Close Down the Puritanboard?

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by C. Matthew McMahon, Oct 23, 2005.

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  1. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    :p No biggie and others DO feel that way but they feel that way for the reason I posted above your last post.
  2. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Given that the vast majority of Christians in this country are still the products of Revivalism, we're going to keep getting newbies here for a while, people who are beginning to be attracted to Reform -but haven't made it all the way across. There needs to be a way to interact with these folks, just as people have been patient and interacted with us. Most of us come from an Evanjullyfich background, and we didn't change all by ourselves.

    I don't think it's a good idea to keep sending people back to the old threads on "dead horse" topics because people learn by discussing, as many a college prof can tell us. The PB certainly isn't a church, I see it as more of a student lounge, an online "bull session" (no profanity intended). That's why I don't understand all the banning and revoking of privileges going on. Of course it's probable that the owners don't see this as a "student lounge" where anything goes.

    As for the "thick skin" thing, what keeps me from discussing things is not that people will disagree with me, it's that they'll do it in a contentious, frankly fleshly way. Two years ago the mods had to close a contentious thread on...sanctification! I still :lol: thinking about that one!

    I apologize for this, I personally helped to draw attention to a poster who was still struggling with Dispensationalism - and shortly thereafter he was banned - because he wouldn't get over it in just a few posts. I still feel convicted about it. It's been a 3-year shift for me from Dispensationalism and Keswick spirituality (which I was never good at, BTW) to Reform - I think. We aren't giving people their 3 years.

    BTW; I didn't vote to shut it down, so don't call me a whiner or I'll call you a...a...Superlapsarian!:banana::banana::banana:
  3. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

    Now there is a reason for thicker skin. :bigsmile::lol:
  4. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Hey, calling you a whiner is nothing! In my past I once made a whiners necklace. I stapled a peice of twine to the ends of a kleenex box. If you whined too much you had to wear it for the day. (Keep in mind this was YEARS ago when stuff like this was acceptable and I believed it worked.):D
  5. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher


    Keep on track.
  6. tdowns

    tdowns Puritan Board Junior

    Outreach or in house discussions?

    I think it's a good point about people not having time to learn about reformed thinking before being banned or scorned. But, maybe emails or u2u's are being sent, I don't know? It seems it comes down to whether or not this is intended to reach out to those in serious error.

    If this is only about discussing theology that is within the tight framework, then let the banning begin and that's fine.

    But if it is a tool to draw the flock toward truth, to disciple? Then some strategies (which may already be in existence) should be in place. Like U2u's pointing out serious error. Gentle rebukes. Allowing one to post questions and be on board as long as they are not propagating their errant ideas. ETC.

    I just think, if the truth is here, then the longer people stick around, the better.

    [Edited on 10-24-2005 by tdowns007]
  7. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    a side note on the banning issue - the owners, admins, and mods need to be encouraged to set, follow, and explain to the board the protocol for restricting privileges or banning.

    Problems follow when people either do not know what is going on, do not know the procedure that is being used, or see the procedure being thrown out the window without due cause or without explanation.

    When the rules are set and explained, everybody should have to follow them.

  8. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    A very wise counsel......:ditto:

  9. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior


  10. dswatts

    dswatts Puritan Board Freshman

    Absolutely not! Close down the Puritan board?!?! May it never be! :pray2:

    My :2cents:

  11. SmokingFlax

    SmokingFlax Puritan Board Sophomore

    From a purely selfish vantage point ...keep it as it is. I still have SO MUCH to learn.

    Also, about the only things that bug me about the PB are:

    1) People who type whole pages of comments or notes without breaking them up into easy-to-read, small (two sentence or so) segments. Forget the paragraph structure -this is the internet not a book! Give our eyes a break!!!

    2) Similar to above: The need of some to compulsively paste the entire thread to every other post thus overwhelming my sluggish ghetto computer!
  12. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    Uh no dont close the board down. Should we shut down churchs because fo trials and tribulations?? NO. Should we stop being christians because of trials and tribulations???NO. this is a board not a church and thus doesnt replace physical fellowship but for many like myself need this outlet to freely discuss reformed thinking with like minded brethren. Quiting would only make the job easier for satan. That would be one less area of the internet world he ouwldnt have to worry about because the people who most admire there brethren puritans who gave willing their own lives for the gospel of Christ Jesus !!! Gave up because of difficulties!!!

    Iam better for the Lord allowing a place like this to exist.

    In Christ,
  13. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I am finally getting around to giving some of my thoughts on these matters. I hope that my (relatively) silence on the board the past week or so has not unduly concerned anyone. I have been very busy with other matters of work, school and visiting family that I (rightly) view as more important than the Puritanboard.

    First, I would like to say that I don't think that the Puritanboard should be shut down. I think that it exists as a useful resource for many people learning about the Reformed faith. I have always believed (and I think consistently commented) that I believe the number of active readers of the is much greater than the active posters/writers. The Puritanboard has almost 900 members. Even granting the number of "members" who probably haven't signed on in months (how many sites are you a "member" of only because you wanted to see something once or twice?) there are still a great many members on this Board that you never "see." I get occasional emails or U2Us from these "silent readers" and generally then tend to be new to the Reformed faith (although not always), here to read and learn about the basics of Reformed theology - the main things. Even this little "world" of our is much bigger than we think. It should say something that this thread has almost 1,000 views and only 45 (right now) votes.

    Second, I would admit that for myself, and I would challenge many of the most frequent posters that we spend too much time on the board in a fashion to carry on "normal" theological debate. Many of us (I believe) get on and surf the web in between other things - cooking, classes, work, etc. That means that we do not, and cannot, carry on a "debate" with anything like the precision or care needed for fine line issues. I am often amazed - more at myself than anyone else - at how fast replies come on the most abstruse topics, and how heated they are (again, I speak here of myself). It is hard to believe that a great deal of listening is being done, let alone thinking. I wonder how many of us would continue in a normal conversation if every 2 minutes or so, the other person said, "Oh yeah? Here, read these 15 paragraphs." "Now read these 20 quotes I have cut and pasted."

    Does that mean that we should not use supporting authority? No! There is nothing wrong (indeed much is right) with standing on the shoulders of giants. But I wonder if we do it so much (and so quickly) that it causes passions to rise.

    Third, I think we take the Board too seriously. I agree wholeheartedly with Bruce and Mike Butterfield here. I believe we get offended far too quickly at what is said, and that should stop. I would personally suggest that the next time someone feels that way they should contact the person involved OUTSIDE of the THREAD. Use email. Use U2Us. Keep it low-key. Keep it restrained.

    Fourth, I too have had my frustrations with the Board. That might seem counter-intuitive, because I am a Super Administrator. I have invested a great deal of time in the board, having completely reinstalled it on several occasions, converted it to Phpbb, converted it back to XMB, been with umpteen web hosts, etc. I am the only Administrator now outside of the owners/founders (Matt & Scott). So why would I be frustrated?

    Plain and simple, I think it is because while all the while I have harped that the Board is not a church (and it isn't) there is a sense in which I act differently. Not that it keeps me from church, mind you - I'm more ecclesiastically involved than probably anyone here, with a membership in one PCA church, service in that Presbytery, associate membership in another PCA church, and regular preaching in a third church that involves me in a second Presbytery. But that I have come, more and more, as I have labored within the Church to serve and love God's people by God's grace. At the risk of sounding sappy, my normal role in the church is to work with and explain the Bible to those who don't understand it, and with whom others don't have a lot of time to spend. I have a special passion then for our "silent readers."

    So much of my discussion, especially of late as I have been overwhelmed with work and time demands, has been to make sure that in many cases a counterpoint is heard, not because I am interested in the topic. In fact the opposite is generally true - I have been posting lately in topics that I would never discuss at church and find of little to no interest at all. Many times I view the topic as an almost complete waste of my time. If this sounds harsh, then so be it, but it is the truth. Sometimes that has worked out to God's glory, other times to my sin. Man proposes but God disposes, or so the proverb goes.

    Why all the vetting here? Because as I have studied my own interaction on the Board, I think it has given me some thoughts about the board in general. I think we need to listen to (and practice) what Bruce said. We need to be involved in building up, and where we (or I) cannot build up, we should simply walk away. In a church, I would not have that luxury - because elders don't walk away. But here, I can. I don't watch over anyone's soul here. I am here to help, and be as pastoral as I can, but I am not committed to addressing every issue.

    So for me, and I hope for you, what it comes down to is talking and thinking about important matters and dealing charitably with others. If we are honest with overselves, it is harder to be charitable the further we get off the main things and page. Does that mean we should all only talk about absolute core issues? NO! But it means we are more likely to schism and cause harm. If we ask ourselves how many denominations were formed and how many breaks occurred over monergism, or inerrency on the one hand, and how many over headcoverings, eschatology or other tertiary (even quadriary!) matters on the other hand, I think we have our answer.

    The Board is what we make it, and frankly, it has not been a place I have enjoyed reading lately. This is not because of Matt, Scott or me, or anyone else. It is not because of "attitudes." I think it is because I have been discussing things for two years, and have shied away from revisiting main issues that come up again and again because I've "already addressed them." But that is not the point. We learn (and teach) through repetition. It bothers me when the last time people had concerns, Matt tried to do something about it and started a dozen or so good threads about good and important issues and little interest was generated. And yet at the same time in the past month there have been at least 20 EP threads, and dozens more in the past months that revolve around the right/obligation to drink alcohol.

    To my "silent reader" friends, I have to say that I have been given a good dose of my own (misplaced) self-importance. I'm going to try and practice what I preach, and be helpful and spend my time where it is warranted. I hope that you will not see my "silence" on certain issues as weakness or agreement. If so, I can live with that. But I am going to try and avoid posting simply as "preventative maintenance." You'll not see another post by me on any exclusive psalmody thread. There will be others.

    So I say KEEP the board OPEN. But do something about it. Ask good questions. Think about important things. Be charitable. Assume the best. All that good stuff.

    May God richly bless you all as you study His Word, and serve His people.

    [Edited on 10/24/2005 by fredtgreco]
  14. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    It's all been said, but because of the importance of the question I'll add my couple of thoughts. Those who are angry enough about the discussions and debates here that they would leave have exagerated the importance of the board. This is the internet, it's not a church or a denomination. This the the realm of ideas, good ideas, great ideas and the gathering of people who seek true truth. No one is going to be burned at the stake here.

    On the other hand many don't understand the real importance of a board like this. This isn't the 'I am His, and He is mine and doesn't make you feel good' kind of community. If you can't learn here, if you can't hold your own in the arena of debate then you will not be an effective defender of the faith anywhere.

    For example, do you call yourself a calvinist. I was eager to wear that title and then I visited David Clouds website. Man, he shredded my calvinistic apoligetic. You can call yourself anything you want but if you can't back up your conviction from scripture you are an empty shirt. If you can't take a punch in your personal convictions then you are destined to double-mindedness and doubt.

    Iron will never be sharpened by using a mink glove.

    The PB offers the freedom to compete on what ever level of depth you feel you are ready for. It will urge you on or encourage you to wait until you are ready to take your next stand. I usually write light hearted things because they are safe but I learn so much from the deeper and sometimes pointed debates that take place. I am always surprised to see how much deeper the rabbit hole goes that I had ever imagined.

    I have met so many pastors over the years and my favorites are those who have strong convictions and can defend them from the scriptures. I may disagree with them 180 degrees but what joy it is to open and wrestle from the scriptures with someone who loves the Word as much as I do. Give me that 1 in a 1000 good shepherd who will stand in the gap with the Word of God exalted high rather than those 999 people pleasers any day.

    Keep the board the way it is!
  15. heartoflesh

    heartoflesh Puritan Board Junior

    Maybe we should require a special password for the theological/debate sections?
  16. bond-servant

    bond-servant Puritan Board Sophomore

    Good thought...I thought about that too, but I don't think that would work well because *every* thread has the potential to turn into a debate.. even the seemingly 'harmless' ones. Each time it turned to a debate the mods would have to move it. So the question becomes, "where is the line between discussion and friendly debate?"
  17. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you, Fred. A breath of fresh air in the swamp.

    I, too, would vote to keep the PB, but changing the focus and the attitudes would be a welcome benefit. I have seen people in the distant past disappear due to what I felt were the harsh and sarcastic remarks made by others, and I even questioned (not long after I joined) why I was even here. To learn, for sure, but my beliefs will most likely not be changed through human coercion.

    Perhaps Bob (maxdetail) is right - if you don't like a thread then don't read it. But how will I ever learn to refute wrongs if all I ever do is read just one side of the issue? And so, like a radio station, I keep reading, hoping the next song (issue) will be better than the last one. Humans are like that - random (providential) positive reinforcement keeps us more focused.

    It has been a ride, but I will stay and continue to learn.
  18. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

    That sounds like a bad idea and rather draconian to me.
  19. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore


    Its already bad enough that 1984 has visited us so many times during this and other recent threads.
  20. heartoflesh

    heartoflesh Puritan Board Junior

    Perhaps a basic exam that needs to be passed to get the password. Basic theology, Debate Ethics, etc.

    Of course, I mention this tongue in cheek.

    Despite all its shortcomings, the benefit of this board is that there really is a relative unity of belief. Venture on to your average "Christian Messageboard" and you will be encounter never-ending debates with Arminians and Open-Theists.
  21. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I voted to keep the forum. But if the energy spent on the board is taking away from local responsibilities then some things need to be reevaluated. I have been in leadership roles and know that there are continual criticisms being leveled toward leaders. This does drain some people. The moment that Scott, Matt, and moderators are being drained by criticism and responsibility to the board I wonder if their local congregational responsibilities are being dragged down. This is not beneficial that they spend time deflecting and waisting energy away from their local responsibilities.

    I admit that I have benefitted greatly here and consider myself to have been an extension of this ministry. It may not be a church or local congregation but it definitely is a ministry of teaching and fellowship. I do not wish that we become a hinderance for Scott, Matt, or any of the moderators. We have no right to weigh them down and take from their local congregations that which they will already owe to the bodies they serve in.

    If they find it needful to step down from this responsibility because the weight of it is taking from their home life and church life we ought to be able to be gracious in helping them see this. If it isn't weighing them down let's keep the party going.
  22. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

  23. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor


    I have learned so much here. Reading and learning has helped me to have answers to the questions that people ask me. My whole sphere of relationships prior to attending the OPC consisted of pentecostal/arminian/Church of Christ people.

    We stick out like sore thumbs now and when I am questioned I have an answer. I think my answers would not have come so easily without the knowledge that I have gained here.

    Just learning the nomenclature of the orthodox/reformed church has been invaluable because it is totally different from my old church. I understand my pastor now!

    Don't shut it down. :pray2:
  24. Swampguy

    Swampguy Puritan Board Freshman

    Don't even consider closing this board. I learn alot here and would like to contribute more but I still getting the hang of this reformed thing. So, what if there are a few immature members who call names and make disparing remarks. Thats life and you ignore them and move on. Just my opinion, Tim
  25. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    I do not consider myself to be a significant person/member on the PB, but I appreciate the public opportunity to be heard as if my opinion really does count in some way. But I do submit this as opinion and not with an attitude of "good, now I can be heard and can influence others to my views". Take my opinion for whatever it is worth, and only as a furtherance of what has already been said.

    So far I agree with what several have stated (Fred, JohnV, Robin, Randy, Phillip, Bruce, and Meg).

    Ultimately if this board is distracting the owners from their callings in the face to face callings God has laid upon them, then it should be shut down as a matter of providence and circumstance. We should all agree as to what is more important here, and admit the obvious that afterall, this is their board.

    I think part of the problem has been a false dilemma from the beginning of the recent back and forth. There are those who side with the "thick skinned' argument and those who side with the "never offend me" argument. I believe both are wrong, and to side with either extreme is to reveal more about yourself than it does the person you side against. When some accuse others of being too "thin- skinned" (or similar assumptions), it is possible that in those cases the accuser himself is too thin-hearted and is reading too much into the person's complaint. Not all complaints are registered with a heart of hostility. And those who hear the complaints need to recognize that. You never know when you could be missing a legitimate "Nathan" coming to you. Some people seem to think they are above criticism, whether it is because of position or because of ones's older age. Just because feminism is so strong in our day and prevalent, let us not forget that the movement does have its reasons for reacting the way it does, and that many men find comfort in being one of thsoe types that the feminists have overreacted against. Others think they are above criticism simply because God has not providentially shown them that they are not as important as they think they are and do not know as mucht as they think they do. This is true for the old and the young. Pride is not a respecter of age.

    In other words, it is possible that the accuser and the offender both have thin skin. The offended may take everything personally, while the offender may take his correction personally. Some times an offense is really an offense. And sometimes a criticism is a way of reconciliation and peace for and with the offender.

    Some complain that people don't speak up; while others chastise publicly those who do. With this, people are getting mixed messages, and take the wise route in just keeping quiet, perhaps hoping that those who are taking offense to another being offended will notice that they are proving the offended's point, and are being hypocritical by being so offended that someone was offended! There is pride on both sides.

    Things that may help would be:
    1. If those who wanted to debate a topic, would make it clear from the beginning of the thread that they wanted debate and not discussion, and if so then those allowed in the debate would be restricted so as to keep threads on pace and topic.

    2. Otherwise the thread should be seen as a discussion, because afterall this is what the PB advertises itself to be, "a board where Christ can be discussed". Aside from the fact that Christ is discussed very little, shoved aside for the finer points within reformed evangelical orthodoxy(it is not enough for us that Christ divides, we must follow his "example" and divide over lesser issues), there is little chance for discussion due to all the interruptions, unnecessary comments, and challenges. As another has said, learning comes from discussion. When discussion is thwarted (and discussion is the purpose of the board in the first place), a person I think has a legitimate right to be frustrated and upset. This is why I have phased out more and more and have pondered leaving. Discusssion just seems impossible sometimes, so I have thought I could spend my time better elsewhere. I am sure others can concur and do not register this as a personal problem, but simply that this is the way things are, no hard feelings, move on.

    3. Learn the fine art of distinction. We need to learn the difference between debate and discussion, and the difference between truth that divides by its very nature and our nature that likes to be divisive. Discussion is for sharpening, with give and take and should be open to learning even if not open to change. Debate is by its nature a competition to see who can prove who is right and wrong, and who has the best technique at doing so. I think we can see the difference in roundtable discussions and debates that theologians and universities often host for their students. If we join this PB or a thread to prove somebody wrong or to correct them, perhaps the best way would be to u2u them in private or ask them to debate. And then check ourselves as to why we feel the need to prove others wrong all the time. And a discussion should not involve cut and paste as much as it does. This is a discussion board primarily, and not a billboard. Obviously one could go find these quotes or ask for them if he needed them and was researching them. But otherwise the person wouldn't be on the board in the first place. It is time consuming and fiancially straining to always buy the next book or read the full version online (this does not mean study should be simple and quick). It is like playing chess vs. a human or computer. The computer may be stronger and have better information, but you will be severely lacking if you do not hone your skills and knowledge against real flesh and blood. Perhaps it is a fear that this real interaction might change us, or we may be found to have a mistake in our thinking afterall. A wise man once told me that if you are confident in your beliefs you will not be afraid to expose it to scrutiny, because you know it will hold up. Perhaps we fail to discuss because we doubt our ability or our convictions.

    4. Stop the rhetoric towards those we disagree with. Obviously if we disagree with someone that means we think they are wrong. That does not mean we need to retort with "youre wrong!", "youre unfaithful!", "will worshipper!", etc. Let God the Holy Spirit teach them that in their conscience. Let us just expound what we belive and why we belive it without the subtle personal attacks. If we cannot give a full response that builds up and clarifies, then we should avoid response. While some certainly may be offended too easily, others are rightly trying to point out that it isn't always another person's disagreement that hurts, but rather the way in which it is said. Big difference. We need to be more sensitive to people's providence/circumstances before we mouth of what is right and wrong. You never know where people are at in life, and our words have the huge potential for destruction of those who struggle due to ignorance, confusion, pain and the like. Truth is hard to take sometimes, but it is not for us to make it harder than it already is.

    5. Curb the narrowness that is creeping in. Although there is not one thing I disagree with in Berkhof's sytematic or the reformed confessions (for the most part), I sometimes have a hard time feeling as if I am truly reformed on the PB. Much more important issues to be discussed should be law/gospel, just./sanct., Christ's person and work, etc. This is ultimately what divides us from the reprobate. I fear however the possibility though that some who are so divisive over their pet issues might fall on the wrong side of the just mentioned essentials. This is not a call for liberalism and anti-confessionalism. But rather the opposite. Confessionalism is a boundary not a comprehensive absolute. While liberals are those who deny a confessions truth, ultra-conservatives tend to use the confessions as a springboard to speculate and add to the confession. We should hold no less than the confessions, but no more than them either (dogmatically or divisively). In our legit desire to not allow the everpresent threat of liberalism creeping in, let us make sure we know what "theological liberalism" actually is in historical context, and not overreact to the word "liberal" in general by swinging towards a narrowness that might be labeled "theological Donatism". All christians can fall of either side of the horse; it isn't just the liberals who are prone to these sins.

    To sum up, we should all look at ourselves first before we accuse others of offending us, and before we accuse those offended of being thin skinned. If I have done wrong to anyone, please contact me.

    I chose "not" to close this board down, because I find it helpful as an aid to my studies (not the source of my studies), an encouragement through the prayer forum, and I have met a few people I hope to meet in person someday, and hopefully I have encouraged others when they needed it.

    Thank you to Matt and Scott for providing this board and to all the administrators and moderators who try to maintain it. Your work does not go unnoticed and is appreciated.

    Coram Deo

    [Edited on 10-24-2005 by RAS]
  26. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I am thankful for the participation here in thise thread.

    If I might ask - there are 10 people (as of 3pm Central) who have vote to close the board and 5 who voted to make it into a prayer board (essentially to close it as it is).

    I would ask that you confidentially send me an EMAIL, not a U2U, explaining to me briefly your reasons. I am not trying to "find you all out," nor am I interested in providing a mere opportunity for venting your spleen. I am truly interested, as one who has had frustrations, and yet loves the Board and many on it. In your "complaint" might be some helpful comments. It is also possible that it would provide an opportunity for me to point out something to you that could be helpful and edifying.

    So please send me an email at my board address (fredtgreco at gmail dot com) - just click the email button or put the email in normal format - and I will promise to read your thoughts, reply and keep them as private as you desire.

  27. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Sounds like a good idea, Fred. Then they can exchange ideas and possibly some legitimate concerns without feeling scapegoated. Perhaps we can glean some ideas from this.
  28. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    :ditto: This says it better than I could.

    And Fred, I think you're right on about the number of viewers vs. posters. I used to view PB occasionally before I even registered as a member.
  29. hpedlar

    hpedlar Inactive User

    I have been reading this board for about 2 weeks, during which time I have seen many discussions on some esoteric and finer points of reformed doctrine. I am amazed how much time and energy seem to be spent on these issues. Yet some of the more "pracitcal" issues are hardly replied to at all. I would like to respectfully ask a few questions: Does all the time spent debating issues like EP (just a current example) really edify us? Is it iron sharpening iron, or is it us trying to convince people of our own positions. I have been (until our current residence) in very intellectual church environments, much like this board, and I have to say that it can be very wearying. My 2 weeks on this board have been wearying in the same way. My pastor's wife recently reminded me we are obligated to redeem the time God has given us. Are we redeeming our time while on this board? I know that reading endless debate has not been wise use of my time. I am sure others are getting much-needed help honing their views, but as a woman and as a mom to young children, I was looking for something else. I will be spending much less time here as a result. I do think the questions you are all asking about the value of this forum are good. Blessings to you all as you work it out.
  30. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Keep the board.

    I think it's most helpful for those who are investigating the Reformed faith or are struggling with certain issues. Several here have testified to being helped in finding a church, etc. But we also need to keep things in perspective and hopefully the recent discussions will be helpful in that regard, and I hope we will all be more mindful of using our time wisely and in the importance of being involved in a local church.

    I've had the same problem with other groups/boards where you see the same arguments offered over and over again, seemingly ad nauseum, becoming very tendentious. But there are always new people coming to the board for whom the discussion may be new. You don't have to read every thread.

    I think listing everyone's post count may in some cases be counterproductive, since some (including myself at times, I'll admit) seem to make posts just so our post count will go up.
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