won't happen by itself. One more thing, you can never please all the people all the time. You can't discuss heavy theology and expect to satisfy people that simply want to encourage one another. These should be separate thread topics, heavily monitored to inhibit violators. Going off topic from what I've been reading is a big problem here. If you look I think you will see the degeneration of respectful conversation is in proportion to going off topic in many cases. Enforcement of that one policy will improve the quality of conversation.

    Another observation the last couple weeks is there are several members that come threw everyday and post 5 or 6 replies with in several minuets on just as many threads. If you go threw and read them there is little that I would consider as being beneficial to the topic.
     
  13. WhiteKnuckle

    WhiteKnuckle New Member

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    Because we don't understand what it means to be a Warrior............
     
  14. Robbie

    Robbie New Member

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    When I'm mean to people it makes me feel junky... whenever I do what Jesus says it makes me feel free... I wish I did what Jesus told me more often but I'm like a dumb sheep... thank God for my Sheppard...
     
  15. rockytopva

    rockytopva Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    I really do believe that there are seven unique church's within the church of Jesus Christ...

    1. Ephesus - Apostolic - Scripture still before us!.
    2. Smyrna - Martyr - 10 days = 10 general Roman persecutions.
    3. Pergomos - Orthodox - Still alive in many parts of the world!
    4. Thyatira - Catholic - Influence still large.
    5. Sardis - Protestant - The influence of the Baptists is still great.
    6. Philadelphia - Methodist / Pentecostal - Saved / Sanctified / Filled with the Holy Ghost!
    ***Is revival unique to the Philadelphian church age???*** Was this the revival of the last days?
    7. Laodicea - Materialistic / Charistmatic / Educated - Influencing a lot of churches these days. Even the pope said that his church was being destroyed from within. No external enemies.

    And these churches are so different from on another that there were actual wars fought over the differences of opinion... Especially between the Sardisean and the Thyatirean ages. I believe many headed here to America to escape the chokehold of it all. And then we saw the emergence of the Laodicean church here in America as people would use their liberty for an occasion of the flesh. So every one of these churches both had their virtues and their issues.

    I appreciate that there is not a heavy handed moderator


    I agree with that! If a Catholic (Thyatirean), stone cold (Sardisean) Baptist, Orthodox, (Pergamean) wild Pentecostal (Philadelphian), extreme Charismatic (Laodicean), come to the board we ought to entertain dialog and as much as lies within us...

    If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. - Romans 12:18

    I am glad that people have a chance to express themselves and hear opinions from all angles. I think that for a member to be banned that all patience must be exercised until every word the guy says screams Ban Me! My poor dad dates a Lutheran gal who believes with all her heart that only Lutherans are going to make it to heaven. That is the opinion of a lot of Sardiseans. When I grew up as a Baptist I thought that too! I also thought that speaking in tongues was of the devil. And now I belong to one! When I did the video on the seven church ages I wanted to try to pull out the virtues and the issues of each age and try not to be overly negative about it all.

    The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. - Revelation 1:20

    The word mystery (mystērion) here in the Greek is "hidden." There are a lot of mysteries in the seven churches that I as a history guy have nothing but good time with. But the metaphor of the seven churches belongs to Jesus Christ. I might one day arrive at the conclusion that I have got the seven churches figured out only to have a preacher under the unction of the Holy Ghost just tear me up!

    So what I am saying here is that this site seems to be Christian and above the denominational hold of previous church ages. I like the fact that a Christian of any of the churches can come here and entertain dialog. I also appreciate the patience of the moderators. I think that if a conversation gets too hot that it should be moved to a debate forum where we can thrash out colliding views.
     
  16. TexUs

    TexUs New Member

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    Two men kissing is not porn.
    Is it and should it be offensive to Christians- yes... But it's not porn.

    Is talking about bloody tampons just as offensive? I'd say so. But Isaiah does it!
    And guess what... Sometimes it's the intent to offend to get you to realize a point- as in the case of Isaiah.


    100000000000000% agree.
    Definitely need more than two... This forum doesn't have a ton of activity so two online at any given time is probably plenty but the point is that in reality you need at least a dozen, so that at any given time two ARE online.

    This is an excellent point that is worth re-quoting.
     
  17. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    Aspen. loved your first reply, If Jesus was to come and post on here, or any Christian forum for that matter, He would get drowned out by the voices of those who know it all, then He would probably get banned for going outside the SOF. All I can say. is keep folowing Christ and you wont get lost.

    In His Love
     
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