| Does God see sermonindex.com and other christian forums as edifing to HIS CHURCH?|
I humble ask for your opinion. It that better jordanamo.
| 2007/9/1 23:13|
| Re: Does God see sermonindex.com and other christian forums as edifing to HIS CHURCH?|
Please edit your post and take out all but one question-mark. The question-marks have "ruined" the viewing of the thread so that posts won't be read on one page. Furthermore, there is simply no need for repeating all of the question-marks, one is enough but if you wish for effect, three is fine. But this many?-- It simply sends a message of "spamming" and may make people less attentive to responding to your question as you would like them to.
Onto your question, does God find them edifying to His Church? I can only speak for myself (not for God directly)-- and only for SermonIndex, as that is the only Christian forum I have actively been apart of. In many ways, yes, in many others ways, no. It is a mixed bag. I have met and got to know and fellowshipped with many people from SI here that I would not have been able to had I avoided it all-together. I have also come across many unedifying posts and arguments, but I try to ignore them.
| 2007/9/1 23:27||Profile|
| Re: Does God see sermonindex.com and other christian forums as edifing to HIS CHURCH?|
Re SI, which is my main experience of a forum): I think that is something for the moderators to ask Him first of all, because (even from my limited experience), a forum seems to take on something of the spiritual "flavour" of those in charge.
But that doesn't let the rest of us off the hook!It is [i]vital[/i] for each of us to ask Him re what we post, and ESPECIALLY our motives for doing so.
For example, do we (including moderators) have our own agenda: are we seeking to push our own pet subject or correct others for the sake of correcting? Are we seeking our own glory, or are we seeking His glory, seeking to know His mind on various things through dialogue with others, seeking to minister to one another and pray for one another (and even sometimes correct one another), in [u]love[/u]?
Personally, the Lord has used SI to challenge, test and correct my motives for first joining; and to deal with a strong argumentative streak that I was unable to control. So much so that, at one point, I was forced to cry out to Him to stop me, because I couldn't do it myself!
Re other forums: I don't have the experience to be sure. A lot depends on who is posting. The only one I tried besides SI seemed to have a number of people who were into very liberal ideas.
On SI maybe the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way...
Not that I would agree with liberal theological views but it's good to have a range of views, to encourage profitable debate...
| 2007/9/2 16:27|
It is [i]vital[/i] for each of us to ask Him re what we post, and ESPECIALLY our motives for doing so.
We don't always know what our [i][u]real[/u][/i] motives are, that's why we have to have the humility and courage to ask Him, and be willing to respond to what He reveals.
It isn't easy to have that courage, but after a while, (so I've found), if we respond and continue to do so, it gets easier. We become less afraid of facing up to things, less unwilling to let go of our pride. We feel less threatened in having Him expose our faults because we know He's on our side in spite of them!
No-one else can do that for us, but if we let Him do it by the Spirit, we will come through into a great freedom, wholeness and maturity that can't be gained any other way:
[i][color=0000CC]For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.[/color][/i]
[i][color=000099] 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. [/color][/i]
[i][color=000099]5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.[/color][/i]
[i][color=0000CC]5 ¶ Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
9 [u]The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings[/u].[/color][/i]
| 2007/9/2 16:52|
| Re: A resounding YES|
I think SI is very good for the Church.
If just one person says,
"Hey, I didn't see that before"
"Forgive me Brother, I was wrong"
"Yes your right, it does say that"
"Thanks for the encouragement, I really needed it"
"That sermon blew my theology out of the water"
"I'll pray for you"
"Thanks for praying for me guys"
"Though we disagree, I still love you"
Then SI is working for the Body of Jesus Christ.
| 2007/9/3 0:24|
I must admit that I get a bit antsy about questions that require a yes or no answer. I am reminded of Jesus typical response to such questions. He used them as a launch for more questions. What might God be asking us about ourselves?
Certainly there is a gold mine of rich sermons, etc here a reminder of a blessed heritage.
Of course, we cannot use past blessings as criteria for Gods present view be it our nations, our denominations, or our families OR forums.
Ive been on a variety of forums and I know that they can stray overnight. It is the bent of our human nature. We lean a bit too far to the left or the right, and before we know it, were paddling down another river, following after a certain blessing, but blind to the bigger picture. Of course that doesn't mean that God immediately writes them off. He teaches through all kinds of means - the failures, the sandpaper etc.
I am reminded of the Jewish nation who had Gods wonderful blessings in their past heritage, but they trusted in the blessings and missed Gods bigger purpose for them - because their eyes were on themselves more than on God. They ended up trusting in their own efforts, the law, their conservatism, etc. And so they ended up critical, proud, condemning
legalistic, nationalistic, etc etc.
That - I see is a big challenge for us too. A lot of us are near ie like Israel, we have a Christian heritage/ Bible knowledge, etc. A big temptation is to rely too much on that and also on ourselves. And so we dont always relate as well as we should to those who have come from afar. (Eph. 2:13) The forum has helped me face that bent in myself. We need to grow in grace - ie, know God's grace for ourselves, so that we can give it to others.
We cant long for a return of the past. We need to move with God TODAY. God IS working TODAY building his kingdom! And yes, he uses SI, among a lot of other means. Moe_mac, if he calls you to SI right now, just keep on being faithful to Him!
My prayer is that God may strengthen us with power through the Spirit,
in our inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in our hearts, THROUGH FAITH.
And I pray that we,
being rooted and established in love,
may have power together with all the saints
to grasp how
deep is the love of Christ,
and to KNOW this love that surpasses knowledge
that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
| 2007/9/3 9:02||Profile|
Can a forum be "edifying?" I don't believe that a forum is any more edifying than a artist's canvas or a writer's paper.
It is my belief that nothing (including a forum) is in and of itself "edifying" to the Body of Christ. Rather, it has the POTENTIAL to bring life or death, blessings or cursings. An individual can come into these forums (even as a mere reader) and be "convinced" or "impacted" concerning the plan of God for this world -- or convinced otherwise. What a terrible responsibility that befalls us! We are certainly "living epistles" being read daily by the people of this world! This could never be more true than in a forum in which people share their ideas and beliefs concerning spiritual eternal matters.
I feel that the leadership is what seperates this particular forum from others. Many forums, including "Christian" forums, stray into areas and topics that are inadvertantly carnal -- and often lead to heated discussion of matters of little importance. The leadership of this website, including Greg and the mods, have a different purpose for the forums at SermonIndex. It isn't meant to be merely a place of open discussion -- but a place where the written "speech" is confined to spiritual matters in a manner of sincere affection.
As anyone who has been around for some time can attest, it is difficult to find any two believers who completely agree on everything. As a result, there are natural points of conflict on SermonIndex. One believer feels strongly about their beliefs -- but so does the other. I feel that Greg and the other mods have done a wonderful job of keeping the discussions here from straying into dangerous territory.
Does this forum edify? Over the years, I have been edified, matured and strengthened by discussions at SermonIndex. Yet there have been times where I have wept for both the offenses that I have felt and those that I have created.
What is more important that asking whether or not a particular forum edifies? How about asking whether or not we provide edification within our posts? Do we edify and build up believers -- or do we hurt and damage? Are we so concerned with arguing for our beliefs that we care little about those with whom we sharply disagree? Is our goal to force adherence to our beliefs or discuss our differences?
If we approach the forums from a completely neutral perspective, I feel that we won't be nearly as offended by the comments or beliefs of others.
| 2007/9/3 14:09||Profile|
| Re: Does God see sermonindex.com and other christian forums as edifying to HIS CHURCH?|
Complex question Moe.
Need to split the question here.
How does God see anything ? Through and by His Word only.
He can only bless to the extent that His Word alone is honored. If the words of men are revered more that just Scripture alone - no, not in His eyes.
Most "forums" are the glorification of human's words more than His Word.
He will only Bless His that which originates in His Own Spirit and His Truth.
He will only Bless His own Words.
If our words can be found in Scripture - yes, that is His only purpose for the meeting of the Saints together anywhere. To edify and only His Words edify - nothing less.
Only to the degree that His Word alone is guarded and quoted. The Word is "Living" - our words are not - unless they are basic verbatim quotes - though they may be our paraphrased translations - that we post in our own words - nevertheless - they should not contradict Scripture or we they will do harm to the readers, not good. Edify can mean to "confirm, build and embolden." - It would be Pride on our part to think that our own words alone could "confirm, build or embolden" His Own, by our own words alone.
That's His command.
Perhaps a good reading of Timothy 1 & 2 and Titus - in seeing how anything "devoted to Him" and how it is to operate would be a good start.
Pray for 'all' Christian Forums in these deceptive days. So many souls are counting on our prayers.
Every Forum contains His Saints. They are our family. We need to pray for The Saints "everywhere" - Because He loves them - we should.
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for 'all' saints.
| 2007/9/3 16:50|
I want to thank all who have commented thus far on this topic and I have enjoyed reading each comment. I am hesitant to make this thank you post at this times and this early, because I would like to hear comments from others. I would like to thank Greg and all who created SI for discussion of God's Word.
I don't know how many people we have making posts on SI, but it seems to be many, and that's good, in that God's Word is very important in our lives and matters to us greatly and it shows that each one of us are still in the process of trying to understand more and more each day of what "thus saith the Lord each day" and through HIS SPIRIT and HIS people.
Thanks Bro./Sis. in Christ
| 2007/9/3 18:34|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
Does God see sermonindex.com and other christian forums as edifing to HIS CHURCH?
When I first started sermonindex many pastors I spoke to said that having a discussion forum would lower the potential of the audio sermons on the website for the one reason of pastors not coming to the website because of the content of the forums. I trusted God that He would maintain and control the forums to ensure they are edifying and a addition to the website not taking away from its edification.
5 years later we have seen people from all over the world from many varied backgrounds in christian tradition discussing and edifying one another in the spirit of love. This is truly from God. There is always some controversies and debates but I would like to say overall the forums have benefited many and continue to do so.
Some ways that would increase the impact and blessing of the forums would be:
1. for people to use more [b]scripture[/b] in their posts.
2. center more of the discussions around the audio and video materials on the website.
3. when posting be more prayerful.
4. instead of short quick thought responses, take your time and write more lengthy worth while posts.
5. be mindful that this website and forums are read by almost people in every country of the world now.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2007/9/3 18:48||Profile|