RULES of PARTICIPATION
EX PENTECOSTAL FORUMS
EX PENTECOSTAL FORUMS
Ex Pentecostal Forums is a free, member-supported service of a loose network of former members of Pentecostal and Charismatic congregations. It is a internet community that aims to serve this same population through fellowship, discussion, and support. The public forums of this service are "safe havens" for former Pentecostals/Charismatics to discuss personal, religious and spiritual matters without religious condemnation or intolerance. The private forums focus on special issues and groups within this emerging community.
Please read the "forum-specific" rules before posting on the forum of your choice. Violators of these rules may find their messages moderated, but also may find themselves banned from participating (all disciplinary actions will be weighed against the severity of the offense, but are at the discretion of the moderators/administrators).
All posts are in the opinion of the individual poster, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the forums at large or of the Leadership Team. The Leadership Team of these forums are not responsible for the remarks of individual posters, though attempts will be made to ensure compliance with our rules.
As it may be obvious, our forums serve a specific purpose, and as such -- rules are necessary. Those who hope to find a forum for unregulated speech about any and all topics, or a place to spam for their own services are hereby invited to take their participation elsewhere.
All rules are subject to change without notice.
I. New Member Rules
A. All new members must read and agree with the following participation rules in order to participate in Ex Pentecostal forums. Any posting by a new member will be interpreted by the Leadership Team as agreement with these rules.
B. New members are recommended to "Sign In" in the Front Desk section to introduce themselves and their goals with our community.
II. General Participation Rules
The following rules apply to all forums without exception (except where listed):
A. MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE PROHIBITED FROM READING OR POSTING IN OUR FORUMS WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR SUPERVISION OF THEIR PARENTS. These forums often detail abuses or manipulation that are often inappropriate for the consumption of minors without adult supervision or permission.
B. Do not use explicit profanity, or language that details sexual activity.
C. Do not make slanderous or libelous remarks,
D. Do not engage in copyright or trademark infringement. If quoting a previously published work, only quote essential elements to make your point, surrounded by quotation marks, and with the name of the publication and author listed. Any other "quotation" (such as "copying and pasting" an entire article) is generally outside of "fair use" laws and is considered copyright infringement, unless you have obtained permission from the necessary sources.
E. Do not label any religious organization or individual congregation as a "cult."
F. Spam is prohibited. Personal or business links are allowable in the signature line "within reason" (and at the moderator team's discretion), but posts that are essentially "advertisements" for businesses, services, or outside websites are strictly prohibited. Violators will be banned on the first offense. EXCEPTION: Established posters may recommend outside websites, but not for personal gain.
G. Members should adhere to the topic restrictions of the specific forums. (Ex: social chat should be done in "General Discussion," while talking about religious abuse should be kept in "Azusa Street Survivors."
H. No debate or divisive speech of any kind is permitted on any forum of Ex Pentecostal Forums, unless rules are relaxed in any private discussion forum. This includes (but is not limited to) speech concerning politics, social discord, US foreign policy, abortion, and homosexuality. The only exception to this rule is if such a topic is used in describing personal history ("My pastor encouraged us to vote Republican . . ."), but never as topics themselves.
I. Do not make posts that are judgmental or intolerant of other's spiritual or lifestyle choices.
J. Do not defend the unique Pentecostal beliefs, practices, or doctrines of salvation or lifestyle.
K. Do not condemn others to hell, or to eternal punishment.
L. Do not promulgate one religion, denomination, or faith system as the "one, true faith."
M. Do not air overtly negative complaints about the forums, the website, or moderator decisions on the forums. Discuss problems privately through email with the administrators/moderators, or add constructive suggestions in the "Suggestion Box."
III. Forum Specific Rules
The public forums of Ex-Pentecostal Forums are divided into five sections:
A. Front Desk.
The Front Desk Forums are intending for general conversation, but are intended to introduce the forums to the new member, introduce the members to the forums, and explain the background of the forums and our network. The following forums exist in Front Desk.
1. Introduction to Ex Pentecostal Forums.
Introduction to Ex Pentecostal Forums briefly explains our purpose, our rules, and our history. Posting is not permitted in this forum.
2. Sign In . . .
Sign In . . . is a introduction forum for new members. New Members are encouraged to introduce themselves, and current members are encouraged to respond.
3. Suggestion Box.
Suggestion Box is a place for members to post recommendations for board improvement and management.
B. Support Forums.
The support forums of Ex Pentecostal Forums are considered "safe havens" for former Pentecostals and Charismatics, and are communities where these former adherents can seek out fellowship and support for issues pertaining to their former faith and their current spiritual journey.
Support groups include the following:
1. Azusa Street Survivors.
Azusa Street Survivors is the oldest, most continuous support forum associated with our network (founded 11/2001 on Yahoo!Groups). It serves as a public support forum for all those who've left (or are leaving) Pentecostalism and all of its denominations and incantations (i.e., the Charismatic Movement).
2. In-Depth Support Group.
In-Depth Support Group has the same intended audience and purpose as Azusa Street Survivors, but is a private support group (password protected) aimed at promoting discussion that might be otherwise hindered on a public forum. See the main forum page for enrollment information.
3. Fire Fighters: Friends & Family of P/C Victims/Survivors.
Fire Fighters is a public support group for family and friends of current and former Pentecostals and Charismatics intended to be a bridge of support and community between our members and those affected by this movement through their primary relationships.
4. Surviving . . . Through Christ.
Surviving . . . Through Christ is a private, password-protected support group for members who seek recovery while remaining Christian. See main forum page for information about joining this forum.
5. Freethinkers Union, Local #001.
Freethinkers Union, Local #001 is a private, password-protected fellowship forum for members who are no longer traditional Christians. See main forum page for information about joining this forum.
6. Teen Retreat.
Teen Retreat is a private, password-protected forum for kids 13-21 who have been affected by this movement, AND have parents that are also members of this forum. Unfortunately, we are unable to approve membership to this group without parental involvement.
C. Discussion Forums.
The Discussion Forums are for topics other than our main focus. The following discussion forums exist:
1. General Discussion Forum.
This forum is a general "discussion" forum for general fellowship and conversation that is non-religious in nature, or that would be considered "off-topic" in the other forums. It also serves as the "announcement" forum for changes to the community and to the website.
2. Culture Café
Culture Café is a discussion forum about movies, books, music, and other pop culture.
D. Resource Forums.
The Resource Forums of EPF are topic-specific information clearing-houses about the many aspects of the Pentecostal faith and its spin-offs, and how it affects peoples lives. This information was previously catalogued at our former websites, ex-Pentecostals.org, and ex-Pentecostals.com. These are not discussion forums, but members may add posts to each topic, or as a reply to a particular post for the following reasons only: 1) to add new information, or 2) to edit existing information. When such is posted, it will be incorporated in the existing posts by Archivists (Resource Moderators). All other postings will be deleted.
The Archives of EPF are the retired posts from current and past forums. They are closed, and not open to posting. Some are restricted from public viewing.
IV. Member's Rights
Members in Good Standing of Ex Pentecostal Forums shall have the right to:
A. Participate in all forums without restriction as long as they are in compliance with all Official Rules of Participation,
B. Petition the Leadership Team for changes in the forums and services of this site,
C. Appeal any disciplinary decision to the Administrative team,
D. Not ever be required to donate monies to Ex Pentecostal Forums in order to participate in these forums,
E. Be considered a "Member in Good Standing" as long as he or she does not "spam" the forums, does not have messages edited by the Leadership Team more than three times within a 30 day period, is not on a moderated status, and posts at least every six months.
All members of Ex Pentecostal Forums are encouraged (but not required) to donate any amount to continue the Premium status of these forums. For a relatively small amount of money, Ex Pentecostal Forums are able to maintain an "ad-free" environment for our members. The Forums "premium" status can be renewed on a six-month or 1 year basis, depending on the amount of funds in the "Community Chest" of the Forums. Ezboard.com has the "Community Chest" configured to where all funds donated can ONLY be used for Forum services, and can never be withdrawn by Owners, Administrators, or Moderators for any purpose. Donations can be made by most credit cards, PayPal, or by check/money order through the US Postal Service. Donations can be in any amount, but at least $1. Payment through US Mail must be in US funds.
These rules shall be in effect as of September 7, 2004.