simul justus et peccator
- Jun 12, 2015
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- Acceptance of the Trinity & Nicene Creed
Lammchen said:Flaming is defined as a hostile online interaction that involves insults or simply stated a flame attacks someone verbally.
At Christianity Haven we have the following in our RULES:
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
This is a Christian site and members are expected to act with respect toward others.
Flaming or personal attacks will not be tolerated.
It can be very tempting to take a jab at someone online you cannot see and probably will never see face to face. Sometimes we have a manner of speaking that we are not aware that it doesn't come through in the same way when online as in person.
Here are examples, taken from posts here at CH
You do not know enough of the bible to comprehend it but that is because you have not yet been born again of the Spirit.
The above is a flame because it suggests 1) that the person being spoken to is ignorant and 2) that the person is not a true Christian. There is no suggestion to offer as a replacement since the entire post is aimed to slam the other person.
And that's another post over his head!
The above is a flame because it implies that the member cannot comprehend and is condescending. There is no suggestion except to not disrespect others like this, for it adds nothing to the conversation.
If you knew how to use words better then the rest of us would understand you, but you choose to go the path like the rest of your group and just make things up.
The above example is a flame because it implies the member is stupid and then also flames the group that the person belongs to and continues the flame by stating the member makes things up. A suggestion for responding could be, "I'm not sure I understand your point. Could you elaborate more and perhaps back it up with scripture (or data)?"
I know my rights. I shouldn't be censored by a bunch of communist fascists who want to control my thoughts.
The above example is a flame because it is calling names but also this type of post doesn't add to the conversation and any issues with staff members should be taken to the Member Admin Center. The suggestion for this is to not publicly mouth off but stick to the topic. Complaints about the site or staff should always be done in the Member Admin Center where staff and the owner will listen and try to work through issues.
Not all flames are done in open threads. Some are done through the Reputation system and Visitor's Messages and are still open to staff action.
Ideas and opinions can be refuted in the threads but personal, insulting comments directed at members should be avoided because that simply adds no benefit to the threads.
1. I LOVE this site.... for many reasons. But one of them is that this is a very welcoming place. Rules are very few and intuitive. Management is very tolerant and "light handed." There is a lot of freedom and liberty here.....
2. BUT there's a flip side to this: There is a lot of personal responsibility here: We are expected to (and need to) act responsively, we need to act like adults (perhaps even like Christians, lol). The more liberty is extended, the more responsibility we have....
3. I've been WAY, WAY too active at a bunch of sites like CH for over 12 years .... nearly all start open but increasingly become legalistic, heavy-handed, with powerful staff and endless rules. The reason is NOT because the Admin likes that.... the reason is a FEW posters consistently acted in irresponsible ways and needed to be reigned in. The sites generally devolve into relativistic, legalistic, political places where the only fruitful discussions are about cats and spaghetti. NO ONE wants that here! Most of us are here precisely because we fled that kind of site
4. The GREAT, OVERWHELMING number of posts here at good. Reports are amazingly few (Staff BLESSEDLY has little to do, thanks to you!). Discussions are sometimes very controversial..... sometimes very passionate..... and this TOO is a reason I LOVE this site! It's not all milktoast.... it's not "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." The very threads that engage ME are the ones with "meat" and where there is contraversy and passion. CH welcomes this. But these are the discussions where we ALL need to be ESPECIALLY mindful (and let it begin with me)...
5. There are wonderful things about "social media" and discussion forums..... but there are negatives, too. The anonymity means that sometimes people treat others in ways they'd NEVER do if this were among "real" people, talking "face-to-face." I think of sites like CH much like a church; like discussion happening after the worship service in the fellowship hall with coffee and a cookie. But while such discussions can include disagreements and even passion, they are apt to be polite - because the persons are known and there's a certain social grace that is in effect as we talk face-to-face. That can disappear when we go online. And that can be problematic. I think we ALL need to remember these posters are PEOPLE. Often fellow Christians for whom Christ died and with whom we'll be spending eternity in Heaven..... Perhaps we should not type here anything we would not say face-to-face with someone at church. Again, I need to remember that, too! I ain't claiming any sainthood here!
6. Lamm shared some examples of "flaming" (shared above). We all need to review that. Often, that IS the problem! We need to remember to address the POST not the POSTER, we can disagree with a POST (even passionately!) but not attack the POSTER. A post can be wrong.... but that doesn't mean the poster ergo is stupid or ignorant or mindless or pagan or closed-minded or going to hell. The problem - 9 times out of 10 - is not positions posters take, but the attacks they make.
7. I also think some responsibility lies with the READER. No one forces any to be offended or hurt or angered. We can choose to apply some forgiveness.... we can choose to determine that this poster is just frustrated or passionate (especially if it's not typical). Forgiveness is a virtue. It may well be nothing attacking was actually intended.... and even if it was, well, Jesus forgave those who were crucifying Him (quite intentionally, quite without repentance). We can choose to be offended.... we can choose to not be.
8. I tend to approach all this very academically; I see theology as a human, mental effort to wrap our puny brains around the Mysteries of God - and while I think it's very important, I do see it largely as academic. BUT (and this is important)..... we are NOT discussing pure theory. Most here are Christians - with a powerful, intimate faith that is VERY important to them!!!! This is not dislike discussing each other's girlfriends or spouses - hey, you can challenge my fave brand of beer but when you start to speak negatively of my wife - I"M IN YOUR FACE! I mean that as humor but you get my point.... Faith is often the most precious things in a person's life..... YOU may be discussing this very academically.... your partner may not be. But here's my counsel: If the discussion makes you uncomfortable.... if the discussion feels threatening..... LEAVE THE DISCUSSION. Just leave. It's not hard. No one is forcing anyone to have a discussion that is upsetting. There are HUNDREDS of threads at CH, go to one that isn't upsetting for you. If you CHOOSE to engage in a discussion that is upsetting to you, YOU bear the responsibility for the upset.
9. I think we have the best community of posters anywhere! There's diversity.... there's passion.... there are lots here who are informed and articulate! I LOVE reading viewpoints I've never heard before..... I LOVE when others I respect thoughtfully consider my post - and approve, but I love it even more when they read a post of mine and give me another pov or who supply some information I simply didn't know or even correct me. IF I wanted to just get an "AMEN" to everything I say because it's the "standard line" I'd post at one of the many Lutheran discussion forums - but I NEVER do. I want to learn and grow. And I'm thankful to the many here who help me do that.
And let it begin with ME..... there's only ONE whose behavior I can change. The same is true for us all.