To comment, please select a name or “handle” under which your comments will appear. Please note: this does NOT have to be your real name, either your full real name or part of your real name. (I typically discourage people from posting under their full names, as that will leave them “google-able” indefinitely.) But it DOES have to be a name. We will no longer post comments under the handles of “anonymous” or “guest” or any variation thereof.
If you choose to submit a comment to this site, you are by that action acknowledging that you have read and agreed to the following terms:
While we established this site to be a forum for free discussion, there are nonetheless some guidelines that we ask our commenters to follow, some points to keep in mind.
The first of these is that this site has owners/moderators. If you as a commenter have some special hobby horse of a topic that you wish to discuss – be it a belief in Universalism, or a deep desire to promote egalitarianism, or a drive to compel everyone to approve of and celebrate your post-SGM lifestyle – you are not simply free to take the discussion in any direction you choose. If your particular hobby horse happens to conflict with the personal convictions of the site’s owners/moderators, you may be asked to refrain from discussing the topic further. If you continue to submit comments about your topic, your comments may not be published.
Secondly, if you do not like something that a moderator/owner has said, you are, of course, free to submit a comment that expresses your disagreement. Throughout this site’s history, virtually all such comments have been published. However, persistent dissension occurs here at the discretion of the owners/moderators. If the owners/moderators feel that the dissension is taking attention away from the topic at hand, or if the owners/moderators are simply tired of arguing a particular point, further comments on the topic may not be published. Also, while we have been happy to help commenters get in touch with each other (when requested by both parties) via the email addresses people leave when they comment, we do not guarantee that we will always provide space within the comments for you to publish your personal contact information.
Finally, once you post a comment, you are consenting for that comment to remain on the site as it is. While I have occasionally edited or even deleted comments at the request of commenters, it is a time-consuming process and frequently wreaks havoc with subsequent readers’ ability to follow the conversation. Therefore, particularly if editing or removing your comment(s) would involve a great deal of work on the part of a moderator or would alter the flow of the conversation that occurred, your comment(s) might not be edited or removed.
Please understand, Guy and I thoroughly see the irony in the concept of asserting our “authority” as owners/moderators over people, even as the point of this site is the discussion of a ministry that we believe to be authoritarian and controlling. However, please also understand that this site is not a “church.”It is not a place that is supported by members’ tithes and offerings. Guy and I pay the hosting fees. While we as owners/moderators recognize that we have no legal responsibility for what is said on this site, we do feel a certain level of duty to keep the discussion going along certain lines.
On the rare occasions when we have to throw our moderator weight around, also understand that unlike a church, we are not assuming that we have any “spiritual” authority over you. We are not asking you to submit to or obey us. We’re not even asking you to agree with us. We are simply asking you to be polite guests and abide by the guidelines set forth by your host and hostess.
You are, of course, perfectly free to take your comments elsewhere. You’re also free to put up your own site to discuss your favorite hobby horses as you wish. We will not practice “loving pursuit” of you. We will not contact other site owners/moderators to “warn” them about you and ask them to deny you fellowship.
Anyway, when you post a comment, you do so with the knowledge that this is a site owned and hosted by a couple of individuals. It is not a free-for-all.
The purpose of the site is to provide a place where “survivors” of SGM experiences can find support and information and work through what happened to them. Also, I believe the site serves a secondary purpose of warning people about what can happen if one is not alert to methods used by controlling and manipulative church leaders. Further, the site has now become an avenue for the accountability that SGM leaders have lacked in the past. Leaders now can know that if they mistreat or abuse those entrusted to their care, there’s quite a possibility that their victims won’t always be silent.
But again, the site’s main purpose is a place of support and information for those who have had bad SGM experiences or are wondering about some of the things they are seeing in their exploration of SGM. If you are not having a bad SGM experience, or are not experiencing confusion about SGM, then you very likely won’t “get it.”
Here are some further notes about posting here:
- If this is your first post, or if you’re posting using a different email address, or if your post contains more than one link, your comment will be held in the moderation queue until a moderator sends it through.
- Our main rule here is to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE. If you have problems with this, then please refrain from posting.
- Along those same lines, please give some consideration to how your “entrance” into the conversation might appear to those who have been “talking amongst themselves” for awhile. Obviously, we know that this blog is NOT the real world, but there are similarities. In the same way that it is rude to stride boldly up to a group and barge into their conversation, particularly if you’re bent on disagreeing with them, it can appear rude to do the same thing on a blog. A few little social niceties can go a LONG way. (I’m thinking of perhaps a single opening sentence of, “Hi, everybody, this is my first post here…”) (Also, remember Mary Poppins? – “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down…”)
- Here are my thoughts about the practice that some people have engaged in, which is to copy large portions of scripture off of Biblegateway (or some other such site) and then paste them into comments: We can all use scripture to beef up our opinions. We can wield the mighty two-edged sword all night long. We can even, like Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, have the best of intentions and think that we are demonstrating our care and concern through how we swing our swords…never mind that we lop off a few ears in the meantime. I’d like to request that we quit quoting large amounts of Bible verses, with little original commentary, in some passive-aggressive attempt to make our pet points. HOWEVER, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO INCLUDE SCRIPTURE REFERENCES where they apply. But quit posting comments that involve little more than copying and pasting whole passages. I have to confess, when I see familiar passages of scripture like that, and when I know they’re coming from someone who is accusing me of “gossip” or some other such sin (like not being a peacemaker), I just sort of gloss over them. But by including the references and not the actual scriptures, we will all be free to go look these Bible passages up on our own, in the privacy of our quiet time perhaps, when our hearts might be more receptive.
- One last reminder – many of the people posting here have gone through some pretty harrowing experiences within their churches. It is understandable that some readers will desire nonetheless to leap to these churches’ defense. While you’re certainly free to present such a defense, PLEASE be sensitive to the feelings of the folks who have shared their stories. Also, just know that if you fling certain accusations at these people, such as “gossip” or “slander,” it probably won’t help make your other remarks more convincing…and it’s also not very original, either.
Terms and Conditions:
- The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice.
- Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.
- Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.
- This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these terms and conditions.
- All trademarks reproduced in this website, which are not the property of, or licensed to the operator, are acknowledged on the website.
- Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence.
- From time to time this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).