What Is EPM’s Comment Policy for Randy’s Facebook Page?

Because I’m not able to often post many replies to comments on my Facebook page, some have asked if I even read them. I actually do, as much as possible, and genuinely appreciate those who take the time to share responses. Like all of us experience, time is limited, and I have to focus on doing the few things I believe God has uniquely called me to do, including writing books.

I like open forums and value feedback, including criticism in comments. I ask God to point out to me any truth they may contain. But I learned long ago there are many people you can’t please, and shouldn’t try to. Jesus said, “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).

Commenters who point out that I’m very flawed are certainly correct. No one’s more aware of this than I am. (If you can’t take criticism, you shouldn’t write!)

Let me emphasize that the vast majority of comments on my page are very encouraging and respectful of others! But when critical comments do come in, I think it’s a healthy discipline not to answer most of their accusations. I don’t want to get into self-defense, because there’s no end to it, and it distracts us from Christ. God is the Audience of One. We all stand or fall before Him, not each other. (Sometimes the EPM staff will answer questions or misunderstandings related to things I’ve written in my books, blog, and social media posts.)

I welcome people to engage in spirited conversation and raise points of disagreement. If you honestly disagree with my posts, I’m always happy to hear from you, and I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting.

Most of the interaction that takes place on my page is great. But what we’d like to avoid is the kind of comments that judge motives and lash out and condemn others. (Thankfully, this rarely happens.)

My requests of everyone are the following:

Be sure you actually read the article before commenting. Often I’ll see a thread where a number of the comments demonstrate that they didn’t read the whole article. You are welcome to post any doubts or disagreements or criticisms you wish, but first please take the time to find out what you’re disagreeing with. “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13). 

Show respect. “Show proper respect to everyone…” (1 Peter 2:17, NIV).

Treat people with dignity. “Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them” (Matthew 7:12, CSB).

Don’t believe the worst. “Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:6–7, CSB). Please don’t condemn people by presuming you know their motives. Now is not the time for judgment, and we are not qualified to judge. It’s not our job, as those lacking omniscience, to set up judgment seats and pass sentences on each other. That’s up to the only competent Judge. Let’s place ourselves on the correct side of the judgment seat.

Remember to speak the truth in gentleness and love (Ephesians 4:15) when you post responses to other commenters.

Make your point—once—and leave it at that. Please don’t post a response under every other comment to repeatedly share your perspective. “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19).

With these thoughts in mind, here are a few comment guidelines from EPM, which our staff who help me with my Facebook page use to moderate it. (I leave this job in their capable hands and rarely, if ever, make requests about responding to or removing comments.)

- Comments with over the top, foul, rude, or offensive language may be deleted. Those that are suggestive or lewd will definitely be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked from the page.

- Commenters who post repeatedly on a thread or post a reply to every single other commenter may have some of their comments hidden or removed.

- We let criticisms of Randy and our posts stand as is whenever possible and welcome a variety of theological perspectives on the page. Sometimes the EPM staff will post comments or responses to those who ask questions or share other perspectives. Very occasionally, at our discretion, comments that link to other sites may have their link previews hidden, or the comment may be made visible only to the commenter and their friends.

- We encourage commenters to keep to the topic of the post. Comments that are off topic may also be hidden.

- Though we try to make it an extremely infrequent occurrence, we reserve the right to hide or remove any comments, or block commenters, without notification or explanation.

Finally, I encourage everyone to read through Jon Bloom’s helpful article “How Should Christians Comment Online?” See also Biblical Principles for Godly Verbal Communication

 “The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23, CSB).

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