Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Some thoughts and questions on online churches

The discussion on online churches never gets anywhere because the physical existence of churches have always been taken for granted. But now we are faced with a situation where we are not sure how services can be conducted. Many restrictions are being brought in all around the world and this could continue for several weeks and even months. The thoughts and questions below can be used as a starting point for discussion and for the serious consideration of online churches.

1. Preachers/priests in church can preach from a church, room or studio and put it online or live stream it but they can’t offer (give) communion online? So the word of God can be given online but the body of God can’t?
2. People go near the T.V. and raise their hands praising God, touch the screen for healing and repeat prayers which have actually been recorded several days ago but online confession is not possible?
3. The congregation can sit and watch Holy Communion service via television or laptop, they can do other things during the recorded or live streamed service but nothing can be offered to them at home because it would be a disrespect to the church and the elements?
4. The internet and social media are used a lot for the benefit of the clergy but are they used for the benefit of the laity?
5. Modernity and technology has entered the altar in the form of electricity, machines, technology and gadgets. A dilution of the original has already taken place and homes have moved closer to the altar. But is that very technology used to take the altar to homes?

During a lockdown and during social distancing it will be beneficial for us to think in depth about this. How can the transforming body and blood of Christ be offered without physical contact? (During an emergency/emergencies) Or is physical contact needed for being the one body of Christ? (When touch and contact is not possible due to certain circumstances?)

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