[CS-FSLUG] Administrative note: A Christian community is shutting down.

David McGlone d.mcglone at att.net
Fri Mar 28 15:43:08 CDT 2008

----- Original Message ----
From: Timothy Butler <tbutler at ofb.biz>
To: A Christian virtual Free Software and Linux Users Group. <christiansource at ofb.biz>
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 8:50:24 AM
Subject: Re: [CS-FSLUG] Administrative note: A Christian community is shutting down.

Just a note: since this reply is a bit long. I have one proposed  
solution, noting another mailing list, at the bottom. Scroll down to  
that part if you don't have time to read the whole thing.

David McGlone said:

> Well the way I look at it, if God didn't intend it, it would have  
> never been brought
>  to our attention in the first place.

    I think we have to be discerning about that. We often hear ideas in  
ministry related areas that sound good but are not.

> They may or may not be spiritually dead, but if they are that is more
> reason to invite them here.
    Those that are not, of course, can join already.

> PS: I am just expressing my thoughts. I am  in no way trying to  
> push the issue or cause
> any grief to anyone. I will wholeheartedly support any decision the  
> list makes.

    You're fine.

    Here's the big question, though: let's say we open up the doors  
completely and, per your suggestion, do not require those people to  
adhere to our statement of faith (regardless of whether they agree  
with it or not). Some will join purely to stir up controversy. That's  
a given. Others will join not so much to do that, but will have no  
inclination to act differently on here than any other user group.  
Now, the question is simple: in such a case, it is very conceivable  
that the majority of members would eventually be non-Christians and  
in such a case would this list have any reason for existing? That is,  
would it really be any different from other similar, secular mailing  
lists at that point? I tend to think not.

    The one possible way to let everyone in while preserving CS's  
character is to ask all who join to respect our statement of faith,  
whether they hold it or not (e.g. what I believe Ed meant by  
associate members). They could come on, hopefully see a positive  
witness, perhaps we could even have respectful conversations about  
faith. But, the list would stay much the same. I think if we simply  
open the floodgates, however, it would soon be no different than a  
non-Christian list, since it would become precisely that.

    Incidentally, for those who would like to be a positive witness on a  
non-Christian, general technology -- with ample OT -- discussion  
list, consider joining another Open for Business hosted list that  
several of us are on: OFB Cafe -- http://www.ofb.biz/mailman/listinfo/ 
cafe_ofb.biz . It's a good list that I've been trying to revive and  
it has some good Christian and non-Christian folks on it.  
Realistically, it might be better to leave this list as is, and  
invite non-believers to join that list, particularly if many of us  
were over there too. This would mirror the modus operandi of Christ,  
as Ed noted, in having both open and closed times.

I understand now. My whole thought process was that if we got a few that
didn't care, the ones that didn't abide by the statement of faith or believe like we do,
it would be an oppertunity to help these individuals. I also have to remember, some people
are beyond help. I know it sounds mean, but it is true. I realized this just now when I thought about
how I worked so hard to help a drug addict, let him live with me, took him to church with me for months
and finally helped him get saved, yet after moving on in his life, he's back to his same ways. Although he has been
doing without the drugs, his lifestyle will most likely get him mixed up with them again.
I pray all the time that it doesn't happen.

Anyway, I am ranting. I absolutely see your point. I think all this was the side of me that
cares too much for people and wants to help anyone I can without even thinking whether it's even possible.
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