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waterbear

Administrator Playing God With The Way Members Express Their Beliefs

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I have been banned by Joseph because I have expressed my opinions as a Christian who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. We have here an administrator who seems confused about his Christian identity and is inflicting his own beliefs about what constitutes walking the Christian path by power tripping over other member's posted beliefs and opinions. By "power tripping" I mean deleting posts he doesn't like and banning members who's expressed beliefs and opinions he doesn't like. I refer you to the locked thread where Joseph is accused of inflicting Buddhist attitudes here on a Christian forum. This complaint matches my own hidden dialogue going on in pm between Joseph and me, hidden because we banned members aren't allowed to defend ourselves in peer review, no, we have to deal with the self-selected censor of us, Joseph. I don't know if this post will be allowed. In short, Joseph is running this forum as his own private domain and inflicting his own personal religious views on to us while judging ours against his own and attacking us who differ with him.

 

Did we come here to be under the thumb of a self-selected archon imposing what several of us question as Christian values in order to run off anyone who dares complain? I didn't come here to please Joseph. I come here to share Christianity with the rest of you. Joseph needs to step aside from playing fast and loose with our expressed beliefs and opinions so that we can dialogue without a Big Brother looking over our shoulders checking to see if we have phrased our comments to meet his arbitrary rules protecting his beliefs from critical review.

 

Personally, I think this is really about Joseph's insecurity in his Christian beliefs which is why he is so determined to stop any serious criticisms of the kind of Buddhist compromised Christianity he advocates.

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Waterbear,

 

This is to acknowledge your complaint post has been read and to let you know that after all five moderators have had a chance to review your charges, i will get back to you with my official response. Just for the record, you have not been banned. You have only been on a 7 day posting suspension. Your 26 posts stand as you have written them and we do not delete member posts except at their personal request in which case we leave a note unless we are spammed or words are deleted automatically by the system bad word filter.

 

JosephM (as Admin)

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We are here not to strive to defeat other faiths or religions. We are not here to prove we are better Christians or others are inferior. When love touches our consciousness, it makes us one with all life. This is the mind of Christ, and this is Christianity. Love comes from the visible and invisible teachers within our own consciousness; therefore, we must open our consciousness to the infinite Power, the universal Principle and find it operating in our experience. Waterbearer, I don’t know what you have against Buddhism or Joseph, but if you don’t know Buddhism or Joseph then you have no grounds to judge them or criticize them. We are all here propagating the Christian message of love and we are doing that in many explanations, using many symbols. Buddhism has many tools and techniques that can help us become better Christians. In your complaints it seems you are not trying to expand your understanding of Christ, and have an agenda to pursue. I base this on the fact that your complain is about a religion or a person, but not a concept. We argue and disagree with concepts, ideas and beliefs all the time with no personal attacks.

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Buddhism, Joseph, the locked thread are distractions. This has become much bigger than it has to be.

 

We draw a very fine line here. In the intense conversation in the serpent in the garden thread there were back and forth comments deeply challenging beliefs and positions and even the sophistication of fellow posters. But ours is a simple and sharp divide. The line was crossed with these words, I think.

Jenell, ... you really can't be a Christian without faith in the magical qualities of Jesus' name,

 

"In the Name of Jesus" remember? What is that but a magical incantation, a magical invocation for a Spirit to appear and help one. I'm sorry but Christianity is all about magic or perhaps more accurately about invisible forces we have no science for which traditionally we label "Spirit". But you paint a most secular outlook devoid of Spirit which is magical.

It is only the bolded words that are a problem. If you had said, "I don't see how one can be a Christian without faith in the magical qualities of Jesus' name," that would have been acceptable. I see no problem with the rest of what I have quoted. In the context of the thread it was appropriate. Intense but within limits.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

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Hi waterbear,

 

I'd just like to emphasize that there is no one perspective being represented on this forum, broadly speaking. I say 'broadly speaking' because yes, this forum is generally structured around a theologically liberal understanding of Christianity and religion, and this in turn translates into practical matters like etiquette. But there is no one view represented by the staff, nor is there any particular view being imposed by the staff. The atmosphere -- and the ethos -- here is deeply pluralistic. Quakers, Emergents, Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, spiritualists, mystics, theologians -- and, yes, Gnostics -- of all stripes have joined this board and have fully participated without trouble. So, immediately we can lay to rest the concern that whatever is happening here is about your religious or philosophical views per se.

 

I just want to ask -- even hypothetically if you choose -- If it isn't your religious views that have at least in part instigated this occurrence, then what? Let's just say that this whole thing has been a big mistake. I ask this rhetorically, What do you hope to accomplish by participating on this forum? I hope the answer for anyone here would be to learn about and gain a mutual respect of other people and their respective approaches to faith through wholesome and sincere dialogue. It seems that whenever this is not the motivation behind a discussion, problems are bound to occur. No doubt Joseph (and not only he) have interpreted the discussions in which you were present to deviate from that objective. Perhaps you dispute this. In my experience progressive Christians tend to be sensitive to the feeling that the conversation is one-way (i.e. that they are being preached at; that there is an attempt to convert rather than converse). Perhaps too sensitive, you might say? You are welcome to demonstrate that this interpretation was without substance through future conduct in discussions. We all always have to be mindful of our motivations and intentions when conversing with other people; one must always keep in mind the community -- its structures and purposes -- especially an intentional community like a forum.

 

Peace,

Mike

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Buddhism, Joseph, the locked thread are distractions. This has become much bigger than it has to be.

 

We draw a very fine line here. In the intense conversation in the serpent in the garden thread there were back and forth comments deeply challenging beliefs and positions and even the sophistication of fellow posters. But ours is a simple and sharp divide. The line was crossed with these words, I think.

 

It is only the bolded words that are a problem. If you had said, "I don't see how one can be a Christian without faith in the magical qualities of Jesus' name," that would have been acceptable. I see no problem with the rest of what I have quoted. In the context of the thread it was appropriate. Intense but within limits.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

 

What a bunch of crap! What if I had put a smiley at the end of my observation, eh? Like this:

 

"I don't see how one can be a Christian without faith in the magical qualities of Jesus' name, :P "

 

What I see going on here is a Progressive Christian insecurity about the belief system no doubt due to Progressive Christians getting hammered by Evangelicals wherever they post their Progressive opinions to mainstream Christian audiences. So, in order to avoid this happening here they want to create this NEW Christian all faiths are identical and therefore meaningless ideology that has been borrowed from Buddhism, a religion based on atheism. Why are you Progressive monitors so afraid to be held accountable for your actions that smack very much of censorship of Christian values learned from Christian Gospels. I am a Gnostic Christian. I get hammered Everywhere I post my Gnostic beliefs and opinions. I was hoping this forum would be different, more liberal to include a liberal Gnostic but no, it's the same old shite where the forum administrators have their belief systems and if someone comes along and seriously challenges them, they boot them off as soon as they possibly can.

 

I demand intellectual honesty in any forum I participate in. I want to be able to freely express my Christian beliefs and opinions without censorship based on someone else' ideas of what a Christian can or cannot say in public. Anyone who reads the Gospels without prejudice will come away knowing that Jesus Christ demanded accountability, demanded we seek and speak our truth, even to the point of pissing off established authorities. This is what I do as a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Nowhere does Jesus tell us to "play nice", "be mello", "don't make waves", "everyone just get along". In fact, Jesus says just the opposite or did you miss the point of the salt loosing its effectiveness?

 

Joseph and you other forum monitors, you're going to just have learn to trust your members. I'm not calling anyone names, not provoking violence, not telling anyone they're going to hell if they don't believe me. I am challenging the Christian beliefs being posted here and if members do not want their beliefs challenged, why are they here? Just to schmooze? We've got better things to do with our lives.

 

I have a ton of new Christian information that I'd like to share..if I can, if this forum will allow members to post their beliefs and opinions and visions without prejudice.

 

Shalom,

 

Stephen

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waterbear,

 

What a bunch of crap!

 

 

Such remarks hardly contribute to your case.

 

if I can, if this forum will allow members to post their beliefs and opinions and visions without prejudice.

 

If that is your agenda then you are welcome to. As long as they are stated as "beliefs and opinions and visions".

 

What I see going on here is a Progressive Christian insecurity about the belief system no doubt due to Progressive Christians getting hammered by Evangelicals wherever they post their Progressive opinions to mainstream Christian audiences. So, in order to avoid this happening here they want to create this NEW Christian all faiths are identical and therefore meaningless ideology that has been borrowed from Buddhism, a religion based on atheism.

 

Progressive Christianity is a robust development within Christianity in its own right. Every generation of Christianity is 'new' in its context and theological understanding. But yes, I'm sure some of our posturing is in response to more exclusive worldviews. We do not see this as a weakness. Incidentally, if it is claimed that "all faiths are identical" is an ideology that has been borrowed from any major religious tradition (Christian or Buddhist or whatever, with a qualified exception regarding the syncretism of Sufism), I'd like to see support for it.

 

Peace,

Mike

Edited by Mike

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Progressive Christianity is a robust development within Christianity in its own right. Every generation of Christianity is 'new' in its context and theological understanding. But yes, I'm sure some of our posturing is in response to more exclusive worldviews. We do not see this as a weakness. Incidentally, if it is claimed that "all faiths are identical" is an ideology that has been borrowed from any major religious tradition (Christian or Buddhist or whatever, with a qualified exception regarding the syncretism of Sufism), I'd like to see support for it.

 

Perhaps I should be more explicit in my intent here: Neither progressive Christian values nor 'Buddhism' (whatever that has to do with anything) are at issue here.

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What a bunch of crap!

It certainly is. I spoke softly and suggested that everyone here was making too much of this but I will go now, take five cleansing breaths, can come back when the dust has settled.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

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Waterbear,

 

You continue to misunderstand what this forum demands. It is mutual respect and etiquette, not a particular theology. The problem has been your behavior, not your beliefs. Why not take us at our word and participate on that basis instead of persisting in a hostile, confrontational mode?

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW

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Stephen,

It is clear by your words from one of your posts that you came here to share your Christian beliefs, opinions, visions and revelations with us thinking that a Gnostic Christian p.o.v. might be of interest here. In our collective view, those views and opinions are of interest and most welcome here.

 

However, it appears to us, in many of your posts you make no distinction between your views and 'the truth'. You have also made it clear to us by your responses to other moderators and myself personally that you feel you should be allowed to say whatever you like concerning other peoples views without regard or respect for the other. You also have indicated in words to me that as one who labels himself as Gnostic Christian, you should be allowed to tell others your true opinions of their beliefs without censorship and by me not allowing it here, i make this forum a complete intellectual travesty.

 

The problem we (the moderating team) see here, is not with your self labeled Gnostic Christian beliefs or the expressing of them as your view or opinion. As most here are well aware, we are inclusive of those beliefs. Rather the problem is, while you are free to tell YOUR OPINIONS about what YOU believe, you are not free to tell others YOUR derogatory OPINIONS of THEIR beliefs. That's what we call making it personal and inappropriate.

 

One may ask, Why? The answer to us is simply that if we allowed such unrestricted exchange then we would be inviting members to say whatever they liked about that which they disagreed with without regard for the feelings of the other. Many are here because they are tired of such treatment elsewhere. Because of the diversity of beliefs we allow here, it would simply turn from sharing and trying to understand different views to an attack and defend forum which if desired can be easily found elsewhere on the Internet. It is this forums administrator's opinion, that certain things are best left unsaid when it comes to ones opinion of anothers beliefs. It appears to me, you see that as censorship. It also appears from your post #7 above you feel justified in this behavior by biblical writings. You are certainly entitled to that opinion but not that behavior here..

 

If your complaint, as expressed, is the way you really feel about the management of this forum and its (in your opinion) possibly overly restrictive guidelines that do not allow one to say whatever one wishes about anothers beliefs then perhaps this forum is simply not for you. Perhaps from my perception of your language and inflexibility shown in this thread, it is probably best you move on to more appropriate ground. In that case, we wish you well on your journey and pray God blesses you abundantly with wisdom and knowledge.

 

If you should decide to stay and have a change of heart considering what has been said above by moderators and members and comply with our guidelines and ettiquette, you are most welcome here. If you refuse to comply and continue such behavior as experienced in this thread, you will most assuredly seal your fate as a banned member.

 

Irregardless of your decision, your complaint and posts will as others posted here in the past, stand for all who care to read without censorship on our part.so members can make up their own mind.

 

JosephM (as Admin)

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Stephen,

It is clear by your words from one of your posts that you came here to share your Christian beliefs, opinions, visions and revelations with us thinking that a Gnostic Christian p.o.v. might be of interest here. In our collective view, those views and opinions are of interest and most welcome here.

 

However, it appears to us, in many of your posts you make no distinction between your views and 'the truth'. You have also made it clear to us by your responses to other moderators and myself personally that you feel you should be allowed to say whatever you like concerning other peoples views without regard or respect for the other. You also have indicated in words to me that as one who labels himself as Gnostic Christian, you should be allowed to tell others your true opinions of their beliefs without censorship and by me not allowing it here, i make this forum a complete intellectual travesty.

 

The problem we (the moderating team) see here, is not with your self labeled Gnostic Christian beliefs or the expressing of them as your view or opinion. As most here are well aware, we are inclusive of those beliefs. Rather the problem is, while you are free to tell YOUR OPINIONS about what YOU believe, you are not free to tell others YOUR derogatory OPINIONS of THEIR beliefs. That's what we call making it personal and inappropriate.

 

One may ask, Why? The answer to us is simply that if we allowed such unrestricted exchange then we would be inviting members to say whatever they liked about that which they disagreed with without regard for the feelings of the other. Many are here because they are tired of such treatment elsewhere. Because of the diversity of beliefs we allow here, it would simply turn from sharing and trying to understand different views to an attack and defend forum which if desired can be easily found elsewhere on the Internet. It is this forums administrator's opinion, that certain things are best left unsaid when it comes to ones opinion of anothers beliefs. It appears to me, you see that as censorship. It also appears from your post #7 above you feel justified in this behavior by biblical writings. You are certainly entitled to that opinion but not that behavior here..

 

If your complaint, as expressed, is the way you really feel about the management of this forum and its (in your opinion) possibly overly restrictive guidelines that do not allow one to say whatever one wishes about anothers beliefs then perhaps this forum is simply not for you. Perhaps from my perception of your language and inflexibility shown in this thread, it is probably best you move on to more appropriate ground. In that case, we wish you well on your journey and pray God blesses you abundantly with wisdom and knowledge.

 

If you should decide to stay and have a change of heart considering what has been said above by moderators and members and comply with our guidelines and ettiquette, you are most welcome here. If you refuse to comply and continue such behavior as experienced in this thread, you will most assuredly seal your fate as a banned member.

 

Irregardless of your decision, your complaint and posts will as others posted here in the past, stand for all who care to read without censorship on our part.so members can make up their own mind.

 

JosephM (as Admin)

 

You guys just are completely blind to what you are doing. Do you not understand that you are ATTACKING my Gnostic religious beliefs and my opinions by using censorship as your weapon? Do you expect me to lie down and take it happily without complaint? Please get a grip on reality, Joseph and you other monitors. I'm not a doormat and if you attack my beliefs and my opinions by saying I cannot express them here, you should expect negative reaction from me which is exactly what you're getting.

 

I don't care that you want to cover up your intolerance of non-Progressive Christian views that I post here as a Gnostic Christian but when you think your fist of censorship hidden inside a velvet glove excuses your actions, think again. You are acting just like fundamentalist Christian bigots who, just like you do, have their "reasons" for censoring non-fundamentalist Christian posters on their forums even though like here, I too am a Christian and should be able to post my Christian beliefs and opinions just like other Christians do.

 

Because we Gnostics have been so persecuted by Pauline Christians of all stripes of course you're going to find us being sensitive to hypocrites like you who at first told me I would be welcome but as soon as I started posting my differences in Christian beliefs, BAM! out come the guns of censorship. Now I'm being politely asked to leave this forum since I won't kow tow and lie down in face of forum administrator threats.

 

If you would just be accountable for your actions that provoke the kind of hostility from me that you see then perhaps we could get beyond this impasse but I'm not holding my breathe for that to happen having too much experience with angry egos of forum monitors playing god with members' posts and unable to cope with criticism.

 

Too bad, another intolerant religious forum it seems. I am only here now because I am dedicated to notifying every Christian forum I can of the new Christianity that is upon us now with the Egyptian connection and the new uniting of Old and New World Savior prophesies of Holy Land and Native American spiritual traditions.

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Stephen,

You have been allowed your public complaint without censorship. The moderators have had a chance to communicate with you and you review their input and respond. I have given my official response to you in hopes you would either leave or decide to stay and comply with our established etiquette. By your last post you have made it abundantly clear you either don't understand what the moderators or myself have been saying , we have done a poor job of communicating to you or you are having a one way converstaion with us. That post has suceeded in pronouncing your own fate by the following statements after you have had time to consider what was said...

 

1. "You guys just are completely blind to what you are doing." (putdown) inappropriate

 

2. "I don't care that you want to cover up your intolerance of non-Progressive Christian views" (attack and accusation) inappropriate

 

3. "You are acting just like fundamentalist Christian bigots" (derogatory and demeaning) inappropriate

 

4. "Because we Gnostics have been so persecuted by Pauline Christians of all stripes of course you're going to find us being sensitive to hypocrites like you (name calling) inappropriate

 

It makes me wonder who is being persecuted here for their beliefs?

 

Your agenda.... " I am only here now because I am dedicated to notifying every Christian forum I can of the new Christianity that is upon us now with the Egyptian connection and the new uniting of Old and New World Savior prophesies of Holy Land and Native American spiritual traditions. "

 

Our agenda.... quote from Mike "to learn about and gain a mutual respect of other people and their respective approaches to faith through wholesome and sincere dialogue."

 

It seems to me we are incompatible at this time and may have done a poor job of communicating with you. It seems we have failed to convince you that behavior is more important than beliefs here. For this i appologize. May your journey to notify other forums of your agenda in the end bring you wisdom and clarity from the one God of all.

 

In friendship, best wishes and Love,

JosephM (as Admin)

 

THE USER WATERBEAR IS HEREBY BANNED FROM THIS FORUM

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Note to complaint readers: Banned member Username Waterbear and a preciously banned member Username Sonoman (June 2009) appear to be one and the same person. Sonoman site connected with his email address indicates he is one and the same associated with the paxcalibur pilgrimage of Waterbear. This is also the reason his complaint and posts seemed so similar.

 

JosephM

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