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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Don't write your message in capital letters. In the Internet world it is considered shouting and very rude. Use capitals when only for a word or phrase that you really want to stand out. 'nuff sed
Forgive us if we offended others in this, I did not mean to do that. Some of my discussions were in capitals. Thanks.
I plan to start a Bible based pizza restaurant, can I sell slices here?
My suggestion for the forum rules:

1) Don't call names or make personal attacks against other members.

2) No belittling of individual members, their character, or their motives.

3) Only rebut issues, NOT the members who write them.

4) 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.)

5) Don't denigrate whole groups of people by the use of name-calling or negative stereotypes.

6) Don't post on the public threads personal differences, arguments, or old grudges, etc.

7) No commercial messages, or spamming. Commercial links / messages are only allowed on your own personal profile page or on your own personal blog.

8) Listen to, and cooperate with, moderators. Challenging the decisions of moderator/s who in the open forum is not acceptable behavior.

The above rules will be enforced by the moderators and/or administrators. Enforcement may take the form of editing, deleting, warnings, and, as a last resort, suspension or banning. The moderators will apply the rules as they judge to be of benefit to their various threads, according to its tone and conditions.

If you feel that a member is flouting the rules, don't take it public and post on the board. Take it to the moderator/s.
A lot of talk about moderators ... but WHO are they. I am not aware of any here.

There are three of us moderators. The only public moderator is myself, Clark P. (My profile is here) The other two do not wish to be identified as they enjoy taking part in the discussions without any bias against them. They also don't wish to be called out as inept (and worse) on other forums, as I have been. :-)

We also have many members who act as our eyes and ears and report issues that arise. We are very thankful for this help as it is impossible for us to monitor every post at the moment it is written.

We moderators almost never do anything unilaterally. We prayerfully consult on all actions taken. We recognize our need of Christ's leading so that we can follow His will in directing this site. Sometimes we err, but we do our best to be accountable and correct all errors.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Blessings and Prayers,
Clark P

Thank you. This is helpful info.
IMHO, here is the only rule that we should follow on this site or any other site for that matter when it comes to matters of faith and conscience.

"My brethren, be ye not called Rabbi; for One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. Neither be ye called masters, for One is your Master, even Christ." Matt.23:8,10.

"The Saviour declares, 'All ye are brethren.' All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance." D.A.414.

This is the only Christian rule this site should apply.

When this rule is not followed, then we have trouble and Christ is put to an open shame among His people.

To claim that the rules adopted by this site are the rules of the entire community is no justification to adop them if they go against the plain revealed will of God.

To begin with, the majority has never been on the side of truth and never will be, not in this world anyway.

And if the statement quoted above is not clear enough, the following one should do it, if we are willing to see and understand:

"In matters of conscience the soul must be left untrameled. No man is to control another man's mind, to judge for another, or to prescribe his duty. God gives to every soul freedom to think, and to follow his own convictions. 'Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.' No one has a right to merge his own individuality in that of another. In all matters where principle is involved, 'Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.'" D.A.550.

If we wish to act contrary to these principles we will find ourselves fighting against God. We must take our hands off the sacred ark of God. The temple of the soul is sacred. "You were bought with a price. Do not become the slaves of men." 1 Cor.7:23.

Some have argued that if we don't like the rules of this forum to go somewhere else or to start our own forums. But you cannot have a forum where matters of faith and conscience are discussed and go against the inspired counsels without fighting against the Holy Spirit.

"There is no exercise of authority, there is no place for domination, among Christians: neither by Christians upon other Christians, nor by Christians upon people who are not Christians.

For it is written, "The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you." Matt.20:25.

Note that it is "the princes of the Gentiles" that exercise dominion and authority over people; and it is "them" the Gentiles over whom this dominion and authority are exercised.

And even though dominion and authority be exercised by men in "the church," they are still "princes of the Gentiles" who do it. Christians do not do it, for, "It shall not be so among you."

And even though they be members of "the church," over and upon whom this dominion and authority are exercised, and who allow it to be exercised over and upon "them," they are Gentiles all the same. Christians do not allow it to be done: for, "It shall not be so among you."

It is none but princes of the Gentiles who do it; it is none but Gentiles over and upon whom they do it; and it is none but Gentiles who allow it to be done over and upon them, in The Church. (or on any forum in the field of religion and faith)

It cannot be done over and upon Christians: they wlll not allow it, for these have the word of their "Leader and Commander," "It shall not be so among you."

No man can be loyal to Christ, nor true to His Word, who allows any man in "the church" or in the field of religion and faith to exercise any dominion or authority over or upon him. For Christ has commanded, "It shall not be so among you."

Whosoever among Christians exercises such dominion or authority puts himself in the place of Christ. And whosoever allows it to be done to him, allows men to be to him in the place of Christ.

Wherever such thing appears, he by whom it appears is a prince of the Gentiles, and a prince of the Gentiles in the place of Christ. Whoever subnits to it is a Gentile, and submits to a prince of the Gentiles in the place of Christ.

This is the whole story of the papacy., And whenever this thing is manifest, in any church, (or forum iin the field of religion) it is just so much of the papacy there.

It is a fundamental principle of the Reformation that "the ecclesiastical power is exercised only by the ministry of the Word."

Any ecclesiastical power ever, anywhere, that is exericsed in any other way than "only by the ministry of the Word" is not Christian, is not Reformation, but is papal.

Amongst Christians the only government in which man has any governing to do is self-government. Each one governs himself only, in the realm of his own spirit. And "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." Prov.16:23.

Everyone governing himself in God through Christ by the Holy Spirit according to the will of God; there is no room for any other government." A.T. Jones, Lessons from the Reformation, pp.138,139.

Here I stand, help me God!

sky

We never seek to control anyone's beliefs or matters of conscience. We only have rules for your behavior while on our website... while you are in "our house" to use a metaphor. As you can see, Adventist Online tolerates a large assortment of beliefs expressed here. Many that we feel are false. So it is clear we do not regulate anyone's conscience. We wish for all falsehood to be rebutted and the truth clearly revealed.

We do guide how members treat each other while in "our house". We wish for this site to be a safe haven for all seekers of Christ and truth. Our rules encourage members to reflect Christ to all others here. We cannot allow sinners to blot out the perfect picture of Christ by their sinful behavior. That would be a tragedy.

Amen brother Sky.

Although up to this point, I believe AO to be pretty fair.

I would say the spirit of domineering and forcefulness comes more from the ranks of the forum members.

Happy Sabbath.

I don't think we need more rules. Most people here feel that love the Spirit of God is working. The site works great and you guys are doing a GREAT JOB!!!

I would like to see more greeters help people get started. A devotional for the day would also be nice I use videos and the Bible and post on facebook.com everyday! I pray that people find Christ and in salvation Him!

Blessing on all of you for the work that you are doing! I hope you reach Millions and Billions of souls.
The Administration is asking how the rules can be improved. Those are my suggestions. Yes, the love of the Spirit of God is definitely working, but any board has all kinds of people at all levels of Christian maturity, so on occasion rules are needed, unfortunately.

I like your suggestions about a devotional for the day and having more greeters, although they're not on the topic of how to make the rules better.

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