Church and forum unity

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Admin, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Although we are blessed with new members constantly coming across and joining our (as yet new and unadvertised) forum, a few old members have left as well, at least for now. Examples that can be given include Jeff F and The Hackney Hub, although the latter had more than returned since then.

    The main reason offered by those leaving is the somewhat chaotic and disunited (to put it mildly) state of the forum at present, and allowance can be made for the fact that the Terms of Service hasn't yet been published. But the underlying reason inevitably has to do with doctrinal divisions, irreconcilable differences, and lack of a common identity that abounds at present. And while it would be nice if it were just our aberrant, local problem, we all know that it is currently endemic to the Anglican Church as a whole and that Anglicans are struggling with it all around the world, whether we witness them doing so here or not. Indeed the dynamic of new members coming in and old members leaving in a revolving door may reflect the actual dynamics going on in the outside world.

    While we cannot address the church as a whole, the #1 reason for having this site launched was to put ourselves in the service of the church. And thus while we cannot fix the larger issue taking place externally, we can and indeed should fix it on our forum.

    The floor is open, therefore, to your views on how the situation can be fixed, ought to be fixed, or has been fixed in the past. We solicit everyone to please contribute your ideas, thoughts, and suggestions.
     
  2. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    I think it can be an advantage having so many different viewpoints in one place, The problem comes when people get riled up, offended or come out with statements with no backing. Perhaps when new members register there could be a brief essay that they would have to read on how to argue graciously? Perhaps with a multiple choice on how would you respond in these scenarios? No idea how practical this might be but thought I'd voice it.
     
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  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...2 thoughts: 1) publish and enforce the TOS, and 2) create a clearly delineated debate section where arguments can be fully engaged in (respectfully) and where everyone is on notice that what is going on is more than mere discussion and will be a place of bold assertions and rigorous response. That way, those who wish to engage in that form of conversation can do so without bulldozing unsuspecting posters. Sort of a pressure release valve.
     
  4. UK Anglican

    UK Anglican Member

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    How about a place where the different viewpoints people have can be clearly divided, so that those people wishing to contribute can do so, with people who hold the same views, but those who don't want to become involved, can clearly see the areas to avoid, this can also work the other way so that people who want to talk to people with different views then know where to find them.

    I'm not sure how well this would work or even how it could be put across, but it means that people will know where to look without searching through stuff there not looking for or don't want to read.
     
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Oooh,like Hogwarts houses. Lol
     
  6. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Set up a debate section, which is separate from the other discussion sections. Theology category would be appropriate in the debate section, while history or liturgy would be more appropriate for the discussion sections.

    Issue warnings to those engaging in name calling or disrespect. So many warnings and the user is banned for a specific time period (e.g., two weeks), so many additional warnings and the user is banned permanently.

    Whistle blowing should be encouraged--reporting to the Admin abusive language, name calling, and disrespect.

    Certain debates and discussions are better done in private conversation rather than in public forums.

    I agree with Scottish Knight that various opinions are good for this forum. If a user disagrees, state some kind of supporting document (links and or quote), and show respect for opposing opinions--that type of online behavior is welcome. It is the name calling and disrespect that should not be tolerated.

    Scottish Monk
     
  7. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Let's remember also that we are not a generic Christian forum. Debates are fine but our primary task is to channel the debates towards Anglicanism. In the recent Calvinism thread none of the discussing parties resorted to Anglican authorities or positions on that topic, and that's just one example of the problem. It should be reiterated that the main purpose of this site is to be of service to the Church. We should all be growing more Anglican from visiting a site like this.
     
  8. historyb

    historyb Active Member

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    What Anglican Church? I am sure that not everyone is in the main Anglican communion, I know I am not.
     
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  9. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    It could work, but I'm thinking perhaps it could make the forum more divided? It could foster an "us" and "them" attitude by dividing viewpoints rather than fostering unity. I don't know, just thinking out loud.

    Your suggestion's given me an idea though! Perhaps there could be a veteran's area? Where only those who have been on the forum for a minimum amount of time and who have proven themselves to be respectful and to write thoughtful posts be allowed in. Or alternatively, there could be electronic awards or badges given to those who act consistently in a respectful way. This could help to promote the ethos we want and bring it to people's attention. Ok brainstorming over :p
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Hi Admin - I hear what you are saying but the issue we have here is that most of us are Anglicans but we come from different parts of a very broad communion of Anglicanism of which some appear to be Calvinists, so when you say channel debates towards Anglicanism it become rather a grey area as to what Anglicanism is. This time last year there was a definite push in my opinion to put those with an Anglo Catholic view off side and it worked because we lost a number of really nice people. In my case I introduced myself as a Franciscan in the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis, I was then told that monastics were not real Anglicans and then a thread was started about should monastics have a place in the Anglican Church. It is type of rubbish that needs to be stopped as soon as it starts.

    I agree with the others there should be a separate area for those who wish to argue about theology and there should be places where people can chat without being told they are heretics because they don't believe what someone else believes. The Anglican Rosary thread was a perfect example of what I am talking about, it had been around for 12 months some of us had a discussion about it. Then a couple decided to revive the thread and mentioned the Roman/Marian rosary and then a done and dusted argument of asking our departed Saints to pray for us was dragged up again. It was totally off topic and uncalled for in my humble opinion.
     
  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe there should be moderators of threads that can keep threads on track. Perhaps one can be nominated for each category to police it and ask offending posters to redirect themselves constructively and if further assistance is needed,they can alert the Admin to delete or issue infractions.
     
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  12. luke

    luke Member

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    Why not add a Report button, but have it message the original poster that someone has reported your post for reason "X,Y,Z" . Then give them a chance to correct it themselves otherwise it goes to ADMIN for a OFFICIAL verdict...

    That way we learn to monitor our own actions as adults.
     
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  13. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

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    I did not leave because of any doctrinal variance or division (although I did say I was surprised at the wide variation in theology), I left because of the angry, repetitive drivel from the same two or three people on any thread. These people have an isolated agenda for joining this forum and they appeared to be given free reign, although someone commented that Charlie was gone or suspended. I feel none of the suggestions given above will work unless the problem children are dealt with.

    unhelpful comments removed
    -admin
     
  14. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Dear Jeff, I am so glad you popped in. I wish you would reconsider leaving. Your indictment rings true. But the antidote is more voices not less, and you give this forum a fresh and unique perspective. I wish you many blessings and peace whatever you choose,. God bless my friend!
     
  15. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I like the overall decency of this forum, which is refreshing after being on some Orthodox forums where there is so much nastiness and bitterness in the "discussions" (arguments). I have yet to see anyone here as mean-spirited as some on orthodoxchristianity.net.
     
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  16. historyb

    historyb Active Member

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    I think there are multiple churches under the Anglican umbrella not just one Church like in Catholicism. So is this forum only going to be for the national Anglican Church or can/will the forum accommodate a host of different strains of Anglicans.
     
  17. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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    Hmmm...good..no, great questions.
    Perhaps certain topics should be put on hiatus indefinitely, especially those that pit catholic vs reformed.

    Ultimately the goal of this forum should be evangelism and to strengthen believers. IMO it's easier to discuss abstract theological ideas than to pray, spread the good news, or discuss pastoral concerns.
    There many folks of strong faith on here so perhaps we ahould focus on what we have in common as opposed to trying to prove why the.nuances of my beliefs are the correct ones and yours are wrong.
     
  18. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Jeff F...

    Please continue to post in this forum. We need your words.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
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  19. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you. This forum is decent and refreshing. There are some forums out there that are plain nasty. Not this forum. We can be better by continuing to be what we have been in our better moments.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
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  20. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    historyb...

    You are right in what you say. Our forum should continue to accommodate those with different views. How else do we learn if we do not listen to what others have to say.

    ...Scottish Monk