Online communities....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by tinytim, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Since we here at BB are an Online community, and I feel as close to some of you as I do some of my real life friends... I thought this article would be interesting...

    http://swerve.lifechurch.tv/2007/01/10/online-world-as-important-to-people-as-the-real-world/

    "As I typed the title to this post, I wondered if the title would even make sense in the future…does it even make sense now to some people? Will there actually be a distiction between the terms “online world” and “real world” or will they be so connected that different terms are not needed?
    The USC Center for the Digital Future has sent out this summary (pdf) of the 2007 Digital Future Report. It covers the most recent results of an ongoing study about Internet use and online communities. One very interesting note is that now 43% of Internet users feel as strongly about their Internet communities and they do about their real-world communities.
    Can a church or “community” that gathers online be as valuable or real as in-person? Apparently a growing group of people would say yes."
     
  2. Raindrop

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    I've often wondered if my online friendships are less real and less meaningful than real life friendships. I certainly wouldn't want to limit myself to online friendships. That wouldn't be healthy. In the context of a life full of caring and sharing, though, online friendships can have their place. It's a lot easier for me to find people who have certain interests online than in my own small Iowa city. Sharing, too, is sometimes more honest and open online because you can disguise who you are.
     
  3. tinytim

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  4. El_Guero

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    Brother,

    I respect the trend toward online friendships. However, I caution you and others about placing your 'life' into your online community.

    For all of the ease, there is still risk.

    God bless


     
  5. tinytim

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    I agree wholeheartidly.... There are a lot of horrible people out there that are just waiting to still someones identity...

    And it is not healthy to just "live" online....
    We have to have a life of our own...

    I can be gone from BB for 2 days, and come back, and it is the same discussions.

    As a matter of fact, in 2004 my computer was messed up for about 10 months.... I could not access the internet... I missed BB at first, but when I came back, 10 months later, it was still the same...

    So to all my fellow friends in cyberspace, put down your computers for awhile and live the real life. cyberspace will still be there when you get back.

    See you all later....
     
  6. Raindrop

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  7. TaterTot

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    I have never been an online "chatter", but I have to say that I have found some neat friends around here, too. I love coming to a place where people actually understand my life. I cant get that in my real community.

    I cant say I have gotten to know anyone outside of the BB and the IMB website (that was before they revamped after 9/11) and even then its just 2 or 3 that I can think of. So I think I understand the intent of the OP.
     
  8. tinytim

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    What about cyberchurch? Is it real?

    like www.lifechurch.tv
    Which is an advertiser here on BB
     
    #8 tinytim, Jan 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2007
  9. Helen

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    I tried a chatroom once and couldn't keep up!

    At any rate, I started out as 'tuppence' to hide my identity -- about ten years ago or so. Sometime later, Matt Slick asked me to moderate for him on CARM, and I did so, on several of the forums there, but primarily the evolution vs. creation one. One of the steady posters who is not only strongly evolutionist but rather nasty is an assistant prof. in Florida somewhere named Joe Meert. He found out who I was and 'outed me'.

    I was terrified and I think I cried in anger and fear that day.

    A year or two later Barry and I started becoming friends as I was editing for him. In our transPacific phone conversations we talked about a lot of things and one of the things he mentioned once was how his mum (a retired Salvation Army officer -- the missionary kind, not the social work kind) used to tell him that he needed to live a transparent life. He does and I've learned. He has also been the instrument God has used to teach me to really live a life of trust in God. So that combination has yielded this -- our real names on the internet but very cautious use of our money! It's the money people want -- our identities for themselves aren't that terrific! And if someone want to find me and send me nasty stuff because they have decided to hate me or something, let them. It is doing them far more harm than me. After all, what's a delete button for?

    I like living this way. It takes a lot less energy and I guess I am a lazy person at heart...LOL

    In the meantime, we met Gina here on BB and when we found out her living conditions and the health of her kids, brought them out for a visit and then brought them out from Ohio for good. That has been totally worth it! Scarlett and I have been on the same forums for at least ten years now and we have watched each other grow in the Lord and in our knowledge of how to deal with various types of people.

    It was due to an email I got from a physicist (not Barry!) after something I posted that started my healing emotionally after my ex walked out on me and the children in 1991. I had felt like a paper cup someone had used, crumpled up, and thrown away. I had been told I was wrong 99.9% of the time, and ended up believing it. But when someone I respected complimented me on something I had written, I cannot tell you what that did for me.

    The PM's I still get from some of you are so encouraging. Sometimes much more so that anything we tend to get from the people in our daily lives, who are so used to us being around they don't think to offer words of encouragement.

    And then, for those of us who have been around here on BB awhile, there's Barnabas Halo -- that dear, dear man who has made so many of us laugh, who has been such an encouragement to so many, and is essentially a friend to all. God bless you, Barnabas!

    So yes, there is a community here. It's friends when the weather is so cold you can't visit the neighbors without freezing your tootsies off. It's friends when you are too sick to care much about even going to the kitchen to get something to eat. It's friends when our 22 year old retarded son has decided that its a neat new trick to put his fingers down his throat and make himself throw up.

    It's brothers and sisters in Christ in a world where too few seem to exist. It's a community where you can be quiet for a long time and no one thinks they are being snubbed. Or you can be chatty and long-winded and you never have to endure the embarrassment of people looking away or trying to find a way out of the conversation!

    In short, I've learned to love some of you folks a lot, and certainly to appreciate many of the words of wisdom I have read on BB over the years.

    The people in our offscreen life are very dear to us and we spend most of the time with them. But you folks here are something special, too, and many of you are deeply appreciated by us.

    God bless you.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Whilst the medium is different to "real" life, I have found the internet to be both enlightening and regressive.

    I have met people from distant life; people I would not have met again short of glory. I have also met people and enjoyed their current experiences as if I had met them physically.

    I don't fit into everything on the net, but view it as letter writing of old, only faster.

    Would I find cyber-church a reality? I doubt that very much. Nothing can replace holdiing someone's hand and looking them in the eyes. Still, I can imagine the younger folks adapting very well to the reality of the internet.

    The internet has opened my eyes to the many differences around the world. Some things I read in books and magazines, but somehow I am not sure I believed they existed. Now I do.

    As an example. I am not so certain about the name Baptist anymore. There was a time when I believed strongly in the Baptist churches, but that has weakened with the diversity of opinions and doctrines. I never imagined an Arminian Baptist, even though I knew that history included them.........that never glued to my mind.

    I have discovered more in my Church of England heritage, than I gave it credit for in the past.

    As a matter of fact, I have come to appreciate the path of Karl Barth and his journey out of German Rationalism and to his viewpoint on God and the Word. Fifty years ago I connected him with a misguided theology. I take him more seriously to-day...although I still think his theology to be off base.

    I think honesty must prevail whether on or off the net. I understand the need to protect ourselves from the deviants who would defile our being, but frankly, I refuse to let them make determinations for me. I am whom I am, and God be my Protector. Transparency is a part of ministry, but my question is whether or not to-day's congregations can handle that openness.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     
  11. tinytim

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    Helen, Jim, thank you for sharing...

    Won't it be wonderful when we all get to eternity, and worship God together.

    Helen, that is wonderful what you did for Gina...
    Tell her I miss her here...
    How is she doing?
     
  12. Helen

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    She seems to have some major health problems, and we are waiting for results from tests. Anna, her youngest, also has a severe heart defect, as I think you know.

    When you consider those two things in particular, I would have to say she is doing incredibly well. She is still in school and she helps out here. She got us dinner last night and it was REALLY good! She has a LOT on her plate to deal with, but she's doing it and she's growing in her Christian walk as well. Hold her in your prayers when you think of it, but also know we are very proud of her for the way she is handling so much so well.
     
  13. Jon-Marc

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    Since I have a problem making real life friendships, I have a few online ones. I feel I can tell them things I wouldn't say to someone face to face.
     
  14. Nicholas25

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    I don't even consider myself to have online friends. I mean I post on here and freewill baptist.net, but since I never see who I am typing to I don't consider it a friendship. I enjoy the boards but I feel weird talking to other posters like we are friends when I have not and will not ever see them. I love you guys in the Lord but I don't say "hey great post brother so and so, or think great; so and so is online now."
     
  15. DeeJay

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    :wavey: :wavey:
     
  16. Allan

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    I third that. Here in South Dakota most see the Baptists as a cult or passing fancy. Most churches are about an hour apart IF your that blessed to that near. It is hard not having many Christian brothers and sisters in Christ who actaully enjoy digging into the word and talking about it.

    Though I am on the debate part, it is (for the most part) the only interaction with other believers I really get because most here don't want to talk about it or know enough to want to converse. I still haven't gotten them to understand that sharing is not teaching and that it is ok to share without knowing everything about everything. It is a culture thing though here. Only Pastors and Specified teacher talk about the bible and they just listen. (mostly Catholic, Lutherians, and Methodists here). Many here really believe that you should never talk about Religion and polotics. They may slip on the politics sometimes but you can make them budge on religion.

    Though here I can listen and speak and share. It does my spirit good. Though the debates at time make me want to :BangHead: I have found real kinship and even friends. Though I will always state it can never supplant the "one to another", person to person. But it is a drink of cool water in a dry desert at times - Amen?
     
  17. Jon-Marc

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    I've met a few of the people I've corresponded with online, because they came to visit me. I enjoyed meeting each one of them. While I have no one near me I would call a friend, I do have my pastor I go to if I need someone with whom to talk.
     
  18. Allan

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    I am the pastor :smilewinkgrin:
     
  19. Allan

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    Thanks brother Jim... I appreciate that.
     

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