The internet has opened up a whole new venue for Christian women to meet and share their faith. A quick scan of the internet will show many thousands of website, blogs and forums dealing with the matters of faith, fellowship, and everyday struggles that Christian women face. While in many ways this opportunity for Christian women to meet other women online who share their interests is very beneficial, there are also some pitfalls that should be considered.
The ability to meet millions of people across the globe is a unique aspect of the internet. A second aspect is the massive amounts of information that is available at your fingertips. The downside of both is that it is difficult to know who or what to trust, so caution should always be taken. Many people use anonymous handles online, but even those who use a first and last name are not necessarily using their real name. Unfortunately, the internet is the perfect place for a scammer to hide amongst a majority of well-intented people.
For Christian women, the presence of face-less people can be a real hazard. God tells us to be careful who we fellowship with for a reason. A non-believer or even a misinformed believer could have weakened your own faith and lead you down a wrong path. There is no problem with having online friends who are either unbelievers or who do not share your particular doctrinal views, but you must be careful about how you allow them opinions to influence you.
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a true believer. Always test the spirits. It is much easier to determine the soundness of an individual's faith when you attend church with them and interact with them in person. The true beliefs and behaviors of people you meet online can easily be understood or "cleaned up" through selected writing. Always be on your guard, especially for bad doctrine.
Another potential issue for Christian women online is the substitution of real fellowship with virtual fellowship. It is great to have other Christian women to talk with through the day, but do not let these interactions replace relationships with other women in your church. It is the local body believers (your church) which God has ordained to be your support system. Do not forsake that fellowship and tell yourself it is okay because of your online "church".
Overall the internet is a great opportunity for Christian women to meet other believers across the world. But care should always be taken when meeting new people online. As long as you keep the above concerns in mind you should be able to avoid the potential pitfalls of online Christian fellowship.
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