Friday, February 27, 2009

Giving Grace to Those Who Hear

I learned about this posting on the Sojourners Blog via Twitter: "Good Guys and Bad Guys on the Border" and recommend it for its own sake. Also, however, I was interested to see while reading it that Sojo has a "Comment Code of Conduct," with appropriate scripture citations. Since, as I've written before here, many online comment sections, even on religious blogs and sites, are not much more than places for anonymous, hateful, venom-spewing, it gladdens my heart to see a proactive approach to the issue. Kudos, Sojo! (For this and many other good, thoughtful, faithful works.) Check them out.

Here is the Code of Conduct (in bold) with the cited scriptures:
Comment Code of Conduct
I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the
Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree—even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

17(A)Never pay back evil for evil to anyone (B)Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, (C)so far as it depends on you, (D)be at peace with all men. 19(E)Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "(F)VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. 20"(G)BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before (A)the court; and whoever says to his brother, '[a]You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before [b](B)the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the [c](C)fiery hell.

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt.
(Ephesians 4:29)

29Let no (A)unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for (B)edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

(Would that all those who participate in discourse about abortion and sexuality issues, especially, would take note of this!)

I will participate in community accountability by rating posts up or down based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed, and will flag posts that violate these rules of conduct. (Proverbs 12:18)
18There is one who (A)speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the (B)tongue of the wise brings healing.

1 comment:

David said...

I just came across this blog entry today. Coincidentally, I recently forwarded Sojourner's Code to Sr. Julie at A Nun's Life.

The vitriol that I sometimes see attributed to God's will or plan is dismaying.

I have fewer problems with God, than with some of God's self-proclaimed fans!

Of course, I always pray that God holds and keeps them ... (far away from me!). [Credit to Fiddler on the Roof]

Be well and take care.