General Board Rules

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Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Puritanboard Rules

Since Christ is the Supreme Authority over His church (Eph. 5:23), He has commanded the brethren to act in accordance with one another in love and discernment (Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 2:42, 46; Isa. 2:3; I Cor. 11:20). All Christians still have remnants of remaining sin that need to be mortified (Romans 8:13), and the following rules will serve as a hedge against problems in this fellowship.

Basic Puritanboard Rules

1. Post Your Subject in the Proper Forum
One of the main reasons that the Board was revised was to make it easier for everyone to see and find threads that they want to participate in. So think first before you start a new thread (cf. #3 below). Make sure that you have the best forum you can think of for your thread. For example, if you are asking a question about the qualifications of elders, even though it technically could be posted in the Theology Forum, it belongs in the Ecclesiology Forum.

2. Post Your Subject with the Proper Title
Same reason as #1 above. We now have almost 700 members, with 75,000 posts in 6,200 topics. If someone has a question about a topic, it makes it much easier to use the Board as research if it is properly titled. Avoid titles like "Did you see this," "what do you think of that," "Baptism," "God," "the PCA" etc. Much better to say "News of car bomb in Iraq," "The 2004 Auburn Avenue Conference," "Baptism and the Covenant of Grace in Witsius" or "The Marriage Overture passed at the 2004 PCA General Assembly"

The Prayer Forum is indeed not visible to non-members (or search engines), but the names of the various threads are. With that in mind, please think very carefully before naming your prayer request threads. If you don't want someone to know that you are having marital problems, don't post "Pray for my Marriage." Post "Please pray" or something like that. Because of the fact that prayer requests are generally read regardless of title, and rarely searched, the Prayer forum is exempt from this rule.

3. Pause Before You Post
This is something that everyone can benefit from. Before you send the latest jab, punch, tweak, etc into cyberspace, take a minute (or two, or five) to make sure that you are doing so in a spirit of Christian maturity (cf. #4 below). Study first, pray, post after.

4. Make sure of the medium as well as the message
Godliness is founded on truth. A test of truth is its power to promote holiness according to our Savior's rule, "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). No opinion can be more pernicious or more absurd than that which brings truth and falsehood upon the same level. On the contrary, there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty; otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth or to embrace it. While under the conviction of the above principle, it is necessary to make effective provision that all who are admitted as teachers be sound in the faith, there are truths and forms with respect to which men of good character and principles may differ. In all these it is the duty both of private Christians and societies to exercise mutual forbearance toward each other." (PCA BCO, Preface) Above all, operate with Paul's command, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2) well in mind.

5. Be Willing to Consider Other's thoughts, but do not be relative
Continuing with #4 above does not mean the most important thing on the Board is whether we can all get along in a milquetoast tolerance where every opinion is as valid as every other one. We certainly do not espouse Pilate's dictum, "What is truth?" It is well documented that Calvin, Luther and others used harsh language at times. But it is also probably true that your internet post about the latest book is not of the same significance for the Church as Luther's Bondage of the Will or Calvin's Reply to Sodoleto.

6. Remember that this is a Reformed Discussion Group. The Puritanboard uses volunteer moderators as leadership to facilitate general order and guide the Reformed discussions that they may be exhortative as well as educational to the Reformed Christian. Many of the moderators and affiliates on Puritanboard are actively involved in Pastoring churches; the others being involved in various ministerial capacities at their respective local churches. The board and owners feel that order originates with God. Moderators follow Reformed principles and convictions, and we have openly allowed using the Reformed Confessions as a starting principle by which any moderator or member must abide by. The order that the moderators help facilitate is to be aligned with their statements of faith (comprised in the Westminster Confession of Faith, The Canons of Dordt, The Belgian Confession, The Heidelberg Catechism, and Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689)

7. The Puritanboard is subject to Christ´s church.
The Puritanboard is owned by two Presbyterians, and those Presbyterians are subject to their local session. However, because the Puritanboard is moderated by both Presbyterians and Baptists, we endeavor to live in some level of harmony in edification and fellowship. Officially, the Puritanboard is governed by the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Standards and will acquiesce to its standards in ultimate matters of any controversies on the Puritanboard. Some of our moderators are Baptist and hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Others hold to the Three Forms of Unity. Those who desire to join the Puritanboard must embrace an historic confession. All members of this board hold to the basic creeds of the church: The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Athanasian Creed, The Chalcedonian Creed, etc. However, one must hold to an orthodox confession of the church. This does not mean that the owners of the Puritanboard and the moderators see these confessions as the "œWord of God." Rather, these confessions and creeds are documents that sufficiently comprise personal beliefs based on exegetical work taken from the Bible and allow mutual, like-minded fellowship (Amos 3:3, "œCan two walk together unless they be agreed?"). The owners of the Puritanboard believe the Westminster Confession of Faith to comprise the most accurate systematization of the Word of God. Some of our moderators believe the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith to do the same, and there is disagreement on certain points, though in love. The adherence to any orthodox historical documents assure that the board will be kept "like-minded" in most of the basic points of salvation history and that the fellowship "exhortive and encouraging." Those who seek to modify, depart from, change or disprove the doctrines found in the Confessions will bear the burden of proof to support their claim.

8. Banning
It is not the general practice of the Board Administrators to ask a participant to leave. Generally the Board tries to be tolerant of postings, issuing warnings where appropriate first. Members in the past have been banned only after sufficient warning and repeated violations of Board Rules, behavior unbecoming a Christian and/or espousing heresy. The banning of members is at the discretion of the Administrators. Because the Puritanboard is not a local church there is not a session or forum to address issues as we are not set up in this manner.

9. Age Requirement
One must be 16 years of age to participate as some of the topics are of an adult nature. This is not to say we look down on youth; we do not! As Paul exhorted Timothy, "Let no man despise your youth; but be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim 4:12) Our rationale would be that of erring on the side of caution in this regard; see it as protection in this instance.

10. Forum Specific Rules
Several of the Forums also have rules specific to that Forum (e.g. Baptism Forum). Please make sure that you have read the rules of a Forum BEFORE you post there.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Administrators of the Puritanboard:

May God bless you during your stay with us.
In the Grace of Christ,
Rev. C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D.
Scott P. Bushey

[Edited on 3-27-2006 by C. Matthew McMahon]
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