Adventist Online

We have posted Forum Rules and Guidelines. How can we improve these rules?

Our Rules and Guidelines (found from the drop-down menu on the Forum tab) are here:
http://www.adventistonline.com/notes/Site_Rules_and_Guidelines

They currently read:

"Site Rules and Guidelines For Use of Adventist Online:

1. Be loving. Discuss issues with Christ-like love for your brothers and sisters here.

2. Be truthful.  Do not mislead others.  Speak words that you have a basis for.  Do not speculate about suspicions.

3. No vulgarity or profanity in any form 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 true interpretation is - 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, or private messages.  No spamming discussion forum or chat rooms with off-topic, useless or repeated messages.

9. No spamming, soliciting money, commercial messages, or link farming. 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: 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. Do not stop the open exchange of ideas and the search for His truth by 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.

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How can we improve these rules? What needs to be added or removed? Are any of these unfair? Do they discriminate against anyone? Thank you for your help, it is appreciated very much.

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But why should he or she Travis, when such wrongs are not expected to be committed by those who should know better, or by those who it is expected should know better.

From time to time however, we need to remind persons of their responsibilities not to breach the rights of others, and what better way than to point out God's constitution.
Thanks Rush!

And yes, I'm absolutely positive we will run into things we aren't sure about. :-)

God bless!

@ rush4hire.  That is a good idea, including Bible verses.  Reminds me of a comment, one newly baptized young man...feels very uncomfortable attending church meetings where not even 1 verse is quoted as basis for decisions taken.

Somehow it also points and reminds ALL of us re: accountability to God.

I would have to agree with you on that one AO. We all need rules, and especially on forums such as this.

I think Eph 4;14-16 just about covers the whole list of rules.

Not misguide, speak in love and be in unity

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Here's what I mean. This is the fundamental beliefs of the SDA church. These are statements that no Adventist can dispute.

http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html

Notice after each one, you see a bunch of Bible references, so everyone knows that the statement is Biblical, and they can look it up for themselves. That's how you need to be if you are going to set forth any kind of rules or statements.
And the first thing you see is the exaltation of the authority if the Bible, and notice the first article is about the authority of Scripture:

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.

1. Holy Scriptures:
The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

That's good. I couldn't have said it better.
This is also part of those fundamental beliefs--

"Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life."

"In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience."
Right, and then right after that statement, there are a bunch of Bible verses. That's my point.

[admin note: the following replies are to a member who is no longer with us and whose comments are gone]

Very concerned with the enforcement, right Matthew? ;-)

Let me first say that the admins here are in NO way responsible for the conduct of individual members. We don't write for you. Nor can we force you to turn the other cheek when you feel slighted. There has never been an issue that we "are not doing or saying anything about it" simply because we don't do what an individual member wants us to do.

Each member here is an adult who is also a Christian. We expect you to act in a Christ-like manner. If members think that just because someone else acts inappropriately that it gives you license to do the same and more... then they are NOT acting like adults and definitely not acting like Christians. The administrators of any web site have nothing to do with that. It's all about personal responsibility... either we each have it... or we blame others.

Thank you for the support and the suggestions. God bless!

We, as admins, provide the most active SDA social network on the web. :-)

Yes, we CAN make guidelines and not enforce them (to outward appearances). As you may or may not know, there is often much pleading behind the scenes to improve behavior. Do any other members know when that is happening? No. So does it look like we might be doing nothing? Probably. But we are not here to make examples out of sinners. We are all sinners. We are here to support sinners in their search for Jesus and the peace that He brings.

The members here are mostly mature adults. They SHOULD be able to regulate themselves. These guidelines help. And every member can help by following the guidelines and if need be, lovingly, privately pointing other members to them.

We prayerfully have deleted posts after prayer, consultation, more prayer, etc. We seek His wisdom in this process. We often err on the side of deleting less.

We firmly believe in God's ability to reveal His truth through our sinful human misrepresentations. So we rarely delete theological misinformation. The posts we delete almost always fall into the categories of 1) hate or 2) a members inability to handle a differing view and then personalizing the issue and talking about other members... labeling them, gossiping about them, etc, rather than addressing the issue at hand.

Members might not agree with all the choices we have made (and are free to write to us more about them), but those are the choices we prayerfully make on a daily basis. It is inappropriate for members to rebuke the admins for their action/inaction. It is always appropriate for members to express their concerns and views to us... just as long as they follow the same rules we have laid out here. :-)

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