Blog and Forum Guidelines and Policies
Last Updated: November 30, 2017
All participants (registered users) are expected to abide by these guidelines and polices when participatiing in blog comments and/or forum posts.
Most of this website is public and can be seen by anyone. Please remember that, first and foremost, all those who participate in this website’s blog and/or forum discussions are real people with real feelings. Every person is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Without these things, it is not possible for real communication to take place.
Content of comments and forum posts
- It should be in line with the topic and purpose of this website.
- It should be related to the content of the specific blog or forum topic that is being discussed.
- It may be about, or link to, other resources available (no more than two links per post).
- It may challenge or disagree with ideas, theology, or viewpoints, but such must be done with respect.
- If it contains statements about what the Bible says, it must include chapter and verse references and the Bible version.
- It should have doctrinal integrity, meaning it is governed by the following beliefs that are essential to the Christian faith:
(1) The deity of the Messiah: Jesus Christ is God (2) Original sin (meaning all are born in sin because of the sin of Adam) (3) God’s Word is inerrant, infallible and God-breathed. It does not change. [Proverbs 30:5, 2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 28:35]. (4) Our God is Triune (three-one): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (5) Jesus came as God incarnate (6) He was crucified, (7) He resurrected from the dead (8) He ascended to the heavens, where He is now the King of kings and Lord of lords (9) He sent the Holy Spirit, who has been poured out on all flesh (10) Whoever believes and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believes that God has raised Him from the dead, will be saved (11) Believers are a new creation in Christ, who are led by the Holy Spirit (12) Jesus will return to the earth again.
- We do not allow discussions that refute or disallow these essential doctrines (heresy).
- We do not allow promotion of false gospels such as: the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel.
- We do not allow the promotion of persons who have characteristics of false Christs.
- We do not allow verbal representations of God that are biblically unsupportable, such as referring to God as a woman.
- We do not allow content that displays any sort of graphic representation of any Person in the Triune Godhead. (Exodus 20:4).
- We will allow questions or discussions about the above things, but they are restricted to the Off the Path Forum. If this forum ever becomes problematic, it will be closed.
- We do allow discussion about personal convictions (“tertiary issues”) that exist in Scripture, but these discussions should not go afield from the purpose of this website.
Member behavior and interactions with others
- All members are to govern their interactions by Jesus’ mandate to love one another.
- Each member is expected to show integrity when participating in discussions.
- Members may post links to their personal blogs/websites and/or personal Facebook pages when it is in response to a particular thread topic or blog post.
- Members should not divert the discussion on a thread (hijack it). To introduce a new topic for discussion, a member should start a new thread. (Minor/temporary thread diversions are acceptable.)
- Members may not promote their personal businesses.
- Members must not take screenshots of content from parts of the forum that are marked as private nor should they share any such content without permission. Please be respectful by protecting and respecting other members’ privacy expectations. This includes sharing personal stories, information, comments, posts, or prayer requests without consent.
- A member may not display hostility or use any rude or disrespectful language towards another member (i.e., an ad hominem attack).
- A member who has a conflict with another member should try to work it out using the Private Messaging (PM) system. If the issue cannot be resolved, please let an Administrator (Jane or John Anderson) know, using the PM system.
Note: Administrators are the final determiners of what content or member behavior is unacceptable in blog comments or forum posts. They will decide what content gets removed from this website. They will determine if members need to be warned and/or banned from membership. They are not obligated to follow any procedure with respect to deleting content or banning members, though they may do so, as described below.
Oversee adherence to these Guidelines and Policies by:
- Upholding doctrinal integrity.
- Working through the power of the Holy Spirit, in thought, word, and deed, to the best of their human abilities.
- Seeking the wisdom of the Lord in administering adherence to rules and guidelines.
- Promoting unity among group members and cultivating an atmosphere where members feel safe and welcome to participate in the group.
Delete comment, topics, and posts (without explanation) that are unacceptable because:
- Content is inaccurate, such as inaccurate “facts,” false news reports, or false claims about an individual or group. This includes plagiarism, which is the taking of another’s material and presenting it as yours, and it is a form of theft (Exodus 20:16, Matthew 15:19).
- Content has hijacked a thread.
- Content violates the policies and guidelines in this document.
- Content is rude, condescending, disrespectful, demeaning, defaming, or abusive.
- Content trolls, baits, presents fallacious arguments, or uses outlandish comments to fuel unproductive arguments.
- Content contains personal attacks, diatribes, or reprimands of others.
- Content contains hateful, threatening, unlawful, or racist comments toward others.
- Content contains profanity, sexual comments, etc.
- Content contains commercial messages.
- Content requests donations or contributions.
- Content is spam.
Terminate members who:
- Have a pattern of violating guidelines and policies.
- Are habitually in the categories described in 2 Tim 2:23, Tit 3:9, James 4:1, and Galatians 1:6-9.
Carry out steps to ban a member, when such a process is warranted:
- Automatic removal: In cases of gross, sudden violation, such as posting a sexually explicit image or statement or making a blatantly heretical statement, will always result in a member automatically being removed and banned from the group. This document will be the only warning for such a member.
- A procedural removal:
- A First Warning – a private (or sometimes a public) warning which includes a request for the member to reread this document
- A Second Warning—this is optional; it may come from a different moderator or admin or from a group of administrators/moderators
- If the member persists in inappropriate behavior and if the member is unwilling to repent of his/her inappropriate behavior, he/she will be removed membership.
* Some ideas and language in these guidelines were adopted from the guidelines and rules of the Theological Christian Women’s Facebook group, although in most cases they have been significantly modified to simplify their presentation for purposes of this website. Thank you, TCW, for your thoughtful work on your guidelines and rules.