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Wanting to get back into religious forums, but ...

PJ

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In my younger days I spent a good deal of time (too much) in religious (RC, EC, and EO) discussion forums.
Now, after some years away (or mostly away) from them, I'm interested in getting back into the game. But then when I try to do so ... when I guess I'm just "not feeling it" so to speak.
Are there others here who can relate to feeling this way?
 

Stinky

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There are seasons, cycles, redundancy, finding one doesn't know it all, open to be quiet and to be taught, futility in argument, coming to the place that the simplicity of Love is not often found when winning an argument, seeking humility, peace with all men as much as possible, hoping for the other to find grace, refusing to push someone away who may be in need of the Light. Love becomes simple and found in quietness more often.
 

Bri.777

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Maybe there has to be a specific topic to focus on, instead of looking broadly at theological discussion as a whole. Perhaps singling your interest onto something specific can invigorate some interest in that religious topic and could grow into interest in other topics.
 

PJ

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"while you still can" seems like a very long time ago.
 

LucianNae

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I used to like forums a lot in the past as well, but they gradually started to see less and less appealing. I guess we just change as we age, our personalities evolve. There is a time to enjoy forums and a time to not enjoy forums as much anymore.
 

PorphyriosK

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There are beneficial aspects, but I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to online discussion. I find it spiritually counterproductive much of the time and almost always feel robbed of peace. Particularly when engaging in controversial topics. My own sin gets the better of me.
 

Fr. George

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My own sin gets the better of me.
That's usually my issue. But it's a good ascetical exercise to remind oneself of the virtues we're supposed to display and to endeavor to practice them. Sometimes withdrawing completely is the way to go - but it seems that's really only for the minority. For most of us withdrawal from a forum is just a side-step, as we still have to wrestle with the issues IRL; for those cases, the forum becomes a good training ground - not on how to be more convincing in our arguments (which it certainly can help with), but how to be more authentic in living the witness that we aim to speak about.
 

PJ

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Ultimately, the thing about religious forum is that you can cover a vice up with virtue.
 

Cavaradossi

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In my younger days I spent a good deal of time (too much) in religious (RC, EC, and EO) discussion forums.
Now, after some years away (or mostly away) from them, I'm interested in getting back into the game. But then when I try to do so ... when I guess I'm just "not feeling it" so to speak.
Are there others here who can relate to feeling this way?
Yes. Whenever I poke around, I am reminded of what vanity religious fora are, because in practice, they seem to contribute little to the edification of the participants.
 

Irened

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Yes but don't you think Orthodox forums are bad in the sense that it's public, online? The audience can be millions of people, Orthodox and non. Does He want us airing our dirty laundry like this? And having people see us fight and debate and acting so un-Christian? It's not like it's a private chat room. Anyone can see these posts. I sometimes feel guilty about that, but like to come on here for the feeling of community and fellowship at times and also to get answers to questions or forward helpful information.
 

Fr. George

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Yes but don't you think Orthodox forums are bad in the sense that it's public, online? The audience can be millions of people, Orthodox and non. Does He want us airing our dirty laundry like this? And having people see us fight and debate and acting so un-Christian? It's not like it's a private chat room. Anyone can see these posts. I sometimes feel guilty about that, but like to come on here for the feeling of community and fellowship at times and also to get answers to questions or forward helpful information.
I think there is always a tension present on the fora. On the one hand, it's important for us to wrestle with faithfulness and all it entails - understanding the scripture, our way of life, the call to imitate Christ, etc. And to wrestle with them is to try to understand, both with the mind and with our actions. On the other hand, we'll be called to account for every word that we say that leads another to stumble - which is going to lead to a lot of accounting for us who have been active on the internet (and some, for a long time). So we shouldn't stop people from asking, challenging, questioning - and identifying mistakes (actions, beliefs, etc.). But how we do this is critical, and 99% of the time we're going to get it wrong (because we don't do a good job of channeling the Spirit).

Ultimately I think internet fora, like all other tools in the world, are inherently neutral, and how we use them dictates whether they're aiding in our salvific journey or not (understanding that, like Fr. Stephen De Young points out frequently in his podcasts, "there is no neutral ground" and "there is no neutral action").
 
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