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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blogging and Church

For many who blog there’s no conflict between your own understanding and your Church but many have sharp contentions concerning their own convictions and those held by their local assembly. For those that do I’m curious. How do you resolve the controversy? Since posting here I’ve heard of Pastors being dismissed, others having been chastised. Many have left their local assembly, not necessarily due to blogging but because of differences in personal convictions.

I have also witnessed many who have made great strides in faith that could have never been accomplished in their local assembly. This was due, at least in part, to the fact that blogging provided a means for challenging their understanding and provided them a place where they could freely discuss their thoughts and concerns. The plethora of study tools and information available to believers would cause our forefathers to stagger. There is no doubt that as more believers avail themselves of the opportunity to engage in understanding views outside their own perspective that many will feel the press to relate this information within their local assembly. Many of these views are sure to clash with doctrines long held by the local assembly.

What impact might it have on the local assembly? Will local Churches become more ecumenical or less influential? Has your experience here affected your own views?

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12 Comments:

Blogger Kristi said...

Wow... This topic is huge.

First of all, I would say that blogging has helped me to solidify in my own mind exactly where I stand on many different issues and why. It has helped me to see and understand the viewpoint of those whose opinions differ from mine, and caused me to be less judgmental and more accepting of other believers who have different standards.

In regards to my local church, blogging has helped me not to just give in and comply to everything I hear there, even though I know in my heart I didn't agree.

See, before I felt somewhat like a hypocrite. I followed the guidelines and standards of the preacher even though they were not my own. I just lived out of fear of others. "What will they think of me if I do this or don't do that?"

I don't know if this is good or bad. I feel like it's good that I'm real, and not just putting on someone else's standards. But is it wrong and disloyal of me? Is it stubborn and independent? Should I just submit and follow every standard that my preacher prefers? See, to me it's just a preference. It's not a command. So, can I have true fellowship in a body with different preferences? I believe so. But I could be wrong. Maybe it's just my rebellious heart not wanting to comply.

There's a lot to think about here.

3/22/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger bluecollar said...

Casey,

Wow! Blogdom challenges ones positions. I never,though, stopped to think about its impact on churches. Food for thought.

Mark

3/22/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I agree with Kristi's comments completely. Since blogging, and participating in discussion forums I have been exposed to POV's and theological discussions and such which I never had been in 'church'. The depth and breadth of information available and the ability to explore it with those who know it intimately or disagree with it passionately is something that I think would only have been available, in the past, to those blessed to be able attend seminary or the like.

The whole blog thing, and discussion forum thing, is likened, in my mind, to the introduction of the Gutenberg Bible - theology available to the masses and not just the selected leaders of a religous sect.

I also ditto bluecollar's comments: I never,though, stopped to think about its impact on churches.

I will now though and consider sincerely that as far as I am concerned the impact is helpful, biblical, and motivated by the Spirit.

3/22/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

My views on Church order are radically different from my own congregation.

However, I am very careful about sharing my views there. I do not want to make controversy.

Should I? Am I being fearful?

God Bless

Matthew

3/22/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kristi I can't know your heart but I can say I don't find you to be rebellious. Our experiences here is similar but honestly I have questioned many of the policies and practices long before these discussions and was always amazed at how many points of scripture were dismissed because "it's more important to maintain peace". So bible study threatens peace? Is it just me or does that sound kind of medieval?

Mark I know it's had an effect on many here. I won't judge whether it's positive or negative but as our youth move into leadership I'm sure it will have a profound impact.

Rev I thought about what you said concerning motivation and I'm persuaded that in many people that's absolutely true but I've also seen many use the opportunity to force an agenda or a pet doctrine. I pray I would only always be honest and willing to share and to help if I can and never condemn others who are learning like me. I hope I can always have an open mind to a better understanding as well.

Matthew I think we're all in that situation to one degree or another. It may be an opportunity is needed to present your understanding in which case the Lord will provide it in His time. I think we need to be ready when the door opens.

3/22/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Hi Kc,

I agree with all, that this is a major can of worms. You clearly describe that something new is going to be pressuring the doctrinal stances of the local assemblies.

I've been strugling with this for years and I really encourage people to pray for open doors and to sometimes write respectful letters to the leaders, or to use some other means of opening up the communication lines :O !!

I think God has really answered prayer :)

:)

3/22/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jodie I really hope we can all be used by God in some way to bring us to that like-mindedness of Christ and that we can use this tool He's blessed us with responsibly. I do know that God has used this medium to bless many in many wonderful ways. ;-)

3/22/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jayne said...

I used to think that it was the church or nothing. There was no way I could learn anything outside of that building. It was instilled upon me. What was said behind those doors was the only gospel that could be preached or that I could listen to. Then one day, I got so turned off by the church that I walked away. They were everything they told me not to be.

What I didn't realize at the time is that I was not turning away from God, just a brick building. I was (am) still a good person and try to do good things for others. Sure, I messed up sometimes, but who doesn't?

So I needed a new outlet and thus found blogging. Much to my surprise, others blogged about faith and fellowship and expressed their beliefs and shared what they learned. Even more to my surprise is that others participate in these conversations and actually support one another! And even better, we share what we learn from the Word!

Although I have met a few wonderful people from church, I can do without it. I much prefer this online fellowship where I can free share my thoughts and question something I don't agree with or don't understand.

And to my knowledge, there is no "formal" statement as to whether or not we should blog about faith, but whether there is or not, I wouldn't give this up for anything. If it wasn't for blogging and this community, I wouldn't be reading the bible.

My church doesn't even encourage it and here I have a whole group to support it! Blogging wins, hands down!

3/22/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jayne you always bless my heart. I'm so glad you find fellowship and encouragement here and I hope God will continue to bless you to find it all around you. Corry and I have grown to love so many here just as we love the those that put pen to the sripture only here we can interact and look forward to further fellowship. I really hope things work out for this summer. ;-)

3/22/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Hugo said...

KC: My understanding of my Catholic Christianity and the Church's position on some points of theology and praxis don't always align, so I'm careful about how much and about what I post (both here in and other forums). Having said that, though, I've enjoyed the conversations on my blog and on others' blog - it gives an immediacy to faith that reading books and magazine articles doesn't give. Thanks for the thoughts!

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo

3/24/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

I agree, Kc. Excellent post, and comments :)

3/25/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Hugo I think we all tend to take issue with certain points our denominations hold to. Those issues usually go unmentioned but here it seems even the hierarchy is willing to address them. They usually turn out to be the denominational sacred cows that prevent any hope of ecumenicism. I think discussing them is a good thing. ;-)

Jodie thanks so much for your encouragement. ;-)

3/26/2006 05:17:00 AM  

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