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The Church and Internet

The Church and Internet

Christianity on the Internet?

Is it possible to become a Christian online? Can you really have a serious discussion without meeting the person face to face?

These are questions that I´ve been asked since the 90´s. My answer: Of course it´s possible to become a Christian online. And some of the best discussions I´ve had have been online.

Why Internet?

Everybody has a say. Early 2000 I was active on the biggest community in Sweden called Lunarstorm. On the Christianity forum a person had his nick and B30 beside it. It meant that it was a 30 year old ”boy” that you spoke to. The person had long and interesting discussions about Christianity and people asked the person for advice. After a while this B30 told everyone that it was actually a G14, that is a 14 year old girl. For me it was an awakening. A fourteen year old girl can have as much to say, and sometimes even more, then a 30 year old.
But what if this had been in real life. This fourteen year old girl would probably not have been able to finish her sentence before someone stopped her. Online she could write her entire text from start to finish without someone interrupting her.

Can you meet God online?

When I was active on Second Life (community online) A person visited the church we had. He sat down and listened to a pod radio with the bible. He compared it to the Hebrew texts he had. This person was the son of a Rabbi in Israel. About a month later the person send me a message and asked to talk about Christianity. He had figured out that if the old testament was correct then the new one must also be correct. So he became a Christian. Unfortunately since his father was a Rabbi, he had to be a Christian in secret in the beginning. But he could join our services, and he had a Christian community to belong to even if it was online. I think it is important and especially in

Dangerous zones and places where Christians are persecuted.

It´s a place where the Church can offer help and community online in a safe way. The Church can offer services, prayers, community even if the physical part is missing you can still have the rest. A Church that is persecuted don´t have time for deeper theological thoughts. That´s when the Church can work like the first apostles. We who live in safety can send letters to the persecuted church. We can have the long theological discussions. And pray for those who are persecuted.

Meet the youths where they are.

In Sweden we´ve been talking about meeting the people where they are. The youths have been online for a long time now. Those who work in the Church have used a lot of the online communities. We need to use the communities they use today. The Church needs to both have it´s own pages but also a presence on other sites. Both the nice ones but I believe we should also be on the sites that people shy away from. Jesus visited everyone even the prostitutes.

What are the risks?

There is always a risk that you speak to a Troll someone who only wants to destroy a discussion and provoke. But I think the benefits outweighs the rest. The Church is doing a lot online, but we are still far behind the rest.

So what to do?

Services online, helping people by chat, being on the different sites. As important as it is to show yourself in the community as important is it to show yourself online.

Gods Peace!


Christian and Goth?

Christian and Goth?

Gothic Eucharist, Greenbelt 2014

(This blog was originally written in Swedish, since people started Google translate I thought that I might as well translate it.)

I want to address a subject that I don´t believe many people are familiar with.
I´m talking about the world that you glance in the corner of your eye.
The people that when you meet them you cross the street.
The ones that listen to strange music and put on makeup regardless if they are male or female or even…. Gender neutral.

I´m speaking of Goth and the alternative scene.

It would be good to start by explaining a bit about myself. I´m an ordinary old Metal fan. I don´t dress in any particular way but rather ordinarily. I don´t have a lot tattoo’s or piercing. Actually I look kind of normal and boring most of the time. I´m what they call a Corporate Goth. I dress normal unless there is a Gothic event when I usually dress in Steampunk. (I will have a separate blog about Steampunk later).

That is me, I can manage pretty well in society and in the Church. But what about the people who dress ”strange” all the time? If you live your life as an alternative 24/7 how do you manage?

I will use two examples from real life.

Example one

A young girl walks into a church. She is dressed in black clothes with lace, she has long dark hair and has heavy makeup on. Around her neck she wears a pentagram with one point up. When she walks through the church she can see how the women takes a firmer grip of their purses. The men look at her and demonstratively moves to the end of their bench to show her that there´s no room for her. She walks up to the front where she can light a candle. She pays for the candle and lights it. She then quietly leaves the church.

Example two

This is about a young boy that was active in the youth group. He was also dressed in black and had long black hair. Like the girl he wore heave makeup. One day I go to the parish home and see that some of our elderly ”church ladies” call for him. He goes over to them and I wonder what they will say to him, and how they will complain about the way he wears his clothes or makeup. Slowly I walk to the table and try to overhear the conversation. The discussion is about his makeup. And it is like I thought, they don´t like the way he puts on his makeup. But the next thing I hear is wonderful. They don´t complain about this boy putting on makeup. But they think he uses the wrong technique and they give him advice how to put on makeup so it looks good.

I have over a hundred examples of how people have been received in Church I choose to only use these two because I think they say it all. Unfortunately I have more negative then positive examples. I´ve meet tons of people who´ve promised never to set a foot in a church again because of how they were treated.
When I look at the way Jesus talked to people and how he received them, it was always with love.
Are we ready to see Jesus in the people we meet regardless of their clothes?

Unfortunately the problem doesn´t end here. Because even if we meet them with love when they arrive. If they become active int he church. If they choose to attend our services. Then we have the next problem in the church.

Come as you are, become one of us…

I´m not talking about becoming a Christian. Of course that is our goal in the church. We want people to find Christ and have a living relationship with him. No what I´m talking about is changing the way people dress, makeup and other things.

Do you need to have your hair in a bun to be a Christian? Do you need to remove your hat when you enter a church. Do you need to wear a costume as a boy or is a skirt acceptable?

Where is our demands on the people who attend. I have demands on other people, demands I work on daily to try and remove. Because it is my demands , it´s the demands of history the demands that says ”this is the way it´s always been done”. It´s not the demands of God.

I have a story that and old friend told me. She came to a parish with a bunch of other people. At this point she was a skinhead. The other people who came where skinheads, punks, heavy metal freaks and other alternative people.
The congregation was almost entirely elderly men and women. And my friend asked one of the elderly ladies how they felt about the youths coming. The lady looked at her and answered.
”We asked God for revival, we forgot to ask what kind of revival we wanted, and God answered”.

Is it possible for us in the same way as this old lady see the people who attend church, then we´ve come a long way.
Lets pray for revival, and let God choose what kind of revival he wants. There may be people I don´t feel belong. There may be people you don´t feel belong But it´s people God knows belong and that´s the important part.

Gods Peace!