[Sticky] Welcome and Forum Policies
Welcome to Light of the Spirit! If you're brand new here, you may want to check out our introductory videos to get an idea of how we talk about God, faith, and community. You can also view our FAQ and "Do I Belong Here?" posts at the top of this forum.
Before you start, please understand that we value community and the people who participate in it. We depend on everyone here to help create a safe, healthy environment in which to talk about faith, God, and the world.
Our culture under-values curiosity and compassion in public conversation. Taking care of each other as we explore doesn't come naturally. We tend to favor being right and getting our own way. This is particularly true online.
Nobody can claim to be perfectly right about everything. ("Those who claim to be without sin deceive themselves and the truth is not in them...") Getting our own way is closer to idolatry than faith. Fortunately God tells us that when we can't be right or completely in control, loving our neighbor fills in as a wonderful substitute. That's what we try to do here at Light of the Spirit in all our conversations.
In that spirit, this site operates under guidelines to keep community care forward as we converse.
- We do not allow discriminatory or derogatory statements, particularly those based on race, gender, orientation, or any other innate quality.
- We do not allow ad hominem attacks...statements that go after the person speaking instead of the subject they're speaking about. This includes proclamations about divine judgment on another person or group of people, either here or in the life to come.
- We do not allow "King of the Hill" claims of perfect interpretation or infallible knowledge, including knowledge of God or scripture.
- We ask that you not employ profanity, in order to make the site more welcoming to those who do not engage in such.
- We do not allow "bad faith" arguments that impede or derail discussion instead of adding to it. This includes repeating identical claims in the course of the same discussion, raising tension with inflammatory phrasing, or any actions which indicate that the speaker is not interested in a true discussion with mutual listening, but is simply advancing their own, unchanging viewpoint at the expense of others.
- We shy away from claims of expertise when they're made to gain advantage over another. We're all welcome to share our histories and backgrounds, but, "I'm a pastor" or, "I've gone to church for 60 years" will not weigh as much here as in a typical brick-and-mortar congregation. We believe God speaks in different ways through all of us: old and young, people of various ethnicity and gender and orientation. We've been conditioned to listen to some of those voices harder than others. Light of the Spirit smooths out that curve. We encourage each other rather than speaking over each other.
Finally, please remember that Light of the Spirit is a public forum. Don't share personal information, addresses, phone numbers, or anything else you don't want the general public or internet bots to see.