Dear brothers and sisters,
I have had a number of messages from membrs of the forum who are disturbed and frustrated by some of the directions in which various threads in the forum have taken. Others are concerned that the forum is lacking some of the serious spiritual content it once had.
I am therefore going to implement a few new rules, and will try to apply them appropriately and fairly.
i. All posters must show respect to other members, and if that is not possible due to anger or frustration then a post should not be made until respect is possible. Starting a post saying 'with the deepest respect..' is not showing respect.
ii. Posters do not assume that they know everything about a particular topic, and therefore than anyone who disagrees must be wrong. Our Lord rarely needs us to correct the errors of others, indeed if we reflect upon ourselves we will see that we have more than enough errors of our own.
iii. People should not be criticised on the forum, though ideas can be. Clergy should not be criticised, not because I am a priest, or because clergy do not make mistakes, but because a priest cannot respond to a post in the way that a layman can. It is enough to criticise an idea. Almost all members of the forum are anonymous which means that they can say what they want without criticism, while clergy are well known and cannot respond.
iv. This forum is not for the criticism of other religious groups. Again, we have enough problems within our own communities. There are visitors from other groups who come here, and it is not appropriate for us to be found spending more time criticising and condemning others than positively discussing our own Faith and Tradition.
v. We will all try to contribute more positively to the forum. This means not only joining in on arguments - which we will try to eliminate - but by responding to those seeking information, support and advice. I am also going to suggest that we try to create some sticky threads with selected posts dealing with issues that keep coming up over and again - like an FAQ. And also that we try to run an online Bible Study through Lent. I also believe that it would be useful for us to have a collection of Book Reviews of Orthodox books which people are reading.
As the season of Great Lent approaches we are all liable to come under increased attention from the enemy of our souls. I hope that a more disciplined use of forum moderation (and if your post is moderated I would ask you to pray for me not simply complain) will allow the forum to become something which spiritually benefits all those who participate.
The Lord bless you all