Adventist Online

Site Rules and Guidelines For Use of Adventist Online:

( Use of Adventist Online demonstrates your acceptance of these terms. )
  1. Be loving. Discuss issues with Christ-like love for your brothers and sisters here.
  2. Be truthful.  Do not mislead others.  Speak only words that have a factual basis.  Do not speculate about suspicions.
  3. No vulgarity, profanity, or crass ugliness will be tolerated.  Threats of any nature are strictly forbidden.
  4. Don't call names, make personal attacks, or use negative stereotypes against other people or groups of people.
  5. No belittling of individual people, their character, their beliefs, or their motives.
  6. Only rebut issues, NOT the people who write them.  Do not negatively characterize others' positions or beliefs with your own value judgment.  Simply state how you think the belief is wrong and what you believe the correct interpretation is, while giving your basis for your belief.
  7. Don't put words in other people's mouths that they have never said. (This does not, of course, prohibit quoting their words from previous posts.)
  8. Don't post in the public forum personal differences, arguments, old grudges, hearsay, private messages, etc.  No spamming discussion forum or chat rooms with off-topic, useless or repeated messages.
  9. No spamming, soliciting money, commercial messages, or link farming. Ideological links at odds with the SDA church and Commercial links / messages are only allowed on your own personal profile page.  Members agree to not use any of the following ways to advertise, promote, or repeatedly link to any website: Status Updates, Comments, Chat, Videos, Photos, Groups, Blogs, Forum Discussions, Messages (both public and private), Member Name and Profile Picture.  Members further agree to not use Adventist Online as a platform to invite Adventist Onlines' members to any other membership site.
  10. Adventist Online is not a place to state your beliefs without accountability for their Biblical and/or Spirit of Prophecy basis.  Adventist Online is not a place to silence those who do not agree with you.  Do not stop the open exchange of ideas and the search for His truth by closing active discussions, blocking or deleting comments to your blog entries, videos, etc.
  11. Listen to, and cooperate with, moderators. Challenging the decisions/actions/inaction of moderator/s in the open forum is not acceptable behavior.  Use the "Report an Issue" link located at the bottom of every page to address issues.
  12. This is a site by Seventh-day Adventists for Seventh-day Adventists.  We welcome all seekers of God's truth here.  We believe that God will continue to reveal His truth to His people as time progresses.  Thus we are constantly seeking a better understanding of God and His word.  We welcome all that are doing the same. That said, if it becomes apparent that your purpose in being a member of this site is to promote a different agenda and/or sow discord among the brethren, your ability to interact with this site may be restricted.
  13. Only one profile is permitted per person.  Only one person is permitted to use each profile.  Each profile represents one person (the account holder) and is not a separate unique entity.  The profile is the representation of the person who established it.  The person and their profile are one and the same.
  14. If you ever feel justified for being negative or antagonistic toward another person...  prayerfully see rule #1 and DON'T.

Failure to follow these rules may result in the member being contacted privately by an Adventist Online administrator and the transgression pointed out.  If the behavior of the member continues to break our rules, the member may be addressed publicly or the members account may be temporarily restricted until such time as the member can pledge to follow these rules.  Accounts may be permanently restricted and/or deleted for gross violations or unwillingness of member to operate within these rules.

We ask for your continual prayers for wisdom and selflessness for us as we prayerfully enforce our rules.



Basis For Our Rules:  Christ's Example
As you may have noticed, our rules do not make being 'wrong' (in any human opinion) against the rules. What we do prohibit is the poor treatment of other people and the persistent sowing of discord among our members.  All of us are sinning humans who need to be treated with Christ's love apparent in all interactions.

The scriptural and Spirit of Prophecy basis for our rules are as follows:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."  Matthew 22:37-40

Dealing with those that do not believe as we do:

     When we meet those that oppose us, we "are to represent the love of God to a fallen world. With hearts melted in tenderness let the word of truth be spoken. Let all who are in error be treated with the gentleness of Christ. If those for whom you labor do not immediately grasp the truth, do not censure, do not criticize or condemn. Remember that you are to represent Christ in His meekness and gentleness and love. We must expect to meet unbelief and opposition. The truth has always had to meet these elements. But though you should meet the bitterest opposition, do not denounce your opponents. They may think, as did Paul, that they are doing God's service, and to such we must manifest patience, meekness, and long-suffering." {6T 120.1}
"Do not cherish a spirit of controversy. Little good is accomplished by denunciatory speeches. The surest way to destroy false doctrine is to preach the truth. Keep to the affirmative. Let the precious truths of the gospel kill the force of evil. Show a tender, pitiful spirit toward the erring. Come close to hearts."  Letter 190, 1902

"And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will."  2 Tim 2:24-26 NKJV

The SPIRIT in which we are to work:  (from a letter from Ellen White to AT Jones)

"He who expects to enlighten a deceived people must come near to them and labor for them in love. He must become a center of holy influence.

In the advocacy of the truth the bitterest opponents should be treated with respect and deference. Some will not respond to our efforts, but will make light of the gospel invitation. Others--even those whom we suppose to have passed the boundary of God's mercy--will be won to Christ. The very last work in the controversy may be the enlightenment of those who have not rejected light and evidence, but who have been in midnight darkness and have in ignorance worked against the truth. Therefore treat every man as honest. Speak no word, do no deed, that will confirm any in unbelief."

 ...
"The influence of your teaching would be tenfold greater if you were careful of your words. Words that should be a savor of life unto life may by the spirit which accompanies them be made a savor of death unto death. And remember that if by your spirit or your words you close the door to even one soul, that soul will confront you in the judgment.

Do not, when referring to the Testimonies, feel it your duty to drive them home. In reading the Testimonies be sure not to mix in your filling of words, for this makes it impossible for the hearers to distinguish between the word of the Lord to them and your words. Be sure that you do not make the word of the Lord offensive. We long to see reforms, and because we do not see that which we desire, an evil spirit is too often allowed to cast drops of gall into our cup, and thus others are embittered. By our ill-advised words their spirit is chafed, and they are stirred to rebellion.

Every sermon you preach, every article you write, may be all true; but one drop of gall in it will be poison to the hearer or the reader. Because of that drop of poison, one will discard all your good and acceptable words. Another will feed on the poison; for he loves such harsh words; he follows your example, and talks just as you talk. Thus the evil is multiplied.

Those who present the eternal principles of truth need the holy oil emptied from the two olive branches into the heart. This will flow forth in words that will reform, but not exasperate. The truth is to be spoken in love. Then the Lord Jesus by His Spirit will supply the force and the power. That is His work."   {6T 122,123}

 


The METHOD by which we are to work:

"If a brother differs with you on some points of truth, do not stoop to ridicule, do not place him in a false light or misconstrue his words, making sport of them; do not misinterpret his words and wrest them of their true meaning.  This is not conscientious argument  Do not present him before others as a heretic, when you have not with him investigated his positions, taking the Scriptures text-by-text in the Spirit of Christ to show him what is truth.  You do not yourself really know the evidence he has for his faith, and you cannot clearly define your own position.  Take your Bible, and in a kindly spirit weigh every argument that he presents, and show him by the Scripture if he is in error.  When you do this without unkind feelings, you will do only that which is your duty and the duty of every minister of Christ."  (EGW to G.I. Butler, Letter 21, 1888 [October 14], The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1:98)

We lean heavily on Chapter 6 from Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings entitled "Not Judging, But Doing".  This chapter addresses clearly how we should treat others.  We encourage all to read that chapter in it's entirety.  Read it here.  Here is one excerpt from that chapter:

"Not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self-dignity, and even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother, have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother. Then you can approach him and touch his heart. No one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many have thus been driven from Christ and led to seal their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins. The revelation of Christ in your own character will have a transforming power upon all with whom you come in contact. Let Christ be daily made manifest in you, and He will reveal through you the creative energy of His word--a gentle, persuasive, yet mighty influence to re-create other souls in the beauty of the Lord our God." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings pg. 128 -Ellen G. White

Our rules are in place to prevent us from causing others to see us (sinners) instead of the saving beauty of Christ.  Any time a fellow member is antagonized, they will not be drawn to Christ - no matter how 'right' the antagonizer is.  A quote that illustrates this:

"But there was one of the Twelve to whom, until very near the close of His work, Christ spoke no word of direct reproof. ... Jesus, seeing that to antagonize was but to harden, refrained from direct conflict. The narrowing selfishness of Judas' life, Christ sought to heal through contact with His own self-sacrificing love. In His teaching He unfolded principles that struck at the root of the disciple's self-centered ambitions. Lesson after lesson was thus given, and many a time Judas realized that his character had been portrayed, and his sin pointed out; but he would not yield." Education, p. 91, 92 -Ellen G. White

Please feel free to add your thoughts about how our rules can be improved.  They are being improved with your suggestions.  Also feel free to send us other texts or SOP quotes that you feel are basis quotes for our rules.  Make your suggestions in this discussion.

God bless!
Adventist Online
AdventistOnline.com is an online community. Members contribute the vast majority of content to this site. Any content or opinions expressed, implied or included are the sole responsibility of their authors and/or contributors and are not official statements or opinions of AdventistOnline.com. AdventistOnline.com is not responsible for the content of external websites linked to from this site.

It is understood that AdventistOnline.com is headquartered in Walla Walla County, Washington, USA. Any and all legal action taken against AdventistOnline.com must take place in Walla Walla County, Washington, USA. It is agreed that the venue of any legal action brought in relation to this site shall be commenced and maintained in Walla Walla Washington regardless of parties' dwelling or place of business.


Adventist Online reserves the right to adjust/change these rules as needed and without notice.

If members or potential members do not agree with any of these terms, they should not be members of Adventist Online or participate in the website.  Using AdventistOnline.com demonstrates your acceptance of these terms.


Change Log:
- 4/01/2010 - added "Status Updates" to rule 9.
- 4/13/2010 - added "Do not cherish a spirit of controversy..." quote to our Basis section.
- 4/30/2010 - added "Only one person is permitted to use each profile." to rule 13.
- 4/30/2010 - added rule "2. Be truthful.  Do not mislead others."
- 8/07/2010 - added "hearsay, private messages" to rule 8.
- 4/01/2011 - added "crass ugliness" to rule 3.
- 4/22/2011 - added "Each profile represents one person (the account holder) and is not a separate unique entity.  The profile is the representation of the person who established it.  The person and their profile are one and the same." to rule 13.
- 5/12/2011 - corrected typographical error
- 1/30/2012 - added "their beliefs" to rule 5.
- 6/03/2012 - removed "or on your own personal blog" as a location for allowed commercial links due to increasing blog spam.
- 6/10/2012 - added "No spamming discussion forum or chat rooms with off-topic, useless or repeated messages." to rule 8.
- 8/6/2012 - added "Adventist Online is not a place to silence those who do not agree with you." and "...closing active discussions..." to rule 10. 
- 9/8/2012 - added "Christ's Example" to the Basis For Our Rules title
- 10/31/2012 - added "Speak only words that have a factual basis.  Do not speculate about suspicions." to rule 2.
- 12/17/2012 - added "Threats of any nature are strictly forbidden." to rule 3.

Last updated by Adventist Online Dec 17, 2012.

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