I tend to post pieces here that can be provocative. I do so with a purpose, I want to provoke a conversation about things that matter. Sometimes I feel the need to speak out against what I perceive is an injustice. I don't claim to be Jeremiah or Amos, but when I see something that needs to be addressed, I will say something, as I did earlier today regarding the Florida pastor.
My concern tonight is that once again, a conversation quickly degenerated, and in this case got rather nasty. But this isn't the only time this has happened. It seems that every once in awhile the conversation ends up in an endless series of diatribes, and discussions that become a series of vicious circles. Too often we already know what the other party has to say.
So, it's time for me to step in and provide some guidelines. I'd like to see the tone of the conversation change, and if people don't abide by these rules, then I'll have to take further actions.
So, for now, I'm issuing a warning -- If I deem comments, like those made today (and which I admittedly may have encouraged at one point) to be beyond the realm of decency I'll delete them.
The second thing I'm going to do is end the practice of anonymous comments. This means you'll either have to have a google account or use OpenID. In any case, from now on there will need to be a form of registration to make comments.
And as a guide to our conversation let me offer a passage of scripture -- from the letter to the Ephesians. I'm using a new translation, the Common English Bible.
Don't let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say. Don't make the Holy Spirit of God unhappy -- you were sealed by him for the day of redemption. Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ. (Ephesians 4:29-32).