[sword-devel] Doctrinal Statement

George Washington Dunlap III sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 27 Jul 2000 14:41:18 -0400 (EDT)

I don't think we need to be combatative here.  Whether or not "mainstream
Christianity" is true or not is not even the issue, I don't think.  I
believe that most of the people who work on this project, and the target
audience, are "mainstream Christians".  (Correct me if I'm wrong.)  This
doesn't mean that we necessarily exclude other audiences; but that in
chosing whether or not to accomodate them, we have to take into account
how it will affect our target audience.

Contribution to the code, I believe, shouldn't matter a bit.  A die-hard
atheist or buddhist could contribute to the code, as long as they do a
good job and don't disrupt things in the mailing list, etc.

Texts may be another matter.  What I believe our brother Dan is asking
(and he can correct me if I'm wrong) is whether we should post on our site
& distribute on the CD-ROM texts, dictionaries, and commentaries from
groups whose beliefs differ in some important way from "mainstream
Christianity".  There are two possible problems I see.

The first is if someone downloads a text, commentary, or lexicon from
SWORD for personal study, believing it to be from the viewpoint of
"mainstream Christianity", and by reading it innocently picks up doctrines
or ideas that "mainstream Christianity" considers heretical.  "Such
offenses must come, but woe to him by whom they come."

The second problem is if the SWORD project gets some sort of reputation
which will deter "mainstream Christians" from using our software.  In that
case, the efforts of all the volunteers who have worked to make
open-source bible software for their fellow churchgoers has been wasted.

There may be some advantages to accomodating non-"mainstream Christians",
however, or to making such texts avaialable.  First, the increased user
base and the possibility that there will be some good hackers in that
community who can contribute to the project.  Secondly, it will make
studying the different beliefs, both for the sake of finding the truth and
for the sake of apologetics (i.e., persuading someone to change their
mind, either to or from "mainstream Christianity") much easier.

So it might be good to consider who the target audience of this project
is, and consider what the effects of posting any text might be for our
target audience.

We're not stopping people from posting texts somewhere else, after all.


 -George Dunlap

On Thu, 27 Jul 2000, Gary Amirault wrote:

> I'm not a Christadelphian, but have you ever considered the fact that
> perhaps the largest "cult" going might be "mainstream Christianity?"
> Mainstream Judaism thought they were right in the flow of God and were
> rudely awakened in 70AD. Is a repeat performance possible?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sword-devel@crosswire.org
> [mailto:owner-sword-devel@crosswire.org]On Behalf Of Dan Bertles
> Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2000 11:41 AM
> To: Sword Development
> Subject: [sword-devel] Doctrinal Statement
> Troy,
> Is there a doctrinal statement and/or standard set up for those who
> contribute to the Sword Project?  I always look at links mentioned on the
> e-mail list.  One pointed directly to an orginization called the
> "Christadelphians" which is definitely a cult.  I would be uncomfortable
> having someone contribute texts, etc. from someone who doesn't hold to the
> standard tenants of mainstream Christianity.
> Any thoughts on this?
> In Christ,
> Dan

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