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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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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/10/2021 at 2:28 AM, PaulS said:

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

Yeah, that doesn't sound like a healthy place to participate. A lot of communities on the internet aren't. 

It's not unusual for Internet communities to be echo chambers of toxicity, but it seems like people expect better of a Christian forum, because, well, Christianity, but unfortunately, that's not how humans work. 

I find it embarrassing for these people that this is what they spend their energy on. There's absolutely nothing about Christianity that obliges anyone to be bigoted and hateful. These are just bigoted, hateful people using religion as a justification for their bigotry. 

There are a million sins one could try and use religion to vilify and most people let most of them slide, so unless they're out protesting every business owned by a divorced person or every politician caught lying, then they can't actually care all that much about the sins that people commit, can they?

Religion has been used as a tool of oppression for as long as there have been humans worshiping higher powers. 

Where I live, a lot of churches hang rainbow flags, and my church lights a rainbow candle at every service, but that's because where I live homophobia isn't very accepted in general, so it's not accepted in most churches either. 

How religion is interpreted will so much depend on the agenda of the social group involved. 

It's generally just wise to avoid joining groups of people hellbent on hating who you are as a person, regardless of what they use to justify it, even if it's ostensibly your own religion. 

Personally, as much as I identify with Christianity, I don't identify with a lot of "Christians". 

Edited by Kellerman
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  • 1 month later...

I am a member of Christian Forums -- and have received several warnings from them (although I've never been kicked out).  There are some real "fruitcakes" on that site but I participate to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic.  I have more problems with christianforums.net than christianforums.com, primarily because they are right-wing politically.

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I have been "Banned for life" many times, usually for questioning fundamentalist views  such as the Bible being  "God's Word"  or worship of the Bible over God.  I also once got "Banned for life"  for questioning  Paul's sanity    

 

It is easy to beat the ban, but in all honesty, why?  That website has a lot of very hate-filled people  and yes, many with extreme Fundy/Biblian  views.   I find little use for the people there. 

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11 hours ago, RickyHC said:

I have been "Banned for life" many times, usually for questioning fundamentalist views  such as the Bible being  "God's Word"  or worship of the Bible over God.  I also once got "Banned for life"  for questioning  Paul's sanity    

 

It is easy to beat the ban, but in all honesty, why?  That website has a lot of very hate-filled people  and yes, many with extreme Fundy/Biblian  views.   I find little use for the people there. 

Funny, I was just mentioning this in another thread, but I find this type of Bible worship to be a pretty blatant form of idolatry. 

It's a book, written, edited, and translated along the way by humans. 

That would require the belief that God directly wrote through the hands of every writer, editor, and translator of the Bible. Also, how does it account for the multiple different versions? 

Changing words does change meanings, also the meanings of words changes over time. So even if it does stay perfectly the same, then those words read 100 years ago can literally mean something different today.

They tied to solve that problem with Qur'an, which cannot be translated and still be considered scripture. But that means every year that passes makes the content harder and harder to understand, and easier to misinterpret because the meaning of language changes over time. 

In my other response I mentioned David and Goliath. What is a slingshot? These days it's a y-shaped weapon with a stretchy part, and maybe an arm rest. You could kill a squirrel with one. Back in the day though it was a devastating weapon that was swung above the head and as powerful as a hand gun. 

Change the meaning of a word and you change the story. 

So okay, the language of the Bible maybe has to change over time for new generations to be able to understand its meaning. But then God needs to step in and control the hands that make those updates too. 

Okay, so people are believing that no matter who does it, whenever the Bible needs translating or updating of its language, that God always makes sure it's done the way God wants. God is an attentive micro-manager on the book publishing front. 

But that also means that whatever version of the Bible you read, that's the version God wanted you to read??? So, like, God puts the best Bible for you to interpret in your path???

Or is it that no matter what Bible you read, God will magically imbue you with the capacity to interpret it the way you should...? Well, obviously that can't be true since so many people read the same book and interpret it differently, even people trying to "take it literally" have different interpretations depending on their culture. 

Also, why can't Paul be mentally ill? Can you not take the Bible literally if one of the HUMANS within it was mentally ill? 

Meaning, just because the writing of a person is included in the Bible, does that automatically mean that God wants us to unquestioningly have faith in that person as themselves infallible?

Again, that sounds a lot like idolatry. If someone literally tells me they spoke to God, I can choose to believe them and take their word that what they've repeated is from God, but that doesn't mean I need to worship that person. That person is still a fallible human being. Like, cool that he got to be God's messenger, but he could be a total jerk for all I know. 

Paul might have kicked puppies on his travels, we don't know. Being in the Bible doesn't mean he wasn't a deeply flawed person just like every other human who has ever existed...or are these Bible literalists forgetting that whole things about EVERYONE being sinful?

So everyone who has ever written a single word of the Bible has been a sinful, flawed person, but the books they produce are magically not ever affected at all by that sin???

Yeah...okay. 

My take is that the Bible is an incredibly special book that has persisted in relatively consistent form for a very, very long time, and never fails to inspire huge swaths of people around the world across space and time. 

To me, there's something in there. It's a view of the divine, but seen through a very human lense, as that's the only way we can try to understand what little of divinity that we can try and grasp. 

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On 5/7/2021 at 7:02 AM, Kellerman said:

My take is that the Bible is an incredibly special book that has persisted in relatively consistent form for a very, very long time, and never fails to inspire huge swaths of people around the world across space and time. 

agree, though think it's also done the opposite.

And historically-speaking, for most Christians, the Bible hasn’t been all that significant. For the first few centuries AD it didn’t even exist, as such. For a millennia after that it was only available in Latin, which most people (including priests) couldn’t read, even if they were literate (which most weren’t). It was rituals, the sacraments, that were important on a daily basis. It was very much in the interests of the Church to interpret and mediate the Bible. The clergy walked in lockstep with the kings, who ruled by divine right, and in tandem they controlled the bulk of the wealth and the minds of the people. So the Bible, for them, was a problem. It’s a subversive book. Kings are overthrown, the Prophets call for justice, Jesus preaches on the evils of wealth, forgiving your enemy and turning the other cheek.

Today, Christians are at the other extreme. As a whole, the Church Fathers tended to interpret scripture allegorically rather than literally. In the eighteenth century came the Enlightenment – the general idea that we could use reason to understand what’s going on, and determine our values and objectives, rather than accept divinely-ordained truth as authoritative in every aspect of our lives, whether that was administered through kings or the church. Critical analysis of the Bible began. Deists like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were key figures in founding the USA (Jefferson even produced his own version of the gospels, removing miracles, the supernatural and the Resurrection). The Great Awakenings of the eighteenth century were in part a reaction against these trends, taking the Bible as word-for-word inspired by God. Out of the Revivals, in one of the most regressive developments in Christianity, in the nineteenth century Charles Hodge, Robert Dabney and James Thornwell founded modern evangelicalism and the fantastical doctrine of biblical inerrancy. In part, to justify slavery, which they saw the Bible supporting as “some of the plainest declarations of the Word of God” (Presbyterian General Assembly Report 1845) – in which, of course, they were right. So now millions of people invest a lot of time “studying” the Bible, individually or in groups, as if it were a single, coherent, divinely-given text. Ritual and the sacraments are now incidental to most non-Catholics, the Bible is central.

The trouble is, in each decade our knowledge about the Bible itself increases, as does our understanding of all the relevant areas of history, archaeology, cosmology, phenomenology, neurology and so on. Today, taking the Bible literally just makes it difficult for rational people with even a minimal education to take Christianity seriously. It’s the literary equivalent of believing the earth is flat. Best to start off reading the Bible in terms of legend and allegory, myth and legend, hagiography and poetry, memoir and fiction, like many Christians did in the first few centuries. Then you can be pleasantly surprised when it sometimes aligns with history.

 

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Exactly. 

That's sort of my point. 

You *can't* really read the Bible literally. The people who claim to do so are actually being taught an interpretation of the Bible and then being sold on the concept of that interpretation being literal. 

If I took a person who had no exposure to Christianity, gave them a Bible, and asked them to interpret it, there's no way they would come up with the same "literal" interpretations as most of the churches that claim literalism. 

It's ideology, plain and simple. 

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  • 2 months later...
  • Well, lets see.

 

Im going to describe ... Christianforums.com

 

Its my 4th time on it., in about that many years..

Each time, i seem to last about 6 weeks, to 2.4 months before im banned outright, for "flaming heretics that we MODS ALL PROTECT and  support because they are our carnal buddies and we don't care what the bible says, you do have to earn your salvation, and if Jesus does not like our devout Legalism, and our "pre-destined elect mania, then we'll ban Jesus......oh that's right, He's not been here before so.........we can't ban Him"

Really.....

If you go there, and try to just teach the simple Gospel that Paul teaches, then you'll be confronted 24/7 by unsaved fake Christians who hate Paul, hate the bible, only use the greek they can't actually read, and can't stand the idea that Salvation is a Gift.

Currently im there for the 4th time, now for about the  5 weeks, as of 7-12-2021 and just recently was awarded a "4 day cool off ban".. and i have ........... wait for it...........about 50 Threads posted, all teaching Paul's Doctrine , all giving Christ all the credit for Salvation, and the place is on fire.    The Mods are blown up in their inbox to the point that they had to cool me off to keep the site from exploding.

So, fair warning, if you go there, and you are actually born again, and understand the Grace of God and are not a "here is what im doing to keep my self saved", water baptized only.... Mary worshipping = Legalist...but if you actually understand the Cross and the Blood Atonement, and have read anything written by Paul and can post it, then you will be hammered, and if you kick back you will be banned, eventually.

The best thing about the site is that you can learn how satan's fakirs behave, teach, and sound.

New Christians, ... run from this place .....Do not go there, unless you want an entire membership and all the  Mod's to try to get up up on the Cross, trying to save yourself.

This forum is designed to try to ruin your faith in Christ.  Its why it exists.

This place is the arm-pit of Christian forums.

It stinks in the Nostrils Of God.

I can offer my alt there.......... Sidon

If you want a free seminary education, then go there and find me....... Sidon.     Ive posted 50 Threads in the last 5 weeks, obo, that can teach you more about Paul, and the NT, then you will be able to purchase, from a Seminary.

Otherwise, don't wast your time with that place.

 

 

blessings, 

 

-Fg

Edited by Fastguitars
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