SBC Voices is a leading source for information, opinions, and discussion of matters of concern for the Southern Baptist Convention. We appreciate the position and popularity that we have here and consider it both a privilege and responsibility to be able to have such a forum. In doing so, we welcome discussions, we value both agreement and disagreement, so long as it is done in a Christian manner.
This isn’t an official Southern Baptist blog. No SBC leader or organization approves this or vets this. No one here gets a paycheck from an SBC entity (although an article by one may be used occasionally). Some of the people here have served and/or are serving as SBC officers, trustees, or other official elected or appointed capacities. Sometimes SBC leaders like us. Sometimes they like us less. None of them dictate content here and certainly not comments.
You can also read some clarifications about this website from editor Dave Miller. The content of this page is adapted from William Thornton’s July 2017 Post SBC Voices Welcomes Comments and Discussion.
- Our policy is to have open discussion. Anyone can comment. Comments are not moderated (except in certain situations, see below). We welcome discussion. We value discussion. We want discussion. Before the internet this wasn’t possible as quickly and widely. Now, when some SBC individual or entity makes a decision or proposal, SBC pastors and laypeople can offer instant reaction and we are all better off for it. It’s safe to say that many SBC leaders follow these discussions.
- Certain types of comments must be approved before being posted publicly. These include first time commenters, comments with links, comments that get caught in the spam filter, and similar. If you don’t see yours, email us. We want your comment but sometimes stuff happens.
- Unfortunately, some comments are unkind, unhelpful, rude, insulting, or otherwise unchristian. These will not be allowed. Usually, we will send a polite email to the offender appealing for better conduct. Occasionally, someone is banned from commenting. This is rare, and sad, but happens. Disagreement is perfectly acceptable and to be expected…just be civil and Christian about it.
- Except in certain circumstances, Voices is not the place for anonymous commenters. We do not require registration but do require a valid email and a real name. The name may be only a first name but the identity of anyone who comments here frequently should be known by one or more of the moderators. A few longtime commenters use a handle, but we know who they are and defer to historic practice on them. If you have a need to be anonymous (like many or most overseas SBC workers), that’s fine. Just let one of us know. But someone here needs to know who you are…for real. Using a fake email addresses or posting under multiple names is likely to get you banned.
- We will not have public discussion of moderating decisions. Email us.
- This is not a Calvinist blog. It is not a non-Calvinist blog. It is not a Traditionalist blog. It is not an anti-Cal or anti-Trad blog. It is a Christian, Southern Baptist blog. Some of the editors and contributors are Cal, some are non-Cal, some are old and cranky, some are young and unlearned, some we don’t know what they are. It is safe to say that we would like to be a place where any Southern Baptist can participate.
- Make an effort to stay on the topic of the original post. Long comment sections inevitably chase multiple rabbit trails. Thant’s ok to a certain extent, but we ask you to use your judgment and self-control in chasing those rabbits. If you make a habit of always turning the discussion to one particular topic, that can be an occasion for being moderated or getting an email from one of our moderators requesting you refrain from doing that anymore. We realize that sometimes a single issue can dominate things but we’d rather not end up with comments on every article talking about Cal/Trad or alcohol any other white hot topic.
- Criticism of SBC policies and entities is not prohibited. After all, complaining is in our DNA. So, have at it. But if you aren’t a cooperating Southern Baptist it is unlikely that we will allow a steady diet of criticism. We will wish you well in your own denomination. On topics of general interest (politics, sports, etc.) it doesn’t matter.
- Most of us have a life outside of Voices that demands our time. We’d appreciate your help in making things run smoothly.
See the following related posts where we discuss these issues in more detail.
Trolling for Comments at SBC Voices Jan. 5, 2012 by Dave Miller (on the subject of trolls)
Conclusions from Comments about Comment Moderation March 19, 2012 by Dave Miller
SBC Voices Welcomes Comments and Discussion July 31, 2017 by William Thornton
A Word about Comments and Moderation (and Grumpiness) Jan 11, 2018 by Dave Miller
How to get your face beside your comments…
SBC Voices, like many WordPress blogs, uses the free Gravatar service. It connects a photo to your email address, so when you comment on a blog your photo is displayed.