Counting its previous iteration on a different platform, I have been running this blog for over ten years. It has always been my policy to moderate every comment before allowing it to appear in the comments section that follows each article. This policy has upset some people, so I decided to write this post to explain my blog’s guidelines regarding comments and the reasoning behind them.
In short, I will be more likely to approve your comment if you follow these three principles:
- Keep it civil toward me and others.
- Be respectful of my time.
- Stay on point.
The Moderation Queue
After someone leaves a comment, it immediately enters moderation. I receive an email with the content of the comment and the name and email address of the person who commented. The following email is also sent to the person who left the comment:
You recently followed one of my posts or left a comment on one of them. This means you will receive an email when new comments are posted.
If you left a comment, please understand that no comment will be posted on the site until it is approved by a moderator. This may take a few weeks, so please be patient. With rare exceptions, only civil comments that contribute to the discussion will be approved. Cursing, name-calling, and other personal attacks will not be tolerated. For more details about my policy on comments, please see www.midwestapologetics.org/blog/?p=1933.
To activate, click confirm below. If you believe this is an error, ignore this message and we’ll never bother you again.
The second paragraph in the blockquote was added on October 6, 2020. I assumed the message already included details about the comment being in moderation, but when I discovered that it didn’t, I added it to avoid any further misunderstanding.
If the commenter looks for their comment on the page, they should be able to see it immediately along with the words “Your comment is awaiting moderation” underneath their name and the date and time at which they left the comment. That should be an indication that the comment has not been deleted. I believe this goes away once the person leaves the page and returns, so that might be the reason some people think that I deleted the comment.
I try my best to moderate the comments in a timely manner, but there have been times when I need to reply to dozens of them and I simply do not have time to get to all of them immediately. For example, shortly after the Ark Encounter opened, I wrote a blog post about the privilege of taking a group of over 20 atheist and/or agnostic protesters on a tour of the Ark on opening day. That post went viral, and I received scores of comments in a couple of days. One skeptic was angry that I did not respond to him as fast as he wanted (less than 24 hours), so he spread lies about me on Facebook and on his website. Sadly, some Christians have behaved in a similar fashion.
Why Do I Moderate Comments?
There are several reasons that I moderate comments. First, it gives me an opportunity to filter out those that are inappropriate for the blog. For example, I have a spam filter set up on my blog that blocks dozens, sometimes hundreds, of spam messages per day. How many times do you check comments on news pages or blogs that are loaded with “Earn $40k per month working from home…” or something similar? Well, if any of these get past the spam filter, I can delete them and you won’t see any of these on my page. In fact, as I finished this paragraph, I received an email with a spam comment about gambling that had made it past the filter. Also, there have been some people who leave comments filled with cursing and other inappropriate language. Some skeptics have commented with extremely vile things about Jesus that no one should have to read.
Second, there are times when well-intentioned believers leave comments loaded with extremely shoddy theology. I usually don’t block those who disagree with me, but I often wait to approve these comments until I’ve had an opportunity to respond so that my readers will see at least two perspectives on that particular topic. And given the nature of some of my topics (Sons of God, Nephilim, etc.) there are plenty of comments that are quite bizarre. I am not interested in propagating wild speculations, so some of these comments simply do not make it through.
Third, there are times when I do not believe a given discussion is edifying for believers. The Bible has much to say about how believers should treat one another. Ephesians 4:15–16 instructs us to speak the truth in love, and it tells us that one of the reasons for that is for the growth and edification of the church in love. Galatians 6:10 tells us to do good to all people, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Dear Christian brothers and sisters, we are commanded to treat one another with love and respect, but most of us fall short of this at some point. This is what prompted me to write this post. In the past week, someone left multiple comments before I had an opportunity to respond. The person misrepresented what I had written, mocked me, accused me of blasphemy, called me Satan, and much more. I have now responded to a couple of the comments, but I do not intend to approve or reply to any others, unless the person behaves in a manner that will edify the church. If you are going to automatically assume the worst about me, then there is no point in trying to have a conversation. 2 Timothy 2:23–24 states that we are not to be quarrelsome but should teach and correct with kindness and patience. Bickering amongst each other causes strife in the body of Christ and gives unbelievers a poor representation of Christ. Conversely, civil and respectful discussion of our differences can set a great example to others and lead to greater understanding.
Fourth, many of my posts have been around for several years and a few have garnered hundreds of comments. I’ve thought about closing the comments for these because so many of them coming in now simply repeat what has already been said. If you decide to comment, and you simply repeat the same argument(s) that I have already responded to multiple times in the comments section, then there is a chance I won’t approve it. Please take some time to read through some of the comments to see if someone has already made the same point or asked the same question. There is no need for you and me to “reinvent the wheel” by having the same discussion that is already in the comments.
Reading through the comments might also keep you from making the same mistakes as others. I cannot count the number of times readers accuse me of saying something that is not stated in the post. Ironically, there are times when they attack me because they think I didn’t say what they think I should have, and yet the words are right there in the post. So, please read the post carefully, peruse the comments, and don’t automatically assume the worst about someone who might happen to disagree with you.
Finally, this might seem obvious, but it needs to be stated. This is my blog, and I am not obligated to approve any comments. There are some people who seem to think that freedom of speech means that I need to approve everything they write on my blog. In fact, one person told me this in a comment that (perhaps it goes without saying) was not approved. Others seem to think that they should be able to turn my page into their own forum for advertising their personal product, ideas, or website. This is why I nearly always edit out links to products or other websites in the comments. Some leave multiple comments that are nearly as long or longer than my posts, and then they get upset if I don’t approve and/or respond to them within 12 hours. I’m sorry, but this is my blog—not yours. I have built up a certain audience over the years, and you do not have the right to come onto my page and constantly push your ideas. You can always start your own blog.
Do I Allow People to Disagree with Me?
I am open to discussions, and I’m willing to debate with those who disagree with me. But it needs to happen in a civil manner. If you just call me names and attack me personally, then it’s very likely your comment(s) will not be approved. Also, the people who are respectful of my time are more likely to be approved. This means that they discuss things at a pace I am able to keep up with. I operate this blog on my own time, and due to my many writing projects, I haven’t had a lot of free time lately. That’s why this is only the fourth post of the year. Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic, I know. I’d like to write at least one post every two weeks. Some people seem to think that I am required to give them my full attention when they write in. I’m sorry, but I am only one person (with a family, a full-time job, and a ministry on the side), and I cannot possibly keep up with multiple people who each demand hours of my time.
Read through the comments of some of my posts, and you’ll see that I’ve allowed comments from plenty of people who have disagreed with me. And in nearly every case, it’s because they have been civil and respectful of my time. Occasionally, I have approved nasty comments so that people can catch a glimpse of the things sent my way.
Also, there have been a few times where I have had to be pretty firm in my response(s) to people because they continued to violate some of the points I made earlier. One person repeatedly left very long comments after being asked not to do that. He kept making the same accusations over and over while refusing to respond to any of the points I made. Because of this, I informed him that I would not be approving any more comments from him. What did he do? He sent in a long comment the next day repeating the same exact things.
Comment in Moderation
You may have noticed the double meaning of this title. When you leave a comment on my blog, your comment will automatically go into the moderation queue. Also, if you want me to reply in a timely manner, then please comment in moderation. That is, don’t overdo it and make huge demands on my time. There have been some cases when I would be quite interested in carrying on a discussion, but the other person demands more than I can give, by writing too much and too often.
And to believers in Jesus Christ who would like to comment, please follow the guidelines set forth in this post so that our discussion will edify the church and glorify our Savior.
Hi Tim – I’ve read your entire book. Very great work. I have only one little divergence about the nature of demons, because the book of Enoch teach that their origin is from heaven but they lived on the earth. They remain there and are then called evil spirits. Logically, it will explain why, as disembodied beings, they have the desire to live in bodies to find rest. It’s according with the Scripture, because Jesus says that when they have been driven away from a man, they go to deserted places and do not find rest, and wish to return to their home. They even prefer to go to pigs. Angels, fallen or not, have a body and do not absolutely need to possess another one. Moreover, the book of Revelation speaks of angels, bound on the river Euphrates, who will be released with great power to cause harm. What do you think of these arguments? Thank you again for this super work.
Thanks for the kind words about my book. I really appreciate the encouragement. As you might recall, all of chapter 27 was about whether the demons in the New Testament were fallen angels or the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim (as taught in 1 Enoch). I mentioned in that chapter that I lean toward the first position, but I am open to the latter, and I gave my reasons for it. While I find 1 Enoch to be helpful, particularly in helping us understand how some people viewed relevant passages in the Old Testament, I wouldn’t build my doctrine on it. As I mentioned in that chapter, I find the arguments for demons being fallen angels to be a bit more persuasive than the alternate view. There are others, like yourself and like my friend Doug Van Dorn (whom I quote frequently in that chapter), who believe the other view is more compelling, and that’s fine with me.
As for the examples you cited, the texts do not say that the demons need to have a body. In fact, the Jesus speaks about that is cast out of a man and wanders in arid places is presumably not in a body during that time. So it doesn’t seem like they need to be in a body. They may want to be in a body to deceive people. Regarding the swine, there may be an alternative reason why they wanted to be cast into them. By causing the pigs to drown, they essentially caused an uproar and the townspeople begged Jesus to leave the area. So perhaps the demons thought that they would be able to prevent Jesus from doing ministry in that region, although the truth is that He likely wouldn’t have stayed there anyway, since He was in an area dominated by Gentiles and His mission was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24).
While I think your points are worth mentioning, I just don’t find them compelling enough to bring me over to the other view. I hope this helps.
I have just watched your YouTube video on “Dinosaurs and the Biblical worldview”. My wife and I really enjoyed and learned a lot and want to share your viewpoint. If you ever can record this subject again, please adjust the camera so that it will display both your face and the screen above you, so that I can view the different pictures that you are discussing. Thank you for the wonderful work that you are doing. My wife has experienced the Ark Encounter and I hope someday we both may see it together.
Thank you for the kind words. I will pass your comments about the camera to the A/V team.
My son gave me your book FALLEN. Even though I don’t like to read English, I have started reading it. Excellent work so far. Too bad it doesn’t exist in French, but I’ll go all the way.
According to Enoch’s book, it seems that demons are the spirits of children created by the union between angels and women, and are called “evil spirits” on earth. (1 Enoch XV, 8-10).
But in 1 Enoch VII, 2, whose height was three thousand ells… What do you think about it? Realistic? I don’t know but it’s the only information we have…
Thank you for this book and best regards, in Jesus
Thank you for the kind words about my book and for making the effort to get through it. I cover the possible size of the giants in chapter 24 and whether I think the book of Enoch is correct about demons being the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim in chapter 27.
I don’t think it is plausible or really even possible for them to be 3000 ells. In fact, I explain why I think it would be extremely unlikely for them to have even reached a height of more than a dozen feet. Some people claim that Og was 13’6″, so I go into some detail to explain the many problems with this in chapter 24. I think you’ll find it to be quite interesting.
Thanks again for reading!
I continue to read your book carefully.I see that you do not dodge questions, and that one finds interesting answers by progressing chronologically in the various chapters.
For the moment, I think there is probably a difference between antediluvian and postdiluvian giants. I will probably come back to this at the end of the book. See you soon, and thank you again, because this subject is never seriously discussed in our assemblies, even though it is part of the revealed Word.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)