| | The Christian Forum and Forum website
I know that I run the risk of emptying the basket here, but I cannot remain silent any longer.
The purpose and mission of this website, as is stated clearly on the entry page, is “To encourage candid communication among people of good faith everywhere who seek the truth. Our objective is to promote true unity among the world wide community of faith. It is not our objective to create "artificial unity" or unity for its own sake. This website rests on the premise that if we are true2ourselves, the bonding experience of our ministers will surely become our own! We will then continue our march together towards God's glory where all believers will eventually be one!”
I can tell you that I see several of the representative clergy log in and read, but do not post. For the most part, this is probably because we are all VERY busy individuals. However, I think and I could be limiting the whole reason, that perhaps they feel it would be to no avail. Perhaps this is because they would feel like it was a scene out of Matrix III where they are attacked by the machines hitting Zion, I don’t know. Most of us have many jobs besides just pastor. We have various clergy who are responsible for much more than a parish, are education directors for dioceses, canon lawyers, leaders of ecumenical dialogue groups, and many who have other jobs in addition to this. We all have several “day jobs.” I probably neglect my other jobs in order to post here, and hope it is not to no avail. Nonetheless:
When we, the representative clergy, meet in the Christian Forum, we have such constructive good faith discourses. Over 90% of Christianity is represented in the meetings. I NEVER walk away from those meetings feeling that we are further apart afterwards, but quite the opposite. I NEVER have the feeling that we have not, after every meeting, learned more about each other’s approach and clarified our theological language with each other. Each of the representative ministers walk away from EVERY meeting knowing that we are surely reversing the divisions that have, crazily, happened after the first millennium but far moreso from the 1500’s in exponential proportions. “Denominations” are new folks. I hate to break it to you, but every one of you who are “independent” are part of the problem, not the solution. However, we are to be independent of sin and, as one poster pointed out, dependant upon God and interdependent upon one another.
But this website, the Christian forum website T2O, seems to stray, and sometimes stray drastically, from what the Christian Forum really is. The function of it is to reverse the divisions of the past, not by creating a new beast nor by laying a different foundation of a different building from that which has already been laid--founded upon the Apostles and prophets with Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone--but through dialogue discovering more about each other and finding out what we really have in common despite our different "languages" so to speak.
But I must say frankly that much of the work that we do in the meetings of the Chrisitan forum seems to be largely "undone" here by the work of a few, but nonetheless very vocal, minority, which I find somewhat disturbing. One poster pointed out that the online Christian forum (T2O) tends to attract persons that have left “mainstream” Christianity. Why this is I don’t know (i.e. why it would not attract those who belong to mainstream Christianity, and only others). There are many of good faith even from this background, but there are others who make it seem to be a “bizarro world” Christian forum sometimes, creating further divisions rather than reversing the divisiosn that be. There is an imbalanced “voice” here with regard to those who speak for the 90% that agrees on fundamentals of Christianity (Trinity, Incarnation, etc.). In any case, in the Christian forum meetings, after dialoguing, we find out that, because of certain solid foundations, we are able to recognize the Spirit’s work in each other, and also discover that our understanding of truth is not always so far apart as we might think.
While it is obvious that many on this forum who have left mainstream Christianity are good willed people in whom clearly the Lord is working, yet others are venomous wolves in sheep’s clothing. Still others have no solid foundations and are easily led by the wolves. There seems to be little “middle ground,” but perhaps this is better, in that we can slice through the smoke more readily.
Some who post here, although very few, nonetheless arrogantly assume that people have not before considered what you are putting forward as teaching. What a horrible and SELFISH assumption. Do you need to feel important? Those of you who are humble and quick to apologize, congratulations, you have passed the test of being Christ like, for the basic step that Christ says is that unless we humble ourselves as little children, we shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of God.
The first time I read the Bible cover to cover was when I was 11 years old, and it was King James version, which I did many times until I was 12 years old, and read other versions, and also was when I received my first Greek-Hebrew study bible. In my family history we had Protestant (of various types), Roman Catholic, and Orthodox roots. In my later youth I have journeyed and probed every major faith that I could find, not just Christianity, but an extensive exploration into all religions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even atheism. I read much and considered much. I 'returned' after not only deep and extensive study but also deep and extensive EXPERIENCE of these various faiths and communities within them.
There is one of several conclusions that I derived from all including atheism--but one perhaps is more relevant here than the others--that all of these expected the “expectation of the nations.” Why do I say that even of atheism? Because there is not an atheist I know of that does not wish there was a God who cared about them and could make a difference. Most atheists will tell you if they see a burning bush (without the influence of hallucinogenic drugs), then will no longer be atheists. They long for God even though they have given up on him.
The fact is that the Son of God became the Son of Man so that the sons of men might become the sons (children) of God.
I perhaps have a purpose for being a regular poster that I am not aware of. But the one that I am aware of is that unity comes from a search for truth, from a discovery of truth, and having read much and discovered much long before I went to seminary (for those of you presumptuous enough to, in a prejudiced and falsely accusatory way conclude otherwise), and much afterward, I believe I have something to share here.
In any case, in any of the words that I have put forth here, if in anyway I have offended any person through any of my words that are not in accord with the deposit of Faith, I sincerely ask forgiveness. If in anyway I have offended anyone with the stumbling block of Christ, I do not apologize, but tell you to repent. I am not here to make friends for myself, but for the Lord. Any of the words of faith that I have spoken that are not in accord with that faith that was delivered in word and epistle from the beginning--let them be consigned to oblivion. Any of those words that reflect that which has been verifiably held from the beginning, let them be burnt into your hearts. Any of those which you are unsure of, I only ask that you consider them.