Does worshiping online offer true spiritual fulfillment?

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A recent CNN.com article reported that a growing number of Christians worldwide are migrating from worshiping in the chapel to worshiping on the computer.

But can worshiping via a computer offer true spiritual fulfillment?

Here is a sample of what our In Theory writers had to say:

Pastor Skip Lindeman: While “convenience” is a good reason to worship via computer, and while helping the infirm to connect with their church and church family is a good reason to worship via computer, I believe the community has to come together literally to be the church.

Rabbi Simcha Backman: The Internet gives us an exciting tool for positive advancement in ways never before possible. But despite its great value, this technology cannot take the place of human interaction, and therefore should only serve as a bridge on the road to traditional religious practice.

Pastor Jon Barta: Online technology can enhance, but never replace, the in-person, physical nature of gathering together with other believers to worship the Lord. It’s better than nothing, but never as good as the real thing. Compare belonging to a church with marriage: Would online contact be enough? Probably not. Being in someone’s physical presence is better than just being with them in spirit.

Rev. Bryan Griem: It’s wonderful that the immobile can avail themselves of sermons and psalms even when they can’t actually attend services, but how sad to imagine them living devoid of human contact, having only an isolated life of the mind, coldly viewing digital media rather than warmly participating.

Bishop Fred L. Carpenter: To me, the Internet does not replace churches or congregations. Rather, it assists churches and congregations in reaching out to individuals and touching their lives. Congregations provide religious experiences that may be difficult to duplicate on an individual basis. The task of each congregation is to be truly Christian, both in name in action.

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Written by Michael J. Arvizu

December 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Religion

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