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Online message boards hurting ones faith?

Started by Alpine, August 24, 2008, 03:07:50 pm

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Alpine

(This is not a knock on CF. I still like CF despite it's drawbacks)

I want to see if anyone else is in the same boat as me on this.

Does engaging in "debate" and constant bickering online hurt your faith?

There is no question for me it has to some degree. When I first visited CF 3 years ago I was hoping to find fellowship and good discussion.

Instead what I have found is nonstop strife.

I don't want to make myself vulnerable on there by opening up, for fear of being attacked by someone, some faction.

Of course we all have our differences, but, my contention is that we all have way more in common than not.

A light bulb went on in my rock hard head a few days ago when I came to this board, that there is true fellowship here.

I realized I've hardly had any true fellowship on CF.

In fact, the strife and bickering has at times made me question my faith (seriously) and if anything made me have less faith in God.

So, I just thought I'd throw that out there and see what others think on this.

-Alpine
As long as the Steelers themes smileys exist so shall my protest last!

flaglady

It never hurt my faith but it really hurt my irritation/aggravation factor!

Alpine

lol aggravation is not a good thing. But, you're not alone on that one.
As long as the Steelers themes smileys exist so shall my protest last!

sharonl

No it never hurt my faith, in fact my faith grew because I would take the time to look up something that I wanted to explain.

I just felt like there were just a few that came on there with the intent of causing problems and they did - I've only been on there for about a year and I saw it go downhill so fast.  Some of the people did not even believe what they were posting and were just posting to cause problems.

The sock puppets  were what made me upset the most - I answered very sincerely to some of the posts thinking I just might be helping someone and found out they were just laughing at the answers and just wanting to cause problems.

Some people would get off in other forums and laugh about the problems they were causing on CF - it just got so bad that I could not fight it any more and quit trying because I did not know what was sincere and what was not.

I agree with you that the ones here are truly sincere - I just pray we can keep it like that and the false ones don't find their way here.
Diamonds From Heaven - help for the hurting heart
http://gentle.org/sites/diamonds/
Beautiful gifts - the men love them http://chopsknives.com

KarenJoy

Quote from: sharonl on August 24, 2008, 03:32:43 pm

I agree with you that the ones here are truly sincere - I just pray we can keep it like that and the false ones don't find their way here.
[/B]

Amen Sharon
I sought the Lord and He heard me.  And delivered  me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4)

DianeL

For me, I didn't affect my faith in God.

I'll tell you though, honestly, if I had heard "iron sharpens iron" or we're here to 'teach' one more time, I thought I would puke.

These words mean to build on or edify, not to always use as harsh corrections, without any thought . This is how Pete caught my eye with his words of edification, encouragement and uplifiting posts. Thank you Pete, and others like you, your posts meant alot to me.
34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13

Pete

I was talking about this with Charity just the other night on (shameless plug) the CHAT ROOM. 

But seriously...
I was a lot like you when I joined CF, Alpine.  I had hopes that I had finally found a Spirit-Filled board that would welcome me.  I had lurked in other "Christian" (and I use the term loosely..) forums, and I discovered that Charismatics and Spirit-Filled people were, generally speaking, looked down upon and mocked in these other forums.  So I was greatly encouraged to find that CF had a Spirit-filled forum, and even MORE encouraged to find a "WoF" section contained within.  I'd heard the term WoF before, but I never really identified myself as such.  but at that time, there were people in the WoF forum, where I lurked for a month or so before joining, and I began to realize, this was what I believed.

So, I finally took the plunge and registered, hoping to find some good Christian fellowship.   But what I found was a bunch of bickering, arguing and non-stop strife.  I found myself responding in kind to those who were rude to me, and I did not like who I was becoming.  It was then that God began to deal with me about how I was posting, and my posting made a dramatic change.

I remember VIVIDLY God pointing out to me my hypocrisy.  He had me go back through my posts, and read them.  It was almost as if he had removed a veil from my eyes.  Suddenly, I could see so clearly that I was guilty of the very thing I said I was standing against.

I repented.

And from that moment on, I made a focused effort to try and make a difference.  I did not always succeed, because I still allowed those little barbs and jabs to sneak into my posts from time to time, but it slowly became less and less.

I'll never forget when I was responding to a post, and I was going to use the old "God's not a child abuser" line, something I had used repeatedly, over and over and over again, when God said to me,"Do you really think that anyone at CF believes in their heart that I am a child abuser?".  And I said, "Well, probably not, but it sure SOUNDS like it sometimes!".   And God said to me, "If you don't think anyone believes that I'm a child abuser, why do you keep bearing false witness against them by saying it?"    And I said " ..... "   

It has been a long journey, and I am not the same person that I was 3 years ago, 2 years ago, or even last year.  God has used CF to teach me many valuable lessons.

That said, I think it's getting worse.  Much worse. Or perhaps now that we have a place where that true Christian fellowship is occurring, it is more obvious to us that we've been settling for a counterfeit for so long...

In any event, I treasure this place, and all of you people.  This forum is fast becoming the Christian fellowship that I thought I was signing on for when I joined CF.  We needn't agree on every doctrinal detail, but "iron sharpens iron" can and should occur concurrently with a spirit of edification and encouragement, as opposed to a spirit of strife and contention.

It is my prayer that this will be that place.  An oasis from the strife.

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Renee

Quote from: MissConStru on August 24, 2008, 03:19:32 pm
It never hurt my faith but it really hurt my irritation/aggravation factor!
what she said
THE DEFINITION OF REVIVAL

1. Falling in love with Jesus all over again

2. Having the Joy of your salvation restored

Alpine

Quote from: Pete on August 24, 2008, 05:35:28 pm
I was talking about this with Charity just the other night on (shameless plug) the CHAT ROOM. 

But seriously...
I was a lot like you when I joined CF, Alpine.  I had hopes that I had finally found a Spirit-Filled board that would welcome me.  I had lurked in other "Christian" (and I use the term loosely..) forums, and I discovered that Charismatics and Spirit-Filled people were, generally speaking, looked down upon and mocked in these other forums.  So I was greatly encouraged to find that CF had a Spirit-filled forum, and even MORE encouraged to find a "WoF" section contained within.  I'd heard the term WoF before, but I never really identified myself as such.  but at that time, there were people in the WoF forum, where I lurked for a month or so before joining, and I began to realize, this was what I believed.

So, I finally took the plunge and registered, hoping to find some good Christian fellowship.   But what I found was a bunch of bickering, arguing and non-stop strife.  I found myself responding in kind to those who were rude to me, and I did not like who I was becoming.  It was then that God began to deal with me about how I was posting, and my posting made a dramatic change.

I remember VIVIDLY God pointing out to me my hypocrisy.  He had me go back through my posts, and read them.  It was almost as if he had removed a veil from my eyes.  Suddenly, I could see so clearly that I was guilty of the very thing I said I was standing against.

I repented.

And from that moment on, I made a focused effort to try and make a difference.  I did not always succeed, because I still allowed those little barbs and jabs to sneak into my posts from time to time, but it slowly became less and less.

I'll never forget when I was responding to a post, and I was going to use the old "God's not a child abuser" line, something I had used repeatedly, over and over and over again, when God said to me,"Do you really think that anyone at CF believes in their heart that I am a child abuser?".  And I said, "Well, probably not, but it sure SOUNDS like it sometimes!".   And God said to me, "If you don't think anyone believes that I'm a child abuser, why do you keep bearing false witness against them by saying it?"    And I said " ..... "   

It has been a long journey, and I am not the same person that I was 3 years ago, 2 years ago, or even last year.  God has used CF to teach me many valuable lessons.

That said, I think it's getting worse.  Much worse. Or perhaps now that we have a place where that true Christian fellowship is occurring, it is more obvious to us that we've been settling for a counterfeit for so long...

In any event, I treasure this place, and all of you people.  This forum is fast becoming the Christian fellowship that I thought I was signing on for when I joined CF.  We needn't agree on every doctrinal detail, but "iron sharpens iron" can and should occur concurrently with a spirit of edification and encouragement, as opposed to a spirit of strife and contention.

It is my prayer that this will be that place.  An oasis from the strife.





Gosh I enjoyed reading that!

See, here's the thing. I've been a Christian for 20 years now, and I've attended Assembly of God churches for 22 years. There was a time when I was pretty much word of faith, but then in the late 90's I did stop believing some of those ideas.

I honestly don't think it's that big of a deal. Some of the most inspiring Christians I've ever known were very strong word of faith beliefs.

But, so what?

I never really thought it was a big deal to be honest. I always separated WOF doctrines from televangelists. I knew WOF believers could be amazing examples of what a real Christian is - because I had seen it with my own eyes. I think much of the problems that some people have is that they cannot separate televangelists from ordinary Christians.

I think much of the problem especially on message boards like Cf, is people blend their attacks of a particular brand of belief, with televangelists. The arguments get so twisted they no longer make much sense.

I also should clarify something, I wasn't implying I was questioning my Christian faith because of Cf, I was meaning that I was questioning everything I believed, and I think my faith in God was wavering because of all the doubt I took in.
As long as the Steelers themes smileys exist so shall my protest last!

flaglady

I got to say this again ... I so remember when Pete was posting in that manner. It was before I got on staff (ptew!) and I just saw this very confrontational poster who always seemed to 'be' right! Dogmatic and that. Then I got on staff and was assigned to SF and found - uh-oh! - here was probinson and I actually had to WORK with him! I had intimidation in spades. I was also not particuarly chuffed when I noticed he was made up to senior mod and then supervisor when we were about level pegging in terms of time served. I stayed as far away from him as possible.

But then - hmmmm, interesting - I noticed he seemed to have changed. He was softer, more agreeable and even approachable. Then I was snr mod and then supervisor and we were working hand in glove and you know, I couldn't have asked for a better partner anywhere, ever! He was my mentor, support and companion in the arduous duty of not only moderating but trying to handle some particularly feisty mods we had at the time!

Just want to put that on record and say thank you, Pete. Our time working together was great and I think we were a good partnership. Had it not been for one or two particuarly obnoxious flies in our ointment pot, it would have been a great time.

However, nowadays it seems to be more flies in that pot than ointment!

8 iron

Does engaging in "debate" and constant bickering online hurt your faith?



I believe it does to some extent. I'll find the passage, or Hisgirl knows where it's at, but there's a scripture that says basically we shouldn't argue or dispute our faith, the scriptures and tenants of faith. Believe the scriptures points to it being unprofitable.


It also says to 'avoid' the divisive man. So if CF is a 'divisive' man symbolically for you, then yes stay away or it will hurt your faith.

churchlady

Quote from: Alpine on August 24, 2008, 03:07:50 pmDoes engaging in "debate" and constant bickering online hurt your faith?


For me the debates, whenever I joined one, would actually increase my faith because it required me to really recall why I believed what I believed, and to get the scriptures to back it up.

The constant bickering didn't really bother me too much.  I am rather thick skinned.

I'll tell you what began to REALLY bother me on CF......

Spiritfilled/charismatic/pentecostal christians should be the creme de' la crem of christianity and yet I saw amongst them a growing tolerance for worldliness and downright sinfulness in the Body, along with an equally growing intolerance for anyone who dared bring that up.

And secondly, it boggled my mind and infuriated me that in the name of such tolerance, the demons in various ones on there were allowed to speak far too often, and only a few seemed to really notice or be upset by that.  That is when I knew that my time there was dwindling.

I went there yesterday to pm Trish and Oscarr to invite them here, and when I entered the forum, it felt genuinely 'icky' to me.  Being away from it makes the atmosphere more noticeable to me.

De Oppresso Liber

LittleRocketBoy

August 24, 2008, 08:58:24 pm #12 Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 09:30:14 pm by LittleRocketBoy
The debate does not bother me. I actually like it. I learn a great deal about how other people are wrong and how they got that way...

What does hurt, is the lack of love.
Jesus said that we would be known by our love for each other.
When that does not happen, you have to wonder.
I know there are real believers on CF. I know they love the lord.
But somehow the "love each other" seems to be flopping out.

Tina

I'm with Evelyn....   it has only served to strengthen my faith AND even more solidify my mission in life.

Psalm 40:9-10 has been my purpose in life for many years:



I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.


In the past few years, God has helped me fine-tune that purpose:

To empower Christians who have bought into the suffering doctrine by teaching them the truth of God?s Word and helping to catapult them into the freedom of knowing who they are in Christ.

I believe this has come about by seeing the extent of the doubt, unbelief and mockery of those who believe the Word fully I have witnessed at CF.

For that I am grateful.