I read an article yesterday on internet church that was encouraging the use of internet church over attending a real body of believers. That pastors should build a following of Christian who make the online church their church.
This I must say I am greatly opposed to this, not a church putting their church services online, making the sermon mp3’s available for free. But encouraging people to just go to online church instead of being part of a body, telling pastors to encourage the use of the on line church over being part of the body of Christ, that I am very much against, and so is the word of God.
This is what the scriptures say about being part of a body or not:
Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Being in community is central to Christian identity and the purpose and function of the church, the body of Christ. And Community is central to the mission of the church. with out it the church ceases to exist as it was intended to be.
Online church can be useful to Christians for when they are home sick, or with a sick child. Great to let Christians experience another gathering of the body in other cities and countries. For those uses it is Good. But unfortunately the side effect is we have people getting lazy, and disconnected from the body, by slowly getting addicted to the online church, and just skipping the body altogether and just using the internet church. And that is very Bad.
It can be used as a tool to allow non-followers of Christ to view church, witness the Holy Spirit at work, hear the word of God preached. That is Good! If it is done as a outreach, that is to reach the lost, to draw them to Christ, the gospel, then get them into the body of Christ. That is very Good. But to leave them there, say let this be your church. But to promote it to be someone’s church, for it to replace being physically part of a church body as a way of life. That is very Bad!
My suggestion is STOP promoting internet church as church, promote it only as a tool of evangelism, it should lead, funnel people to become part of the body, to actual GO to the church gathering, not stay on the internet as “your Church”, but to become part of a live fellowship.