As this post is the written form of an argument I am making in a debate today, I am waiting until the last second before class to post it. I am arguing that the Virtual Church is not a faithful representation of Christ's church on earth.
My argument is centered on Christian eschatology. We have an ultimate hope of seeing and touching our Savior Jesus Christ. We have an ultimate hope of rejoicing in the presence of the angels in Heaven. We shall be bidden, if we are so bold, to touch the scars in our Lord's hands and examine the spear wound in His side. Though we shall be raised in spiritual, incorruptible bodies to the glorious presence of God, we shall be in bodies nonetheless. Therefore we will be physically present with Christ and the saints of all ages.
The Bible commands believers, "Forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is . . ." (Hebrews 10:25)
While virtual church may bring together those who cannot physically attend a local church, it may also serve to separate out those who will not. It can be a ready-made excuse for those too lazy, too interested in TV football analysts, and too self-centered to invest several hours a week building up others; meeting with their spiritual family.
I am not arguing that the Christian church should be absent from online and social media conversations regarding faith, spirituality, and practice. I am saying as long as their are physical buildings with flesh-and-blood Christians attending them, worshipping and fellowshipping, then people interested in participating in the family life of God ought to get off their physical backsides and get to stepping into the Lord's house Sunday and whenever else the doors are open. God forbid we allow the awesome tool of online communications become a barrier to giving and receiving physical touch from other believers. God forbid a quick text ever subsitute for a shoulder to cry on. And God forbid a happy Facebook post ever substitute for high fives, singing, and clapping.
As long as we have the freedom and means to assemble ourselves as disciples of Christ, we must not allow the Internet to temper or interfere with true Christian fellowship.