What should be the hallmarks of a "true" Christian Forum?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Darrell C, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Okay, I'll start the ball on this one:

    1. Sound Doctrine;

    2. Discipline;

    3. Open to all who have questions, concerns, gripes, or are just otherwise hostile to Christianity, and this for the express purpose of witnessing to them.

    God bless.
     
  2. agedman

    agedman
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    I think that the a "Christian" forum may need two separate areas. One that doesn't require a login for the inquirer who is not saved, but wants to ask legitimate questions and engage in non-hostile debate with the moderators (not general forum members). Another for believers who want to squabble over what no one will change their mind about. :)

    Appropriate discipline should be a matter of the forum self regulating with no tolerance for even a hint of inappropriate language.

    Also, a Christian forum really shouldn't "hide" from discussions dealing with the sensual as this particular forum does.

    I think that this present forum's rules need to remove that standard. There is no reason why believers should not discuss Biblical standards and Biblical warnings that deal with all aspects of the sensual.

    There is a need for active moderators - no matter the forum - just to keep out the spam and foolish.

    I do wish the moderators would take a more active part in discussions on the threads.

    Lastly, I wouldn't limit the forum to just Baptists, rather allow believers from various assemblies to comment. HOWEVER, I would exclude all that could not submit to the statement of faith.
     
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  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Only persons who are created in the image of God can be Christians. Forums cannot be disciples of Jesus or take on the character of Christ.

    I think we need to focus on creating a healthy and honest forum, filled with Christians who are committed to loving each other and pushing each other toward maturity.
     
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  4. matt wade

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    FWIW, I think that opening the forum to non-Christians is an invitation for disaster. It will specifically draw those that are militant in their opposition to Christianity.

    Let the forum be a place for believers to fellowship and lift one another up. We should go to the lost, not try and draw them here.
     
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  5. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    All great suggestions, though I don't have a problem with a Baptist only board. I agree that certain topics that have been banned should be open so that we can talk to those who may have fallen into error.

    As far as Moderator participation, having been both moderator and administrator on other forums, there is a separation that is created in discussions like those, primarily because some will think that because one is a moderator they could abuse their power (which I have seen to be true in the past on at least one forum).

    God bless.
     
  6. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Agreed.

    Not sure I would agree with that. While of course we do not personify a forum, as it is a "body" of sorts made up of many members, what I have found is that Christian Doctrinal Discussion forums can be a source of accelerated learning and growth. We can't grow if we do not "exercise, right?

    And I have been on forums which have a Christian disposition, as well as forums that are just satanic.

    The new owner has a goal of making this a place that is known as a Christian Forum. Where people can come to be saved.

    Worthy goals.

    Amen.

    So how to stop the infighting?

    One problem this forum faces as a distinctly "Baptist" forum is that there are just so many kinds of Baptists, lol. And the distinctives of each group...separate.

    That doesn't mean we cannot, through reasonable discussion, attain to an understanding of why our brothers and sisters believe what they do, and if we think we can show them a better understanding we do so in love. Sometimes, when we do that, our own weakness in understanding might be revealed.

    Forums are the largest Mission Field ever presented to the Body of Christ, and we should take advantage of that while we can. The day may come where freedom of speech is hampered by "hate laws," and the landscape changes.

    God bless.
     
  7. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I agree in part, which is why I would suggest that atheists only be granted access to a particular board. As the Body we don't allow the world open access and free reign in our fellowship/s, but, we don't lock the doors of the Church, either.

    Debating atheists is one of the most challenging things we will do, because sometimes the atheist...isn't an atheist at all. He is simply against Christians, lol.

    As for me...

    ...bring it on.

    If we realize that there are militant atheists then we understand the reality of our enemy. Some forums have been overrun by both atheists and those who teach false doctrine...because there is no-one there that can take them to the Word of God and address the Basis of the Belief.

    We need to do that if we are going to combat these people. We are at war, and we will win no battles raising the drawbridge.

    But again, that is why you would seclude them in one board. We don't give open access to unbelievers.


    God bless.
     
  8. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    Disagree. As a publicly-viewable, family-friendly site there needs to exist a high standard of decency if its reputation is to remain good. It is human nature to push boundaries. With the ability of almost anyone to join and participate while using false names, I think that those boundaries would see an all-out assault. Were this to happen, I believe that the reputation of the Baptist Board would be destroyed.

    One must also remember that not everyone here is mature enough in their Christian walk to handle "Sensuality"-type threads. It would be wrong to place a cause for temptation.

    I am not privy to the men-only section, but it is my understanding that that is the place for those types of threads.
     
  9. Darrell C

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    Issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and other topics like them can be discussed, and moderated, reasonably well. These are front-line issues that are forefront in the secular realm, and bloated with misinformation in regards to a Biblical view. It is important that we get a Biblical view across and deal with the misconceptions that abound. Abortion, for example, seldom discusses the negative impact abortion has on women. So we have many people advocating for abortion who have never once considered the consequences of abortion. Their argument centers on "women's rights," but, many aspects which cannot be said to be a "right" for anyone are overlooked. For example, does a woman want to have the right to miscarry when she decides she does want to have a child?

    Anyway, I guess this is something that will have differing views, and I can respect not wanting certain topics discussed. I do think, though, that these issues not only can be handled, but should be. And that is how a forum comes to be an offensive (as opposed to defensive) participant in battling the many misconceptions and misguided conclusions of those who are actively (offensive, same context) hostile to a Biblical worldview.

    Many of the atheists that I have spoken with, for example, claim they were once saved but now aren't. The offensive maneuver is to simply examine the basis of their belief, which is easily done...because we find they do not even know how one is saved to begin with. They run under the assumption that relationship with God is attained to through religious participation. And if we can show the weakness o that basis we force them to admit that they are not saved because it is simply a conscious decision they have made, and the basis for that decision is illogical.

    A family environment is never going to be lacking in contention and address of error. If we neglect discipline when (not if) those occasions arise we do a disservice to what is a functional and healthy family. I think moderation of such discussions can maintain a healthy control.

    And it is a misconception to think that all atheists are going to discuss these issues in a vile manner. Some are going to be vile, but that is where banning comes in. Those who refuse to observe the simple rule of decency in discussion should be cut off quickly. If they post in vile manner, there is little hope warnings are going to change that. If warnings do, then we have established a means of communication with precisely the people we want to discuss the Lord and a Biblical view with.


    God bless.
     
  10. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    Darrel- I have not noticed abortion being a subject that is taboo on the site. What I referred to, and assumed that Aged Man was talking about, were subjects of a sexual nature. My own opinion is that they do not belong here. To allow these type of threads would open up this site to a certain Element that should not belong here.

    My own opinion.
     
  11. agedman

    agedman
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    As I indicated the "inquiry" forum would be for those who do not profess belief. It would NOT be open to the members to post, but exist so that ONLY moderators or some other designees could present consistent Christian character and responses as an outreach to the heathen that may inquire about what they read on the rest of the forum or some other topic. There would obviously be some "hall pass" access to this public forum so that some heathen that became unruly would be banned.

    I do wish that the moderators would post why a person is banned.

    When I have returned to posting after some extended absence, I am always a bit curious to see that some who have posted for many years are banned. When was the offensiveness greater or crossed the line of what was acceptable to the Christian forum.
     
  12. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Abortion was used as the example just out of respect for the rules.

    In regards to the taboo, the discussions usually center on what God's Word has to say about it. The point was simply taking into consideration that there are valid reasons to discuss these issues, and making them taboo will not allow anyone to learn how to handle these kinds of discussions. And that is one of the benefits of discussion forums, we learn from each other's study, and that helps us in dealing with the objections to Scripture that are often the basis of rejection on the part of the unbeliever.


    God bless.
     
  13. Darrell C

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    Not sure how much that would accomplish, but, that would be an improvement. Still, getting involved in discussions about certain topics has the benefit of driving us to the Word of God for clarification of Doctrine, as well as allows us to benefit from other posters used to dealing with those topics.

    As far as why a person might have banned that could be gleaned from reading their last posts.


    God bless.
     
  14. MB

    MB
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    I agree Darrell;
    But, In my opinion the most important would have to be brotherly LOVE.
    MB
     
  15. Rolfe

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    Why do they need to be publicly-viewable, though? Seems that the more adult-themed threads ought to be in the gender-specific areas of the site.

    Have you considered that there may be younger children visiting this site?

    Certainly no offense intended, but I have the impression that you are arguing for Liberty without considering the Christian walks of those who may not be able to handle it without sinning.

    Cheers.
     
  16. Darrell C

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    You agree with what?

    And, are you under the impression that I am not concerned about brotherly love?


    God bless.
     
  17. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I think you are caricaturizing both certain groups as well as discussion with them.

    Have you ever been involved in discussions in those areas?

    It's not usually anything vulgar but the subject itself, and how old do you think children should be before they understand God's will in those areas? Do we let them learn from the media? Or do we teach them according to their ability to understand?


    We're not talking about "adult themed" discussions. We are simply talking about something that is a real issue and is getting worse every day.

    I don't have a problem with those threads having limited access, but, the point is still that those involved in the errors have access.


    I consider everyone that may be reading these threads.

    And it doesn't mean I think that these things should not be discussed. They need to be. Most of the discussions I have been involved in centered not on the particular topic, but on the Word of God. Those who engage in secular lifestyles first and foremost reject the Word of God, because that is the basis for the "discrimination" they feel they are targeted with. Many of them feel that they are hated by Christians, and sadly...that is the truth.

    Where do we read "Love thine enemies...except for homosexuals?"

    And there is no question that movement, and many more...are enemies. But, we have a responsibility to reach them as well, right?

    So again, I think it would be better if the forum did not ban discussions like that (and I am only aware of two subjects that are taboo, this one and M.E. (this latter should definitely be addressed)) but made provision that allows for ministry to such people. Make it a closed forum to the public, that is fine, great suggestion, but, don't restrict access all together.

    No offense taken, it's just a discussion.

    You make a valid point, though you are in error to think I have not given this consideration.

    I don't advise the weak among us to engage in discussions like these without caution, but, I will also say that this is how we learn to deal with topics like these...by actually talking to those people who are involved in them. We do so out of compassion for lost souls, and if we neglect them, just how valid is our claim to want to replicate Christ? Does Christ hate them? Would Christ fail to confront them? No.

    And I am not sure what you mean by me "arguing for liberty," perhaps you could explain exactly what liberty you are talking about.


    God bless.
     
  18. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    Then I misunderstood what this thread was about. I thought that it was about discussions about se*ual subjects that would be viewable in unrestricted areas of this site.

    Ed. to add- I base this on Aged Man's post number two.
     
  19. Darrell C

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    It was primarily just to get the views of members as to what they felt should be hallmarks, or, indicators that a Forum is a Christian Forum.

    As I said, I don't have a problem with threads or certain topics being veiled from public view, my point is that there is a spot where those involved in those areas might be able to go that they might be ministered to.

    I didn't find your point/s off-topic, and I was referring to our particular discussion, not the thread itself. My point was that discussions about homosexuality are not, in my view, "adult themed," because that is not something I would actually approve of. This implies explicit conversation and I don't think that should be present on a forum. But the discussions that arise that do address human sexuality can be discussed in adult (meaning mature, lol) and civilized manner. I know this because I have been in a number of discussion like this on a number of different forums, and what I have found is that they usually center on the Word of God.

    These discussions, like most discussions with people that reject the Word of God, are mostly centered on those who do reject the Word seeking to justify their rejection. And when we address the "contradictions" and "errors" they present, we can always see where they have taken something out of context.

    So, just out of curiosity, and now that you have made it clear you don't think questionable topics should be public, are there any other "hallmarks" that would indicate that a forum you visit is Christian or not?


    God bless.
     
  20. agedman

    agedman
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    This is an excellent question.

    I was part of ministry that tried to "hide" all manner of sin in the name of not wanting the youth exposed, or not desiring to offend those who were substantial givers and ...

    However, some of the greatest teaching can be done when confronting evil and especially as it concerns the open society that is driving the sensual to accept all manner of perversion.

    Now, there is a verse that states the same should not be named (lived) among believers, but that does not state it shouldn't be discussed and the encouragement of certain principles established that the believer not only but warned by and can establish as a guard.

    I suppose if one is to take this forums rules strictly, one couldn't discuss the wonderful book of the Song of Solomon.
     

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