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Greetings from your Religion Moderator
April 23, 2006 | Religion Moderator

Posted on 04/23/2006 8:01:06 AM PDT by Religion Moderator

Hello everyone. Pleased to meet you. I am your Religion Moderator.

I have been asked by several posters to let you know any special guidelines which apply to posting in the Religion Forum on Free Republic. Here goes…

First, you should know that all moderators have authority on the Religion Forum and we are individuals and therefore what is tolerable to one may not be tolerable to another. However, I have general responsibility for this particular forum and spend most of my time reading your posts and moderating the conversations. And I do hold Religion Forum posts to a higher standard.

The previous Religion Moderator is still with us and other moderators who have served as Religion Moderator may also appear on thread with this handle. In other words, you cannot be sure that I am the person who posted with the handle. However, most of the time, it will be me simply because I’m reading all of your posts.

A few guidelines:

Threads which are devotional or church-like in nature (such as daily mass readings) will be protected from challenges to doctrine, etc. Reported challenges will be pulled. The titles of the threads should be clearly designated so other posters and the moderators will know.

Threads which are not clearly designated are open to challenges, like a public square.

Posters should remember they are not “preaching to the choir” on open threads – and take care to be respectful, clear and concise in their arguments. Passers-by will value your demeanor as much – or more than – the actual substance of your post.

This is very important: meet the offensive challenge to your doctrine on the open thread, do not mash the abuse button. I will not remove a challenge simply because it is offensive to your beliefs. If you cannot defend your own confession, then you are better off avoiding the open threads and leaving the reply to someone else of your confession.

Always argue the issues – theology, philosophy, history, etc. – and never make it personal.

If I see the conversation turn personal, I will intervene by pulling posts and/or posting a warning. If the misbehavior continues, posters may find themselves having to log back in – or they may be given a time-out to cool down.

In the extreme, the threads may be banished to the smoky backroom, locked or pulled. And a hot-headed or defiant poster may be banned.

Banned posters who try to sneak back onto the forum using a different handle are nuked. Trolls are nuked.

I have no tolerance for potty language simply because it inflames other posters and results in unnecessary abuse reports that moderators then have to process. It is a waste of everyone’s time and doesn’t help the poster’s image either.

Whenever I see a profanity – or a reference or acronym for a profanity – I will remove the post. If your post was pulled and you remember using such a word, just rephrase and repost and everything will be fine.

As with all threads on the forum – hatred and any suggestion of racism or violence will be pulled. Posts which are just plain tacky may also be pulled.

Calling an author a liar is permitted – calling another poster a liar is not.

Attributing motive to an author is permitted – reading the mind of another poster is not.

Poking fun at a confession is permitted, but be careful when poking fun at another poster. If he doesn’t think it is funny, I won’t either.

Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it. It all boils down to being respectful – phrase your challenges as if you were the recipient, i.e. think Golden Rule.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: adminlectureseries; faq; fr; freep; moderator; religion; religionforum; religionmoderator; rm
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As a final note, try to work your problems out on-thread before resorting to an abuse report. The moderators are already over-worked and do not look kindly on abuse report spammers. More importantly, it is a good witness for your confession to be a peacemaker.
1 posted on 04/23/2006 8:01:08 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Good morning! That was very well done.


2 posted on 04/23/2006 8:03:10 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Dump the 1967 Outer Space Treaty! I'll weigh less on Mars!)
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To: Religion Moderator

Pleased to meet you. Those seem like sensible guidelines.


3 posted on 04/23/2006 8:06:39 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Religion Moderator

I'm in.


4 posted on 04/23/2006 8:27:14 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Religion Moderator
Calling an author a liar is permitted – calling another poster a liar is not.

The author of this thread is a liar!! (Just kidding)

Good advice, thanks.

5 posted on 04/23/2006 8:32:41 AM PDT by colorcountry (Don't bother me,.... I'm living happily ever after.)
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To: Religion Moderator

May I ask a question of a poster on a devotional thread, In order that I might better understand their position?


6 posted on 04/23/2006 8:49:20 AM PDT by colorcountry (Don't bother me,.... I'm living happily ever after.)
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To: colorcountry

On a devotion thread, inquiries may be taken as challenges (disruptions) and cause offense. Therefore, do not ask questions on a devotional thread - make a note, save them for the open threads.


7 posted on 04/23/2006 8:52:08 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
"Threads which are devotional or church-like in nature (such as daily mass readings) will be protected from challenges to doctrine, etc. Reported challenges will be pulled. The titles of the threads should be clearly designated so other posters and the moderators will know. "

Will atheistic ideological threads marked as devotional be protected from doctrinal challenges? I asked this question of a previous religious moderator, but didn’t follow up after he said that he didn’t have time to discuss it.

For instance, if I post an Objectivist devotional thread that is dedicated to explaining and reinforcing Objectivist metaphysics to a list of people, and the usual trolls jump in with no apparent interest other than denouncing Objectivism or Ayn Rand, will you pull their posts if there are complaints?

8 posted on 04/23/2006 8:54:50 AM PDT by elfman2 (An army of amateurs doing the media's job.)
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To: Religion Moderator

Welcome and thank you!


9 posted on 04/23/2006 8:56:54 AM PDT by restornu (Earnestly it is impossible for man to walk with God, and also maintain the humor of a reprobate!)
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To: elfman2

Objectivism is philosophy not theology and thus would not qualify for protection as a "devotion" or "church-like" thread.


10 posted on 04/23/2006 9:01:11 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

This doesn't apply to "The Church of Monday Night Football" threads, does it?

We post those in Chat. ;-)


11 posted on 04/23/2006 9:02:17 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

LOLOL! That's a great place for them.


12 posted on 04/23/2006 9:04:33 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: onyx

ping


13 posted on 04/23/2006 9:05:09 AM PDT by Mo1 ("Stupidity is also a gift from God, but it should not be abused." Pope John Paul II)
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To: Religion Moderator

I'm not sure that "Devotionals" should be able to go unchallenged when they attack the beliefs of others.

Personally, I feel that if a devotional thread wants to preach that the Bible is corrupt and has had "plain and precious truths" removed, that should be their right. It's not necessarily respectful, but I think the marketplace of ideas is big enough for everyone to have a forum. IMO, the problem seems to lie in the the fact that one group is allowed to attack my beliefs in a "devotional thread" but will not allow dissent. And if that's so, it would seem to be a double standard on the part of the former.

I'm just voicing my opinion on an open thread.


14 posted on 04/23/2006 9:21:25 AM PDT by colorcountry (Don't bother me,.... I'm living happily ever after.)
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To: Mo1; Religion Moderator
Thank you for the ping!

A blessed Sunday to you, Mo1 and to you, RM.

I am leaving now to go to Church the antique auction.

Not to worry Mo, I went to 8:00AM Mass. :)

15 posted on 04/23/2006 9:22:30 AM PDT by onyx (MARY MC CHRISTMAS everybody!)
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To: onyx

I went last night

Living on the east coast and keeping west coast hours make mornings really hard for me *L*


16 posted on 04/23/2006 9:33:22 AM PDT by Mo1 ("Stupidity is also a gift from God, but it should not be abused." Pope John Paul II)
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To: Religion Moderator
" Objectivism is philosophy not theology and thus would not qualify for protection as a "devotion" or "church-like" thread. "

Respectfully, both religious Theology and the integrated philosophical system of Objectivism are ideologies with identical psychological and social functions.

YourDictionary.com defines Theology as:
1. The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.
2. A system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions: Protestant theology; Jewish theology.
3. A course of specialized religious study usually at a college or seminary.

The only significant difference that I’m aware of between a religious theology and Objectivism is that one claims to be inspired by God and the other claims to be developed through observation of and reason. Granted, religion leads itself to reverent contemplation much more than does Objectivism, but a “church-like” sermon or inspirational story is not necessarily inconsistent with Objectivism. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to come up with a good example, but I’m asking this more in the abstract than for permission to call any specific Objectivist piece a devotional here.

Thank you for your work here.

17 posted on 04/23/2006 9:52:39 AM PDT by elfman2 (An army of amateurs doing the media's job.)
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To: Religion Moderator

Thanks.


18 posted on 04/23/2006 9:58:01 AM PDT by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: colorcountry

Your objection is noted, but the standard remains. If you are offended by claims made on a devotional thread, make a note of them and rebut them on an open thread.


19 posted on 04/23/2006 10:22:04 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; elfman2; John Robinson

May I ask you two questions.

1. How are devotional threads to be designated? Should there be a formal mark, e.g. a "Topic"?

2. There are denominational "topics", e.g. Catholic, Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Orthodox, Islam, even (nota bene, Elfman, Skeptics/Seekers). A reader can add a topic but he cannot remove a topic. Are these of any significance to you? There were instances when topics were added to disruptively (on Teri Schiavo's threads, for example). I think, if adding topics were disallowed by software, the topics could serve a very useful role in preventing endless interdenominational flame wars. Your thoughts?

This is the reason I am asking. It is good that on occasion one denomination can provide a teachable moment to another. For example, as a Catholic I value opportunities to explain why we venerate saints, etc. But at the same time, not every thread should erupt in a Catholic-Protestant fight over such basics, even when it is not a devotional thread. For example, a Catholic should be able to discuss aspects of veneration of a particular saint without having to field basic questions about veneration of saints in general, that are certain to come form the Protestants. Likewise, a Protestant should be able to post something about a Protestant thinker, or Protestant eschatology without others piling on Protestantism in general. What would be your recommendation? I see three possibilities about such "threads of limited debate"?

1. Mark the thread as denomination-specific and expect others to make constructive posts but not start interdenominational fights (my preference)

2. Declare thread devotional for defensive purposes, but in fact have a discussion among like-minded people.

3. Live with the fact that FR is not a suitable venue for such discussions and go to catholic.com and such.

I would welcome your thoughts of advice as well as clarification of policy.



20 posted on 04/23/2006 10:26:21 AM PDT by annalex
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To: elfman2

Sorry, elfman2, but I will not recognize secular philosophies as qualified subjects for devotional thread protection.


21 posted on 04/23/2006 10:30:44 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: annalex
1. How are devotional threads to be designated? Should there be a formal mark, e.g. a "Topic"?

Church-like threads are already being identified with terms such as “devotion” “meditation” “prayer” “mass” “catholic caucus” and so forth. Obviously, if a thread is disingenuously called a “devotion” it will not be protected.

I think, if adding topics were disallowed by software, the topics could serve a very useful role in preventing endless interdenominational flame wars. Your thoughts?

Changes to topic management is largely a matter of software and is therefore above my pay scale.

For example, a Catholic should be able to discuss aspects of veneration of a particular saint without having to field basic questions about veneration of saints in general, that are certain to come form the Protestants. Likewise, a Protestant should be able to post something about a Protestant thinker, or Protestant eschatology without others piling on Protestantism in general. What would be your recommendation?

I recommend pursing subjects where you want limited contributions on church-like threads. But be aware, passers-by are much more likely to stop in on the open threads – so all your effort may be for naught.
22 posted on 04/23/2006 10:41:18 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

LOLOL! "pursing" should be "pursuing"


23 posted on 04/23/2006 10:46:08 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Mornin', chief!


24 posted on 04/23/2006 10:46:37 AM PDT by 4U2OUI (OK.)
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To: colorcountry; Religion Moderator
I'm just voicing my opinion on an open thread.

I second your concern. There were a number of statements in that peculiar "Devotional" this morning which would cause any person who happened upon it to ask some legitimate questions. I simply asked a question, a question that anyone unfamiliar with the peculiar doctrines of the LDS Church would ask and my post was pulled. I've seen dozens of questions posed on the Protestant devotional threads and dozens of comments by non-protestants. Usually they are welcomed. To have a policy where there are no questions allowed is rather strict.

If I, as an ex-Mormon were to post a devotional dedicated to ex-Mormons who are now evangelical protestants and the reasons for their switch, would the Religion Moderator protect it from attack by those who are presently still in the LDS Church? Or would the devotional thread be pulled?

I suspect it would be the latter.

25 posted on 04/23/2006 10:50:25 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (((172 * 3.141592653589793238462) / 180) * 10 = 30.0196631)
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To: P-Marlowe
"Ex-Mormons who are now evangelical protestants" is not a subject I would recognize for devotional protection.

On the other hand, "Evangelical Protestant Caucus" is one I would recognize for a church-like thread and would protect just like I protect the "Catholic Caucus".

But again, please remember that passers-by are more likely to stop by the open threads than the church-like threads.

26 posted on 04/23/2006 10:57:47 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; colorcountry
"Ex-Mormons who are now evangelical protestants" is not a subject I would recognize for devotional protection.

But don't you see that the purpose of today's LDS "devotional" was to show how the Protestant and Catholic Churches do not have the "fullness of the gospel" that the LDS Church purports to have?

Here is an example:

The record of the birth of Jesus is given in the New Testament, and we are more or less familiar with the story. The New Testament is a witness for Jesus Christ. But the Book of Mormon is also a witness for and a testament of Jesus Christ, and it gives us additional insights and concepts about why the birth of Jesus took place and why it was so important. There is no other book in all this world that tells us as clearly about the mission of Jesus Christ as does the Book of Mormon. Whereas the Bible tells us what happened, the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures tell us why it happened. The Bible writers also knew why, but the Bible has not come to us in its original purity and clarity, and thus the Lord has brought forth these other records in plain terms so that we might not wander in darkness and oblivion. The Lord wants us to know about the greatest truths in the history of mankind.

I see dozens upon dozens of "Ex-Protestant who have come home to Catholicism" threads. It seems that if ever there is any thread which even purports to give any testimonies of Ex-Catholics who have come home to the Truths of the Reformation" the threads are either pulled or moved to the SBR faster than you can say "Anti-Catholic Troll".

27 posted on 04/23/2006 11:05:54 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (((172 * 3.141592653589793238462) / 180) * 10 = 30.0196631)
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To: P-Marlowe
I see dozens upon dozens of "Ex-Protestant who have come home to Catholicism" threads. It seems that if ever there is any thread which even purports to give any testimonies of Ex-Catholics who have come home to the Truths of the Reformation" the threads are either pulled or moved to the SBR faster than you can say "Anti-Catholic Troll".

That will not happen on my watch.
28 posted on 04/23/2006 11:09:06 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
One request re pulled posts (esp when pulled due to language)
- is it possible for the Mod(s) to FReepmail the offending poster, to advise why their post was pulled?
29 posted on 04/23/2006 11:10:26 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:5)
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To: Religion Moderator

I suspect these people will never get along. Even if they all make it to heaven, they'll argue about why ;~D

Good luck though ;~D


30 posted on 04/23/2006 11:10:28 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: Religion Moderator

Thank you, Religion Moderator, for making these points clear!
,


31 posted on 04/23/2006 11:11:55 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Alex Murphy

Many have Freepmailed me, in which case I'm glad to respond with the why and the original post to make it easier to rephrase.


32 posted on 04/23/2006 11:15:07 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; colorcountry
That will not happen on my watch.

What will not happen?

The threads will not be relegated to the back room?

There will be no more "Why I left Protestantism threads"?

There will be no more "Why I left Catholicism Threads"?

Frankly, as a protestant I welcome the "why I left Protestantism" threads. There are at least one or two posted every week. But the "Why I left anthying other than Protestantism" threads are generally pulled or relegated to the SBR within a few dozen posts.

33 posted on 04/23/2006 11:27:16 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (((172 * 3.141592653589793238462) / 180) * 10 = 30.0196631)
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To: annalex
"What would be your recommendation? I see three possibilities about such "threads of limited debate"?
1. Mark the thread as denomination-specific and expect others to make constructive posts but not start interdenominational fights (my preference)… "

I like that one as well. It more mirrors how “non-virtual” services are conducted. They are rarely exclusionary or even challenge-free following a sermon, but virtually no-one would crash one and begin flaming it.

I think just clearly marking such threads as devotional and for specific denominations invites common social graces. But to enforce zero challenges on a multi-denominational and contentious forum such as this is as unnatural as enforcing none from multiple denominations meeting in the same room and time.

34 posted on 04/23/2006 11:29:28 AM PDT by elfman2 (An army of amateurs doing the media's job.)
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To: P-Marlowe

The "why I left" threads will not be pulled or banished to the backroom on my watch. No theology will be favored on open threads.


35 posted on 04/23/2006 11:29:56 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; colorcountry
The "why I left" threads will not be pulled or banished to the backroom on my watch. No theology will be favored on open threads.

Well that's good to know. :-)

36 posted on 04/23/2006 11:31:57 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (((172 * 3.141592653589793238462) / 180) * 10 = 30.0196631)
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To: Religion Moderator

Your call. Respectfully, I don’t think that providing devotional safe havens for promoting “some” ideologies but not others based solely on their theistic nature mirrors the principles that Free Republic promotes for government, but since FR is not a government, that may not be Jim’s concern. Either way, it’s not the hill I want to die on today. Regards.


37 posted on 04/23/2006 11:32:12 AM PDT by elfman2 (An army of amateurs doing the media's job.)
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To: elfman2
The bottom line is this: threads which are like churches -prayer meetings, worship services and such - will get the same respect as a closed door at a local chapel.

Free speech does not suffer from the freedom of religion and assembly.

38 posted on 04/23/2006 11:37:23 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Thank you for posting the guidelines and taking the time to introduce yourself. Welcome to the Religion Forum

Catholic Ping List
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

Eastern Catholic Ping List
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


39 posted on 04/23/2006 11:48:08 AM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: P-Marlowe

Thank your for the pings.


40 posted on 04/23/2006 11:54:16 AM PDT by colorcountry (Don't bother me,.... I'm living happily ever after.)
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To: Religion Moderator
" The bottom line is this: threads which are like churches -prayer meetings, worship services and such - will get the same respect as a closed door at a local chapel.
Free speech does not suffer from the freedom of religion and assembly."

From your statement that, ”I will not recognize secular philosophies as qualified subjects for devotional thread protection”, it sounded as if strict “freedom of assembly” protection would only apply to theistic based devotionals.

Rather an ask for blank check, would you be willing to review an Objectivist devotional post and give it the same protection from challenges if it met some reasonable criteria, other than claiming to be divinely inspired.

41 posted on 04/23/2006 12:18:21 PM PDT by elfman2 (An army of amateurs doing the media's job.)
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To: elfman2

Again, objectivism is philosophy not theology and thus does not qualify for protection as a "devotion" or "church-like" subject. Platonism, Marxism, Realism and so on also do not qualify for the same reason.


42 posted on 04/23/2006 12:32:58 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: P-Marlowe; Religion Moderator

But don't you see that the purpose of today's "devotional" was to show how the Protestant and Catholic Churches do not have the "fullness of the gospel" that the LDS Church purports to have?

****

Correction P-Marlowe today's LDS Devotional was NEVER about Protestant nor the Catholic Church as you said PM!

The talk never mention any other faith it was about awareness of what each of the LDS standard works contributed to the LDS understanding!

The devotional was about the LDS Standard Works which are the OT, NT, BoM, D & C and the POGP.

"I am particularly grateful for the help I received from the topical guide in the LDS edition of the Bible and also for the index in the new edition of the triple combination, which helped me find the references I wanted more quickly."

"The Bible makes this great statement and says that without the Savior we would perish. Paul discusses these things in 1 Corinthians and in Romans, but not as clearly as we would like."

"It takes the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price to explain more fully why we would have perished. We would have perished because of the fall of Adam; we being unable to save ourselves either from his fall or our own sins."

***

The main focus focus was about that the Book of Mormon as another Testament to Jesus Christ!

Matt. 18: 20
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


43 posted on 04/23/2006 12:35:28 PM PDT by restornu (Earnestly it is impossible for man to walk with God, and also maintain the humor of a reprobate!)
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To: restornu; colorcountry
Hi resty,

Now that you are here maybe you can answer my question that was pulled:

Who appointed Jesus as the Beloved Son of God the Father?

And what position did Jesus have in heaven before he was appointed as the Beloved Son of God the Father?

I won't argue with your answers. I'd just like to know the official position.

Thanks.

44 posted on 04/23/2006 12:42:33 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (((172 * 3.141592653589793238462) / 180) * 10 = 30.0196631)
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To: Religion Moderator

What about posters who don't believe in the Religion Moderator? Can anyone truly prove that the Religion Moderator truly exis--ZOT!


45 posted on 04/23/2006 12:43:59 PM PDT by AmishDude (AmishDude, servant of the dark lord Xenu.)
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To: AmishDude

LOLOL!


46 posted on 04/23/2006 12:46:28 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: P-Marlowe

Now that you are here did you understand that todays devotional was not about any other faith only to teach how each of the standard works testify of each other?

As an ex Mormon you should know the answer to your question!


47 posted on 04/23/2006 12:47:24 PM PDT by restornu (Earnestly it is impossible for man to walk with God, and also maintain the humor of a reprobate!)
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To: restornu; P-Marlowe; Religion Moderator
.....There are so many insightful things that Brother Matthews makes note of which I am sure NT had listed once upon a time!......

....There is no other book in all this world that tells us as clearly about the mission of Jesus Christ as does the Book of Mormon.

My question to you restornu was this:

Do you believe someone removed something fromt the New Testament? And....

If so, who (or what group) removed the "plain and precious" truths.

48 posted on 04/23/2006 12:48:50 PM PDT by colorcountry (Don't bother me,.... I'm living happily ever after.)
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To: colorcountry; restornu; P-Marlowe
I am glad to see all of you engaging your questions/challenges on this, an open thread.

For those who are not particularly interested in your conversation, but want an example of a respectful, open discussion - check out the last several hundred posts of this thread: Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of Will

49 posted on 04/23/2006 12:54:09 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
I've been following that thread since January. Very interesting topic. Questions are asked and answered on that thread.

It has proven to be very thought provoking and informative about two or more sides of a particular question.

50 posted on 04/23/2006 1:13:49 PM PDT by colorcountry (Don't bother me,.... I'm living happily ever after.)
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