Signposts02 Guidelines – for comment2

Well here’s the first draft. I don’t plan on changing it too much, since it will never be perfect anyway, but now is the chance to let me know if I’ve left anything out.

This will be reposted on permanent pages once complete.

~ RavingPente

Signposts02 Guidelines

Purpose and Nature of this Community

Signposts02 is an ongoing discussion and debate including issues and practices often associated with Pentecostal and megachurches or other church movements which concern us. This can include abuses of power, cults of personality, faddish teachings and manipulation. It also includes certain doctrines which disturb many of us such as prosperity doctrine, tithing, and teachings regarding covering and headship other than that of Christ.

It is often not easy to discuss these things openly within one of these church communities without being seen by the leadership as undermining the organisation, so this forum is an alternative space for this discussion to take place.

Most of this community are Christian and have spent time in various Pentecostal churches or megachurches. Some of us still attend.

Many of us once lurked or commented on the original Signposts site (now shut down), which had a focus on the emerging church but discussed everything else as well. This blog cannot replicate the original blog and will not try to. Continuing the original name in some form does help old community members to find us from time to time if they choose.

We also enjoy discussing current events of interest within the wider circle of Christian churches around the world.

All are welcome to join in, regardless of viewpoint. We do not have a policy of censoring or moderating genuine participation.

Our Hope

In the words of one member of this community there is a common hope amongst most of us that this site may be:

“a place where questions could be answered, robust debate could take place, points of view aired and broken, hurting, abused, damaged brothers and sisters could come and find kindness, a refuge and a place of healing and rehabilitation.”

– Bull

Guidelines for Authors

Articles posted here should reflect the nature and purpose of the majority of this community gathering. As such:

  • Please present articles that support the purposes of this community.
  • Please sign your posts with your regular online name, so all who read regularly can understand any inherent bias or angle.
  • Please do not post articles supporting or promoting practices which most of this community are strongly critical of (as mentioned above).
  • Please do not post articles that are critical of the victims of church related malpractices, since this can interfere with a healing or reconciliation process.
  • This community has historic relationships with the groupsects blog, and this blog should not be used as an alternative platform to attack groupsects. If there is a personal issue regarding this to address, a personal blog can easily be referenced from here via a comment.
  • Material should be as much as possible original opinion, to reduce the likelihood of copyright infringements. Other sites can be referenced. Quotes should be acknowledged and linked to. Some sites state that they are not to be quoted without permission; others say to use them freely – keep an eye out for these notices.
  • Copyright rules around the world vary, and the administrator does not vet articles and takes no responsibility for copyright breaches by authors, so please everyone be as careful as you know how to be not to breach others copyright. If the administrator becomes aware of a copyright infringement, the material will be removed.
  • To Preserve the Purpose and Nature of this Community

  • Articles which contravene these guidelines will be removed.
  • Authors who persistently contravene these guidelines will have their authorship privileges removed.
  • Guidelines for Comments

  • Robust debate is encouraged
  • Please remain respectful towards those you disagree with.
  • Remember we are real people, with real hearts, minds and experiences behind the comments – don’t let fly at people if you would hold back in person.
  • Enjoy the debate – if it becomes upsetting, consider taking a break.
  • Comments are not moderated, but if we become aware of pests (those whose purpose is to disrupt, rather than participate), they will be blocked.
  • Conclusion

    As best we can, let everything we do be done in love, whether it be love for others motivating a concern about harmful practices and doctrines, or love that restrains us from being truly nasty to one another at times when things get heated.

    “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

    1 Peter 4:8 (New International Version)


    40 thoughts on “Signposts02 Guidelines – for comment2

    1. Nice going Ravingpente. Firm but fair. If I comment I’ll try to be nice about it and try not to swear, too often (at home i swear too often these days). I prefer reading what you all have to say than making too many comments anyway but now that I’m feeling better I’ll comment from time to time.

      I’m a Christian, ex-pentecostal, I don’t go to an established church. I was burnt by Frank Houston’s deceit and at least one of his self-indulgent pastors. I thought it was over, years ago, but it keeps coming up to bite me. It’s not that I don’t forgive them necessarily, it’s that it’s effect on my life and faith continue to this day.

      Thanks, and keep up the good work.

      rotationmethod – the only handle I’ve used on this blog and will use on this blog.I’ve used another name previously on other blogs but i don’t care to say what that was.

      BTW, my comments don’t show up sometimes. I emailed you Ravingpente but I think gmail might block my emails as well.

    2. Nice RP. Totally agree with what you’ve put down.

      FaceLift might not like one point … but FL is a special case and I think we need to give him the opportunity to speak when another blog rubbishes him without giving him the opportunity to respond there.

      If it were you or me, wouldn’t we want to vent our spleen here if we couldn’t respond there? Perhaps we need a permanent thread here for that purpose? One that is not part of the main blog I mean. Like a number of other permanent threads … names of reputable people or organisations to go to if (fill in the blank)

      We do want to cover what we do here with love. Give people a place to thrash out issues in their lives (primarily church lives) and where to go to, if they need more than what we can give here.

      btw: I am so excited/enthusiastic at the moment. I feel that God is dragging me (kicking and screaming maybe) along the road to maturity and I feel alive!

      Shalom!

    3. ‘Please present articles that support the purposes of this community.’

      If the purposes reflect Bull’s vision for “a place where questions could be answered, robust debate could take place, points of view aired and broken, hurting, abused, damaged brothers and sisters could come and find kindness, a refuge and a place of healing and rehabilitation”, then you have my support.

      However.

      There are aspects of the so-called ‘prosperity doctrine’ which almost demand a more mature debate, since there is so much scripture to back up God’s desire for people to prosper, as well as scripture which clearly warns against the excesses of riches. Removing one side of the debate to serve the other would be unbalanced, and I believe dangerous. It also removes debate, and one of the declared purposes of the blog!

      Discussion of tithing practices is a current Church-wide focus, and much of what is said here many of us would agree with, but the attack on those who still consider tithing to be important is unhelpful, even if change is needful on their part. There should be continued debate, because there is more to this than has yet been uncovered. If Hebrews 7 didn’t exist, then it would almost be a done deal, closed case, but there is much to talk about just in this passage.

      Doctrines of covering have long been abused, but there is much to talk about here, and, again, steering the blog to one conclusion excludes all debate. I think some of these doctrines are lost in translation and demand discussion.
      ___________________________________________

      ‘Please sign your posts with your regular online name, so all who read regularly can understand any inherent bias or angle.’

      Understood! I take it that comes with the guarantee that posters won’t be banned, and can actually use their blog-name on site, and won’t be pressed into the position of defending their maligned banned name by adopting a new one!
      ___________________________________________

      ‘Please do not post articles supporting or promoting practices which most of this community are strongly critical of (as mentioned above).’

      Well I covered this in the first condition. Stifled debate leads to cultish practices, and should be avoided at all costs, or it will cost.

      As you say, exclusion was never the aim of of Signposts, and shouldn’t be here. Preach censorship and you join the company of those you criticise for being unforthcoming with a willingness to repent or change when they are shown to be wrong, and merely close ranks at the sniff of controversy.
      ___________________________________________

      ‘Please do not post articles that are critical of the victims of church related malpractices, since this can interfere with a healing or reconciliation process.’

      Absolutely right! I agree with this, but conditionally.

      As long as a person seeking to leave a local church is given expert guidance in their decision, and not wrenched away from their family, friends and church life because someone here has a gripe with their movement or denomination, or gives unsolicited, biased, incorrect advice. This is very tender and obstacle-strewn area, which should be dealt with by those who understand the need for rehabilitation before separation, care before quarantine. People should be admonished to enter a new church community, and never be told that they can do it without the church community.

      You’ll probably slam me for saying that, and this, that it’s on your head if you remove people from their community when it is not in their interests to do so.

      I’m not sure why you want to even put this into your agenda in written form. Maybe as an unspoken goal, but in writing it makes you hugely responsible for the lives of people along with with their families, friends and, in most cases, pastoral staff in their local church who care very much for them, and have given everything they can to help them. Usually in a breakdown there is more than one side to the situation, and reconciliation should be the first aim. But reconciliation cannot be achieved without the participation of all parties. How you can hope to know the whole story on a blog or take responsibility for this before God is beyond me.
      ____________________________________________

      ‘This community has historic relationships with the groupsects blog, and this blog should not be used as an alternative platform to attack groupsects. If there is a personal issue regarding this to address, a personal blog can easily be referenced from here via a comment.’

      Again, why put this in writing?

      Look, as long as a site like groupsects, or this place for that matter, sets itself up to be hypercritical of established ministries and ministers it is fair game for all comments from all other blogs and bloggers. Setting up a condition like this gives groupsects an immunity and escape clause from at least one site, which means he, or his regular commenters, can say what he likes about people here, and nothing can be said in response.

      It also sends the message that, in a sense, Signposts02 agrees with what groupsects says, including the language and abuse he uses against ministers and churches! Will you, joining him, be responsible before God for this?

      No. Let him be subject to scrutiny in the same way he considers his targets to be subject to scrutiny. Let him be judged with the same judgement with which he judges!
      ____________________________________________

      ‘Material should be as much as possible original opinion, to reduce the likelihood of copyright infringements. Other sites can be referenced. Quotes should be acknowledged and linked to. Some sites state that they are not to be quoted without permission; others say to use them freely – keep an eye out for these notices.’

      No problem!
      ____________________________________________

      ‘Copyright rules around the world vary, and the administrator does not vet articles and takes no responsibility for copyright breaches by authors, so please everyone be as careful as you know how to be not to breach others copyright. If the administrator becomes aware of a copyright infringement, the material will be removed.’

      Yes!
      ____________________________________________

      Conclusion.

      I’m not trying to be contentious here. I’ve just given my perspective on these points of view. Should you uphold them, I will consider how to proceed. I would find some of these things stifling, although not impossible, but continuing outside these guidelines might be a test of your strength in upholding them.

      I am a member, here, by invitation, originally, of this community. I think differently on some subjects, but, once I was given the opportunity to contribute through posts, essentially, the community agreed to change, which I thought very bold and progressive at the time. It had the essence of some of the designs of the emerging church, in fact, where all voices can be heard, and all ears are open to being both soothed and bent, where prejudice is diminished, and love is expressed through inclusion!

      I chose to contribute, even in an environment where I thought hostility might be occasioned, but I still feel that there are other colours to be shone through this raw diamond as it is cut.

    4. It will take me a while to get through all that comment, but this is just to let you know that I will get to it!

    5. “FL is a special case and I think we need to give him the opportunity to speak when another blog rubbishes him without giving him the opportunity to respond there” – Bull

      No one I think would debate FL’s right to respond to being attacked on another blog (despite his likely deservedness) but I would dispute his right to use this community as his platform to do it.

      As RP indicated he can write it on his own blog an reference his blog from here. A personal blog is where one should rant from – as Lance does. I would prefer not to have to read FL’s rants – or be associated with them for that matter.

    6. Ideally, Lance should be man enough to let FL respond to Lance’s criticisms on Lance’s blog.

      Since Lance’s blog is simply a rant against pente pastors and pentedom in general, I don’t have the desire to read it. Similarly, I have no desire to read any blog FL might put up.

      It’s easy to have a debate with people who basically agree with you. It is also easy to be extremely critical and even insulting and slanderous of people on a blog, especially when you refuse them a voice on that blog.

      It’s not so easy to cope with someone answering back. Lance can say what he likes about me. I’ll still love him. But I will not go on his blog. What’s the point?

      And there would be no point in FL starting up his own blog. I wouldn’t read that either.

      Let’s talk. Let’s debate. Let’s fight for the truth.

      Paul and Peter had a stand up argument about the future of the church. Thanks to that argument, I do not have to become Jewish before becoming a christian.

      If they had blogs on those days, would Paul and Peter have set up rival blogs and ban each other from posting?

      ??? It’s up to you. What are you going to do?

      Shalom.

    7. “It’s easy to have a debate with people who basically agree with you. It is also easy to be extremely critical and even insulting and slanderous of people on a blog, especially when you refuse them a voice on that blog.” – Bull

      Again no one is denying FL’s ability to debate. Everyone can do that including FL.

    8. heretic,
      ”No one I think would debate FL’s right to respond to being attacked on another blog (despite his likely deservedness) but I would dispute his right to use this community as his platform to do it.”

      It was people from this community who used the other blog to discuss whether or not I was worthy of being involved in this blog, especially as a poster. I think that should give me some right of response. I apologise if you consider this the wrong platform to use as a comment zone.

      The good news is that it got people’s attention and now we are discussing the future direction of this site. That is progress. Or not?

    9. Thanks everyone who has responded. Much appreciated.

      In answer to Facelift’s criticisms:

      First – thanks for being honest and forthright. I won’t quote everything because it will take too long, but I’ll isolate some issues.

      1. FL is oncerned about removing one side of the debate re prosperity doctrine – that is, the pro prosperity doctrine side.

      – Comments are not moderated, so the debate is not removed or restricted.

      – Authored posts supporting it would misrepresent this community to others whom we wish to serve, giving the false impression that there is majority support here for it.

      – The above applies to the other doctrines we are critical of as well.

      – The guideline preserves the direction of the site, while allowing more debate than many other sites, whether for or against.

      – There is no set alternative doctrine put forward by this site for any topic. Typically, this is a place for people to question and then find their own answers by turning to scripture, rather than a site that preaches any particular consistent doctrine to replace those we question. The consistency is in the concern re standard megachurch practices and teachings, not in any proposed delineated alternative. This is not a formalised religious movement with a creed set out, but a loose gathering of concerned people with a variety of alternative views.

      2. “it’s on your head if you remove people from their community when it is not in their interests to do so. ” – FL

      There is no hidden agenda here to remove people from their churches that I am aware of. I am not sure how that was construed from the guideline about treating victims of church malpractice with care.

      3. “someone here … gives unsolicited, biased, incorrect advice.” – FL

      Re ‘advice’ – yes, we should all be careful what we say. However, no one here has claimed expertise in counselling; most people attempt to offer shared understanding and sympathy; people find that they are not alone.

      4. ‘People should be admonished to enter a new church community, and never be told that they can do it without the church community.’ – FL

      That is a very black and white opinion, and a subject we could debate, and I won’t start here. However, ‘admonishing’ in that fashion is something that I hope we don’t do here. Circumstances are frequently not black and white.

      5. “…why put this [groupsects guideline] in writing?” -FL

      The groupsects guideline is in writing because it is a special case historically. FL has a history of goading that blog owner until the blog owner deleted the previous blog, and banned FL from the the new blog.

      FL has the right to respond however he wishes in comments. Just not authored posts which appear to be backed by the community here. FL has never been the subject of a post on groupsects, only a small number of passing comments; not even an entire thread derailment. There is no need to give greater prominence here to these things than was given on groupsects.

      I will add one exception – if the groupsects blog ever did a post on FL (which I can’t imagine ever happening), then he has the right to author a post in response back here. Other than that – stick to comments only, or make it the subject of your own blog.

      6. Signing with our blog names:

      I’m not sure how that could be related to banning authors. But it will not only help us all to understand inherent bias – which all of us have, and no doubt we all come to recognise in the different authors over time – it will also stop the accusations of subterfuge.

      For example, I know that no subterfuge is intended when FL posts as signpostsfree, but others may not, and signing all posts the same as the regular blog name will take away any appearance of that, saving everyone misunderstandings.

      *******************

      I hope that makes everything clear. The guidelines will stand, but with the addition of allowing FL to post re the groupsects blog in the very unlikely circumstance of that blog posting an article about him.

      If this is too restrictive, then I’m sorry, but it does reflect the community here, and comments are not restricted.

      There are also many other places to author things on the internet in forums which present different views to those here.

      We won’t remove FL’s authorship privilege, unless either requested, or if we have to delete posts that are outside the intent of the guidelines.

      As we see how the guidelines work or don’t work, they can be revisited.

    10. ‘FL has never been the subject of a post on groupsects, only a small number of passing comments; not even an entire thread derailment.’

      In fact you openly suggested you would discuss things with S&P in regard to censoring FL from the safety of groupsects. But never mind, that’s how it went!

      Your assertion that I ‘goaded’ Lance isn’t right, by the way. I challenged his perspective, yes, but some of what he says needs to be. Now he’s free to continue relatively unopposed. By man anyway! Never mind. I’m sure God has it all in hand!
      ____________________________________________________

      I want to thank you for letting me be part of this blog as a poster.

      I have genuinely attempted to be fair and honest in posting. I have put up one or two controversial posts. I think we have all done that from time to time, but it all depends on which perspective you have, doesn’t it? Most of my posts were reasonably open to comment and discussion. Sometimes I put up a post which would be considered contrary to your perspective, but that gives you the opportunity to show what you believe and argue for it, or reconsider your perspective even. How strong are your convictions?

      In effect you have successfully closed ranks and shut doors on FL. No posts which cast, in a positive light, prosperity, megachurches, Hillsong, CCC, tithing, or anything you are against. Complete immunity for groupsects.

      And, sincerely, I don’t blame you for this. These things are in your interests if you want to move in an anti-tithe/megachurch/prosperity/covering/Hillsong/CCC related direction, as indicated. I gave it my best shot at trying to lay out what I consider a more conciliatory, inclusive approach, but you are resilient in your determination to exclude some of my ideas, as far as posting is concerned.

      I tend to agree with Bull that it is better to have a number of opinions and debate them or discuss them in a mature way, but, although you have said I am welcome to discuss issues as they arise, I don’t think I would be any more welcome as a commenter, even in a debate. I think you have made that clear. I mean, what is the difference between my opinion as a poster, and my opinion as a commenter? Why do you claim that I would shame your ideals by posting another perspective to yours? Perhaps I’ll comment again, for old times sake! But I feel disenfranchised, frankly.

      That’s life!

      Effectively it is now your blog. And, by these protocols, has become fairly single-minded, and narrower, in its approach.

      But, I commend you. You have shown true leadership, and taken the necessary steps to censure a member who demonstrates an opposing view. I don’t mean this with any bitterness or anger or sarcasm. I think you have shown that you want to take ownership and a strong hand on this site.

      Sometimes leaders have to do these things to maintain goals, mission and a steady ship. It brings about discipline and focus.

    11. That really would have to be the slimiest post ever.

      While clearly showing you are unwilling to submit to leadership, you also commend that leadership. I would say that this is so that you can lobby a charge of hypocricy at a later date, with respect to our views on hierarchical leadership in the church.

      This blog has generally been self-moderating. The only reason some form of formal statement of conduct was required, was because an individual was insensitive to the informal feedback from the community.

      Now you refuse even to abide by these simple rules, admonish us for having them but then uphold leadership as an ideal. You will go far in the Pentecostal movement.

    12. ‘While clearly showing you are unwilling to submit to leadership, you also commend that leadership’

      I am agreeing to leadership by not posting on those subjects, and commending leadership for taking the direction it has.

      This doesn’t mean I agree with this position. I think it’s narrow, and said so. But, if you want to exclude my ideas, you had to take this course of action. Do I like it? No! I think it singles out one person’s view. Do I agree to it? Yes, but it effectively cuts out any contribution I could have made.

      Is it leadership? Yes. RP took leadership and exercised her authority. How? By stating that contrary posts would be terminated. Who would make that decision? RP! Whose opinion becomes paramount? RP’s! In conjunction with the collective, which has now excluded one member at least. Coup! Does it reflect some of the leadership decisions made by those you claim to be hierarchical? Yes. Is that my fault? No! It’s the way things have to go if you want to become exclusive.

      What is slimy is why this has been done at all.

      So, in agreeing to this course of action I have no course but to desist from posting unless something comes up which I know pleases the hierarchy.

    13. I too am sorry that guidelines have become necessary. Really, they are a result of various bits of community feedback over time, and hopefully will protect the nature of what the majority here want to enjoy by participating.

      Facelift is the only objector, and again, I would suggest that it is not fair to take advantage of the participants here by using their space to promote things they feel strongly against.

      This to me is not censorship or hypocrisy – it rather defines and protects an enviroment, while still allowing a vast variety of topics to be debated, without imposing limits or moderation on comment.

      Since FL consistently states that the guidelines are too restrictive, and appears to feel he cannot operate within them, his authorship will be taken away for the time being.

      FL, if you change your mind, and feel you can author within those guidelines, you can ask for it back, and it will be given to you.

      In the meantime, if there are particular articles you’d like to post up that are within the guidelines, but you don’t want authorship privileges back, email them to me or to S&P. It might take a bit longer via S&P right now, as he’s busy with a lot of other stuff. I too am busy, but will get to it within a few days at most I hope.

      On a personal note, my own desire is to be inclusive but not to the extent of letting a community be harmed by one very combative individual so that its nature becomes hard to recognise by visitors to the site.

      We have seen a number of people visit, comment and be driven away over time, by an approach that I would describe as belligerent. This has prevented this community from growing, and has even caused it to shrink. If it dwindles in due course, fine, but it would be preferable that that did not come about because we tolerate belligerence towards our guests. I’d rather it came about quietly through a lack of posts! Hopefully those who wish it to continue will support it by authoring articles.

      Obviously I have the power to influence the nature of this blog, as do others here, but I have no desire to own the blog; I do not see it as ‘my’ blog but as ‘our’ blog; and I see it as an organic thing that reflects the diversity of those who comment here. I am a seeker and a questioner and don’t have all the answers.

      I hope everyone can enjoy participating here in the future, and that we can all author and comment in an interesting and productive fashion.

    14. ‘I would say that this is so that you can lobby a charge of hypocricy at a later date, with respect to our views on hierarchical leadership in the church.’

      Fascinating that you reached that conclusion from my comments, in fact. It shows a highly political brain!

      You saw it without seeing it.

      But I hadn’t intended to, and now wouldn’t have to charge hypocrisy at a later date. You just did!

    15. “I am agreeing to leadership by not posting on those subjects”

      This was posted while I was writing my response – in this case FL, you can keep your authorship privileges.

      Cheers,
      RP

    16. RP,
      “Since FL consistently states that the guidelines are too restrictive, and appears to feel he cannot operate within them, his authorship will be taken away for the time being.”

      The coffin is nailed down. You have a really nice way of evicting people, and I appreciate that, but it isn’t any more comforting.

      If I agree to not post contrary to your conditions, why is there any necessity to remove authorship?

      “It’s OK to come to church, but please sit at the back of the church and be silent!”

      Been here before!

    17. In other words, in case I wasn’t clear, as you have agreed to the guidelines, you are still an author. 🙂

    18. I might still sit at the back for a while! I hope wazza doesn’t slip on the slime on the way through to the front!

    19. Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

      Psalms 1:1-3

    20. Hmm.

      At the risk of alienating a number of you, if I haven’t already, I just wonder why FL is so intensely disliked.

      Basically, I just think that we all need to be better at relating to each other. I also think that authoring privileges need to be heavily restricted.

      Submitting articles to a permanent thread for that purpose would mean giving RP final say on them. I don’t want authoring privileges myself so am happy to put articles up in that manner. The burden of responsibility is then passed to RP but if RP is happy with that then it means that no ‘wrong’ impression is given about the purpose of the blog from the articles raised here.

      Secondly, it means there aren’t 2 different classes of posters. FL and everyone else.

      Listen, you may consider FL to be the chief of sinners but while he might voice opinions even I dislike, I really don’t like the way he is spoken about. It doesn’t sit well with me.

      To my knowledge he hasn’t fleeced the flock. He hasn’t made merchandise of the faithful. He hasn’t committed adultery with an intern. He hasn’t pretended to heal people in a big pretend revival in Florida.

      Sure, he supports CCC, Hillsong, Pentecostal WOF.

      Misguided he may be but he is not the devil incarnate. We need to be much better at relating to each other, FL included.

      Even if FL is appalling with regard to how he relates to everyone else, it does not give everyone else an excuse either. Repay good for evil.

      Yeah, I know. Pot/Kettle etc. I speak as much to me as to others.

      Do we really want to be disciples of Jesus? Isn’t it time we took Him seriously? The parable of the man who was forgiven much who then refused to forgive little. He was found out by the king who then changed his mind and demanded repayment in Full.

      We need to forgive one another. We need also to say sorry to one another. Can we do that?

      Everyone. I forgive you for any offense I have received from you. Even FaceLift. I am sorry for any offense I have caused.

      Your turn.

    21. Hey Bull, you are not offending anyone; certainly not me. I agree that we need to be respectful to one another, including towards those we have differences with, whether that is FL or anyone else. Most people here want that – I’m not aware of anyone who doesn’t.

      Re submitting articles to me – I’m more than happy to put articles up for you, Bull, but I don’t want that to become the norm for this blog. I don’t want to run it, just support it enough to keep it going. There has been enough positive feedback from others here to make that worth doing.

      Neither is anyone going to moderate comments, which means that comments are self moderated. There _are_ now guidelines for comments that hopefully people will bear in mind when things get heated.

      Grown ups are capable of deciding for themselves whether posts are going to fit the guidelines; I trust that we are grown ups here! (Even if we squabble at times.) An authored post requires consideration while a comment may be more spur of the moment, so I think that people are capable of being careful re the author guidelines, even if we sometimes lose it a bit with the comments.

      I set up and administered this blog for a few months, but resigned from the admin role in November. See this post: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2008/06/10/ravingpente-is-resigning/

      So I’m not going to take that role up again. S&P then took over. He can’t put time in right now, but he is the administrator.

      There is only one class of poster. The guidelines apply equally to everyone. Everyone can say what they like in comments – just try to be respectful.

      ****************

      Forgive me if I speak strongly below – I will try to be honest, and that means being a little blunt this time re some matters.

      I do not hate Facelift. I do not regard him as ‘the worst of sinners’ for having different views. As if!!! And in fact, I have some very dear friends in person who would share many of his views.

      However, most people here come _here_ to discuss things they are critical of regarding megachurch practices, with good reason – they have experiences behind them; they have not had the opportunity to talk or reconcile with the Christians in that environment. At least here they can find recognition of their faith, by other Christians, and know that there may yet be a place in the body of Christ that they can find fellowship – I’m not talking just about this site, but the fact that there are Christians out there – they do exist – who have a strong faith yet disagree with these upsetting practices, from a valid scriptural perspective.

      FL has at times been belligerent towards these people and many of us, for expressing these views in the past, and seems to have a mission to combat what we say. He often does not treat what is said here with respect, but responds defensively and ups the anti. He often takes a discussion about shades of grey and turns it into black and white, accusing people of extremes well beyond what they intended to say, in order to bolster his point. Sometimes people respond in kind.

      This upsets people. It has driven people away. FL has apologised at times, but the damage is usually done by then – the person does not come back. People just can’t be bothered with that kind of argument. I have even wondered if his purpose here is to drive certain people away, and to ‘protect’ the megachurch culture – and persuade us to change our view and rejoin it if he can. I’m sorry Bull, but this is the truth. It is how things come across, whether or not it is FL’s intention – and I have to say I do know that FL can cope with my honesty. I am not trying to be nasty or spiteful or unloving here, but am saying it how I see it. FL will no doubt have a different view, but the anger you see in some of the responses to him has all that as background to it.

      Bull, you will see for yourself as time goes by whether what I have posted here is valid or not. I am glad you are back here. If you read all the archived posts (which would take a while) you will get a better sense of the history here.

      We have allowed conflict to exist in our midst because we don’t moderate comments. As long as we don’t moderate comments, it will still happen. The choice is whether we wish to be a comfortable blog, or are we willing to tolerate _loud_ contrary voices, but not moderate. Many other blogs which apparently exemplify a more ‘peaceful’ approach are more controlled.

      If this was my personal blog, I’d do it differently. However, its not; its a reflection of the community, and as such it is unpredictable, uncomfortable at times, but at least it shows our human flaws and how much we really need God’s help!

    22. In case you are wondering why I will tolerate conflict – I am used to it. I have worked in a very conflict ridden industry. My role was to administer things within that context. This site, fortunately, at least does not give the opportunity for physical manifestation of that conflict! For myself though, I have learned from painful experience, that it is better to remain peaceful where possible, and to seek to mitigate conflict. I love that Jesus came to reconcile us with God, and hope that we can learn over time to reconcile with one another.

    23. I appreciate your honesty RP. And your supportive remarks, Bull. I don’t hate anyone here, or think badly of anyone, nor do I think anyone really hates me. How could you. You’re Christians! I actually think you’re all spiffing people.

      A little history:

      I arrived at saint’s blog, dogfightatbankstown, via Larvatus Prodeo, where I began commenting as FaceLift around 18 months ago, on political issues mainly, but also as a Christian apologist, but for fun rather than anything crucially serious. I enjoyed much of what saint was saying, and still do, so I started reading his site.

      Then, one day, saint had a massive swipe at Phil Baker, amongst others. Phil was my Pastor a few years ago, and I had the privilege of getting to know him through Bible School and through a work project I did for his family. I took exception to the way he was being maligned, wrongly I thought, and with no evidence to back up accusations, just speculation and innuendo. Saint, God bless him, is not one to back down, and, rather than tone down, increased his onslaught on Hillsong, Riverview, CCC and a heap of others.

      In so doing he quoted from Signposts, where ‘d never been until then, and, in particular, one time, referenced comments by Lance. I checked out the site, and the history of Lance’s commentary. I enjoyed much of what Signpsosts was attempting to achieve, and felt it was valuable, but I was shocked, really shocked actually, at how much hatred there was towards Hillsong, CCC, Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, Phil Baker, and others I thought to be genuine leaders in the Pentecostal/charismatic movement.

      I mean, I was, and still am, really disturbed about it! And I’m not alone in this, believe me. Most people I know in Pentecostal/charismatic circles appreciate, and even love these ministers. As I say, I was shaken. Not that ministries and ministers don’t have flaws, or biases, we all have those. No, I was shaken by the sheer aggression towards people I know to be genuine in their ministries.

      I also saw that there are many people who have been hurt by ministries, and I was interested in this, and wanted to find out more, so I continued looking. I have been hurt in ministry, probably as much as some who were commenting. I’ve suffered, like many, abuse, and had to learn how to walk away from the pain and the anger and the temptation for bitterness. God has been my rock of salvation and comfort in this. However, I don’t think being hurt gives us the license to hate, or being offended gives us the liberty to offend!

      One day I made a comment on Signposts. I simply suggested people consider forgiveness as an option towards healing.

      Much as Bull has just done here. Almost identical in fact! I feel today almost like we’ve come full circle! I suggested it was a healing thing to forgive!

      But you’d think I’d dropped a stink-bomb into the place!

      Lance immediately replied, his first ever comment to me, “F*** off, you w**k*r!”

      I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I thought he was a Christian man on a Christian site! There followed brief discussion, by others, on the merits or not of using expletives in Christian company, and then we got back to a discussion on whether forgiveness was pertinent to the situation faced by some of the people contributing on Signposts.

      I was not rude or aggressive. I soldiered through the abuse. I tried to be understanding of people’s situations. I was speaking from experience, on more than one count. I know how God healed me through showing me how to forgive and forget, to move on and allow him to vindicate. I was hurt to the point of going into literal shock for months. I was healed because God showed me how to forgive. I thought it might help people to see that God’s Word really works.

      I was amazed how difficult it is for some to come to terms with the concept of forgivess, (which is also God’s instruction).

      After that exchange, I dropped in at Signposts from time to time, and didn’t really cause much of a stir there, but I noticed that every time I commented Lance would go off at me, and lash out at ‘pentes’, as he called us, and Pastors, as f they were foul words in their own right, often using foul language to emphasise his disgust.

      Like saint I’m not easily knocked down, and can give back as good as I get. I’m certainly not going to be intimidated by a blog-bully. I won’t go away because I’m ordered to by a despot. In love I’ll consider retreat, as I am here, but not out of offensive behaviour and intimidation tactics.

      After a while I suggested to the blog-masters at Signposts that they were allowing people like Lance to take their hugely popular site close to the edge of defamation in some of the comments he was making, and that, because of the amount of traffic it would be hard to police. They must have been thinking along similar lines because shortly after they pulled the pin. This was near the two Danny’s case in Victoria, so that would have frightened a few people.

      So, to my mind, it was commenters like Lance who constantly attacked anyone with a counter point of view which ultimately put pressure on Signposts to pull out, along with the shear work-load of maintaining such a hugely popular site.

      I thought Signposts had a relevance to the times, and was valuable, and could be helpful for people who wanted to off-load en route to healing, but, as I said, I was surprised at how much hatred there was, and is, towards ministries like Hillsong, CCC, mega-churches, even Alpha was singled out for venomous attack! I mean, Alpha! Can you believe it! Come on! Alpha?

      To my surprise, when Signposts folded, Lance took on Signposts2.

      There are claims here that the current version is far removed from the original, which is true, but S2 was no closer. It was Lance’s hate-fest, even more attack-conscious than groupsects, which is very toned down.

      In his very first post Lance baited FaceLift and Homer Paxton to come on his blog and dare to take him on. Homer, because he was a firm believer in scripture opposing homosexuality, and FaceLift, because he is a Pente! He threw down the gauntlet! Homer never did take him up on it, and has never commented on any site Lance hosted. Out of curiosity, I took up the challenge.

      The exchanges were brusque from day one, Lance having set the tone, but Lance gave as much as he got, and was far more abrasive than he is today. Unlike Lance, I don’t use foul language, and I don’t insult people personally, but I will challenge their point of view if it is inconsistent with God’s Word or falsely accuses ministers or ministries.

      I hear accusations of how belligerent I am, which is crazy, if you knew me. Why can’t it be said I am single-minded and unswerving in my convictions? I am not hostile and aggressive. I’m just as firmly grounded in what I believe as anyone else here. If I’m belligerent, then I have a different understanding of the meaning of the word, and, by your definition, surely you all are, too. If you weren’t equally convinced of your position we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But I don’t consider any of you belligerent, just fixed on a certain position and unwavering.

      You claim people have left S02 because of me. But at S2 Lance saw to it that anyone who had a pro-pente or pro-pastor view was seen off by his bad manners, and there were half a dozen people who agreed with my prospective who eventually had enough of his jibes and left. They were all people who were commenters on Signposts and, then, Signposts2.

      This left a remnant of S2 supporters, and basically me, oh, and David the atheist, who tagged along. Lance saw off all opposition but FaceLift. Then he had enough of his one surviving opponent and banned me. I saw it coming and commented as ‘nocomment’ for a while, before Lance pulled the plug on S2, with no record of the site remaining today.

      Then RP took on S02, but this community has few people who would see things from my perspective, mainly because they were seen off by Lance on S2. I was an original contributing member of both S2 and S02. A part of the community!

      Yet, despite admitting this isn’t Signposts, you claim this is your remnant of Signposts! I think not! Nor is groupsects, by the way.

      I notice on groupsects that anyone who opposes Lance’s perspective is quickly surrounded by the pack. These days they’re accused of being FaceLift in disguise! No mercy is shown.

      I suggest they arrive by chance at groupsects, and like me are shocked at the venom of the attack against Hillsong, etc, and say a few words, and are given short shrift from the community there. Most end up with a last remark and move on, knowing their point of view is not having the slightest effect on the reader.

      So I don’t hold with this complaint that FaceLift spoiled a Signposts. I was only on there for about three weeks before it closed. Not long enough to have any effect. No, it was Lance, in part, who caused its demise with his uncomfortable, close-to-the-edge revelations and insulting behaviour.
      _____________________________________

      I don’t have to forgive anyone here, Bull. I appreciate your support. You’ve got it right, I’m glad to say. But I hold no grudges against anyone. I ask God to forgive me daily, and I forgive everyone daily, moment to moment. I live a repented life. There’s no other way for someone as frail in flesh as I am. I would do the same for anyone here that I would do for anyone I know well. None of you is my enemy. I don’t even know you!

      This is a blog, for goodness sake. I’m certain you’re all wonderful people. I think you’re looking for answers just as I am.

      But please don’t claim that your community reflects this or that historic community, when Lance removed all but one dissenting voice from his previous manifestations of blogs, and eliminated the true vestige of Signposts forever.

      Now that your democratic process has decided to become something else, please be that and enjoy it. I look forward to reading your new posts, and maybe even participating in the future.

      And, if you wouldn’t mind, please check your facts carefully before you have a go at any of the aforementioned ministries and ministers, because I know where you are now, and just might be tempted to question the truth of your articles.

      Love (really) FaceLift!

    24. _Sigh_

      Have I not been clear enough? Quite possibly not.

      “Many of us once lurked or commented on the original Signposts site (now shut down), which had a focus on the emerging church but discussed everything else as well. This blog cannot replicate the original blog and will not try to. Continuing the original name in some form does help old community members to find us from time to time if they choose.”

      This is supposed to express a recognition that there are people here who are a remnant (ie: ” leftover: a small part or portion that remains after the main part no longer exists” definition from
      wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn) of that bunch of people. I might add – a very small remnant.

      It is also to express a recognition that we are NOT that site; we are NOT seeking to duplicate that site; we have kept the name ONLY so that those who used to comment can still find us.

      I am hoping that people will understand that what we are doing here is NOT the same; do not expect it to be the same or compare us to something we are NOT trying to be. You will be disappointed.

      Should I state that more clearly in the guidelines?? – I will if you think it necessary.

      **************************

      This site reflects only what we are NOW. I’ve attempted to put that into words. There is no claim to reflect anything else.

      **************************

      Finally – what on earth do you mean by this:

      “…because I know where you are now…”

      Do you claim to have sought out identities and locations of people commenting here?

      Please clarify.

    25. For emphasis:

      Finally – what on earth do you mean by this:

      “…because I know where you are now…”

      Do you claim to have sought out identities and locations of people commenting here?

      ***************
      This sounds like a threat to me. I’m sorry, if this is the case, then I’m leaving. There are other places to pursue these topics; I for one have always striven to be careful not to abuse other people; have made no libellous allegations; and have stuck to questioning doctrines and practices – none of which are illegal, just in my view arguably not scripturally mandated.
      **********************

      It is very important that you clarify what you meant by this, Facelift.

    26. And, if you wouldn’t mind, please check your facts carefully before you have a go at any of the aforementioned ministries and ministers, because I know where you are now, and just might be tempted to question the truth of your articles.

      Love (really) FaceLift!

      Right.

      So now the members of this community are being accused of lying and and are being threatened with consequences for saying what we believe.

      I am fed up with having my wife bullied by this character. And I say “character” because FaceLift is not a person it is a persona.

      I hear accusations of how belligerent I am, which is crazy, if you knew me.

      Clearly the person behind FaceLift is not the nasty belligerent thing that brings unnecessary unpleasantness that makes me not want to be here and has chased many off in the past including, potentially, RP.

      If RP won’t do it I will. FaceLift is banned permanently. If the person behind it wants to come back using a more human persona as he has in the past that is fine but this nasty thing is gone and is not coming back.

      People in this community have a right to their opinions and their expressions of their opinions but bullying and threatening are not acceptable. Especially when it is directed at my wife.

      Apologies all those who think differently about this.

    27. I feel I need to say that while I am standing up for Christian sibling-hood this does not mean I endorse FaceLift’s bias.

      There are big questions regarding the beliefs and practice of the mega-church type of of church that need to be addressed. (and which people need to recover from!)

      Clearly I missed quite a lot of dialogue between FL and others. Obviously this comes out in the way people relate to him now (which ain’t that different from before … just more feeling!). This is understandable but not necessarily excusable. However, the nature of human interaction sometimes means that you have to shout louder than the other in order to be heard. (Jesus calls on us to be different from the society in which we live and pull society uphill, not follow it downhill.)

      What I was pushing for was a realisation that we need to forgive each other, even when we say we don’t.

      I also have to say that without repentance there can be no forgiveness. Is FL guilty of hounding people away from S02? Let’s say that is the case, for the sake of argument. Does Jesus call on us to forgive FL anyway?

      Does Jesus call on FL to say sorry? The general perception of wrong doing would seem to indicate that FL needs to say sorry for this specifically. (He’s already done this, apparently even though the damage is already done … according to RP)

      We need to accept the sincerity of an apology from FL. But true repentance means being sorry enough to stop. So, the proof of repentance requires a change in approach … from all of us.

      If people post their negative experiences of any church or religion, they are taking a huge risk. It is part of the recovery process for many, and a wrong word here or there could set that back. This blog can be a long-distance fellowship for believers who have been traumatised by the mega-church culture and practise. It may not be appropriate for some people to jump straight into another church fellowship.

      Clearly I am not in agreement with FL on some things which he has proposed. There are just some things you can’t take back, or fix. You can’t change the past. You can change the present and the future.

      Do I think that Hillsong, CCC etc are universally bad? No. Do I think they are more bad than good? Maybe.

      Are Brian Houston and Phil Pringle at least at risk of incurring God’s Wrath? definitely. We all are, but they are too pragmatic. They are not listening to God. They are enjoying the fruits of their, and other people’s, labours.

      They clearly make many of the mistakes prevalent in the very early church that the apostles had to stamp out. Are their motives wrong. In some instances, yes.

      Their real problem, of course, is that they never had a ‘proper’ job. So, like more infamous American preachers who have fallen from grace, they can’t not be a ‘minister’.

      It’s why Ted haggard and Todd Bentley are both trying to make a comeback after blatant sexual immorality has exposed them for the lying frauds they are.

      You know you’ve got real spiritual problems in your big tent healing revival meeting if they have three mobile ATM’s at the back of the tent.

      I have totally digressed into a rant. I apologise. I just get really angry when I think of the hypocrisy beamed into christian homes by channels like HellTV … sorry GodTV, TBN, etc. on programs like “This was YOUR money” … sorry, I mean “This is your day”.

      You know the sort of thing.

      Anyway … Shalom.

    28. Addendum:

      “And, if you wouldn’t mind, please check your facts carefully before you have a go at any of the aforementioned ministries and ministers, because I know where you are now, and just might be tempted to question the truth of your articles.”

      hmm.

      FL, I am afraid that reading your last message looks very, very intimidating. Since you also had an opportunity to say sorry, but chose to make a remark which may be innocent, but is in fact very intimidating, I feel like I have been slapped in the face.

      I am afraid that the ultimate sanction is separation from God’s people. We are Christians. I want to give you a chance. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. I have now done that. The next step is yours.

      You do need to apologise. Your last remark is a slap in the face to all the rest of us … I feel after trying to meet you half way you have just ignored all that and gone for the jugular.

      It’s your move next. This blog was never meant to be about you. You have made it so. It will not continue to be about you.

      Shalom.

    29. All good points Bull.

      Just to reiterate I have banned the FaceLift persona, so its owner may not find it easy to respond to your post soon though he can certainly read it.

    30. Hi Bull, I agree with your points.

      I just want to clarify that when I say “the damage is already done”, I don’t mean there is no forgiveness, just that we often can’t undo the consequences of our actions.

      If the same damage is done repeatedly, even after apologies are offered, then sometimes we have to respond somehow, as well as always forgiving and not holding grudges.

      I’ve tried pretty hard not to ban FL, and give him a way of contributing within guidelines while maintaining the overall community flavour, but after the threat, I agree with Heretic’s action I’m afraid. Threats are very unsavoury.

    31. If the same damage is done repeatedly, even after apologies are offered, then sometimes we have to respond somehow, as well as always forgiving and not holding grudges.

      Wayne Jacobsen has a great parable about this:

      Say you have a neighbour.
      He comes over at 3pm and rings your doorbell.
      You open the door and he hits you with a baseball bat and walks off.
      At 4pm comes back and apologises and begs you to forgive him – which you do.

      The next day at 3pm the neighbour comes back and rings your doorbell.
      You open the door and he hits you with a baseball bat and walks off.
      At 4pm comes back and apologises and begs you to forgive him – which you do.

      The next day at 3pm the neighbour comes back yet again and rings your doorbell.

      As a Christian are you required to open the door?

      You have forgiven the guy but that does not mean you have to permit the behaviour.

    32. Indeed.

      Just to point out something I said in an earlier post:

      “There are just some things you can’t take back, or fix. You can’t change the past. You can change the present and the future.”

      In passing a judgment on what has gone on, it is clear that rather than acknowledge a need to reconcile in a genuine way, FL decided to make a comment that was clearly intimidatory in practice, even if it was not intentioned that way.

      We have the leisure to read what we write before posting. FL crossed a line for me. I didn’t even know that line was there until I re-read what he wrote.

      Did he mean “I know where you are theologically now”, or did he mean “I know where you live now”?
      I take the second meaning as the first is the “bleedin’ obvious” and has been for years. He can only mean that he knows where we live in cyberspace and knows our names and therefore knows our names. That is incredibly intimidating for anyone living in Australia.

      Considering that he is now banned, I confess to feeling very uncomfortable talking about someone who can’t respond here. That does not mean that we are wrong to exclude someone who is divisive or dangerous or who causes pain, intentional or not, to the vulnerable.

      I am reminded of the rich young ruler. Jesus was happy to talk to him, but the young ruler went away sad because he would not, or could not, do what Jesus told him to do.

      Lat that be an end to it now.

      May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.

    33. and knows our names and therefore knows our names.

      hmm.

      I of course meant “knows our names and therefore can find out where we live, if he has access to electoral roles or the phone book.” … depending on the local legal situation on that score.

      In the UK, the electoral role is available for anyone to look up. Therefore, addresses, (phone numbers?), dependents, names of siblings/partners etc …

      Frightening really.

    34. Facelift has emailed an apology. Since he can’t post it, I will put it up here:

      “Hello RP,

      I need to apologise to you for the final comment I made. I didn’t mean it the way you took it. Not by any means.

      I meant, in fact, that I know where you are = at Signposts02 – that is, I know where you are in the blogosphere if I ever wanted to comment on things I thought were over the top. And the ‘you’ was plural, not singular. I know nothing about any of you but your blog ID, and neither would I ever attempt to find out, or be interested. On that you have my absolute assurance.

      That last comment was meant to be an explanation of why I blogged. I have been prodded rather much recently. And, yes, it does hurt. I commented on my opinion of the course you were taking, and wazza2 called my comments slimy, and made the two-edged comment that I would climb the Pentecostal ladder or something equally unnecessary. He’d probably regret that, out of remorse, if he knew anything about me, so it tells me that we never really get to know anyone through blog identities. Perhaps I ask for a slap sometimes. But that was low. Sadly heretic applauded wazza2’s remarks.

      I think I should have been allowed to say my piece, since I was being effectively told to shut down and shut up, and be left to get over it. Chastised I have been, but chastised people need to get over the discomfort, not crushed for being upset.

      Anyway. I am sorry to make you feel threatened. I would never, ever do this to anyone.

      Please convey my apologies to Bull. He said I should apologise and he’s right, so I have.

      I am not intending to get into an email conversation with you. I am not pleading to be reinstated. You’ve all made your feelings known. I’ll take my medicine. And wish you all well.

      Love, peace and regards,
      FaceLift”

    35. It is very easy to misrepresent ourselves in writing, when we fire off responses fast or in the heat of the moment.

      I accept FL’s apology. Thank you, Facelift, for explaining.

      I think the matter of his reinstatement is separate, though comments re that can be posted here. As he currently can’t respond, please be considerate if you post regarding that.

      I’d kind of like to move on peacefully for the time being, and have a break from all this, on some other topics. I agree with Bull that further discussion of FL while he is unable to respond is probably unfair.

      He can of course reappear via a different IP address, and FL, if you do this at some stage, please let us know that you are Facelift, even if you post under a different blogname.

    36. Hmmm.

      “That last comment was meant to be an explanation of why I blogged.”

      Is a pretty unlikely explanation for

      “I know where you are now, and just might be tempted to question the truth of your articles”

      The “now” kind of gives away the fact that something has changed recently. An the “just might be tempted to” states pretty clearly that whatever it is that is being threatened is not something that FL has done in the past – it is something new that he knows he really should not do.

      Oh well, lets move on.

    37. Bull – “Considering that he is now banned, I confess to feeling very uncomfortable talking about someone who can’t respond here. ”

      Agreed. It is not an ideal situation although obviously he can email RP. Of course the banning mechanism is not perfect. A banned person can come back. Hopefully they come back as a better person, or at least a more acceptable persona. Actually they can come back using their old name unless it is added to the swearword list. Maybe this should be done once the term “FaceLift” is not used so much so FaceLift’s owner will need a new handle and hopefully a new persona to go with it. If your comments are blocked some time in the future check whether they contain “FaceLift”.

      “he knows our names and therefore can find out where we live”. It is the threatening behaviour itself rather than the nature of the threat that is the upsetting thing. I don’t see any personal danger in the threat.

      I use my anonymity to allow me to speak freely about the practices of a movement without casting aspersions on individuals who are not already in the public eye. I can relate what I see and hear and the individuals’ reputations or income (via their churches) are not damaged. The current practices of the movement might be damaged by being brought into the light but that is as it should be.

      Threatening to reveal me to ex-leaders (as is the obvious meaning of the threat – unintentional though it is claimed to be) does not hurt me it hurts them and hurting people is not my intention – quite the contrary. I have no beef with the people, only the falsehood, the people are doing the best they know (I hope). On the other hand if I knew the individuals were listening I perhaps might say less in order to be less divisive.

      Then again some might say the threat should be carried out and my ex-leaders should be made aware of what I think. Personally I don’t see how that would help anyone. In CCC the pleb’s beliefs don’t count anyway.

      The main point for me is that RP was being driven away kind of like Lance was. Even without the threat the very need to address an issue like this is unnecessary, frustrating and draining. The unnecessary unpleasantness she was forced to deal with had got to her and she wanted to be away from it. And why should she have to put up with it? It had become a choice between having RP here, and having FL here.

      Not everyone knows it but every now and then RP or S&P will come across a pest who does not like what the blog is doing and will attempt to disrupt. Usually with abusive language and the like but in other ways as well. The response is usually to delete their comments and deny them access as much as is possible. We have had a few of these and I don’t think people would be concerned knowing that these people are blocked.

      This is not an identical situation, but it is not that different either – it is just a more sophisticated disruption.

      FL obviously does not like what the community is about. We have received light and perceived the lies and are seeking the truth as best we can. We do what we can to encourage others on the journey. We listen to each other about what we have found because maybe Father will speak to us about it too.

      People taking up our time arguing that we are wrong to even be here with this point of view is not part of the process.

      Feel free to correct me people but I doubt that anyone other than FL was here primarily to argue.

    38. Fact: I would like to state, through personal conversations and e-mails from ex-members, people have indeed left SignPosts02 because of FL’s blogging persona.

      Fact: If you go back through articles, most of the controversy orbits not around articles but around the world of FaceLift.

      Fact: It’s been a delight to see so many bloggers in this community grow and change. FaceLift, on the other hand has changed very little to my disappointment through what I’ve seen in his blogging.
      He wears any blogging ‘abuse’ with pride and continues to ‘soldier through’.

      Fact: He has been rude. He has been aggressive. But I don’t hold that against him.

      Fact: He has been very crafty, subtle and deceptive. He has been divisive and even twisted people’s words to make himself a martyr on occasions. Just read the histories of SIGNPOSTS02 & GROUPSECTS to see this to be fact.

      Fact: RP did not ‘successfully’ close ‘ranks and shut doors on FL’.

      Fact: ‘Effectively it is now’… NOT RP’s blog. And by these ‘protocols’, RP has not made Signpost02’s ‘fairly single-minded, and narrower, in its approach’. RP effectively handed it over to me last year. These protocols I would say are a convenient guideline that RP begrudgingly typed up because Signposts02 hasn’t been really fruitful since my absence has caused lack of maintenance with what’s going on with the blog.

      Fact: RP’s ‘opinions’ and ‘decisions’ have not been made ‘paramount’. By all means question them. RP is open to change things that are written because she wants to further the Signposts community. RP is open to the other authors to see if everything is good.

      Fact: RP’s decisions did NOT ‘reflect some of the leadership decisions’ which Facelift claims were ‘made by those… claim[ed] to be hierarchical’. Someone outside of the Sp02 author circle bought to light that something needed to be done to make Signposts more directed. RP informed me that she could do it by posting up guidelines. I’m like ‘Yeah… whatever…’. One author responded to a normal bloggers request. RP was already on her way in doing it. And from what I know, the other author’s were catching up in agreeing with her in writing the thing. We (or I) trusted that RP knew what Signposts02 needed, not what I needed. (Is that hierarchical or a hierarchical decision-making?)

      Is that my fault? No! It’s the way things have to go if you want to become exclusive.

      But, I commend you. You have shown true leadership, and taken the necessary steps to censure a member who demonstrates an opposing view. I don’t mean this with any bitterness or anger or sarcasm. I think you have shown that you want to take ownership and a strong hand on this site.

      I have grinned and bared this hoping that these Facelift escapades would cease or change. Just like how everyone has changed so much on Signposts02, I have been hoping these symptoms or antics of FaceLift would have changed through this time too. But look what was said above:

      https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/signposts02-guidelines-for-comment/#comment-3579

      Fact: I love Facelift.
      Fact: I hate the idea of banning ANYONE.
      Fact: I look back in the Signposts archives and see that through his involvement, Fruitless Facelift has left quite a few comments on articles that have taken away anything productive in their process by making all comments evolve around himself.

      Sorry Facelift. More damage has been done by letting you stay. If heretic2 didn’t ban you, I would’ve done so myself after reading the comments on this post. This is truly sad. I wish you luck on your blog.
      Please stay there. And please consider getting prayer or seeing a professional.

      You sound like you have symptoms that someone in my family has. They too are avoided and refuse to get help. They drove all our extended families away from ever supporting them because they would use anything against anyone only to make themselves look the suffering, faithful and true servant.

      I know this sounds harsh, but I sincerely and prayerfully hope that you’d consider this.

      That person in my family has used up everyone’s grace. Unfortunately, people can only take so much. I’m sad to say, but I can’t tolerate you anymore. But you’ll be on my prayers.

      You have a pretty predictable nature, so I can imagine how you’re possibly going to come back against these last few things I have said. Please don’t. Please consider. Please be sober in judgment and ask yourself how much you’ve actually grown or changed through blogging on Signposts.

      If anything, BLOGGING at Signposts has done more damage to you than you damaging those on Signposts. I myself have retreated from blogging because God actually revealed to me my unhealthy obsession with it and how it was affecting my relationships around me.

      But:

      Thankyou for your work you’ve put into Signposts.
      Thankyou for being honest and being bold enough to have contrary opinions. I like that. I like the fact that we have contrary opinions. Iron sharpens my iron.
      Thankyou for impacting and help add flavour to the life of Signposts.
      Thankyou for being with us and walking beside on this journey in discovering truth, God, the global church, ourselves and what church is.

      Fact: I will sincerely miss you Facelift.
      Fact: I just got teary-eyed writing the above statement.

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