What are the dangers of virtual church?

I was on a program on the BBC about a year and a half ago where one of the founders of something called Saint Pixels was holding forth, and Saint Pixels is a virtual church. You take on a character called an avatar and you go into a virtual church space and worship, pray, sing etc. My point was how could you possibly do that when you’re not truly there? Moreover, how do we know people are being honest, when they’re taking on a character, they’re taking on a persona? And this person assured me that people were very authentic and very genuine and I said how could you ever really know that unless you knew the person outside of the virtual world? We believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God believes in the goodness of matter. He created it. And the Word took on human form. We know that from John 1. He was full of grace and truth. And you think of the activities of the church in terms of things like the right hand of fellowship, or baptism, or passing the peace, and so on. These are embodied activities where we are with people and we don’t want to try to simulate that. Whatever that is, it’s not the same as real koinonia or real worship that we read about in the New Testament.

-Provided by Douglas Groothuis, professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary

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