Guidelines for the
Luther Quest Discussion Group


1. This board is about Lutheran theology, doctrine, and practice from a conservative and confessional point of view. We aim to provide a forum for concerned Lutheran laity and clergy alike to discuss ideas, share information, and get acquainted with other concerned Lutherans. While the main audience will probably be Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod members, we encourage contributions by all those with confessional interests in mind.

2. We are not interested in politics, philosophy, government, or other religions unless these subjects are directly related to the LCMS, ELS, WELS, ELCA or other Lutheran Church bodies. For example, regarding politics and government, acceptable are discussions regarding church and state, abortion, the Lutheran viewpoint of a Christian living in society, etc. Unacceptable subjects would be discussions of candidates, elections, general history, constitutional matters, and the like. There are many other discussion groups on the Internet that deal with these subjects.
Various viewpoints are welcome to join in or start discussions for the point of sharing information and gaining understanding. However, neither proselytizing or the promotion of non-Christian philosophies and ideals are permitted. The use of feigned questions and concerns with the intent of promoting false and non-Christian doctrine is also prohibited.


3. When editing your Profile after you get your Username, please fill out the Profile fields that indicate your denomination, church position, and church website address (if you have one). You can add additional pieces of information you may wish to share about yourself that will help other participants get to know you.

4. As a courtesy to others, we strongly encourage you to use your real name, first and last, in the Full Name field. We do not want handles, nicknames, or other plays on words within the Full Name field. Unlike general Internet and discussion board tradition, other participants like to know who they are talking to on a site such as Luther Quest, so please use your real name.
We do understand that there are some individuals who, for whatever reason, wish to participate but do not want their real name out there for the world to see. Again, we understand this and are accommodating, and expect this to be the exception, not the rule (see above paragraph). The use of a pseudonym or pen name is fine as long as it doesn't fall into what this guideline forbids. Nor will the use of a pen name to hide behind while engaging in heated or antagonistic debate, or the violation of other board guidelines, be tolerated. Additionally, the intentional impersonation of another individual via a pseudonym is not allowed. Other board members are to respect the privacy concerning the real identity of any user who decides to use a pseudonym.
Except for moderators or other administrative staff, you are permitted to post under one username only. The intentional use of multiple usernames is strictly prohibited.

5. Please keep your User Profile information up-to-date. If you change your email address, please update it within your user profile. It's important that you maintain an email address we can reach you at for any policy updates, announcements, or other reason we may have to contact you. Your email address will not be used for any purpose outside of Luther Quest Discussion Board nor will it be made available to anyone else.

List Etiquette

6. Be courteous, as you would in a face-to-face conversation. Online discussions lack the expressiveness of personal contact. This site is mainly visited and used by your fellow Christians. Let your behavior reflect this. Focus your responses on the points or positions of others, not on the person themselves. Remember, what you post here can be seen by anyone in the world. No personal attacks, foul language, harassment, unfounded accusations, unsubstantiated statements, threats, abuse, or innuendo will be tolerated.

7. If a subject becomes heated and you're upset over something someone has said about you or your position in a discussion, take some time before responding. There is no rule that you must reply to a posting within X amount of time. Give the benefit of the doubt and ask for clarification if you don't understand what someone has said. Misunderstandings can and do occur very easily online.

8. Exercise caution with sarcastic remarks or humor. While two parties who are well acquainted may get the private joke, the rest of the world may not. The Clipart (see Formatting under the Documentation heading in the main menu), allows you to use graphic image emoticons (smiley faces and the like) to get across emotions or various types. Consider using them to add to your posting.

Rules on Topics and Posting

9. No topical drift. Please stay on the topic that the originating author began. It's natural for Subject A to drift into Subject B if there is some correlation. We understand that, it's only natural. But it may drift into a subject matter that the original author of the topic did not intend. When this happens, please start a new conversation, especially if the original author of the topic indicates that this is not what they intended to be discussed.
Please be descriptive with your topic names. Names like, "I have a question", or "What about this?" don't tell other participants what you're discussing.
Please avoid starting topics with the words, "The", "A", or "An". When topics are archived they are sorted alphabetically and such words make it difficult for those who wish to browse the archives for specific subjects.

10. Do not post the same message to more than one topic. The software will usually catch double-postings within a topic. If this occurs by mistake, notify a Moderator so they can remove the double-posting for you.

11. If two topics are so similar that it's felt they are virtually the same, please alert a Moderator and we will consider merging them into one. Along the same line, try not to start a new topic for something that is already being discussed under an already established topic.

12. The Test Messages topic is there for anyone to experiment with in order to try out features of the discussion board software. For General Discussions and Test Messages a registered Username is required. This can be obtained by clicking on the "Get a Username" link in the main menu under Utilities. The use of the Test Messages topic to purposely engage in discussions outside of our Guidelines is prohibited. Such discussions will be immediately deleted and the user contacted.

13. Avoid simple postings of affirmation or disagreement. Unless you were asked a direct question, postings such as, "Yes, I agree", "Good point", "Wrong!", and the like just tend to clutter a discussion without adding to it.

14. If a discussion tends to get to a personal nature or subject between you and another party, where it's really information that may not benefit the board overall, consider moving to a private conversation via email. For example, a couple of participants discover they were old schoolmates and their discussion starts to veer into talking about the "good old days" on campus. Or, a serious theological issue which is of a very personal nature begins to be discussed between two participants. If you believe it to be beneficial to the board, you don't mind sharing, and the original author of the topic doesn't mind, that's fine. But if it's such a topic that should be discussed in private, please do so via email.

15. No advertising, money-making schemes, fund-raising, chain letters, etc. are permitted. (This list is not all inclusive.) You may not use Luther Quest as a mirror site to your own or anyone else's.

16. Do not post material that intrudes upon the privacy, intellectual property, or other rights of a third party. This especially applies to copyright issues. If you quote anything on the board from another discussion board or email list, make sure the other board/list allows such activity and that you are staying within the Fair Use provisions of Copyright Law. Please avoid large cutting & pasting of material from other boards. You can always point people over there if it's a lot of material.
If you are engaged in a heated conflict on another board, please do not bring it over to Luther Quest. Thanks.

Limit on Length and Number of Posts

17. Honor the length limit we have placed on posting sizes. It's currently set for a little over 10,000 characters, including spaces. If a message is so large that it needs to be broken up into smaller messages, it's too large! As to the number of postings you can make, there is no daily limit enforced by our software, but a reasonable limit is expected by the Moderator(s). Though it is subjective, if the Moderator(s) notice an individual monopolizing the board and posting excessively, they may be contacted to restrain themselves and let others join the discussion.
If you have a long write-up on a subject you feel would be of interest to others for reading, studying, and discussing, consider submitting it to Rev. Jack Cascione for possible distribution via Reclaim News.

List Administration

18. The Luther Quest administrators reserve the right to edit and/or delete material that is judged to be outside of these Guidelines. Topics outside of these Guidelines may be closed or deleted. Users who err in following the Guidelines will be contacted about their behavior. Mistakes as well as misinterpretations will happen. We may not have understood what you meant to say. (Last time we checked, we were human, too.) Those with repeat or serious offences outside of these Guidelines will have their posting privileges revoked.

19. Please address all comments, questions, and concerns to a Moderator or the website owner via email. Do not post messages of an administrative nature or query on the board.
Items of a technical nature should be addressed to the Webmaster.

20. Luther Quest Discussion Group requires all message posting to be done by users with a registered username. While this board is periodically monitored, it is not moderated. Therefore, even though postings are done by registered users, the Owner, Moderators, and Webmaster of Luther Quest, and their web hosting vendor, are not responsible for the material posted by such users. That responsibility lies solely with the authors of the messages.

21. These Guidelines are subject to change as the website owner and the Moderators/Webmaster see fit. Any changes will be duly noted at the bottom of this list.

Original Version: July 30, 2001
Updated: September 25, 2001
Updated: November 13, 2001
Updated: January 26, 2003
Updated: February 11, 2003
Updated: November 12, 2004
Updated: January 1, 2007
Updated: February 5, 2007

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