---=== w e l c o m e t o r e c . m u s i c . c h r i s t i a n ===---
a guide to netiquette and resources for new users
last modified: 31 October 1996
This document is intended for new users, however, everyone could benefit
from reading it every once and a while to refresh one's memory about
what rec.music.christian is all about. Beverley R. White <wedn...@tezcat.com>
currently maintains it.
This document was formerly two separate items: "Welcome to rec.music.christian"
by Andrew D. Taylor <af...@freenet.carleton.ca> and "The recDOTmusicDOT-
christian Newbie's Guide" by Beverley R. White <wedn...@tezcat.com>.
1.0 What is rec.music.christian?
1.1 A USENET Newsgroup
1.2 An Unmoderated Discussion Group
2.1 If You're New To USENET...news.announce.newusers
2.2 If You're New To RMC...the FAQs
3.0 rec.music.christian Activities
3.1 The RMC Top 50
3.2 The Monastic Order Of The RMC/Little Sisters Of The MOORMC
4.0 Reading/Posting Tips And Resources For All Users
4.1 Basic Technical Posting Guidelines
4.2 Mutual Respect: Shouldn't We Act Like A Group Of Christians?
4.3 Regarding Foul/Offensive Language
4.4 Things To Remember Before Complaining: Manners, Moderation,
4.5 Common Net Abbreviations on rec.music.christian
4.6 So and so is a satanist and other such rumors
4.7 Advertising and Commercials
1.0) What is rec.music.christian? ==================================
1.1) A USENET Newsgroup
rec.music.christian (r.m.c) is an unmoderated newsgroup which passed its
vote for creation by 403:156 as reported in news.announce.newgroups on
19 April 1991. r.m.c is for discussion of Christian music as outlined
in the charter:
1. primarily contemporary christian music, and its
c. books, magazines, TV and radio shows and other mass media which
cover ccm including its music videos and the shows they are
d. affect on secular music, media, and worship
2. and not excluding any christian music not considered
contemporary, such as:
a. traditional christian music such as hymns, etc.
b. heavy metal, rock, pop, inspirational, etc.
c. Hosanna-type worship, etc.
3. but excluding subjects such as
c. discussions about christian doctrine
except as they relate to specific artists and songs. All
threads that diverge to these subjects should be cross-posted
to the appropriate group (talk.abortion,
1.2) An Unmoderated Discussion Group
USENET newsgroups change in purpose and direction depending on their current
population and makeup. As the only unmoderated Christian discussion forum
in the Big 8 and the only available newsgroup relating at all to Christian
subculture, it has become more and more acceptable to allow tangental threads
to develop on issues having nothing to do with music. Section 3c might more
accurately say "except as they relate to specific artists and songs, and to
the subculture surrounding the christian music industry."
This discussion group tends to double on various levels as an online
fellowship, non-exclusive but close-knit, as any such newsgroup will tend
to. Several warm friendships have resulted from this newsgroup and it is
our hope that many more will ensue.
2.0) Documentation ===================================================
2.1) If You're New to Usenet....news.announce.newusers
You might hear the term "newbie" applied to you. A newbie is one who is
a new user, whether to Usenet or just to r.m.c. It is not necessarily an
The following is a list of articles that are recommended to new users to
USENET. They point out some of the Internet etiquette (formally called
netiquette) and are fundamental pieces of literature for anyone getting
at all involved with the USENET. All of the following are periodically
posted to the newsgroups news.announce.newusers and news.answers.
What is Usenet?
What is Usenet? A second opinion.
Rules for posting to Usenet
Hints on writing style for Usenet
A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet
These articles plus some others of interest can be found at either
They can be obtained via e-mail as well. Just send mail as follows:
Please don't ask me for these. I don't have them. :)
2.2) If You're New To RMC: The FAQs
A FAQ (rhymes with Iraq) is a periodic posting which lists Frequently
Asked/Answered Questions. A FAQ is created in order to reduce traffic
and bandwidth on the Internet and to keep questions which keep popping
up answered fully and correctly in order to best help the people who
have the questions. Another accepted pronunciation of FAQ is
"eff-A-cue" (And therefore "a FAQ" or "an FAQ" are both grammatically
correct depending on pronunciation.)
r.m.c has a variety of FAQs associated with it. It is recommended that
you read at least the General FAQ, which contains a cross-section of
information not found in the other FAQs. This way, questions like "When
is Mark Heard releasing his next album?" and millions of replies will be
avoided. (If you read the General FAQ, you will know what is wrong with
that example question.) The General FAQ, at this writing, does need some
amount of updating, but:
* We still don't know when Steve Taylor's new CD will be out, but
we're anticipating next Spring.
* Yes, CCM does have a tendency to get into a rut.
The other FAQs associated with r.m.c tend to be massive lists which
attempt to answer a single and quite specific question (e.g. "What is
available in the xxx geographic area in the way of Christian radio?").
While they may be of interest, they are by no means required reading. It
would be good, however, to at least familiarize yourself with what they
In general, they are posted at least once a month to rec.music.christian,
however a few have different posting frequencies. They can also be obtained
via e-mail using the To and Subject headers listed with the FAQ description.
Some are available via WWW and Anonymous FTP as well.
The General FAQ for rec.music.christian is maintained by Miles O'Neal.
This document is recommended reading for new and old users alike. It
is posted twice a month (or more often when required) to
rec.music.christian. It is also available via WWW on the r.m.c Home
Page (see below) and e-mail. [The maintainer is no longer a regular
on the newsgroup, incidentally, so some of the FAQ is currently out of
Subject: REQUEST CCM FAQ
The CCM Discography FAQ is maintained by Matt Honnold (Matt at
E.I.U.). It contains a partial discography of CCM artists, which are
(broadly speaking) any Christian recording artist that uses a
contemporary rather than a traditional style. With so many different
CCM artists, and new albums being released daily, the CCM Discography
FAQ is always under construction. It's gotten rather huge. The FAQ describing
the discography is available at
The Discography menu is at
The Radio FAQ is maintained by Andrew D. Taylor. It attempts to
answer the question, what is available in the xxx geographic area in
the way of Christian radio by listing Christian radio stations and
Christian music radio programs on otherwise non-Christian stations.
It is posted monthly to rec.music.christian. It is also available via
WWW on the r.m.c Home Page (see below) and e-mail.
Subject: REQUEST CCM RADIO FAQ
The Country Christian FAQ is maintained by John R La Plante. It lists
Christians performing in the country music genre and is not limited to
those singing "Christian" music. Suggestions of artists who should be
added to the list, as well as brief (1 or 2 line) descriptions
welcome. It is posted sporadically to rec.music.christian. Its availability
via mail is currently being verified.
The Wedding Song List is maintained by Andrew D. Taylor. It is a list
of songs which various r.m.c readers have suggested for use at a
wedding. It is posted monthly to rec.music.christian. It is also
available via WWW on the r.m.c Home Page (see below) and e-mail.
Subject: REQUEST WEDDING SONG LIST
The Christian Music Industry E-mail List is maintained by Andrew D.
Taylor. It lists the e-mail addresses of people involved in the
various sides of the Christian music industry. It is posted monthly
to rec.music.christian. It is also available via e-mail.
Subject: REQUEST INDUSTRY E-MAIL LIST
A list of funeral and wake songs is maintained by David N. Wallace. It
is posted regularly to rec.music.christian. It is also available via
Subject: REQUEST FUNERAL SONGS LIST
A resource FAQ on Worship is maintained by Charles Wolff, Timo
Jaakkimainen and Kim Anthony Gentes. This FAQ contains a huge list
(and database) of praise & worship songs and other worship resource
information. It is posted monthly to rec.music.christian. It is also
available via e-mail.
SUBSCRIBE WORSHIP-FAQ FIRSTNAME LASTNAME
The Phil Keaggy Information Phile is maintained by Peter Thompson. It is
a mini-FAQ, micro-biography, and macro-discography for guitarist Phil
Keaggy. It is posted irregularly to rec.music.christian in three parts
and may also be obtained via e-mail. An HTML version is in progress.
Subject: REQUEST PHILE.
The r.m.c Home Page, a HTML format page in the World Wide Web, is a
document with links to information relevant to rec.music.christian as
well as some of the above mentioned FAQs.
The recDOTmusicDOTchristian Newbie's Guide, a predecessor to the current
edition of this welcome file, is a basic introduction to the RMC community
in specific and to USENET in general. The URL is posted whenever a need
presents itself, and occasionally the author will become frustrated enough
to post the entire document. Seasoned rmc'ers are encouraged to disseminate
The Chicago Area CCM Concerts Page is, self-evidently, a listing of
concerts in the Chicagoland area, and contains links to other concert
listings in different localities.
If anyone has any other FAQs, wishes to start one or has changes to
existing information, let me know so I can include it on the above list.
3.0 rec.music.christian Activities =================================
3.1 The rmc Top50
The rmc Top50 is a monthly list of what people in this newsgroup
(rec.music.christian) have been listening to in the previous month.
The purpose of the list is to provide an alternative to the
sales-based lists which appear in magazines like Billboard or CCM. The
hope is that the Top50 will give people an idea of albums actually
being listened to on a repeated basis.
Anyone can submit a list and indeed everyone is encouraged to
do so. Some guidelines on submitting:
1. The list should not just be a list of your favorite albums or
artists. It rather should be a reflection of what you listened to
in that particular month.
2. It should be ranked (from 1 to whatever) in order from
most-listened to least. How you keep track of this is up to you.
Some people actually record how many times they listen to each
album. Others just take five minutes at the end of the month and
guess. Any method is fine as long as it is ranked in some order.
3. The list can be as long or as short as you'd like. There have
been lists of 1 album and lists of 73 albums.
4. Only one list per person, please.
5. There is no interest in igniting the Christian vs. secular debate.
If it's in your list, it gets counted.
6. Submit your list any time during the last week of the month.
jpa...@midway.uchicago.edu is the e-mail address to send them to.
Three reminders are posted during that last week for anyone who
The final compiled list comes out sometime during the first
week of the next month.
Previous months' Top50's are archived at Mark Rice's web-site. The
address is: http://www.ccmusic.org/top50/
J. Robert Parks <jpa...@midway.uchicago.edu> collects and complies the
information for the list each month. If you have any further questions
on the rmc Top50, e-mail J. Robert.
3.2) The Monastic Order of RMC/Little Sisters Of The MOORMC
RMC appears to be besieged by tremendous amounts of single people who have
banded together into their respective organizations of support. In the
words of Ed Rock <ec...@ga.unc.edu>:
It's all a little hazy now, but it seems the Monastic Order of
Rec.Music Christian started sometime back between the fall of 1994 and
the summer of 1995. (If any members, charter or otherwise, or
onlookers can fill in the gaps, I'd appreciate it.) I'm sure it came
from some philosophising by the single guys on Rec.Music.Christian
(rmc) about our apparent destiny to remain unmarried. I suggested we
start our own monastery, independent of any denomination, just for the
guys on rmc. The requirements for inductions remain vague but
generally members have used the word pathetic to describe their love
life and enjoy hanging out on rmc.
http://ias.ga.unc.edu/~ecrab/moormc.html is the MOORMC home page;
Rose Capanna and Bev White are still threatening to create the web page
for the Little Sisters, the women's counterpart organization.
4.0) Reading/Posting Tips And Resources For All Users ===================
4.1) The Technical Advice
This is stuff everyone needs to remember when posting:
* If you have never posted to the USENET before, please read
news.announce.newusers and the related FAQs on USENET style and
content. Yes, I'm repeating myself, but this is VERY important.
* Watch how you format your posts. Lines should be no longer than 79
columns line to prevent line wrap on most peoples' terminals (just
because it looks right on YOUR screen won't mean it will look
right on all screens; a 24X80 col terminal window is considered
standard). Nonstandard ASCII characters may cause problems; most
of us can't see bold or italic when we read news.
* Watch your spelling, capitalization and grammar if at all
possible. NEVER post in ALL CAPS [it reads as though you were
yelling]. Remember that this is a text medium, and the appearance
of ignorance of basic rules of the English language will get in
the way of what you're trying to say. Some people can get away
with posting without capitalization if their sentences are phrased
coherently and otherwise cohesively; it's a rare skill.
* When following up to someone else's post, watch how you edit the
quoted text. Make sure, if you can, that you attribute quotes to
the proper person [or stipulate that you don't know who said
something if you lose the attrib]. Remove as much superfluous text
as you possibly can without eliminating context [we can go back
and read the original if we need to]; respond only to what you
feel you need to respond to. [Some newsreaders will only allow you
to post if you include as much new text as quoted; it's a lovely
guideline]. Make it CLEAR whose text is whose; sometimes it's hard
to tell who is saying what. Edit out the other person's .signature
file unless you're commenting directly on it. Conversely, don't
simply NOT quote the other person's article; otherwise, we won't
necessarily know what on earth you're talking about. Also try to
avoid adding blank lines at the end of your post to avoid the
quoting issue; if you absolutely MUST get past your newsreader's
imposed limits, change the quotation character to something other
than an angle bracket.
* Keep your .signature short, sweet and clean. A maximum of four
lines is considered plenty; though some now debate that the
acceptable limit is five to seven lines, anything over and beyond
that is getting into highly superfluous territory. For examples of
the kind of .signatures that could be considered obnoxious [and
eloquent, if humorous, explanations of why, occasionally involving
animation and storytelling], read alt.fan. warlord. Very rarely
does ASCII art or lettering look good in a .signature; try to be
* PLEASE do not post the same article, or highly similar articles,
over and over again. FAQs, pointers to web pages, and general
announcements should be issued at most once every week and a half
to two weeks at the most, every month if they are not frequently
being updated. Anything more than that is excessive, and could
even be considered net.abuse depending on the circumstances (some
providers will revoke your account for doing this). Keep in mind
that servers usually keep posts around for several days, and
people are more likely to visit your page if you post a regular
pointer every so often that they see every couple of weeks than if
they start their newsreader to find dozens of posts with the same
thing in them (and many may begin ignoring your posts altogether).
A web page URL will fit nicely in your .signature file, and can be
your best press of all.
* So you just scanned a cool picture of your favorite band or you have
some other binary data file related to Christian music and you want to
make it available to people here on r.m.c. r.m.c is a discussion group,
not a binaries group for uuencoded files. Make it available through
FTP or WWW. When you make it available, post a note in r.m.c letting
us know where to find the file. (Don't forget to keep copyright
considerations in mind when making said binaries available. You could
be breaking the law by posting the binary -- is the picture copyrighted?
Is this a sample of a song or video? How long is the sample?)
4.2) Mutual Respect: Shouldn't We Act Like A Group Of Christians?
On this topic, in response to a post slamming r.m.c for not being a good
witness to the world as to how a group of Christians should act, John
Streck summed it up:
You can't expect this group to always act like a group of
Christians when it's not always a group of Christians.
Not everyone here will believe the way you do. There are many people
from many cultures and many denominations, from a wide variety of
backgrounds. Some here may not even be Christian, but find value in
Fleming and John or Vigilantes of Love or Steve Taylor and have come
here for information, or any other reason. Though you may be tempted
to impose your viewpoint on a given conversation, pause for a moment
before doing so. Does your conviction warrant intolerance to the
point of what could very easily be seen as arrogance, smugness or
obnoxiousness? Take some time to pray, to read your Bible and to just
generally meditate on something which concerns you if you feel
yourself kicking into knee-jerk. It is VERY easy to be misread or to
be far harsher or impatient than you would ordinarily be in day-to-
day life. You need not accept or agree with another's point of view,
but try to have respect for it. If you are Christian, remember your
witness. If you're not, please respect those who are.
4.3) Regarding Foul/Offensive Language
rec.music.christian has no rule regarding such language. You may,
however, want to check with your site. There may be a policy your site
has against its use.
The following suggestions regarding this language are meant to make it
less likely that someone who does not want to read such language will not
just stumble upon it in r.m.c. Please note these are only suggestions.
1. If you use such language, put a warning at the beginning of your post
to the effect that it contains language that may offend some. This way
anyone who wants to avoid it can avoid it.
2. Avoid using this language in the subject header.
3. Avoid using such language in general. Is there a need to use it?
What does it add to your post?
It should be understood that some topics would be quite difficult to
discuss without such language. For example, discussion about the song "If
I Had A Rocket Launcher" by Bruce Cockburn.
4.4) Things To Remember Before Complaining: Manners, Moderation, Crossposts
If you see articles with offend you and you think shouldn't be here, calm
down a second. It may not even be indigenous to RMC.
First of all, examine the headers of the posts which you find
irksome. [The "header" would be the part containing lines like
"Newsgroups," "Subject," "Path," etc.] If you see several apparently
unrelated newsgroups in the header's Newsgroups: line, the article
has been -crossposted- and is one of many such like. The reasons for
this are many and varied; some attempt to "troll" [i.e. bait, make
you react on a kneejerk level] people into sparking a flamewar. While
the best trolls have been works of art, many just result in trash.
There is also a long-standing vendetta of a few of the denizens of
alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death against RMC.
You may feel that these people are invading your space; to their
perception, since they are reading the article not in RMC but in
whatever groups it turns up in, if you respond to the posts you may
be seen as invading *their* space, thus furthering the senseless and
unnecessary flow of traffic. If you MUST follow up to a widely
crossposted thread, please do us on RMC a favour and edit the string
"rec.music.christian," out of your Newsgroups: line, and place
appropriate newsgroups to respond to in your Followup-To: line if you
have the means to do so. If you are posting from software that will
not allow you to do this, *do not respond to the thread.* And please
don't post telling us not to post to those threads; most people reading
RMC aren't reading or posting to those threads, and will only get annoyed.
Some posts are crossed to alt.fan.wednesday. That's OK; that's a "vanity"
group which serves as a siphon for some of the bantersome chatter which
We try to make an effort to keep conversation related to music on some
level, but perodically it becomes necessary to talk about points of theology
that aren't explicitly about song X, Y, or Z. Some things go too far into
the unrelated level, yes; the problem is, there really isn't yet a place for
a lot of these tangents to be freely discussed yet, and periodically a
seemingly irrelevant thread can have a profound impact on the way one or
many of us looks at an issue. There is a tightly-knit, though not exclusive,
fellowship within RMC, and this is one of its manifestations. We do try to
take it elsewhere if things get out of hand.
Many, MANY people have recommended that the group be moderated so
that things that they do not desire to see be kept out. While the
idea of automated moderation based on header content [filtering out
crossposts, obscenities in the headers, etc.] has been postulated to
at the very least put a cap on the number of "invasions" coming in,
human-based, full moderation either by an individual or a team has
been discussed and generally agreed upon to be a Bad Thing. It will
limit the spontaneity of conversation and impose at the very least
the ghost of an idea that if a specific "tack" on Christian music,
Christianity itself, etc. is not adhered to in some fashion, the
posts will not be allowed. One of the high points of RMC is having a
place where issues related to Christian music [on even the slenderest
of threads] can be discussed freely without limits of denomination,
creed variance or whatnot, without fear of censorship on some level
because a subject was 'too controversial' or something to that
effect. Moderation would destroy that.
[One should be aware, incidentally, that *any* changes on the order of
splitting, moderating, or otherwise altering the structure of RMC on
a technical/administrative level will require a request for
discussion (RFD) in news.groups, a call for votes (CFV) and voting
period, and subsequent control messages being issued by David
Lawrence to remove rec.music.christian and replace it. This requires
a minimum three month period, not counting delays in the submission
of the proposal [there is heavy, heavy backlog] and any problems
during the RFD. Additionally, a minimum number of votes along with a
majority is required for the group to pass. Alteration of the
newsgroup on a technical level will be a major undertaking should it
come to be necessary, and cannot be easily/quickly handled.]
A good guideline to follow, if you don't like a trend in threads or
conversation, is not to harp on the newsgroup about how you don't
like it, but rather to contribute your *own* material and attempt to
seed conversation in a direction which you would like to see. Quite
honestly, if you were to walk into someone else's home and see that
the family was having a conversation about a topic you didn't enjoy
or found offensive or whatever, would you tell them "I don't like
it!" and order them to change it? Doubtful. It's a little like that,
except for that it's not hard to become a part of the family (despite
horrible rumours to the contrary :) and chances are high that SOMEONE
will want to talk about the things you want to discuss as well.
If you have a question, or want to make your entry, it is highly
recommended that you a) take some time to read the newsgroup b) read
the various files that have been recommended to you here. Simply asking,
"hey, are there any _______ fans out there?" isn't likely to contribute
much to the conversation. Start out, if you can, by posting something *about*
the topic you haven't seen being addressed. Be patient; if no one replies
right away, it's not that you're being snubbed. Articles can take as long
as several days to propagate to other systems, and sometimes replies get
lost. Remember, you're a complete stranger to us; all we've got is the
impression of your words to go on.
4.5) Common Net Abbreviations on rec.music.christian
You may have seen the following abbreviations in posts on
rec.music.christian and wondered what they mean. They of course may
appear in a different case (ie upper or lower).
ACM - "Alternative Christian Music"
AFAIK - "As Far As I Know"
BTW - "By the way"
CBS - "Christian Bookstore" (usually preceded by local)
CCM - "Christian Contemporary Music" or "Conteporary
IIRC - "If I Recall Correctly"
IMHO - "In my humble opinion"
IMO - "In my opinion"
r.m.c - "rec.music.christian" [also rmc, RMC]
ROTFL - "Rolling On The Floor Laughing"
WRT - "With respect to"
It's cool to make use of them, but overuse can reduce the readability.
4.6) So and so is a satanist and other such rumors
The following is used as an example and in this case is an untrue rumor.
Most of the points brought up about the appropriateness of posting
something like this are valid even if it is true.
You heard that the president of Proctor and Gamble was a satanist and was
using his position to fund the Church of Satan. As well you heard that
this was well documented on an episode of Donahue. You want to post this
info to r.m.c to alert Christians worldwide of this evil and to help start
a boycott of Proctor and Gamble.
First of all, that is not true, and for that reason does not belong in
r.m.c. Donahue says that no such episode was produced. In fact, this may
be a rumor created to make Christians look like paranoid fools and
spreading such false rumors helps it achieve that goal.
Second, what does this have to do with Christian music? r.m.c was created
solely for the discussion of Christian music as outlined in the charter,
and this doesn't even really fall within the accepted not-quite-on-topic
Third, you are making a broad assumption about the beliefs of everyone who
reads r.m.c. -- that assumption being that we are all Christians. It may be
true for the most part, but one does not have to be a Christian to discuss
4.7) Advertising and Commercials
The USENET, in general, is not intended for advertising of products for
sale. rec.music.christian is no exception to this intention.
Generally, it is acceptable to post a list of used music (or other music
related products or memorabilia) that you bought for personal use but wish
to pass on (at a price) to someone who might get better enjoyment out of
its use. Please place "FS" (for sale) in the subject header so that people
who want to filter out such posts can do so easily.
Other forms of advertising that are considered acceptable are posts
informing users of Internet resources, ie web pages etc. -- again, however,
please do not post pointers to such resources more often than is reasonable.
In general, most other forms of advertising are frowned upon and should
therefore be avoided. The more commercial sounding it is, the large
will be the negative response from r.m.c readers.
Not every post to RMC will be something you want to read. Instead of
complaining about it, you can take measures to filter out the things
which offend you.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the filtering features of
your newsreader, if you have one which will do such a thing. Netscape
Navigator and the commercial online services (e.g. AOL, Prodigy,
Compu$erve) will not allow you this; the rn family, tin, nn (all UNIX),
Agent (PC), NewsWatcher (Mac), MacSOUP (Mac), Gravity (Win95), knews
(X), and possibly others will. A FAQ on killfiles in rn is
available on news.answers; a miniFAQ on tin by the Right Reverend
Master Tweek is occasionally posted to alt.religion.scientology and
alt.usenet.kooks. If you are on a UNIX shell, the help files either
in the application or "man executablename" at the prompt should
provide more information; hopefully, such accompanies offline readers
as well, though I couldn't tell you how. For the few remaining VMS users,
you may well just need to get a telnet account with a UNIX shell....
Since killfiles are so different from newsreader to newsreader, and this
writer is a trn zealot, please don't write to me asking how to killfile
someone or something. It's also probably not a good idea to ask that same
question on rmc. However, you CAN visit news.software.newsreaders, which
has information aplenty regarding both newsreaders and their killfile
operations. You might even find a better reader than the one you're using
now! (Like trn! :)