Snippets of how we see ourselves...and a prayer.:-)"I came here to learn more about the various viewpoints of the differing Christian Churches. The discussions on end times, Mormonism, TULIP Calvinism, etc have been interesting and educational. But...A lot of the time the information content of this board appears to be low compared to the time it takes to keep up with it. The posturing, disagreements, name calling etc. are off putting. As are the people who seem to get angry for very little or no provocation….""Conflict is inevitable in any human group activity, precisely because we come from different backgrounds and see things from different perspectives. How we respond to conflict is another matter. Most of us tend to be assertive in matters that are important to us and to acquiesce in matters that are not important. The fact that theological discussion should be protracted is an indication that we think it's important -- and that's good news!….Whether firestorms come from this group's progression from pseudocommunity to real community or from this group's backbone in standing up to error, it's probably good - in spite of the fact that sometimes we all feel as though we just don't want to deal with it.""….I've learned a lot, become aware of issues I never knew existed (and several I wish didn't exist :-) ), and have had the chance to meet several people I never would have otherwise genuine people that I now consider friends--granted in various degrees….We don't all get to know each other, obviously, but I think some (most?) of us do feel like we have friends here. Cyberspace or not, I consider that a blessing!""To me, the CF board is a family. All families have disagreements. Sometimes the disagreements become rather heated. But we either make ammends or simply agree to disagree. Happens all the time here in cyber space just as it happens in real world families.""…I like this form of communication. It's true I sometimes cannot believe what I read and ask myself "Do these people truly believe they are Christians". Having removed the plank from my eye I see I am no different and occassionally, I write things purely for pleasure when I know they are not wellcome. That being so, I have to say they may be unpopular but I do actually believe what I write….""….Seriously, i enjoy discussing issues related to Christianity, and this medium is well-suited to my style. I can carefully think out my replies (well... i try to be careful...), and find links to clarify, support, or add to what i try to say. You have a point. Time spent at the library reading books on the various topics discussed here is time well-spent. There is much to be said for the value of research. But you can't discuss "flaws" you see in the reasoning behind a particular point in a book with the author. You might be able to look his email address up and send him an inquiry, and he might or might not reply, but it's still not as interesting as public debate. I get to see three, four, five, six, who knows how many different points of view on one subject. Most books don't offer you that. Plus i get to offer up my own beliefs and see how they stand up next to others' beliefs. I have actually arrived at a number of new positions on a few different topics simply by being forced to think them through at a new level to satisfy the requirements of public debate. My own belief system is more completely defined because of my time spent on this and other boards.""Yes, it's just an Internet community (i.e. largely anonymous) but I've learned much since I've been here about how others view their faith and I find it very valuable and enlightening. I feel I am better for it and feel fortunate that I see it this way (recognizing that many might not share this feeling).""Because religion is personal to everyone, people can take comments very personally. So if someone rails against gays and lesbians, I do tend to take it personally. If someone questions my faith in God, I get very angry. In my opinion those comments come off as judgemental and inflamatory. I would assume others go through similar feelings when they perceive an attack.""Even though I disagree with some of the people from this board that I've made my favorite fools, they've still gotten me to think about stuff and had good posts I enjoyed reading.""IMO, one of the true tests of a persons "Christianity" is how he treats people he disagrees with. Since I don't often agree with "Orthodox Christian" views, there isn't much here for me.""….Whenever I see a long thread, I tend to skip over the messages because I know that the combatants, er, posters, are furiously battling each other. And when flaming occurs, I just shake my head. I was tempted to flee this board, as many newbies do, but some days, I just have something too important to say here to not stick around. So I tend to go through 135 messages in about 5 minutes…""…These were very bright, well read, articulate women, yet they could only stand the flames for a very short time…..In my view, the board is much the poorer for their loss, as it is for many others who don't care to put up with the flames and harsh verbage….""…I'm shocked and disappointed by the rudeness and intolerance here of different opinions. It's even worst because this is supposed to be a CHRISTIAN board. I get far more acceptance and courtesy on other boards. THAT IS A SHAME my brothers and sisters in Christ. My recent experiences here have reminded me of the worst church experiences I've had in my whole life….""…It's just sad that this board with the name "Christian" as it's description is often dominated by harsh self-ritchious individuals….""The fact that it's dominated by harsh self-righteous individuals is a casualty of being the Christian board. :)""….Post with kindness, humility, and respect, and you will undoubtedly see the same returned to you. Post with judgemental, caustic tones, and unfortunately, you will likely bring the same out of those who reply. That of course is not how we should be as Christians... we should repay evil with kindness. But we are all still imperfect and constantly stumbling...""…The reason many people have left this board licking their wounds is the subject matter, not the quality of posters. I'd trust my life to any number of posters here who have been criticized by various passers-through who didn't like the responses they were reading. Fact is, the Christians here feel the subject matter being discussed is composed of the most important issues we all face as human beings. When the stakes are high, when "Absolute Truth" is being debated, tension develops easily….""….I've come to view posting messages at Christian Fools as a form of penance, so to speak. I will share my honest opinions with people and pay for it by not getting any recs. :)…""….Traditional Christians visiting here get very NEGATIVE feedback to many things we say. I think the intent is not honest dialogue, but to silence us. I'm not surprised anymore. The good news for you is that I think you're winning. Many people have been driven from this board….""….At a certain point, the best course of action usually is to turn off the computer, take a deep breath, look outside and marvel at what a beautiful day it is, and find some roses to smell…""…..Stating an opinion with a notation that it's an opinion is one thing that can save you from some frustration. Stating an opinion as a fact with no evidence is an invitation to a challenge. It makes no difference if the opinion concerns Scripture, abortion, Church history, AIDS, the criminal justice system, mormons, etc. Opinions without backing data can cause some uncomfortable moments for any of us…..""…..More often than not, it has been my expression of beliefs that have recieved attacks on this board. I'm on the opposite end of the theological spectrum from a bunch of regulars here. Though most would "support" me as a human being and a Christian, they would not consider themselves "my supporters" in the sense that the President has "supporters."….""…The good is that I'm exposed to people with viewpoints that differ form my own. Many of those people can express their opinions intelligently and articulately and reading those posts has caused me to rethink my opinion/stance on some issues. I've enjoyed the exchange of ideas I've had with many posters here, even when disagreeing, because the discussions have been thought provoking and interesting. It's also nice to see people putting aside their differences in support of things, like prayer requests. The not so good is that sometimes disagreements get out of hand and the discourse is not always as civil as it should be….""….I should have said that the number of rude, harsh posts outnumber the kind thoughtful ones. This is not because there are more rude posters, it's because the rude dudes post much more than the kind thoughtful ones do, IMHO…..""…..I am often treated very well here too. :-)….""….But most of all I think I am such a boring guy that most people fall fast asleep before they realize that they should rise up is righteous indignation against me…..""….Not so! You tell really cute stories. :-)…"Heavenly Father,we gather in your name seeking the Truththat your Son Jesus Christ brought to this worldand left with His beloved disciplesto spread to the ends of the earth.As we study and share with each otherthe facets of your teachings,help us hear the Holy Spirit in our voices,that we may grow in the same discipleshipthat Jesus entrusted to the Apostles.We ask this through Christ our Lord.Amen.
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