I've really learned this over the last number of days. I'm just so glad I don't deal with this kind of stuff in real life because, MAN, it's crazy.
First off, a friend was very badly hurt by someone who she thought was a friend but turned out to be a stalking maniac. This poor lady has had to close her blog, remove her name from everywhere on the internet, and even remove a wonderful video of her children praising God. Now she's dealing with some in-real-life problems stemming from this stalker. Unbelievable.
Then I'm on another board - the "crunchy" board we call it around here. Well, apparently I'm being skewered and roasted for my stand on the Word of God against gay marriage and abortion. I feel like a lone dog being attacked by a pack of wolves. I'll never convince them there of the truth but maybe, just maybe, someone who is having their heart warmed by God will see His truth and begin seeking Him. But of course, I'm being judgmental and Jesus would be highly offended. Oh - these are all unbelievers who are telling me how Jesus would feel about me saying sin is sin (and those who know me know that I'm not doing it in a disrespectful or harsh way). I have to laugh because they don't even KNOW Jesus.
Then there's the complete opposite kind of place. In connection with the friend's issue, her stalker joined this place that posted about my friend and posted lies about her. I tried to join the forum so that I could contact someone and ask them to remove the comments. Well, I forgot I joined because I got a hold of them in another way and when I went back, the comments were removed and I just started looking around to see if there were any other comments. I noticed a harsh tone on this forum and made 3 posts myself - two speaking on repentance and one on a harsh comment against someone. Next time I went there, I was banned! LOL I didn't say anything contentious but I guess it was that I asked questions that they didn't like. I'm sure according to them I'm a heretic for whatever reason (I believe the Bible??) What's sad is that this forum is a place where people go from this one man's "church" and for those who listen to his messages online. This man leads not a church but a cult. If you don't believe exactly as they do, you are a heretic and going to hell. They say that they believe in "easy believism" which means that if you believe in Jesus, you are saved. You don't need to repent of your sins or do anything else. That's all well and good - and we know it is by grace that we're saved and not of ourselves - it's not a work - but they apparently don't understand the concept of repentance. Since Scripture tells us over and over again to repent (and Jesus mentions it 16 times in the Gospels), I think that it is an important ingredient in salvation. Is repentance what saves us? No. However when we are saved, it is because God has given us His grace and has drawn us to Him. Because of that, we are able to believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and follow Him. When we follow Jesus, we TURN from the way we were going and that is repentance. Turning towards Christ is to turn FROM our sins. But I was banned for saying that apparently. It's OK because, as I said, this is a cult. He believes that God is the King James Bible based on John 1:1. So he worships a book instead of the One who wrote it. He says that they went soul winning and had over 170 saved yet not one of those people ever get followed up on, not one ends up at their church. Instead he just knows that they're saved because they said a prayer. Too bad these will be the ones standing at the judgment seat saying "Jesus! But that pastor said if we said that prayer, we can get into heaven! I did that!! I didn't know I had to follow you too!!" Sad. Just sad.
So as I said, the internet can be a very crazy world. VERY crazy. There are some absolutely lovely, wonderful people I've met and I'm grateful for the internet that I can meat brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. But in doing so, you certainly meet a number of weirdos. LOL