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Any members / ex members of Christian Forums ?


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Hi all.

I joined the Christian forums (https://www.christianforums.com) around the same time as joining here. I was curious to know if anyone here is or was a member there, and if so, what were your thoughts ? There are two things I'd like to say, one minor, and one major :

1. The minor point is that I was banned from the site today. I was banned outright, without any warnings. I know the last thing I posted was somewhat OTT (although factually correct), and was in all likelihood the reason I got the boot. Apart from the lack of notification, I am not concerned about the ban, as I was thinking of leaving or just staying away altogether. 

2. The major point is that the site has far too much bad and dangerous advice, and some of the sub forums, IMO are little more than hate groups, functioning in an hermetically sealed echo chamber. I lost count of the number of people still condoning conversion therapy, fretting about homosexuality, or whether they should repent for having lustful thoughts about so and so. I could go on. The one person who responded to my OTT post suggested that as per the Bible, the death penalty was the correct punishment for sodomy.  

Personally, I find it very disturbing that this type of hate speech is given the green light. 

The sub forums operate in a "safe haven" environment, which, whilst I understand the  intent, in reality simply serves to weed out dissenting views, justified or otherwise. 

 

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14 hours ago, 4BeanMix said:

Hi all.

I joined the Christian forums (https://www.christianforums.com) around the same time as joining here. I was curious to know if anyone here is or was a member there, and if so, what were your thoughts ?

Hi 4BeanMix,

No, not a member there. Left those kind of sites 14 years ago. To rigid and filled with dogma and intolerance to alternative views. Yet some people are drawn to that kind of drama in their life. I would rather have peace and goodwill toward others prevail regardless of ones personal beliefs.

Joseph

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  • 2 months later...

I looked at it recently - but to post as a Christian you have to accept the Nicene Creed, the Trinity, etc. At least I see they've started to delete posts saying that Covid is a hoax!

I've recently been kind of thrown off TheologyWeb. I was told that to be a Christian you have to believe in the virgin birth, resurrection and trinity. Seem to be a lot fundamentalist trolls posting there. 

On both these sites I find it a bit puzzling that they have sections for other religions, given the fundamentalism of the administrators.

I've tried Christian sections on Quora, but you have to get through a lot of the flat earth/creationist/144,000 saved -type posts.

So I thought I'd try this one. Shame there aren't more on it though.

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On 12/31/2020 at 10:39 PM, John Hunt said:

So I thought I'd try this one. Shame there aren't more on it though.

Let's hope we can work on that in 2021, John!  I know there are lots of great people who have previously been involved here and that new people come through all the time, so I expect we will see peaks and troughs.  Numbers wise 2020 was a bit of a trough, but I can see that changing this year.

4BeanMix, I am not and have any never been a member of Christian Forums, so I can't rally speak from experience with them.

Here we have very rarely banned anybody from this site and have only on the rarest occasions suspended anybody for a short period (1 or 2 weeks).  This has always been pre-empted with plenty of warnings.  It is a balancing act, but we try to be open to people of all degrees of belief - from stringent fundamentalists to militant atheists, and everywhere in between.  I'd be pretty confident that here our TCPC offers a lot more tolerances than other Christian message boards.  We have guidelines that we ask participants to adhere to, but if ultimately they can't respect those, it will result in limiting their access here.

It is a shame that certain sub-forums can act as a safe haven for those of a similar mindset, to reinforce harmful views.  Let's hope that participation in forums such as this one can help solve those problems! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't live in the US, so where I am, Christianity doesn't really correlate with those types of ideologies. 

So yeah, I was pretty horrified to see it in the forums I checked out, when I just wanted to chat about cool spiritual stuff with cool spiritual people. 

Instead I found pages and pages of hate. 

I think those people need a little less religion and a little more divinity in their lives. 

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Similarly, I've checked Christian forums over the last month or two, and gone thrown off a couple of them because I don't believe in the Trinity.

The abiding image in my mind from the last month is protestors/insurrectionists waving banners/confederate flags as they stormed the Capitol that said "Jesus is my lord, Trump is my president".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I used to post quite a bit, but found it really frustrating. I am gay and also Christian. Regardless of the topic, someone would always go to "how can you be a gay christian? It's an oxymoron!"

So, at some point, I changed my religious affiliation to Buddhist, something I studied, and is very in line with Christian thought. 

One day, a woman PM'd me, and pleaded with me to "repent of my homosexuality." I told her that like many people like me, remember crying myself to sleep a number of teenage nights, begging God to change me. It was way before the internet, and the message I got was that I was an abomination, and that if we followed God's law, I should be executed. So, I went from singing Jesus Loves Me to God's hates you, and wishes you were dead. After some serious close calls with suicide, I realized that was a lie. That was the enemy, and I'm unsure if people quoting it so nonchalantly even understand the spiritual harm they do to others. But God and are ok. 

But she begged me to go to God again. I promised I would, but then I had to address God, the Father of the Judeo-Christian faith, Jesus, his only begotten son, and the Holy Spirit, as if there might be any other god that might respond. I asked her to do the same, for us to ask forgiveness if we have disobeyed, or misunderstood, and want clarity. She refused, which was weird. 

I keot my end of the bargain. It was one of the few times I heard the voice of God, recognized his voice. Rather than address the issue, he told me that he had known me since infancy, but I had to have the courage to call myself his child. He showed me that my whole life, he has been holding out his arms with love, but because of shame, refused to accept it, questioned if it was there, despite my love for God. He showed me that we do good, he loves us, we sin, he loves us, his love is not conditional. And in accepting that love, was very excited, very happy, very free. 

I went back to the board, and changed my icon to Christian. In less than 10 minutes, one of the Christian posters demanded I change it back. I said no, because I was a child of God. They got strangely angry, demanding I denounce Jesus. Think about that - a Christian demanding someone to denounce Christ. He would tell me I wasn't a Christian. And I would say he could believe whatever he wanted, but I knew I was. It was really uncomfortable, but for the first time, realized his words meant nothing, condemning me to hell meant nothing. 

I then just took many years off, after having posted there daily for quite some time. There had been two major changes: Discussions about abortion and homosexuality were no longer allowed, claiming the mods unanimously saw both as sin, and saying it wasn't was considered "promoting it," which is a stretch. 

And as expected, with the topic no longer up for debate, many of the topics were kind of dry. 

It wasn't a big deal at first, tired of the gay christian question, but it also made a major social issue completely taboo. So, no discussion of gay marriage, unless you opposed it, called being gay a sin, and without opposition, have no debate. One couldn't examine "the clobber passages" and how the are often misused and misunderstood, because, then, somehow, you are promoting homosexuality, when you are simply looking at what is quoted with spiritual seriousness. Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for a number of reasons, supported in Ezekial, but most lay people want to believe it was homosexuality specifically, which doesn't make even logical sense, but challenging that is "promoting" homosexuality somehow. 

A woman had a friend she brought to her church. He really enjoyed going to her church, but she felt that as they had been going now for almost a year, she was torn about what to do, because he was gay, and married to a man. 

I was really shocked at the responses by people who claim to be Christian: "Tell him he has to repent of his lifestyle choice. And tell him to get a divorce. He isn't really married anyway...

Now, put yourself in his shoes. The person claims you have to go home, tell your spouse whom you love and married that you are leaving them to follow Jesus, and that is the only way they will be accepted by the church and by God. How messed up is that? 

I know a lot of gay people that reject Christianity because they see it as these kind of Christians - ones who know Christ didn't come to condemn the world, but save it, then condemn the world, love to quote Leviticus against gays, tell gays they are goong to hell "but doing it out of love" which is questionable at best, work hard to protect the right to discriminate against glbtq as religious freedom, etc. It's the antithesis of what Christ taught. 

And with a "it's not up for discussion", i don't see anyone challenged, no room for growth spiritually. Basically a great place to be if you refuse to admit the possibility that you may be wrong, no one is able to challenge you, and you can strut around just waiting for someone to protest, and laugh as it gets shut down because it violates the rules. 

So, there isn't a whole lot of discussion or debate, and I don't find it edifying.

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Beanieboy,

To me it sounds like you would be a lot better for not participating in such a forum.  I hope you're in a good place these days and can put these experiences where they belong...in the past.

Cheers

Paul

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