This board is a part of Evidence for God from Science (G&S), a Christian website, which serves to provide a defence and persuasive case for Christianity as well as encouragement and instruction for Christian people and seekers.
Who is the message board intended for?
This message board is publicly open to anyone who wishes to register and participate in discussions, however it is ultimately intended for a specific audience. It is intended to serve as a place for:
- Sincere seekers to inquire and ask questions;
- Christians to give and receive encouragement and instruction; and
- Non-Christians who are willing to "walk a thin line" and reason sensitively and respectfully.
G&S originally provided an open discussion board where Christians and non-Christians could debate and voice their arguments for and against Christianity. The board quickly degenerated into a hub for vocal non-Christians and a few minor Christians. This was far from the desired purpose of our board being a place of fruitful exchanges amongst Christians and seekers.
After thoughtful consideration, it was decided to limit participation in discussions to a certain group of people--Christians and those open to Christian beliefs. As of September 2010 the board is largely Christian and we now wish to relax the reigns a little. This means non-Christians can now debate Christian beliefs, however such members must keep discussions civil, show the utmost respect, sensitivity and grace, and be willing to walking away from an issue if it gets too heated.
Guidelines for debating against Christian beliefs
The following are some guidelines for members to follow who choose to debate against Christian beliefs:
- Dialogue and debate with sensitivity, understanding you are participating within a Christian community.
- Do not set out to try change the opinion of Christians as this immediately creates barriers and hostility.
- If you receive hostility, or a caution from a moderator, be gracious enough to leave the associated discussion/s politely.
- Do not criticise the way this board is moderated for Christians either through direct or indirect public comments.
- If you vehemently disagree with Christian beliefs and constantly attack then know that you will be banned very quickly.
- If these rules of engagement seem obnoxious to you, then this board probably is not for you. It is just best you leave now.
Be respectful and use good etiquette, and moderators will treat you the same without being quick to ban. That is, you can expect cautions will be issued if it is felt you are approaching the line; a warning to be issued when you have crossed the line (which may/may not involve a temporary ban); and a permanent ban if you persist.
Are we being unfair?
Many have objected to our board purpose being "unfair" or "intolerant". Yet, such a person really shows their own unfairness or "intolerance" by not wanting to allow one Christian board out of the many on the Internet to function in accordance with its beliefs as a Christian board.
Imagine if a Christian person registered on a Jewish website. This Christian began posting how the Jews persecuted the early Christian Church, and pointing out any faults they thought existed within the Jewish faith. It becomes readily apparent that the administrator(s) of that board would have every right to ban that Christian and remove their posts. It is simply not a board for the Christian to propagate their beliefs nor tear into Judaism for it is a Jewish board.
Or imagine if a Muslim entered your home and hung up the Koran above your door (or if you are Muslim substitute someone taking down your Koran). Such a seemingly unacceptable action highlights the point that it is not always true that divergent faiths and beliefs should be given the same privileges, freedom, and level of acceptance everywhere. To think otherwise is to not respect another's personal space. So just like a Muslim would have no right to hang their Koran in your home without permission, simply because the home becomes "virtual" does not change this principle.
This board is a Christian home, and so while very open to sincere questions and sensitive debate and dialogue, it is "not" a place where others of differing beliefs can promote their opinions while throwing any argument and complaint they can find against Christianity. If you think this is still unfair, then you are quite welcome to find and join some of the many other message boards suitable to this on the Internet.