Online Christianity, A Contentious Fellowship

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I’ve been involved in online Christian forums for a number of years.  And at times I wonder why I bother.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve received some wonderful spiritual support, I’ve made good friends both in and out of the denominations I’ve served in, and I do enjoy discussing church, theology, and current events.  But too often it just degenerates into arguments.

And it seems that most Christian online forums are dominated by argument.  There are arguments about theology, polity, politics, and just about anything else you can name.  And sadly often the arguments are not very polite.  There are some posters to online Christian forums who seem to just get joy out of being contentious.  And it robs the joy out of sharing one’s faith and views when another believer puts you down.

When I step back I have to ask, is this really the kind of conversation that really glorifies God?  Do non-Christians read these forums and just assume that Christians can’t get along with each other?  Are these forums valuable or just a time waster? And it is amazing how quickly a discussion of views degenerates just into bickering once everyone has stated their first opinion.

One of the things I appreciate about a Wesleyan orientation to theology is that it isn’t just about talking the talk it is also about walking the walk.  If we claim to be children of the light then we should be light bearers ourselves.  If we cannot display kindness and charity towards others how are we serving the gospel of Jesus Christ and making a difference in this world?

“Do not be conformed to this world,* but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom. 12:2

I would encourage all Christians online (myself included) to use Christian online discussion to glorify God rather than being an example to the world that Christians cannot get along with each other.