ChristianForums: Helping people break the rules


Categories: Religion

So, sometimes, staff don’t really want to take a personal hand in things, but they want to break the rules. One user at CF, who posted under the name “Sharp” (he’s currently banned, it appears), used to get a lot of complaints about his posts being flames. He called people names, and asserted that they were not true Christians when they didn’t agree with him.

Now, this could be a problem, so he helpfully turned to the staff for clarity:

Originally Posted by: Karl - Liberal Backslider

Nevertheless. If you continue to paint “Liberals” as “not true believers”, by implication or explicit statement, Sharp, I will report your posts. You are violating Rule 1 of these forums and I am sick to the back teeth with self righteous fundamentalists who know they’re so much more Christian than the rest of us.

I am disappointed you feel so bad. Perhaps liberals are not used to disagreement. I shouldn’t be surprised though. After all, who gave the world “political correctness” anyway? Some liberals like to stifle dissent. I hope you are not among them.

My personal policy is never to insult another poster, never to reply to rude posts and certainly never to make any. I always try to play by the rules and ask for helpful advice. In order not to offend I ran my post past the moderators and received the following reply:

Originally posted by: rnmomof7

Originally posted by: Sharp

Yes, I will gladly change it. I want to communicate that fact, but have no desire to offend. Here is what I will write.

“It is my most sincere and deeply held belief that liberals are probably not Christians.”

That avoids the harshness of a declaritive statement and merely states what I sincerely believe with all my heart. Do you approve? If so, then I will make the change. I will remain online so please reply ASAP.



How about many liberals have never had a personal relationship with Christ .
Christians is a target word here


Immediately upon receipt of the above moderator’s reply, I complied with alacrity. In fact the moderator suggested the sentence, “Many liberals have never had a personal relationship with Christ.” This seems to me to be a charitable compromise with which we can all agree. It is certainly neither disrespectful nor a violation of the rules.

Be at peace, my friend. My sincere disagreement with liberal theology is NOT disrespect for those still in it. I bear no hatred for liberals; there is nothing inside but warm, loving fuzzy feelings for liberals. In fact as another great American, Rush Limbaugh, says, “I am just a harmless little fuzz ball.”

Now, as anyone even marginally familiar with Christian practice can tell you, the “corrected” statement is just as offensive, and just as much a violation of the rule (which stated that one must not imply that others are not true Christians).

The point of rnmomof7’s advice was not to make him comply with the rule, but to make him comply with a completely legalistic interpretation which ignores the word “imply”. To state that a given person has “no personal relationship with Christ” certainly implies that the person is not a “true Christian”, but is carefully chosen so that a naive reader can pretend otherwise.

Now, that’s questionable.

What’s not questionable is what that post says now:

Rule No. 7 - No Public Posts about Specific Moderator Actions

7) You will not post questions or comments about the specific actions of a moderator in a public forum (eg. editing a post, deleting a thread, banning a member), as this remains a private matter between the member and the staff involved. However, members may PM or email a moderator at anytime. General questions about staff and feedback about moderators are allowed, just not specific questions about a particular moderator action. All decisions to edit, move or delete a post or thread are based on this set of rules listed here.

The owners of Christian Forums reserve the right to remove, edit, move or close any thread for any reason. They also reserve the right to modify the forum rules at any time. Members are expected to check the Announcement Forum or the Rules page to keep up to date with current rules.
I have read, and agree to abide by the Christian Forums rules.

Who edited the post, do you think? Why, that would be rnmomof7.

Normally, when a post is edited, the original text of the post is saved for future reference and documentation. Do you think that policy was followed in this case?

Apparently, when the future reference and documentation would be evidence of malfeasance on the part of a moderator, it becomes less important to comply with that policy.

Sharp continued using the suggested phrase for quite a long time. He was particularly fond of making statements such as “Liberals ignore the context and translation issues when reading the Bible”, or otherwise attacking liberals simply by taking complaints people sometimes make (possibly unjustly) about conservatives, and pasting the word “liberals” in.

It’s not really that much of a surprise that he’s banned; what’s surprising is how long it took, given his active and consistent hostility, and his consistent baiting.

It is not a surprise at all that rnmomof7 stayed on staff, and even rose fairly high in the CF hierarchy. She left for a while, but came back after the Great Reform of 2006. She still occasionally does things like this; in a recent thread, she claimed divine authority over other members and openly flamed a number of them.

Comments [archived]

From: tubby
Date: 2007-02-07 19:42:55 -0600

Seebs, the more I read your complaints about CF, the more I pity you. You are not a Christian. You have only religion, not Jesus Christ.

I detect such angst and bitterness. How sad for you.