NazNet FAQ

The NazNet Facebook groups are moderated by these simple rules:

  1. No profanity.
  2. No personal attacks.
  3. No commercial posts.
  4. Be courteous.
  5. Grace and sensitivity are strongly encouraged.
  6. Don’t get offended if the moderator decides to remove your post. He or she has the right to do so for any reason or no reason at all.

Individuals who behave in ways that disrupt the purpose of our groups will have posting privileges limited or, if necessary, removed completely.  Actions of moderators are not subject to discussion in the groups.

What is
The NazNet Fellowship Forum operated as an Internet-based forum for members and friends of the Church of the Nazarene for many years. The discussion now takes place on NazNet themed Facebook discussion Groups, still focused on being Nazarene-friendly.

What is the history of NazNet?
Dave McClung writes:

NazNet as we know it today was started by an lay member of a Nazarene Church in North Dakota. She was enlisted in the Air Force. I belive the year was 1985. Prodigy had just started marketing online service. Compuserve had been online for several years, but its marketing wasn’t aimed at the consumer market. Prodigy opened a number of forums. One of them was simply “Religion.” The airman from North Dakota posted, “Are there any Nazarenes out there?” I was the second to respond. At first, “Nazarene” was just a thread, but it grew so rapidly that Prodigy gave us our own forum. They didn’t think there would be enough Nazarenes so they named it “Evangelical/Nazarenes.” Well, it became the most active Religion Forum on Prodigy.

It continued to grow until sometime around 1992 when Prodigy decided to charge by the minute. That decision caused our group to divide. Nazarene forums sprang up on most of the services, but it wasn’t until the World Wide Web came into being that we pulled back together.

I think it was 1994 when Bryan Merrill registered NazNet.Com. He brought NazNet online with several pages linking to other Nazarene sites. When I saw Bryan’s site, I volunteered to help him get a discussion forum started. Bryan did the technical side and I started emailing my friends from the Prodigy days. Within a month or so the fellowship board was up an running. Bryan Merrill was owner and webmaster. I was moderator of the fellowship forum.

I think it was 1998 when Bryan and I reached agreement for me to become the owner of NazNet. (Since NazNet does not generate any income, being owner really means “pay the bills.”) NazNet has been pretty much the same since then.

So, to answer your question I would suggest that NazNet really started in 1987 although the NazNet name didn’t come into the picture until much later.

Who may join?
The NazNet Facebook Groups function as Nazarene-friendly discussion groups. All who are members and friends of the denomination are welcome.

Why are discussions about suicide not allowed in NazNet Groups?
Some topics, like suicide, are appropriate for discussing in a group where you know the people in the group. On NazNet, you never know who is reading your post. You may be engaging in a philosophical discussion with someone you know, but the person reading may be in a situation where such a discussion might push them over the edge. It is too great a risk to take.

Why are political posts not allowed in NazNet Groups?
The purpose of NazNet is to foster fellowship and community among members and friends of the Church of the Nazarene and political discussions tend to bring out the worst in some of the best people.

We’ve learned that sometimes a post that is fairly innocuous in and of itself will only invite followup posts that are of the nature that we don’t allow. In other words, having your post deleted may not necessarily mean that you’ve posted something completely out of line; just that we’ve been down that road before and we don’t want to take that trip again.

Also, note that non-political discussions of current events are welcome on NazNet groups.

I substituted punctuation for a swear word so why was my post deleted?
The NazNet moderators consider “obscured profanity” to be profanity. Please express yourself using real words that are acceptable in NazNet Groups.

I was warned about a personal attack on someone who does not even post on a NazNet Group, how can that be?
NazNet’s rule against personal attacks concerns attacks on NazNet participants, denominational leaders, and public figures in general. Paul told Timothy “that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for…all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

I was warned about a personal attack and all I did was quote an article from elsewhere on the Internet, how can that be a personal attack?
As noted elsewhere, NazNet’s rule against personal attacks concerns not only NazNet participants, but public and denominational figures as well. Finding a quotation that is a personal attack and bringing it to a NazNet Group is still a personal attack. You aren’t responsible for what others say, but if you bring their words to NazNet you are responsible for them appearing in a group.

There are two words of clarification that can be added here:

  1. The moderators want to be as accommodating as possible in this. Interesting quotes often spark discussion. Just be careful to use quotes in that context and not as a way of “getting around” the “no attack” rule.
  2. In general, be careful about copying words off of one web site and bringing them to a NazNet Group. Most news and opinion web sites are clearly copyrighted. If you are quoting more than a line or two it is preferred that you simply post a link to the article. Then, in your own words, tell us why you think the article is worth sharing.

What does it mean to be courteous, gracious and sensitive in NazNet Groups?
The NazNet Groups are a “Nazarene-friendly” place on Facebook. The groups are for members and friends of the Church of the Nazarene. All posts are to reflect this. The purpose of the Groups is to provide places of fellowship, not to foster debate and argument. That does not mean that NazNet Group participants never disagree or hold strong opinions. It does mean that those who participate are required to maintain an attitude of respect for others, to behave with kindness, and in a spirit of fellowship. Although it is the rule in some groups and forums, “in your face,” unfriendly posts are not acceptable in our groups. Those who insist on posting in that style will be warned by a moderator, and subsequent posts will be deleted.

What does it mean for NazNet Groups to be Nazarene friendly?
The NazNet Groups are places for fellowship among members and friends of the Church of the Nazarene. Obviously, our participants have a keen interest in all things “Nazarene.” The NazNet Groups might be said to be “pro-Church of the Nazarene.” Our participants are free to discuss Nazarene doctrine, education, missions, and the like. However, attacks on the denomination, its leaders, its doctrines, its educators at the denominational or local level are not allowed. Any who come to the NazNet Groups for such a purpose will be reminded of our purpose. If they persist, their posting privileges will be revoked. Our Lord tells us that our love for one another is the hallmark of our discipleship. (See John 13:35)

May I post my church fund raiser or personal Nazarene related items for sale, trade, or give-away?
Yes, you may.  Please note that commercial posts are not allowed in any of our groups.  If in doubt, please check with the moderator of that group.

I received an uncomplimentary private message related to my participation on a NazNet Group, what is NazNet going to do about it?
Unfortunately, things like this happen. In general, NazNet is not responsible for, and has no control over, what people say to one another via email or other private communications, even if the conversation started on a NazNet Group. Beyond that, the NazNet moderators do not wish to receive copies of such emails and will not serve as referees in such disputes. Also, please do not copy such emails to the Groups. Facebook has robust privacy settings and you have the option of blocking people. Also, if you are threatened in anyway, please report the post directly to Facebook. Please keep in mind, though, that Jesus details how we are to deal with conflicts in Matthew 18:15-17, and a person involved in an online conflict will do well to review and follow our Lord’s direction in such matters.

I see a post on a NazNet Group that breaks the rules, what can I do about it?
This is a complicated issue. Some people have problems expressing themselves without moving into the realm of personal attacks. When that happens the moderators have to get involved. But before dealing with that, let it be stated that just because a post expresses strong emotions or positions, and especially, just because you disagree with the content of a post it does not necessarily mean the post breaks the rules.

For the sake of answering this question, though, let’s assume you are reading a NazNet Group and find a post that breaks a rule. The proper response is to click on the down arrow, top right of each post. Select “report to Admin.” Please do not reply to the post in the Group in an effort to set the record straight, etc.

The moderators will consider the post at earliest opportunity and take appropriate action. Please remember that the moderators are all volunteers, so reaction times may not be so quick as might be desired. Beyond that, they use their best judgment in fulfilling their responsibilities. King Solomon is not available to serve as a moderator at this time, so be as forgiving as possible when their judgment disagrees with yours.

I’ve decided to leave one or all of the NazNet groups, how do I do that?

This is a function of Facebook – near the top of every group’s page there’s a small down arrow beside the word “Joined.”  Just click on that down arrow and you’ll find the link there.  There is no reason to do a post telling people you are leaving, in fact, since you won’t be there to read any replies, moderators routinely delete “exit statements.”