A good e-friend of mine is making a presentation on the connection between social media, faith, and evangelisation. This friend emailed me for some ideas about this as well as some of the dangers of internet presence. I wrote:
1) I believe in the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints
This means I stand in a tradition that values the local Christian community, and also the wider universal Christian community. In this we have included saints on earth and saints in heaven “…with all who stand before you in earth and heaven, we worship you…”
In this new context the universal church, the church catholic, includes the virtual world.
Just as previously our valuing of the universal church, and including those who have gone before us, did not lead to neglecting the local community, so the valuing of the church in the virtual world need not, and ought not to, lead to a neglect of the local community IRL (“in real life”)
2) As Christians discovered people living in the Americas, the Pacific, and so forth, they went there in mission, ministry, and evangelism. Now that so many people live in the virtual world it is enjoined upon us to be a presence in the virtual world in mission, ministry, and evangelism.
3) As Jesus says: “be in the Internet, but not of the Internet.”