This is a guest post from conservative Anglican journalist, David Virtue, http://virtueonline.org/
Faithful Christians today are in a state of retreat, and everyone is hard-pressed to chart a clear course toward the future. An relentless mainstream media, a hostile legislative environment, an aggressive social malevolence, and finally, dwindling congregation numbers all conspire to paint a dismal picture whose continuation seems to be only further retreat in the future.
Let me paint you an alternative context, where an entirely different scenario plays out.
I am an Anglican journalist who has been writing on the state of the Episcopal Church for over twenty-five years. Many of you have shaken your heads over the years at some abysmal transgression the Episcopal Church has yet again perpetrated, some new atrocious pretext or action. But imagine being among them, trying to stop it? This has been the lot of conservative Anglicans trapped in the maelstrom of seeming defeat, myself among them.
I started writing against the abuses as far back as the mid-1990s. Imagine the Episcopal Church’s early missteps and transgressions, how small they seem now; but it was clear that they would end where we are now. It was clear to me that something had to be done, and someone had to write about everything that was going on, in meticulous, painstaking, perpetual detail, if only to alert the remnant and begin to concentrate on building the future.
Building a future for the revival of Anglicanism in such a dire straits was predicated on one essential aspect: information. You see, the liberals had control of all the platforms of information, and effectively made the mouthpiece of the whole Church speak the things they needed it to say. Being one of the largest churches in America, rebuilding faithful Anglicanism was no small task, as the vast (and orthodox) swathes of the Episcopal Church were ruled and effectively suppressed, while the liberals began to sow heresies one after another, in silent, and quietly deadly, form. The regular people in the pews had no voice, and disparate islands of resistance strewn around the country had no hope for learning who else was out there, or what was to be done. This was the context in which I and some other journalists had stepped in.
What I saw immediately was this: I had no access to any of the printing presses of the Episcopal Church. I could not control any of the forms of media, television, or radio. The powers that be wouldn’t allow me to travel and speak at churches. I and people like me were effectively silenced and muffled, as if with a pillow. That’s where it would have ended, as people had been silenced in times past.. were it not for one small difference: there was an odd new medium in the late 1990s, which no one took seriously, but which was the only avenue left open:
Thus I had launched what would eventually become VirtueOnline, the longest running journalistic website regarding all things Anglican and Episcopalian, with articles going to the early 2000s, and a meticulous record of every sin and every transgression in the Episcopal Church, broadcast into the minds and ears of anyone who had eyes to see and ears to listen.
The effect of this and other such engagements with the internet cannot be over-stated. To bring the story to a close, fast-forwarding over the over the 2000s to the present day would show to us an Episcopal Church starting to get more and more apocalyptic, but in parallel with this, the faithful remnant unexpectedly getting very strong. The faithful had not dwindled and disappeared away, as expected: they were motivated, connected, and most of all, informed and gathered under a common identity which the Episcopal Church could not suppress, because it did not control the Internet. After the conservative remnant finally gathered enough momentum to split in 2008, it has reorganized as the Anglican Church in North America, and now looks so successful as to supplant the Episcopal Church across the whole content.
This miraculous turn of events was only made possible because the Internet provided an outlet for myself and others, and when we had committed our whole energies to this new, unheard of platform, it paid us back in scores. Today the faithful Anglicans are wizards on the Internet, with scores of blogs, podcasts, crowd funding projects, and beautiful websites. The Episcopal Church still controls their printing presses, and whatever TV control they have had since then; they clutch those media platforms anxiously, as they and the newspapers and TV which they control are headed to extinction.
This is a moral that Christians must heed today. The internet is more than just a source of worries for those concerned about its moral ramifications. It is an incredible platform of new possibilities and a secured future. I urge you all to strongly embrace it and those parts which you find concerning you should redeem for Christ. I urge you to move into 2018 with me and embrace the future in which the faithful are in charge and decide the future of the Church once more.
David Virtue’s newest project is “VirtueOnline 2.0”, an ambitious rebuilding of his famous website that aims to make imperative impact on social platforms and expand the reach of faithful Christianity. He is crowd funding his project with small $5, $10, $20 donations. If you’d like to support his vision of the future, click here: