Jump to content

Forum Complaint


Guest billmc
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest billmc

Dear friends,

 

Joseph has told me via PM that I have been less than honest with this community concerning my reasons for leaving. I disagree with his accusation because, in the first place, my initially stated reasons are very true. I will be spending more time on deist websites and authoring a deist blog - a worldview and faith that I find very meaningful, satisfying, and spiritually enriching to me personally. This will be time consuming and as I have a family, I had to decide what worked best for me.

 

As to not going into all of my personal reasons for leaving, well, my mother said that if you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all. But seeing as Joseph has accused me of being dishonest with all of you here and using a “smoke screen” (Joseph’s words), in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll share my personal reasons.

 

In the first place, unless my eyes deceive me, this is called “Progressive Christianity” in the upper left of the screen. Seven of the Eight Points explicitly say, “We are Christians…” Now, please understand, I’m NOT saying one needs to be a Christian to participate here or that one should become a Christian through participation here. I’m not saying that at all. We must all find our own path. But the fact is that Joseph, the Admin here, admits that he is not a Progressive Christian and I doubt that most of the moderators would self-identify as being Christians. They find more sympathy with the Buddhist tradition or with atheism. They can, of course, correct me if I am wrong in my assessment. Joseph says that the name or label is irrelevant, it is character that counts. I agree, it is character than counts. So why not drop the label “Christian” here if it is irrelevant? Why make such a big deal here of where people can or cannot post (determined by their agreement with or disagreement with the Eight Points of Progressive Christianity) if labels are irrelevant? Why say in the Eight Points “We are Christians” if labels are irrelevant? Isn’t that dishonest? Isn’t that hypocritical?

 

Additionally, why would the forum for Progressive Christianity not have a progressive Christian for its admin and for some of its moderators? Why is there such a pervasive Buddhist attitude here? This came into sharp focus on the recent thread concerning reality. As a Christian, I believe that God is behind a real creation, the ground of being. Joseph, being Buddhist, says that it is all “perceived reality”, that it doesn’t really exist except in our own minds. Two very different, irreconcilable views. If we can’t even agree that reality exists, then how can we discuss, as religion and philosophy attempt to do, the nature of reality and how we respond to it? How can we discuss how we deal with suffering if the Buddhist counters with “It’s not real, it’s all in your head”? As a Christian Deist, while I might participate on a Buddhist or Muslim forum, I certainly wouldn’t be an administrator there if I didn’t hold to that worldview. Joseph disdains my use of reason and logic, but it seems to me that a forum that calls itself “Progressive Christianity” should have some Progressive Christians in leadership positions. Why don’t they?

 

As I told Joseph in a PM, at least on a deist board I don’t have to try to convince people that God is real. Nor do I have to constantly defend my use of reasoning to determine which beliefs make sense or are meaningful to me.

 

Joseph also says that I am being hypocritical to publically say that we have a good moderating team when I am, behind the scenes so-to-speak, critical of the Buddhist bent. Again, character counts. The moderating team here is good. I never said it was perfect. But it is good. Do I have my concerns? Yes. But that is my business. I didn’t find it necessary to talk about it publically until Joseph accused me of being dishonest with this board and using a smoke screen.

 

At the same time, I am human and I grow weary of being told by Joseph that everything is just my perception and, therefore, not worthy of consideration. This tells me that it is time for me to move on. I appreciate all that I have learned here and may check in from time to time just to see what is happening, but it is clear that the Admin here and I have reached an impasse that cannot be rectified because he thinks it is all my fault.

 

So now that I have been “completely honest” and not hid behind a “smoke screen”, I will probably be gagged or banned here for “personal attacks.” Again, it will pinned on being my fault. So be it.

Edited by billmc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

Thanks for your honest feelings here. I suspected that would come out. While i certainly don't agree with your assessment, quotations of what i actually said by PM or your perception accuracy of my beliefs, Progressive Christianity, or the forum here and moderators, i respect your right to such a view, And while you have in my view violated publicly the intent of "Private Messaging", i have nothing to defend and will let your words stand as stated without any personal attack by me or gagging or banning you for doing so. Our words reveal ourselves to others and i certainly take responsibility for mine. You are welcome to participate here at any time.

 

Take care my friend,

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest billmc

Dear friends,

 

For the sake of clarity and with Joseph’s permission, I am revising my above “complaint”.

 

Joseph has told me via PM that I have been less than honest with this community concerning my reasons for leaving. I disagree with his assessment because, in the first place, my initially stated reasons are very true. I will be spending more time on deist websites and authoring a deist blog - a worldview and faith that I find very meaningful, satisfying, and spiritually enriching to me personally. This will be time consuming and as I have a family, I had to decide what worked best for me.

 

I initially did not want to go into all of my personal reasons for leaving because, well, my mother said that if you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all. But seeing as Joseph says that I have been dishonest with all of you here and using a “smoke screen” (Joseph’s words), in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll share my personal reasons. And perhaps the leadership of Progressive Christianity will consider the validity of my critique.

 

In the first place, this website and forum is called “Progressive Christianity”. Seven of the Eight Points explicitly say, “We are Christians…” Now, please understand, I’m NOT saying one needs to be a Christian to participate here or that one should become a Christian through participation here. I’m not saying that at all. We must each find our own path. But the fact is that Joseph, the Admin here, admits that he is not a Progressive Christian and I doubt that most of the moderators would self-identify as being Christians. They can, of course, correct me if I am wrong in my assessment. Joseph says that the name or label is irrelevant, that it is character that counts. I agree, it is character than counts. So why not drop the label “Christian” here if it is irrelevant? Why make such a big deal here of where people can or cannot post (determined by their agreement with or disagreement with the Eight Points of Progressive Christianity) if labels are irrelevant? Why say in the Eight Points “We are Christians” if labels are irrelevant? Why ask members to agree with the Eight Points of Progressive Christianity which say that they self-identify as Christians if the Admin and the moderators themselves don’t even self-identify as such?

 

Additionally, why would the forum for Progressive Christianity not have progressive Christians for its admin and/or its moderators? In my opinion, there is a pervasive Buddhist attitude here. This came into sharp focus on the recent thread concerning illusion and reality. As a Christian, I believe that God is behind a real creation, the ground of being. Joseph says that it is all “perceived reality”, that it doesn’t really exist except in our own minds. These are, in my opinion, two very different paradigms, two irreconcilable views. If we can’t agree that reality exists, then how can we discuss, as religion and philosophy attempt to do, the nature of reality and how we respond to it? How can we discuss how we deal with suffering if the Christian approach is to alleviate it where possible but the Buddhist approach is “It’s not real, it’s all in your head”? How can we be compassionate to others or why be concerned about it if all is an illusion?

As a Christian Deist, while I might participate on a Buddhist or Muslim forum, I certainly wouldn’t be an administrator there if I didn’t hold to that worldview. To me, the situation here is analogous to having a progressive Islam forum where none of the administrators or moderators are Muslim. It seems logical and ethical to me that a forum that calls itself “Progressive Christianity” and enforces that certain areas of the forum are for Christians only (“We are Christians”) should have some Progressive Christians in leadership positions. So I wonder why that is not the case here? Why hold members to a standard that even the Admin and the moderators are not required to meet?

 

Lastly, as a participant here and on a more personal level, I’ve grown weary of being told by Joseph that subjects that I bring up or responses that I post are simple “my perception” and of no interest or concern to him. He is, of course, entitled to his view, as are we all. But when the Admin here dismisses my input as of no interest or no concern, this, to me, is a subtle way of telling me that I’m not worthy of consideration. This tells me that I’m wasting my time and that it’s time for me to move on. I do so regretfully but also thankful for all I have learned here. I hope that my presence here has somehow blessed and helped many of you, as I know that I have been blessed and helped from my participation here.

Edited by billmc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since Bill has decided on his own to revise his complaint (with my full permission to do so), i will leave it up to membership here to decide for themselves and moderators to speak for themselves concerning some comments made in his revised post. I will only now speak for issues addressed concerning me since he has not dropped the issue or retracted certain statements concerning me after i offered no defence to his original post.

 

But the fact is that Joseph, the Admin here, admits that he is not a Progressive Christian and I doubt that most of the moderators would self-identify as being Christians.

 

#1 I myself self-identify as a Progressive Christian and have since beginning here. I do not recall ever in my over 1700+ public posts or in any private PM ever identifying myself as a Buddhist or differently. While it is true i have indicated i do not put much weight in labels and am familiar with Buddhism study and practice, i have repeatedly identified myself as a PC and testify that Bill's claim is his own perception. I also testify that his claim is false that "Joseph has admitted he is not a Progressive Christian." My about me in my personal profile will confirm my Christianity origins and service here along with my Christian Ordination Papers valid since 1980. That my views are progressive, my posts here can attest for themselves.

 

Lastly, as a participant here and on a more personal level, I’ve grown weary of being told by Joseph that subjects that I bring up or responses that I post are simple “my perception” and of no interest or concern to him.

 

 

#2 Bill's claim that i said the above to him is in my view a complete misunderstanding on his part without merit or solid foundation. I have had nothing but praise of his writings and posts over the past 2 years which have been encouraging and of great value to members here and myself. That is the reason i selected him for area moderator and have been pleased with his preformance.. It seems to me the last thread on subjectivity and Reality has struck a chord that has invalidated his beliefs of what are my true feelings for him and his worth here and it seemed nothing i could say by PM was able to rectify the issue.

 

Why ask members to agree with the Eight Points of Progressive Christianity which say that they self-identify as Christians if the Admin and the moderators themselves don’t even self-identify as such?

 

#3 Moderators can cerytainly speak for themselves on whether they identify as PC or not. However, my personal reasons for selecting them i will share with members to dispute what i feel are false hints of appointing those of a Buddhist slant....

 

Soma - I appointed him moderator because of his spiritual maturity, focus on unity, peer reputation, and his great encouragement posts of others on their journey

Mike - Not only came from a Christian website where he had previous moderator experience, but in my view, for his age, showed great maturity beyond those years, was extremely insightful, had great languaging skills and showed more tact in sharing with others than i have ever exhibited myself. His peer rating was also excellent.

Dutch - In my view Dutch exhibited a great sensitivity for life and others, a willingness to serve in any way he could, good organization skills and had worked through a rough journey that has built empathy in him and i believed would encourage others.

Tariki - Who publicly identifies with multiple religions including Pure Land Buddhism and Christianity, is highly respected by his peers and whose behavior has shown to be inclusive of all, in my view seemed like he would be most appropriate for our "Other Wisdoms Tradition" area

GeorgeW - Was appointed for my perception of his maturity, theological knowledge, agreement in principle with the 8 points and his experience with Spong writings as most appropriate as area moderator of that area. He was not chosen for any alignment of personal religious views with mine.

Billmc - was appointed not for his spiritual maturity, agreement or disagreement in views but rather because in his 4 years here i had seen great growth and a spirit of love and encouragement of others in all his posts. His peer ratings were excellent. While i knew from his entrance and exit multiple times that there were issues, i decided it would be a good chance to give him some responsibility and work through them. Perhaps i erred, perhaps not, or perhaps some good will come of all this?

 

While not part of Bill's complaint, others have wondered why moderation is all male here. I will only say i have asked two women members here to be a moderator at different times and at the time they declined because of their own personal reasons or outside involvement. I have always selected not by gender or agreement with my religious views but rather who i thought would be most appropriate for the job and benefit to the forum..

 

Joseph says that the name or label is irrelevant, that it is character that counts. I agree, it is character than counts. So why not drop the label “Christian” here if it is irrelevant?

#4 While an examination of some of my past posts might make use of the word "irrelevant" concerning labels, i believe the context has always been in alignment with Point 5 "By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe." I think that our behavior speaks louder than any labels we may use. Only in that context do i ever refer to labels as "irrelevant" To many labels may have stronger meaning and i am okay with that.

 

#5 As far as any disagreement with calling this site Progressive Christianity.org or his objections. That is a personal view of his and members are free to agree or disagree with his complaint in this thread with anything he has said in his revised complaint above wihout censorship or reprisal. Any comments should be on topic to his complaints or my response only. Any additional complaints should be the subject of a new thread in this section.

 

JosephM (as Admin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest billmc

Joseph,

 

I don’t want to engage in any further personal attacks or defenses. While I admit that I am as human as anyone else and sometimes to let my emotions get the better (or worse) of me, my intent was never to attack anyone here. I had just wanted to clarify why I held to a certain view or position and to answer the charges that I had been dishonest here about why I was stepping down as moderator and limiting my participation.

 

As you well know, Christianity has a two thousand year history as an organized religion. It has a rich tradition and many people have found something of truth, meaning, and personal fulfillment and betterment in this faith. This, of course, doesn’t mean that it is perfect. Christianity, like most religions, has a lot of excess baggage to it. One of the things that initially drew me to progressive Christianity is that it seemed to focus on “separating the chaff from the wheat”, not as far as people go, but in trying to discern what in the Christian faith was worth preserving for future generations and what within the tradition is “not profitable” or not “value added.” The Eight Points, imo, does a pretty good job of offering us an “alternative” kind of Christianity that is focused more on relationships than on rules. As a PC, I value those Points and try to live them out, though, obviously, I sometimes fail.

 

It is a well-known fact that participation in our country’s more liberal and mainline churches is on the decline. At the same time, the more conservative and fundamentalist churches are growing. Those who are watching and analyzing this trend say that one of the most important reasons for this is the following: The more conservative, fundamentalist churches affirm the reality of God while the more liberal or mainline churches either don’t or don’t know how to talk about God anymore. As a real-life example, I’ve visited two UU churches in my area and both of them seem reluctant to talk about God or Jesus. Another well-known statistic is that 80% of Americans believe in God. So the subject of God and Jesus doesn’t seem to be “off the table” in people’s hearts and minds, but the more left side of Christianity seems to be either wanting to avoid the subject or is losing its ability to speak about God in meaningful, transformative ways.

 

You know me well enough to know that I am not one to give institutional Christianity blanket support. I can be and have been very critical of organized Christianity, especially when I think it has been harmful to people. But it has worked for a lot of people over the years, helping them learn to be more compassionate and to progress, and, again, I suspect that this is due to the affirmation of the reality of God and the effect that reality has on and within us. John Cobb, a process theologian, says that when the church abandons the reality of God, it will no longer have a message and mission of compassion and hope for humanity.

 

This is why, Joseph, I have been critical of Buddhism here. Though I am certainly no authority on the religion, to my understanding Buddhism does not affirm the reality or existence of God. I’m not saying this as a diatribe, simply as a statement: Buddhism is a God-less religion. Seeing as Christianity in all of its forms, coming out of the Jewish faith, has always affirmed the reality of God (though we may argue about God’s nature), I, personally, question how Buddhism can help Christianity progress. Is it still Christianity, even progressive Christianity, if God is no longer in the picture?

 

On the other hand, yes, I could be wrong about all of this. Perhaps the Christianity of the future will have Buddhist Christians, atheist Christians, agnostic Christians, Muslim Christians, etc. Maybe the progressive Christianity of the future will be a godless Christianity. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet so I don’t know.

 

But I guess there is still enough of traditional Christianity left in me that I think something important, something meaningful, something transformative and life-giving will be lost if Christianity abandons God and God-talk. And I suspect this is what we are seeing in our more liberal and mainline churches. Despite some of the baggage that organized religion has, many of the progressive movements in American culture have been started by Christians who took God and the kingdom of God seriously. Perhaps that day is over. Perhaps humanity and/or Christianity has “progressed” to the point where it simply wants its inheritance so that it can leave its Father’s house and do as it wills. But it seems to me that Jesus taught us we discover who we truly are and find eternal, abundant life through our union with both God and each other. If he was right, then a Christianity that no longer affirms the reality of God is a strange thing. This is just my opinion but, for me, Christianity and/or following Jesus comes down to loving God and loving others. So removing God from Christianity by bringing in Buddhism which says there is no God is just something that I can’t get either my head or my heart around.

 

Thanks for listening. I don’t at all insist that you agree with my point of view, but I hope you at least understand it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

Thanks for a most meaningful, honest and thoughtful response. I believe you have made your understanding or point of view very clear in a most respectful way which i do appreciate. There is in my view much wisdom in many of your thoughts expressed. My only major exception if i understand correctly what you have said, is your possible conclusion that this site, in some way is on the road to abandoning God by its inclusiveness of Buddhist teachings within the posts of some of its members. Personally i see real benefit in interfaith dialog whether it is with Buddhists, Taoists, or other religions. Perhaps you do not see a benefit and may perceive a direction of PC as leaving the transforming reality of God? To the contrary, i do not share that view and rather see it as giving us a clearer picture of the transforming reality of God. However members are free to make up their own minds on the subject of your concern and leave their comments here to which i will give prayerful consideration to those concerns and if that is a common perception here, bring the issue to the attention of PC leadership.

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
changed puntuation, phrasing and last sentence
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest billmc

Joseph,

 

I believe you have made your understanding or point of view very clear in a most respectful way which i do appreciate.

 

Thank you.

 

My only exception, if i understand correctly, what you have said, is your possible conclusion that this site in some way is on the road to abandoning God by its inclusiveness of Buddhist teachings within the posts of some of its members.

 

It’s more of a concern than a conclusion. I’m in no way formally associated with TCPC other than paying for my yearly membership. I have no influence over the site or the forum in any way. So I’m not at all issuing a warning, I’m simply voicing a concern that I have.

 

Personally i see real benefit in interfaith dialog whether it is with Buddhists, Taoists, or other religions. Perhaps you do not see a benefit and perceive a direction of PC as leaving the transforming reality of God?

 

Yes, I agree with you that there is real benefit in interfaith dialog. As you know, I believe in life-long learning. This is unlikely to happen if we stay within our own tribes. To me, tribalism is not beneficial for the progress of humanity. So I am not advocating religious tribalism. On the other hand, neither am I advocating the kind of pluralism where each faith loses its distinctiveness in favor of a homogenous “one size fits all” religion and/or philosophy. In religion, as in nature, variety is the spice of life. It is in both the similarities and the differences of religions that we find richness and meaning.

 

In conclusion, all I’m saying is that one of the distinctive features of Christianity is the reality of God and I hope that Christianity never loses this. If this is an unwarranted or false concern, then, yes, perhaps my perceptions are in gross error and all I can do is to apologize for my disruption of the forum and ask that I be forgiven and/or ignored. :)

 

Thanks for allowing me to voice my concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

I think a review of Progressive Christianity and the eight points will indicate beyond a doubt that while individual self-definitions, languaging and perceptions of God may be expressed, changed and vary among individuals who operate within those principles or points of PC, God is in no way said to not exist as real. Your concern is noted.

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bill (and all),

 

I know I'm a bit late on the scene here, but I wanted to share my thoughts with regard to some issues raised here.

 

Not to disclose anything, but I know in one of our private conversations I called myself more or less "half-Buddhist". That's pretty ambiguous, I know. Bill, I do think your concern is legitimate. My own interest in Buddhism is mainly because of its meditative practices and the way it approaches certain philosophical questions. I draw very heavily from it on a philosophical level. But if someone asked what I am, I couldn't say "Buddhist". I could say "Christian" -- though at the same time, as we know, Christian is pretty ambiguous too. I could say "Mahayana Christian" but no one would know what that even means. :lol:

 

Though I jump around from Christian thought to Buddhic depending on my "mood", I do still feel connected to Christianity and have an abiding interest in Christian theology, contemplation, and worship. I still attend a Christian church on a regular basis.

 

I'm not pointing this out for any other reason than to correct an impression I may have given that might have helped contribute to your current impression of the board.

 

That being said, I just want you to know that you've always contributed very substantially to this board and it will be our loss if you decide to leave. But most of all I'd just like everyone here on good terms and for you to feel that you are always welcome. Being that we're both realists, I very much appreciate your perspective and beliefs which from what I see I share much in common. I too hope that God -- a transcendent reality immanent in the world, however so conceived -- will not be pushed out of Christianity.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it would be a real shame if those who don't self identify as Christian did not feel welcome here or had to meet some theological test for membership. I think there is much to be gained in the perspectives of other religions or no religion. While recognizing that this is a 'Christian' forum, I think it is a shame that there are not contributions from Muslims, Hindus or whatever as long as no one tries to assert a sectarian doctrine.

 

Also, it has been my observation that progressives of different religions often have more in common than with some of their coreligionists.

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George,

 

I agree. And I really agree that progressives of different faiths will tend to have more in common than with their right-leaning coreligionists. I think Bill's concerns are more about the staff, and I think this is a valid question, because after all, if everyone running the board were Buddhist it would be rather awkward.

 

Peace,

Mike

Edited by Mike
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Bill's concerns are more about the staff, and I think this is a valid question, because after all, if everyone running the board were Buddhist it would be rather awkward.

Mike,

 

I see your point. It would be awkward were none of the staff knowledgeable of or interested in Christianity. But, that is not the situation at hand. I guess what I am suggesting is the default should be toward inclusion rather than exclusion.

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George wrote: "Also, it has been my observation that progressives of different religions often have more in common than with some of their coreligionists"

 

Interesting. I had come many years ago to the same observation about the mystics and mystically oriented "branches" of different religions.

 

I feel that somewhere in these observations of commonality, for very reason of what is held in common, there is also mutual respect for differences, and some place of resolution. Because I feel, and think, both each party involved here, AND the perspective on this matter each holds, makes a valuable, positive contribution to the whole of this forum and what it provides for all that participate here.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To Mike:

 

You said: “As we know, Christian is pretty ambiguous too”. Indeed it is. I am either a Christian Deist or a Christian Unitarian, depending on my mood. :D Some would say that a Christian can’t be a deist (or vice versa) or that a Christian can’t be a unitarian (or vice versa). But given the opportunity, I can explain to people exactly what that means to me and my reasons for going by those labels. They may not agree with me, but they would at least know what I mean, even if they disagree with my reasoning and definitions.

 

My inner conflict as a moderator here was exascerbated by the stipulation found in the section of the forum that I was responsible for, the Progressive Christianity section. This section says, if I interpret it correctly, that participants there should self-identify as Progressive Christians and hold to the Eight Points, seven of which say, “We are Christians…”, but nowhere is it defined what constitutes that label “Christian.” I can define, for me, what it means to be a Christian. Some would agree with me and some would disagree. But at least I could offer a working definition. This is something that, imo, TCPC has refused to do. So how could I, as a moderator, ensure that people were adhering to the Eight Points of PC that say “We are Christians” when TCPC has never said what it means to be a Christian? Secondly, I didn’t want to make that judgment anyway. :( Jesus never defined Christianity or what it means to be a Christian. So I felt hypocritical in attempting to ascertain whether or not people should be posting in that area when 1) TCPC doesn’t define “Christian” and 2) even if they did, it is not my call to make. In my life, I have met some of the most godly and Christlike people who don’t wear the name “Christian” and I have met a few of the meanest and bitterest people who proudly wear that name and claim full orthodoxy.

 

To George:

 

You said: “I think it would be a real shame if those who don’t self identify as Christian did not feel welcome here or had to meet some theological test for membership. I think there is much to be gained in the perspectives of other religions or no religion.” I agree. 100%. But the fact that holding to the Eight Points, which determines where one can post here, is exclusive. And I simply didn’t want to be the gate-keeper.

 

To Mike:

 

You said: “I think Bill’s concerns are more about the staff, and I think this is a valid question, because after all, if everyone running the board were Buddhist it would be rather awkward.” Yes and no. I have no concerns whatsoever about the quality/integrity of the staff. To my knowledge (and please correct me if I am wrong), I have never been disrespectful of the mods here. I was, imo, somewhat disrespectful of Joseph in the Illusion & Reality thread, but I did my best to apologize for that. My problem is not with the people, it is with the policies of the board that I was expected to enforce.

 

To George:

 

You said: “I guess what I am suggesting is the default should be toward inclusion rather than exclusion.” I agree. If I had my way, I would open the board for everyone to participate wherever they liked without insisting that some areas were excluded to them simply because they would not agree with the Eight Points that “We are Christians”, as long as they do so respectfully. To me, Christianity is a means to an end -- a means (not the only means but a means) to experience God and to lead us towards a more compassionate community. As long as people are compassionate, I don’t care whether they are Christian or not. The end has been or is still being achieved. But I don’t set the policies here. My role as a mod was to enforce them. And my heart simply wouldn’t let me do that. I follow the Christian path. It is my faith language. But I wasn’t comfortable trying to enforce the policy of “We are Christians” when 1) Christian has not been defined by TCPC and 2) I don’t think that that was Jesus’ goal, to make “Christians.”

 

We can, I believe, define our distinctive ways of faith/non-faith (etc.) and we would do well to do so. But I don't think we should make them tests of other people's character or exclude people from participation simply because they don't wear our chosen label. So, for me, I had to make a choice. It was not easy as I love this community and its people. But I had to be faithful to my conscience, flawed though it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

Of the approximately 22 different forum areas listed on this discussion board of ProgressiveChristianity.org, only 1 forum is exclusive to certain members. Pretty well anyone of any religious belief can post in all but that one area. That area, Progressive Christianity was set that way by myself at the request of PC members that wanted at least one safe area where they could be free from debate and more focused on supportative discussions, only with other Christians that agreed in principle with the 8 points.

 

I did not see at that time nor do i now see a problem in reserving ONE area out of this forum that will help insure it is free of debate and others of other religious persuasions for those who desire such. Our enforcement in that area is limited to asking those who participate in that area and seem to be questionable in their posts , to ask them if they agree in principle or not with the 8 points. Fundamental or traditional Christians have had some problems for the most part with those points and say yes and move to the debate or some other area. Those who say they agree yet enter into debate, are asked by PM to restrict their posting in that area. I see no problem with this and to date it has not been a major issue with members.

 

The other area that has some restrictions is the Spong area. With the exception of moderators and paid Spong subscribers, no one else is permitted to start a thread in that area. However, participation as a respectful guest of that area is allowed in posting to existing topics.

 

Bill said..

We can, I believe, define our distinctive ways of faith/non-faith (etc.) and we would do well to do so. But I don't think we should make them tests of other people's character or exclude people from participation simply because they don't wear our chosen label. So, for me, I had to make a choice. It was not easy as I love this community and its people. But I had to be faithful to my conscience, flawed though it is.

 

Since this is the complaint section i assume part of your complaint is you " don't think we should make them tests of other people's character or exclude people from participation simply because they don't wear our chosen label. " Bill, I simply do not believe that we are excluding anyone with a different label from participation on this forum. While it is true we have 2 areas with restrictions, that in no way as you say " exclude(s) people from participation simply because they don't wear our chosen label. " I'm sorry, if you feel that way. When we have guests in our homes, there are usually areas that have some restrictions placed on them. This board, after all, was designed with PC's in mind and as PC's, we (point 4) " invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable ". Because we have one private area, i don't think it is fair to say it makes us exclusive of others.

 

As you well know, we also have a private area for moderators only. Are we to be judged exclusive because someone else doesn't have the moderator label and is denied access?.

 

 

Joseph.

Edited by JosephM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of this fine ... could you guys just let us members know when you have worked it out? We would like to get on with our own exchanges.

 

Myron

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This post is flagged as inapproprite and the member Myron is hereby cautioned publicly against further such sarcastic comments since he does not respond to PM's. This is the complaint section and members are free to express themselves relevant to the complaint. . There is no requirement to participate by uninterested parties and there are other areas where one can get on with their own exchange if they dersire.

JosephM (as Moderator)

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joseph,

 

I respectfully suggest that due to the tone and nature of your last question to me, you have, for the most part, missed the point of my complaint.

 

Put as succinctly as I can, it is my opinion that if this forum wants to delegate an area for people who say, "We are Christians", then it seems reasonable to me that it should define what this forum means by "Christian."

 

In this way, people could judge for themselves as to whether or not they want to participate in that area. As it currently stands, people are expected to agree to "We are Christians" without knowing what TCPC means by "Christian." To me, it is analogous to asking, "What does it mean to be a Progressive Christian?" with the reply being, "It means that you are a Christian who is Progressive." :)

 

Does "We are Christians" mean that participants must agree with the Creeds? Does it mean that they, like most of Christianity, believe that Jesus is God? Does it mean that they hold to the virgin birth, or substitutionary atonement theory, or Calvinism, or Arminianism, or transubstantiation, or the destiny of heaven or hell? So all I am saying is that if people are expected to agree to certain requirements in order to participate in certain areas, it seems fair and reasonable to me that they know what those requirements are.

 

As I've said, it is not my forum. But if it was my forum and I told people that they couldn't participate an area of the forum unless they agreed that they were Christians, I would, as the owner or admin of the forum, at least tell them what *I* meant by "Christian." I'm sorry that you see this as a non-issue. I see no way to make my point clearer so I rest my case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of this fine ... could you guys just let us members know when you have worked it out? We would like to get on with our own exchanges.

 

Myron

 

Certainly, Myron. I'm done.

 

Joseph, as you see this complaint as completely without basis, you have my complete permission to delete this thread if you'd like.

 

Regards,

billmc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Certainly, Myron. I'm done.

 

Joseph, as you see this complaint as completely without basis, you have my complete permission to delete this thread if you'd like.

 

Regards,

billmc

 

My best to you, I am watching several boards decline now for much the same reason.

 

Myron

 

------------------------------

Myron,

 

This is the complaint section and appropriate for Bill's and other related comments but not such as this. If you have an issue take it up with moderators This board is growing, not declining and if you have your own complaint You are free to start your own complaint in this section of the forum if desired.

 

JosephM(as Moderator)

  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Put as succinctly as I can, it is my opinion that if this forum wants to delegate an area for people who say, "We are Christians", then it seems reasonable to me that it should define what this forum means by "Christian."

 

Bill,

Put in as simple terms as i can, it means if you consider yourself a Christian (by your own definition) and agree in principle to the 8 points, that is sufficient for that area. I hope that answers and addresses your reasonable concern.

 

JosephM (as Admin)

 

Note Added:

PS. After receiving numerous requests by billmc by PM to delete his account here and holding out from doing so for more than a week in hopes he would reconsider and remain with us he has insisted by notice in his about me profile of his discontent with my refusal to delete his profile and as a result i have now complied with his personal request to do so.

JosephM (as Admin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

Put in as simple terms as i can, it means if you consider yourself a Christian (by your own definition) and agree in principle to the 8 points, that is sufficient for that area. I hope that answers and addresses your reasonable concern.

 

JosephM (as Admin)

 

Male, domination, goodbye, forevever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service