Frequently Asked Questions
Is this an Ex-JW site?
There are a number of sites on the internet where Jehovah’s Witnesses can go to gripe about the Organization. This is not one of them. Our purpose is to study the Bible in freedom and share Christian fellowship. Many of those reading and/or regularly contributing to the site via comments are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Others have left the Organization or have little contact with it. Still others have never been Jehovah’s Witnesses but are attracted to the Christian community that has grown up around the site over the past few years.
Please explain commenting etiquette for Beroean Pickets?
We welcome comments. However, as with any responsible web site, there are acceptable rules of conduct that are maintained for the well-being of the user community. Now that we are getting a lot more traffic on the site, we feel it is beneficial to review what is considered proper etiquette for commenting on Beroean Pickets.
First and foremost, this is a site for Jehovah’s Witnesses who are serious Bible students. It is not a site for those who have an axe to grind with Jehovah’s Witnesses in general or the elders or Governing Body in particular. It is not a site for unsubstantiated opinions and invective. There are plenty of sites which cater to that target audience, if that is your desire.
This isn’t to suggest that no criticism will be tolerated. However, it should be constructive. Constructive criticism is based on a solid foundation of truth. Our basis for truth are the Holy Scriptures. Their authority is beyond challenge. Therefore, if a reader of this forum believes that a doctrine of Jehovah’s people is wrong, he or she can bring that to our attention, but only if the following format is observed.
- Lay a solid foundation of truth using the Scriptural record to support every facet of your argument.
- Quote from Scripture when making an argument.
- If referring to an outside reference such as a scholarly resource or Bible commentary, quote the words in the text of the comment and then provide a reference to the publication, page and paragraph to guide the reader to the actual source material.
- Avoid reviling, and abusive or judgmental comments. (1 Pet. 2:23; 3:9; Jude 9)
- If suggesting an alternate interpretation, after laying a solid foundation, make sure to identify it as theory or speculation.
- Always be respectful.
We look forward to the type of thoughtful and upbuilding commentary that will benefit all those who take advantage of this forum for the interchange of Bible knowledge.
Can I comment and still remain anonymous?
Many who genuinely love truth and enjoy unfettered Bible research have expressed appreciation for the freedom of expression that this forum provides. However, the climate in the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses these days is such that any independent research that falls outside of organizational guidelines is strongly discouraged. The spectre of disfellowshipping hangs over any such venture, creating a climate of real fear not unlike that of Christians worshipping under ban. In effect, we must carry on our research underground.
Browsing Our Site Safely
You can of course read the posts and comments on this site safely as passive reads are not tracked. However, if others have access to your computer, they can see what sites you have visited by scanning your browser history. You should therefore clear your browser history regularly. If you do not know how to do this, the solution is easy no matter what device you use. Simply open the search engine of your choice (I prefer google.com) and type “how do I clear the history on my [name of your device]” . That will give you all the information you will need.
Following the Site Safely
If you click the “Follow” button you’ll be notified by email every time a new post is published. There is no danger as long as your email is private. However, a word of warning. If you read email on your phone or tablet, there is always the possibility that someone will see it. I was at the hall the other day in the men’s bathroom doing what men do in the bathroom when a brother came in and saw my iPad which I had just laid on the counter. Without so much as a ‘by your leave’ he scooped it up and turned it on. Fortunately, I have mine password protected, so he couldn’t gain access. Otherwise, if the last thing I’d been reading was my email, he would have seen it as his first screen. If you don’t know how to password protect your device, just go back to google and type something like “How do I password protect my iPad [or whatever device it is]”.
If you wish to comment or ask questions, how can you preserve your anonymity? It is actually quite easy. I recommend you create an anonymous email address using a provider like Gmail. Go to gmail.com and then click the Create an Account button. When prompted for First and Last name, use a made up name. Likewise for your username/email address. Make sure to use a strong password. Do not give your real birthday. (Never give your real birthday on the internet as this helps identity thieves.) Do not fill out the mobile phone and current email address fields. Complete the other obligatory fields and you’re done.
Obviously, you will not want to upload a photo if you are trying to protect your anonymity.
Now when you click the Follow button on the Beroean Pickets site, use your anonymous email address to complete the form.
For even greater anonymity—if you are either paranoid or just very cautious—you can use an IP address masker. Your IP address is attached to every email you send. This is the address that your internet service provider gives you and will tell the recipient your general location, should he take the effort to look it up. I just looked up mine and it shows as Delaware, USA. However, I don’t live there. (Or do I?) You see, I use an IP masking utility. You don’t need to go to this extent if you never use your new email address, but if you do, you can download a product like Tor Browser from this location: https://www.torproject.org/download/download
This will work with your browser so that when you access the internet, any site you go to will be given a proxy email address. It may appear that you’re in Europe or Asia to any who choose to try to track you down.
The instructions are pretty straight forward and are provided by the Tor web site.
For some additional security guidelines Click Here
How to add text formating and links to your comments
How to Implement Formatting in your Comments
When creating a comment, you can implement formatting using angle bracket syntax: “</>” Some examples are shown below.
This code: <strong>Boldface</strong>
Will produce this result: Boldface
This code: <em>Italics</em>
Will produce this result: Italics
A Clickable Hyperlink
Check out <a href=”http://www.discussthetruth.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Discuss the Truth</a>.
Will look like this:
Check out Discuss the Truth.