"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 33:  August 18, 2000.
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.
To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.
A family's home is its castle.  Or should be.  But often the
home is invaded by uninvited, unwelcome, and unwanted guests.
No, I'm not talking about door-to-door salesmen, Jehovah's
Witnesses, or others who ring the doorbell or knock on your
door.  You have a choice to admit or not to admit such into
your house.
Rather, I'm talking about the home invaders who come into your
home in a more surreptitious manner.  They may come with get
rich quick scams or invitations to view pornographic pictures.
Or they may bring other materials that are in conflict with
your convictions and values.  Or they may perhaps use crude
or obscene language, disregarding the standards you have set
for your home.  Or they may simply interrupt what you are
doing (e.g., having dinner with your family) and immediately
and discourteously disappear (almost as if playing an unkind
joke on you).
These home invaders may come by way of the Internet.  We've
already considered some ways to avoid some of them.  Here are
some previous CATI articles that contain information on how
to prevent offensive material from invading your home through
the Internet:
Family-Safe Internet
Family-Safe Internet: An Important Starting Point
Family-Safe Internet: Parental Control Software
How to Use Parental Controls on America Online
Family-Safe Internet: ISPs That Filter Content (Part One)
Family-Safe Internet: ISPs That Filter Content (Part Two)
And here are some more:
Family-Safe Internet: Keeping Kids Safe with GetNetWise
Family-Safe Internet: Keeping Kids Safe with SurfMonkey
PC Magazine: Utility Guide and Parental Filtering
Donna Rice Hughes: A Christian Against Pornography
PureMP3.org: MP3 Sites with No Pornography Ads
Junk email is another example of where unwanted (and often
inappropriate) materical can invade the home.  You'll find
some helpful thoughts in this previous CATI article:
How to Avoid Junk Email and Spam
Here are some tips on the subject from JunkBusters, Inc., but
you should take them only as some suggestions from them for
you to consider (I do not necessarily endorse all of them
myself) and make your own decision as to which of them are
appropriate for you:
"Spamming must be stopped. 
1. Prevention first: see our tips on how to stay off junk
email lists, because getting your address removed is far more
2. Even if you're angered by repeated spam, do not threaten
the spammer with violence or illegal acts. E-mail-bombing
usually hurts other people, not the spammer.
3. To learn how to track down who is really sending you junk,
see our overview on tracking. 
4. If you get a real address, you can send our strongly-worded
reply telling them that they will be taken to agree to pay you
$10 per message if they continue spamming you. 
5. This reply is included in the 'No email solicitations'
notice that JUNKBUSTERS SPAMOFF will personalize for you to
publish on your Web space if you wish. It's free.
6. Our page on why spamming must be stopped discusses recent
court cases and other major developments concerning spam. Some
people believe it is illegal under US Federal law. 
7. For the latest news on spam, see our What's New page.
8. Our page on what ISPs and other organizations can do about
spam is under construction. 
9. We work to convince organizations that spam is bad for
business. We have submitted extensive documentation on
spamming practices to the Federal Trade Commission, and
appeared before their inquiry on the subject. 
10. We maintain an extensive list of links to other sites
about junk email, including a list of filtering software.
11. Although you can include your email address when using
JUNKBUSTERS DECLARE, it is aimed mainly at established direct
marketers who send physical mail and make telemarketing calls.
Most spammers are fly-by-night individuals who may disregard
a simple polite request to stop. That's why we invented
(The preceding text on the original Web page contains a number
of important links; you'll have to go to the actual page on
the JunkBusters site to access them.)
But the Internet is not the only route the home invaders use
to gain entrance into your home.  There are also telemarketers
and junk mail (I'm not talking about junk email now, but mail
that is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service).
How is the Internet relevant here?  It's simply that, as is
often the case, the Internet is a rich resource of helpful
information on the subject.  If you want to know how to cut
down on telemarketing calls and junk mail, a number of Web
sites have helpful suggestions to offer.  (Caution:  some
suggestions are unChristian and unkind -- you will want to
avoid those -- but other suggestions are options that you
may seriously want to consider adopting.)
Here's how many telemarketers work.  They use autodialing
devices which may dial simultaneously more calls than the
available telemarketers are able to answer.  When someone
answers the phone, that call is routed to an available
telemarketer, and if no telemarketers are available, then
other calls made at the same time are disconnected.  (After
all, the telemarketer's time is more valuable than yours,
so far as the telemarketing company is concerned.)  
Now you know why so often you may answer the phone after two
or three rings, and all you get is a "hang up."  That happens
because someone else answered before you and got routed to the
telemarketer instead of you.  (But don't worry:  the computer
keeps track of the calls, and you'll automatically get called
again at a later time!)
Telemarketing is not illegal, but many telemarketing calls are
illegal by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of
1991.  It is helpful to know your rights under the law.  For
example, except for very specific exceptions "No person may
... Initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone
line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a
message without the prior express consent of the called party."
(The preceding does not apply to calls made by tax-exempt
nonprofit organizations, calls that do not include unsolicited
advertisements, or calls from businesses with which you already
have an established business relationship.)
Telemarketers are required to maintain "do not call" lists,
and you have the right to be put on that list, which means
that they may not call you with a telemarketing call for ten
years.  (If they do, they are liable to a financial penalty of
$500 or more.)  You also have the right to be sent a copy of
their written policy concerning their "do not call" list.
Here are some tips from the Telemarketing Calls page on the
JunkBusters site, a good starting point on protecting your
home from the "home invaders":
"How to reduce the number of junk phone calls you get. 
1. Tell the Direct Marketing Association you don't want calls
from any of their member companies. You can do this easily and
quickly by including your phone number(s) in your JUNKBUSTERS
DECLARATION, which tailors a draft letter for you. You just
add the stamp. 
2. When a telemarketer calls, always say 'Put this number on
your don't-call-list.' 
3. Better, use our Anti-telemarketing script, which tells
telemarketing bureaus not to call you for any company. It
also helps you probe whether the call was illegal under the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and whether you can collect
$500-$1500. You can print out copies to keep by your phones at
home. Like all our products and services, it's free. 
4. Read our extensive guide on how telemarketers work and how
to stop them calling you. 
5. If you want source documents describing your legal rights,
start with our collection of the laws, rules and regulations
governing telemarketing. 
6. We also maintain an extensive list of links to other sites
concerning telemarketing. 
7. One of our clients wrote on Usenet: 'I used to get at least
three telemarketing calls a day--I get maybe one a week now.'
A little time invested in stopping junk calls may be paid back
with hours of tranquility."
That page contains links to much helpful information on other
related pages.  Here, for example, is where you will find
their anti-telemarketing script (which you may want to use in
a somewhat modified form):
JunkBusters: Anti-Telemarketing Script
In addition, here is where you'll find the home page for
Here are some tips from the Junk Mail page on the JunkBusters
"How you can gain control of your mailbox.
1. Tell the Direct Marketing Association you don't want
unsolicited mail from their member companies. JUNKBUSTERS
DECLARE will draft the letter for you. 
2. When dealing with a company or charity that knows your
address, tell them 'Don't rent or share my name.'
3. Tell companies that sell mailing lists not to include your
name. With JUNKBUSTERS DECLARE you can type your address just
once and then click to get draft letters to all the major list
vendors. It's free, you just provide the stamps.
4. Read our extensive guide on how mailers get your name, how
they decide what to mail you, and how to stop them pestering
5. If you are really annoyed with mail sent by any company,
you can issue a 'prohibitory order' against them. If they
continue to send you their junk, they risk being prosecuted
as criminals. 
6. If you want source documents describing your legal rights,
start with our collection of the laws, rules and regulations
governing direct mail. 
7. You may also be interested in visiting other sites
concerning junk mail. 
8. With JUNKBUSTERS DECLARE you can quickly state what mail
you want and don't want according to categories such as
credit cards."
The following page is a source of "more information than you
could ever need" about junk communications:
JunkBusters: Links to Other Resources
Here are a few other sites to check out (but remember not to
be unChristian or unkind in your response to telemarketers
or to senders of junk mail):
The AntiTelemarketer's Source
I do NOT advise that you use the "telemarketer tormenting
techniques" suggested, but some of the other suggestions and
links provided are helpful.  Exercise discretion as usual.
Business Week Online: Telemarketers Come Clean, Or Their Calls
  Don't Go Through
Here's "a new service from Midwestern phone giant Ameritech,"
which provides local phone service for five states, including
Illinois (Chicago) and Michigan (Detroit).
CBS 2:  Turning the Tables on Telemarketers
What can you do when you keep getting calls from a company,
even though each time you tell them you're not interested and
ask them never to call you again?  CBS 2 News's Drew Griffin
in this special assignment tells what one Los Angeles couple
did (and many others have done) in such a situation.
AP: Oregon Program Targets Telemarketers
This Associated Press news item only affects people living in
Oregon, but perhaps other states will later follow suit.
Private Citizen
Membership in Private Citizen costs money, but they claim to
have earned endorsements from Home Office Computing, New York
Magazine, PrimeTime Live, USA Today, and the Wall Street
Journal.  Private Citizen can reportedly enable you to cut
both junk calls and junk mail.
Stop Those Telemarketing Calls!
Warning:  on this page you'll find a reference to "those d**n
hang up calls" without the expletive deleted.  In spite of the
useful information on this page, some CATI readers may prefer
to avoid this page because of that specific use of intemperate
You may enjoy getting telemarketing calls.  If so, you may not
mind it when strangers invade your home in this way.  But if
you find that you're being constantly interrupted by unwelcome
phone calls from people wanting to sell you something (and you
especially find it irritating when you rush to the phone after
two or three rings only to discover that they've hung up on
you), you may want to consider some of the various ways that
can be used to reduce such invasions of your home and your
time.  The Web pages mentioned in this article should help you
find some useful techniques to cut down on the activity of the
telemarketers and other home invaders.
One of the results of cutting down on uninvited, unwelcome,
and unwanted invasions of your home is that you'll have more
free time -- time that you can spend with God or with your
family (perhaps doing interesting, worthwhile things together
on the Internet?).
As mentioned in three previous issues of CATI, NAPARC stands
for "North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council."  Here
is the basis of the Council:
"Confessing Jesus Christ as only Savior and Sovereign Lord
over all of life, we affirm the basis of the fellowship of
Presbyterian and Reformed Churches to be full commitment to
the Bible in its entirety as the Word of God written, without
error in all its parts and to its teaching as set forth in
the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons
of Dordt, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the
Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms...."
And here are the member congregations:
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church 
Korean-American Presbyterian Church 
Orthodox Presbyterian Church 
Presbyterian Church in America 
Reformed Church in the United States 
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
I'm in the process of putting together a directory of churches
in conservative Reformed denominations (primarily those in
NAPARC) that have Web pages.  To addition to the six NAPARC
denominations, I also intend to include in my own directory
congregations that belong to the United Reformed Churches of
North America, a denomination which holds similar convictions.
The fourth installment to the Web directory of churches is a
list of congregations in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of
North America who are on the Internet.  (Please notify me of
any errors that need to be corrected or additions that should
be made to the list.  Thanks!)
Here's the denominational home page for the RPCNA:
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
And here is what the denomination believes:
"Our beliefs all stem from a full commitment to the authority
of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God. This
means that we believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit. We acknowledge our total inability to save ourselves
and, in faith, depend on Christ alone as our Savior. We
acknowledge Him as Covenant Lord in every area of life, and
we vow together to advance His Kingdom on earth. 
"We believe that God desires His Church to set forth clear
statements of her system of doctrine that can be supported
from Scripture. We therefore accept as our creed, or
subordinate standards, The Westminster Confession of Faith
and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. In addition to these
doctrinal statements, we adhere to the Testimony of the
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which is our
continuing application of God's written word to the world
and the church of today. 
"We believe that God's Word clearly sets forth how He is to be
worshiped. The reading and exposition of the Word of God are
the central focus of our worship. Our musical praise employs
God's Word only, thus making use of the divinely inspired Book
of Psalms of the Bible. In keeping with the New Testament
Church's directive for heart worship, we sing without the aid
of musical instruments.
The RPCNA traces its roots to the Scottish Covenanters and
thus are themselves known as "Covenanters" or even "Covies."
Here's some more information on the background on this
"The 'Reformed' in our name refers to our adherence to the
biblical principles set down by the Protestant Reformation of
the 16th century. Our spiritual fathers include Martin Luther,
John Calvin, and John Knox. 'Presbyterian' refers to our form
of church government. Each congregation is under the oversight
of those elected as elders, who are also part of the higher
courts known as presbyteries and Synod. 
"Reformed Presbyterians have ... been referred to historically
as Covenanters because of their identification with public
covenanting in Scotland, beginning in the 16th century. This
act was a protest for Christ's crown rights over the state and
the recognition of Christ as King over the Church without
interference from the government. Our roots also include those
referred to as the Seceders, who share in the testimony for
Christ's Crown and Covenant. 
"In 1743 the first Reformed Presbyterian congregation was
organized in North America. In this continent, too, the
Kingship of Christ has been maintained as a foundational
principle of our denomination. Today, congregations reach all
across North America. We also acknowledge sister churches of
Reformed Presbyterians in Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.
Here's where you'll find some institutions related to the
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America: Institutions
One such institution is Geneva College, a well-respected
Christian college:
"Geneva College, founded in 1848, is an accredited Christian,
co-educational college of nearly 2,000 students located on a
55-acre campus 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. With a strong
emphasis on liberal arts and sciences, the college also offers
innovative programs in adult education at a dozen sites in
western Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. The Reformed
Presbyterian Church seeks, through Geneva College, to educate
and minister to a diverse community of students for the
purpose of developing servant-leaders, transforming society
for the kingdom of Christ. 
"Geneva College offers over 40 baccalaureates and master's
degrees, each founded upon a biblical worldview. In recent
years, Geneva has been nationally recognized for its
excellence in academics and athletics, and has been
consistently named to the prestigious Honor Roll of
Character-Building Colleges by the John Templeton Foundation."
Here's where you'll find the Web site for Geneva College:
Geneva College
The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America also has
its own theological seminary:
"The Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary was
established in 1810. The mission of the seminary is to train
pastors for the ministry of the Gospel and to prepare other
disciples of Christ for effective service in His kingdom. With
commitment to the ministries of the Reformed Presbyterian
Church, the seminary also welcomes and receives students from
many other denominations. 
"The seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Students
come from other parts of the United States and from foreign
countries, yet God has given the seminary a unique ministry to
students in the Pittsburgh area. The major program of study
leads to the Master of Divinity degree and we are now offering
a Master of Theological Studies as well as certificates for
those interested in only a few courses. In preparing students
for effective ministry, the seminary seeks to integrate
Christian commitment, biblical scholarship, significant
faculty-student relationships, active student involvement,
and structured field experiences." 
Here's where you'll find the seminary Web site:
Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
And here's where you can find a list of RPCNA congregations:
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America: Congregations
Some RPCNA congregations do not have a Web page, but here are
the ones I know of that do:
Los Angeles
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, California
Pastor: Kenneth Orr
Colorado Springs
Springs Reformed Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pastor: J. Paul McCracken
Prairie View
Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, Prairie View,
Interim Pastor: John Tweed
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Elkhart, Indiana
Pastor: Andrew McCracken
Sycamore Reformed Presbyterian Church, Kokomo, Indiana
Pastor: Barry York
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Indiana
Pastor: David W. Long
Clay Center
Hebron Reformed Presbyterian Church, Clay Center, Kansas
Pastor: Ron Graham
Sterling Reformed Presbyterian Church, Sterling, Kansas
Pastor: Dennis J. Prutow, D.Min.
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Winchester, Kansas
Pastor: Paul W. Finley
Anchor Fellowship, Waldorf, Maryland
Pastor: Peter Smith
Washington, D.C. Area
Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church, Beltsville, Maryland
Pastor: Robert B. McCracken
First Reformed Presbyterian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Pastor: Christian Adjemian, Ph.D.
Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Church, Southfield, Michigan
Pastor: Raymond P. Joseph
Ridgefield Park
Ridgefield Park Reformed Presbyterian Church, Ridgefield Park,
  New Jersey
Pastor: J. Bruce Martin
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Fulton, New York
Pastor: Nicholas Iamaio
North Syracuse
Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church, North Syracuse
Pastor: Rev. Brian E. Coombs
Oswego, New York
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Oswego, New York
Pastor: Walter Wm. (Kit) Swartz
Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church, Syracuse
Pastor: Rev. Kenneth G. Smith
White Lake
White Lake Reformed Presbyterian Church, White Lake, New York
Pastor: David C. Coon
Triangle Reformed Presbyterian Church, Durham, North Carolina
Pastor: Douglas W. Comin
Belle Center
Belle Center Reformed Presbyterian Church, Belle Center, Ohio
Pastor: Philip Pockras
Stillwater Reformed Presbyterian Church, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Pastor: R. Bruce Parnell
Beaver Falls
College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church, Beaver Falls,
Pastor: Jonathan M. Watt
Hazleton Area Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hazelton,
Pastor: D. Mark England
New Alexandria
New Alexandria Reformed Presbyterian Church, New Alexandria
Pastor: Rev. A. Wayne Duffield
New Castle
Rose Point Reformed Presbyterian Church, New Castle
Pastor: Rev. Robert Schmidtberger
Pittsburgh Area
Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Hills,
Pastor: C.J. Williams
New Castle
Rose Point
Pastor: Robert Schmidtberger
State College
Grace Presbyterian Church, State College, Pennsylvania
Pastor: Gordon J. Keddie
Ottawa Reformed Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario
Pastor: Richard L. Ganz, Ph.D.
Hudson & St-Lazare Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hudson,
Contact: Brian Brodie
The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America publishes a
monthly magazine called the Covenanter Witness, a magazine I
appreciate receiving.  (My brother-in-law is a minister in the
RPCNA, and I am grateful to him for its being sent to me.)
You can find more information about the Covenanter Witness
Covenanter Witness
(Personally, I think they would gain more subscribers to this
quality magazine by providing more samples online, but perhaps
that is something that they may decide to do sometime in the
Finally, here's a page of Web page links suggested by readers
of the Covenanter Witness:
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America:  Links
For some comments on these links, check out the following
article in a previous issue of CATI:
Two Lists of Links: Mostly Christian, Mostly Reformed
(The second list mentioned in the title of the CATI article is
included on the RPCNA list of links and is described by the
RPCNA list of links as "an unusually thorough list of Reformed
This is the thirty-third issue of a free newsletter devoted
to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the
To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.
Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at http://traver.org/cati/ .  ("It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.