A Piece of my Mind and Religion (The Faith and Religion Forum)

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by Brokor, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I have decided to finally make a post here after many years. A long time ago, more than ten years now, I championed the movement to create this section known as the "Faith and Religion" portion of the Survival Monkey to some emotional objection, after finding difficulty with members on this very topic. I will admit freely now, I was rather abrupt with my reasoning back then, but it comes as no surprise to find that I have grown and learned along the way. Nevertheless, my reasoning for wanting this section to exist was always sound; I wanted to set aside a place for those who are inclined to actually freely discuss the nature of their hearts without unnecessary rivalry.

    My mind is very orderly, or at least that's what I like to think. Whenever I am presented with a problem, I like to analyze every aspect of it and place its components or arguments in descending order from the most important to the least. I then have a clear line of focus and can arrange my thoughts based on the most pressing attributes of each component. For example, this forum has a structured means of organizing discussions. You can see this layout on the forum main page and navigate to your intended destination. We wouldn't place bushcraft as a sub-forum inside the survival marketplace forum heading, nor should we expect to find no religion section and expect a member to post religious content anywhere and everywhere. This would be chaos. This would be disorderly. This will not do.

    We have a wide variety of people who frequent these forums, some religious, many belong to different nations who vary in traditions and beliefs. Some members are not religious and prefer to keep religion out of every discussion so they can focus on the topic at hand. And, sometimes we have the random member who wants to spread the joy they have found with their religion to everybody and who may not understand the process of order and take into account a consideration for others. I would not jump into a thread which may be on the topic of electronics and spam messages about my favorite spaghetti recipe. We have a forum for recipes, it belongs there. Likewise, a religious topic or a religious post belongs here in the F&R forum of the Survival Monkey. The angry atheists do not have a solid reason to even be here (in the Faith and Religious area) unless it is to be encouraging or supportive, or at the very least, respectfully argumentative. My advice to any religious member is to "rejoice" in knowing that you are supported and welcomed here. This does not mean you should take every opportunity to promote (proselytize) your religious convictions and faith in other areas of the Survival Monkey forum, however. One might argue that the religious are being wrongly treated, cast aside and closed off here. I would like to point out a very important reason in an attempt to invalidate that claim. Take a good look at any diverse forum and find one with friendly discourse on the subject of religion when it is not orderly. You either get free and open religious discussions thrown in at random with heavy moderation and plenty of punishments to deal out to the member base, or you get utter chaos and rude, useless banter. In both cases, it's the member base which suffers the most. In rare instances, if the staff are predominantly religious, you will find a heavy bias and a very unfair treatment of members who are not of the same mind. You will see fewer new members join, and a steady decline in active posters. Only the trolls and the strongest-willed staff will remain.

    I have visited forums and posted where it was not allowed, unbeknownst to me at the time, and felt the sting of a moderator's wrath. I have dared to question a fanatical conclusion and premise --and was immediately banned because of it. Thankfully, this forum is not like any of those places.

    On the topic of religion itself, it's yours to freely experience within this Faith and Religion forum. Your post is guaranteed to be seen by every subscriber, every member who visits here, and it will have the highest likelihood of receiving positive feedback. As a member of the staff, I proudly take it to hold some responsibility in maintaining the civility and prosperity of this objective.

    In case any members may be having difficulty reading between the lines or catching on to my sometimes subtle rhetoric --please do not break this sound tradition we have here. Your voice is always heard, especially those who hold the will to venture here.
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Thank you for your post and gentle reminder to keep on topic. I am afraid that each of us, as individuals, tend to view life and our interactions with others in our own way. While I thank the Lord for our true diversity, I realize that my way of expressing my thoughts on a subject may include references to "my" beliefs and faith, that others may find excessively religious. I am not very good at attending any organized religious group, but believe that both religion, and preparing for events in this world, are a way of life and not simply a way to spend a few relaxing hours. This group, with its diverse experiences, backgrounds, cultural, religious and other actors fills a need in my life that is not filled by playing the latest game or talking on facebook. That being said, I also realize that as a group we are an unruly bunch of sheep and that our earthly shepherds, ie the moderators, have a difficult task in keeping us sheep in an orderly group and perhaps in the same pasture. I for one do not take offense at being reminded to get back to the flock or to go to another flock, and thank the moderators for their masterful job in keeping this forum an interesting and thoughtful place and not allowing it to degenerate into either flame wars, spam, or being dominated by gunkid. That being said, I admit that the topic of the Lord may well be seen by others as my take on armored wheel barrows and that a gentle or perhaps strongly worded advice to keep on topic may be needed.
    chelloveck, Dont, Mindgrinder and 2 others like this.
  3. Garand69

    Garand69 Monkey+ Site Supporter+

  4. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Ganado, Geneva Exile and enloopious like this.
  5. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Great post my friend. I have always liked the title of this forum "Faith and Religion". I see it as two completely separate things. Faith is a personal belief in something outside ourselves. And that can take many forms. Religion is a man made construct and, as anything touched by human hands, it can be manipulated, perverted, and thoroughly corrupted. Many people can't seem to separate the two. The religious extremists want to rail against any who do not follow their religious doctrine while the atheists rail against the corruption and fallacies of religion. I have always held to Romans Chapter 14. In summary it says that if you feel something is wrong, is a sin, and you do it then you have sinned. But if another feels it is acceptable to do that thing and does it it is not counted as sin against him.
    People have to understand that YOUR beliefs and YOUR sins are YOURS. My beliefs and my sins are mine and others are theirs. We each, if you subscribe to the doctrine, will give an account of ourselves to our creator.
    I was a devout atheist for most of my younger years. The one thing that kept me from having an open mind for religion was the religious people. The in your face, forceful evangelically vigorous turned me off. More souls are lost to the kingdom of heaven due to the religious than are due to the non.
    The greatest evangelist of the early church said it best " I am all things to all men". In other words he joined in to whatever group he was with and became as one of them. He didn't come in to preach fire and brimstone. He came in to break bread with them, to live among them, to work with them. And first by example and then by word to share the good news that he wanted them to hear. He stayed on topic and when the chance arose he shared his testimony. That is what too many people fail to grasp, you can not preach to an unperceptive audience. You are casting seeds on stone and what have you gained?
    I have been a Christian and an ordained minister for many years now and I have found that the greatest opportunities I have ever had to witness, to evangelize, to share my faith came about from just being with people. At a party, on a forum, on a field trip. Just by people knowing that I was a man of faith, and being a good example of that, I have had far more people come to me and ask me to share with them than ever would have if I were to take every opportunity, every opening, every subject in every discussion and turn it to faith.
    duane, Yard Dart, BTPost and 2 others like this.
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