All members are expected to have read all posts, including linked content therein, in this thread and comply with the posts by the RTI admins/moderators. Check back here monthly, too, as I will sometimes add new content or links to other posts where RTI policies have been discussed in response to member questions or posts. Ignorance of these policies will not be accepted as an excuse for violation of the same.
The RTI forums are for intelligent discussions. Abusive behavior, explicit or implied vulgarity, blasphemy, whether in writing or by attached images, etc., will not be tolerated. A reasonable clash in views is to be expected, but try to behave as you would at your place of employment, at your parents' home, or around your own children.
The doctrinal tenor of this site is decidedly Reformed. This is non-negotiable. Our Statement of Faith is posted here. Posts in the doctrinal forums will be understood to imply that you have read the Statement of Faith. It represents our starting position and presuppositions in all theological discourse.
RTI is not a venue for those that would seek to persuade its members that Reformed doctrine is contra-Biblical, or to pursue an agenda of proselytizing a non-Reformed perspective. RTI is not a mission field for the non-Reformed to seek to win converts within. The Reformed doctrines discussed in this forum and contained implicitly/explicitly in our Statement of Faith are not subject to being undermined or debated. Discuss them all you desire with the intent of learning more, but you may not seek to debate or undermine their Biblical foundations.
If you don't agree with Reformed thinking, it is best that you avoid the Reformed doctrine-specific discussions. Otherwise, feel free to ask questions and seek understanding of the Reformed faith. You may just like what you hear and learn. If you are here to bash Reformed doctrines or spread views that disagree with our Statement of Faith, you and your posts will have very short lifespans at RTI.
In other words, practice what you please; promote what your Reformed confession or the RTI SoF teaches, or else keep your private differences private, as you implicitly agreed to do when your membership at RTI was approved. Persons may take exceptions to their Confessional basis, but defending these exceptions is not welcome nor the purpose of RTI.
All persons should be aware of the admonishment of the ninth commandment and conduct themselves within the boundaries of its teachings.
1. Which is the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (Exod 20:16; Deut 5:20).
2. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man (Zech 8:16; Eph 4:25), and the good name of our neighbour, as well as our own (3 John 12); appearing and standing for the truth (Prov 31:89); and from the heart (Ps 15:2), sincerely (2 Chr 19:9), freely (1 Sam 19:45; Jer 9:3), clearly (Josh 7:19; Jer 42:4; Acts 20:20), and fully (2 Sam 14:1820; Acts 20:27), speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice (Lev 19:15; Prov 14:5, 25), and in all other things whatsoever (Isa 63:8; 2 Cor 1:1718; Eph 4:25; Col 3:9); a charitable esteem of our neighbours (Heb 6:9; 1 Cor 13:7); loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name (Rom 1:8; 2 John 4; 3 John 34); sorrowing for (Ps 119:158; 2 Cor 2:4; 12:21), and covering of their infirmities (Prov 17:9; 1 Pet 4:8); freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces (1 Cor 1:45, 7; 2 Tim 1:45), defending their innocency (1 Sam 22:14; Ps 82:3); a ready receiving of a good report (1 Cor 13:67), and unwillingness to admit of an evil report (Ps 15:3), concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers (Prov 25:23), flatterers (Prov 26:2425), and slanderers (Ps 101:5); love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth (Prov 22:1; John 8:49; 2 Cor 11:18, 23); keeping of lawful promises (Ps 15:4); studying and practising of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report (Phil 4:8).
3. What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own (1 Sam 17:28; 2 Sam 16:3; 1:910, 1516; Luke 3:14), especially in public judicature (Lev 19:15; Hab 1:4); giving false evidence (Prov 19:5; 6:16, 19), suborning false witnesses (Acts 6:13), wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, out-facing and over-bearing the truth (Jer 9:3, 5; Acts 24:2, 5; Ps 12:34; 52:14); passing unjust sentence (Prov 17:15; 1 Kgs 21:913), calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked (Isa 5:23); forgery (1 Kgs 21:8; Ps 119:69; Luke 19:8; 16:57), concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause (Lev 5:1; Deut 13:8; Acts 5:3, 89; 2 Tim 4:16), and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves (1 Kgs 1:6; Lev 19:17; Isa 58:1), or complaint to others (Isa 59:4); speaking the truth unseasonably (Prov 29:11), or maliciously to a wrong end (1 Sam 22:910; Ps 52:14), or perverting it to a wrong meaning (Ps 56:5; John 2:19; with Matt 26:6061), or in doubtful or equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice (Gen 3:5; 26:7, 9); speaking untruth (Isa 59:13), lying (Lev 19:11; Col 3:9), slandering (Ps 50:20), backbiting (Ps 15:3; Rom 1:30), detracting (Jas 4:11; Tit 3:2; Jer 38:4), tale-bearing (Lev 19:16), whispering (Rom 1:2930; Prov 16:28), scoffing (Gen 21:9; with Gal 4:29; Isa 28:22), reviling (1 Cor 6:10), rash (Matt 7:1), harsh (Acts 28:4; Jas 2:13), and partial censuring (Gen 38:24; John 7:24; Rom 2:1); misconstructing intentions, words, and actions (Neh 6:68; Rom 3:8; Ps 69:10; 1 Sam 1:1315; 2 Sam 10:3); flattering (Ps 12:23), vain-glorious boasting (2 Tim 3:2), thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others (Luke 18:9, 11; Rom 12:16; 1 Cor 4:6; Acts 12:22; Gal 5:26; Exod 4:1014); denying the gifts and graces of God (Job 27:56; 4:6; Luke 9:4950; 2 Cor 10:10; Acts 2:13); aggravating smaller faults (Isa 29:2021; Matt 7:35); hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession (Prov 28:13; 30:20; Gen 3:1213; Jer 2:35; 2 Kgs 5:25; Gen 4:9); unnecessary discovering of infirmities (Gen 9:22; Prov 25:910); raising false rumours (Exod 23:1), receiving and countenancing evil reports (Ps 41:78; Prov 29:12; Jer 20:10), and stopping our ears against just defence (Acts 7:5657; Job 31:1314); evil suspicion (1 Cor 13:5; 1 Tim 6:4); envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any (Num 11:29; Matt 21:15), endeavouring or desiring to impair it (Ezra 4:1213; Dan 6:34), rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy (Jer 48:27); scornful contempt (Ps 35:1516, 21; Matt 27:2829), fond admiration (Jude 16; Acts 12:22; 1 Cor 3:21); breach of lawful promises (Rom 1:31; 2 Tim 3:3); neglecting such things as are of good report (1 Sam 2:24; 2 Sam 12:14), and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name (2 Sam 12:13; 13:1213; Prov 5:89; 6:33; Phil 3:1819; 2 Pet 2:2).
Posting links that point to other discussion forums is impolite. We would like to keep folks as regular members of RTI and not be sending them elsewhere. We also do not want to be providing other discussion sites internet search engine advantages over our own site. Thus, we ask that you refrain from doing this unless you follow the directions given in the next post.
Spamming the forums will be swiftly dealt with and immediate banning will result.
Copying and pasting content (news items, topical discussions, etc.) from other web sites is discouraged. RTI is for discussion; it is not a news feed site. Limited extracts from other sources is acceptable if it is directly related to the discussion at hand. If you post some content from another site, including videos, please include a reason for doing so and some commentary to stimulate discussion. Don't assume the content is self-evident to the reader. The only exception to this rule is our forums where music videos are posted. And, as you learned in school, cite your sources--never copy someone else's work without proper attribution.
Lengthy posts should be worth the effort to read. I have an established history of being verbose so I am not going to hold it against anyone else as long as they are posting worthy content. Many of the doctrinal forums will contain lengthy posts. God needed over 545,200 words to convey His special revelation to us in the original ancient Biblical languages. Anyone who thinks theology topics can be seriously discussed in McSound Bites will probably not enjoy the RTI experience.
When using the "Quote" function, never forge a quote. Do not modify the quote with your own words or ad hominems. Quote means to copy exactly, nothing more, nothing less. You may quote portions of another's post, or their entire post, but when you do, make sure you do not modify what you have quoted. You can delete certain portions of what you are quoting if the deleted portion has no direct relevance to your reason for quoting the content. Modifying another member's written content with your own words and holding it forth as "quoted text" is reprehensible, and grounds for immediate moderated-only status or even permanent banning.
Sometimes in the heat of discussions persons give themselves over to emotion and request that they be banned, especially after receiving a warning or moderated notice. Requests to be banned, account deactivation, declarations that you are "leaving the site for good", etc., no matter the context or the emotion of the moment, will be honored by the moderators and your account will be deactivated. So, think before you act. I also will tend to deal more firmly with the person who "draws first blood" in a heated discussion thread. The person who lobs the first instance of vitriol explicitly or implicitly directed at another places the match that usually will inflame our sinful passions. These "arsonists" will be given the greater weight of any moderation actions.
Soliciting donations or funds for whatever cause, even a worthy one at that, is frowned upon. These things tend to be springboards for all manner of solicitations and end up distracting from the main purpose of RTIdiscussion.
Lastly, try to select titles for threads that you start that are descriptive of the content. This helps persons searching for topics at RTI or using internet search engines to be directed to RTI, which in turn grows our membership. Titles that are vague, e.g., "Hello everyone!", "I have a question", "What do you think about this?", etc., are not much use to search engine queries.
Accordingly, the RTI moderators reserve the right to rename threads and/or edit content along these lines, including making grammar and punctuation changes omitted by casual smart phone posting as if in a chat box, correcting or adding links that are appropriate, correcting improperly quoted posts, etc. _________________ AMR (a.k.a. Patrick) ☜ Arizona, it's a dry heat!
Posting links that point to other discussion forums is impolite. We ask that you refrain from doing this.
I am going to make a modification to this rule recognizing that sometimes a pointer to another discussion group might be worthwhile.
If the topic you are discussing truly warrants a link to another discussion forum, you can point to it only so long as the link is not offensive. But do not abuse this rule by starting up discussion board wars, that is, "he said this or that". If the person being linked to at another site is not a member of RTI, it is inappropriate to take others to task who are are not available in our forums to defend themselves. As a courtesy, feel free to invite the person in question to join RTI if you want to discuss their views posted elsewhere.
If you have a question about this or just need help in citing a link to another discussion forum, feel free to PM me.
AMR _________________ AMR (a.k.a. Patrick) ☜ Arizona, it's a dry heat!
I think it is appropriate to elaborate a bit more about the basis of discussions within RTI and to include links to related aspects that have come up as time passes.
Unlike many internet forums related to religious topics, RTI is not a debate forum, where every topic is subject to clash and debate. We are a Reformed community of interest, and in general few of our doctrines are subject to outright debate and dissent. I will grant some latitude in discussing our doctrines to wrestle out some of their subtleties, RTI is not a venue where these doctrines are subjected to direct challenge and/or dismissal.
I also want RTI to be a place where the genuinely interested may query the Reformed brethren about our faith and learn from these responses--all with a willingness to be subjected to correction. But what I won't abide is anyone who seeks to subvert our beliefs under a guise of "seeking to understand". It does not take much effort to expose these tactics and we should never allow them to take root within RTI.
Our forums are for fruitful discussion of our doctrines, primarily between and among those that assent to one or more of our Reformed Confessions. And for those who are unfamiliar with these Confessions, we have our very own Statement of Faith that is more than sufficient to appropriate the label "Reformed". I have no doubt that if one spends enough time learning from RTI's content, that such a person would eventually "outgrow" the RTI Statement of Faith in favor of one of the Reformed Confessions. Nevertheless, the Statement of Faith stands as a minimum standard for the basis of what we will tolerate in our discussions. The RTI SoF is broad enough to allow discussions that would not be tolerated at more restrictive forums. I prefer to leave some wiggle room in RTI where we can explore, but not debate, such topics (e.g., credo/paedo baptism) humbly and prayerfully, so that we can together learn more about our wonderful, yet often complex doctrines. The day such a goal results in too much divisiveness is the day that we may have to make more restrictive changes. My prayer is that day never arrives.
This is the real reason I started RTI. I did not found RTI to create a debate forum. Yes, we do have a specific debate forum here and I would like to see it used by the brothers and sisters of the Reformed faith as a means of edifying us all for the glory of God. In general, the debate forum is not for the non-believer or the heretic to come here and challenge the believer. Exceptions may be made to this rule, however. For example, anytime a well-known heretic (e.g., open theist) or non-believer desires to challenge one of our members to a formal debate, we would welcome the opportunity. This serves RTI in two dimensions. First, we can give glory to God by proclaiming His word. Second, we can attract more attention to RTI and increase our membership.
If persons are interested in the kind of forums where debate and its associated vitriol are commonplace, I am afraid RTI will prove to be very disappointing. But if you want to deepen your knowledge of Reformed doctrine and enjoy the fellowship of those who share these same doctrines then I hope RTI is all you hoped it will be.
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