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Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Dec 25 2021 5:17 PM

I know everyone has wanted to know more about me. Here it is.  The foundations of my faith began in childhood. I grew up in a Christian family, for whom the church was fundamental. My family always provided a friendly, Christian-based, evangelical home to live in, and they were always welcoming. I went to church weekly. I have loved Jesus ever since I first come to Him at six years old. I can remember reading the Bible and knowing the stories were true. The people in the Bible were my friends, and I knew them by heart. I have been called and led by God to bring the Gospel. I pursued a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Sciences and Philosophy from Liberty University Online as well as a MA in Theological Studies and a MA in Biblical Languages completed dually to be finished in December of 2022. I have been accepted to Faulkner University's MA in Biblical Studies with a half ride which I accepted and have started this past semester. Having an outlet for creativity is essential. When you write, you can let imagination run wild. Becoming a craftsman is a process and a long-term goal. I hope to advance my critical thought and awareness in theology, biblical studies, writing, and research. I am not one religion or another. I reside broadly in the evangelical realm. I do follow a Baptist church but do not agree with everything. If anyone has any questions please let me know. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 25 2021 6:07 PM

Thank you. That gives me a much better idea of how to answer you.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 25 2021 9:34 PM

”I  am not one religion or another. I reside broadly in the evangelical realm. I do follow a Baptist church but do not agree with everything. If anyone has any questions please let me know. “

Is this a mistype?  I can't hold the sense of these there sentences together.

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

Posts 2372
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 2:40 AM

Mike Binks:

”I  am not one religion or another. I reside broadly in the evangelical realm. I do follow a Baptist church but do not agree with everything. If anyone has any questions please let me know. “

Is this a mistype?  I can't hold the sense of these there sentences together.

I understood it to mean "I am not one denomination or another," but I may be wrong.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

Posts 745
Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 4:41 AM

Mike Binks:

”I  am not one religion or another. I reside broadly in the evangelical realm. I do follow a Baptist church but do not agree with everything. If anyone has any questions please let me know. “

Is this a mistype?  I can't hold the sense of these there sentences together.

I will clarify things for you. I do reside in an independent baptist church. I follow their guides. While I am a member there, I do visit other churches and am an online member of David Jeremiah's church as well as Robert Morris' Ministries. I do not always agree with everything in my Baptist church. IE: My pastor said in his sermon last Sunday that Justification was by works alone. 

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Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 5:43 AM

Christian Alexander:
I do reside in an independent baptist church.

I was raised in this type of church.....fond memories even though I have moved on. 

Christian Alexander:
My pastor said in his sermon last Sunday that Justification was by works alone. 

Run....don't look back

Posts 745
Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 7:20 AM

That is exactly what I did. I am going to a completely online church. This leads me to another question. Is it bad to be a completely online churchgoer?

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Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 7:31 AM

Christian Alexander:

That is exactly what I did. I am going to a completely online church. This leads me to another question. Is it bad to be a completely online churchgoer?

Christian, I would advise against it. In certain circumstances it may be the best option but for most of us it will hinder our Christian growth. We need fellowship with other Christians and it is hard to get that online. We also need opportunity for service. For me Christianity is not a spectator sport. We need to get into the play of the game. We need encouragement in our Christian walk and we need to be encouragers for others. There is a reason why we have been counseled "do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is." It is hard to build the kingdom of Christ by ourselves, we need one another.

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Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 7:34 AM

That is really nice Michael and I wish I could. But that is the church my Grandparents assemble at as well. My mom is devout Catholic and my Dad is atheist. I do not drive due to my vision and cognitive motor skills. I have talked to my Grandparents and they say if they leave they will not go to another church. What do I do?

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 8:49 AM

Christian Alexander:
I will clarify things for you.

Thanks Christian.

I am taking it that when you wrote 

Christian Alexander:
I  am not one religion or another
that you intended to state that you are not one denomination or the other?

Which is tenable while holding the tenets of a variety of religions would amount to believing everything or nothing.

As to the advisability of attending only an online church.

I liked very much the response I got while visiting a different church in the town where my daughter lives. When asked how one would become a member the reply was.

If you attend worship with the community, take part in our small group program and are actively engaged in our outreach ventures then you are a member. If you cease in any activity in any one of these branches then you drop out and we start reaching out to you again.

I am sure that it actually wasn't as straight forward as that but as an answer that I could really relate to I thought that these three requirements are the the essential aspects of being a member of a congregation. 

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

Posts 189
Bob | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 1:42 PM

Christian,

we don’t want the be Lone Ranger Christians.  Please find some churches in your area that will provide services to pick you up and take you home since you do not drive.  Don’t settle for online for an extended time.  Short term is fine,  but don’t let it grow to long term.  I’m sure there are people in your area that would pick you up if you cannot drive.  You just have to find a good sound church to do that.  Pray that the Lord provides!  We all need each other to help us!  We cannot do it alone!

 Bob

Posts 2681
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 1:54 PM

Christian Alexander:
Is it bad to be a completely online churchgoer?

Rather than offer personal opinion, I suggest a Logos Bible search of "one another" and ask "which of the one anothers can I accomplish completely online?"

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 189
Bob | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 2:07 PM

David Thomas:

Christian Alexander:
Is it bad to be a completely online churchgoer?

Rather than offer personal opinion, I suggest a Logos Bible search of "one another" and ask "which of the one anothers can I accomplish completely online?"

David,

excellent thought!

Bob

Posts 8938
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 2:13 PM

This one is slowly turning into a theological discussion thread 🧵 🪡 careful not to get poked with the needle.

DAL

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 2:54 PM

DAL:

This one is slowly turning into a theological discussion thread 🧵 🪡 careful not to get poked with the needle.

DAL

Yes

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 745
Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 3:08 PM

Just because you don’t meet in person doesn’t mean discipleship has to decrease—it just may look different. Sincekoinonia can be had with Christ now, there is no advantage in physical presence versus mediated presence: “There appears to be no indication in the New Testament that the fellowship the church enjoys with Christ now is somehow inferior to the fellowship the church enjoyed with him previously or will experience with him in the eschaton when we will be in his presence forever. But just because koinonia can be experienced now does not mean that there is not a deeper level that awaits us. “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?” (1 Cor 6:19). Though some have attempted to interpret this (1 Cor 6:19) as a corporate “body,” i.e., the congregation, these arguments fall flat. We should not refer to online communication as disembodied. Of course we do not leave our bodies behind when we engage in online learning or church. But functionally, our physical bodies have no part in that communication. 

We can learn much by observing what needs and desires are being met by online ministry. Rarely does something radical happen with digital technology, and then that technology alone drives change, in the sense of both creating a need, and meeting it. Rather some desire for change is already there. As Campbell notes, “the online world is consciously and unconsciously imprinted by its users with the values, structures, and expectations of the offline world.”51 Perhaps digital ministry does help people, in some contexts, to become more authentic and open. We should both embrace that, and ask questions like, “What in the offline (physical) world drove that?” or, “What are we missing in physical ministry?” Have too many churches rejected Richard Baxter’s idea of getting into people’s homes? Is church too much a platform presentation and not a marriage of preaching (platform, personality) with the actions of the congregation as a whole (people)? As churches move back into physical ministry, they need to ask these questions. They need to be more open to digital ministry as a tool—a tool that is not just for missions and evangelism, but one that could help the church, not hurt it. Let me know what you all think.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 3:19 PM

Christian Alexander:
Just because you don’t meet in person doesn’t mean discipleship has to decrease

For most Christians, it is not a matter of discipleship. Your post is strictly theology and therefore violates the guidelines of the forums. From one of my favorite contemporary authors on worship The Assembly: A Spirituality by Gordon W. Lathrop. I don't entirely agree with him in the book but it is a solid discussion of a critical theological topic. Lathrop also co-wrote a related book Christian Assembly: Marks of the Church in a Pluralistic Age

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 189
Bob | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 4:54 PM

I did not realize I was being baited into a theological discussion.  I apologize.

Bob

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 5:12 PM

Bob:

I did not realize I was being baited into a theological discussion.  I apologize.

Not to worrry, I often take the bait and have to revise (or delete) my response to stay within the guidelines

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 709
Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 26 2021 6:17 PM

Generalizations are helpful guides, but don't always work as rules.

Online communication has opened up the possibility for isolated and marginalized people to interact more often with people that are not isolated and marginalized. The obstacles faced by these people that previously were hidden away are not obstacles that everyone faces. And when multiple obstacles are present, the quick-fix remedies that "solve" single and temporary obstacles do not solve the complex web of obstacles that some isolated and marginalized people face daily.

Sometimes what appears to be inconsistencies and illogical choices can be based off of information that is not shared for multiple reason:

Sometimes the isolated person knows so little about the culture of the people he is communicating with that he does not know to share some things. We don't know what we don't know. And the more we learn, the more we learn that we don't know.

People using low-vision and other accessibility features; and older, mobile, and foreign operating systems and devices often don't see all the extra things that others can see on their screens. Sometimes people cannot or don't have the skills to use all the resources of a forum or the WWW in general.

Sometimes people are protecting someone else, never mind themselves, by keeping some things private. Pink elephant things that change everything. When hidden people are pushed to reveal things or to justify why they are not living their lives by the general rules that work best for people with more resources, their choices aren't going to always look virtuous and logical, even when they are certainly virtuous and logical. Some people are not living safe lives.

Reaching out and asking for help is not always as simple as it looks. It just isn't.

My messy and adventurous life has put me in greater contact with other people living messy and adventurous lives. Sometimes we have been able to help each other navigate the parts of the online world where the "normal" people hang out. Sometimes I even get to live for awhile in "normal" places offline, and so do some of the others like me. We share tips on how to navigate among the "normies" online and offline.

I am not responding directly to the OP or anyone else. I am just thinking it is a good time to say some of this. When we speak to someone online, we are flying blind about the full extent of their circumstances. There is so much that we don't know. Conclusions and judgements can be so very very wrong.

Sometimes what people don't say is so much more informative than what they do say. But we have to be so very careful NOT to make judgements about that stuff. And help them feel safe about maintaining those silences. I have lost online friends, because people were trying to pin them down to reveal things, or shaming them for things that were not shameful. These isolated people will pull back and isolate more, not less. Sometimes people that read forums but never post will never post because of what they see happening to those who do post.

Most people are smarter and braver and more resourceful than we give them credit. When we cannot see that, it is often a lack in ourselves, not a lack in them.

This is kind of a ramble. Sorry. I typed this fast and I am feeling a lot of emotion as I type this. I miss an online friend that had to go silent for safety reasons, and that loss is extra hard for me at Christmas. Again, I am not responding to anyone directly. Also I am not trying to hijack the OPs thread. I don't know what I am doing, Sorry.

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