A to Z Challenge

N is for Netiquette

Definition of NETIQUETTE: etiquette governing communication on the Internet.

Well that seems self-explanatory doesn’t it?

But let’s spell it out for the confused people …

(I found these rules here. Pretty good rules, I’d say).

*Remember the Human

Would you say it to the person’s face?

When you communicate electronically, all you see is a computer screen. You don’t have the opportunity to use facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice to communicate your meaning; words — lonely written words — are all you’ve got. When you’re holding a conversation online — whether it’s an email exchange or a response to a discussion group posting — it’s easy to misinterpret your correspondent’s meaning. And it’s frighteningly easy to forget that your correspondent is a person with feelings more or less like your own.

*Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life

Breaking the law is bad Netiquette

In real life, most people are fairly law-abiding, either by disposition or because we’re afraid of getting caught. In cyberspace, the chances of getting caught sometimes seem slim. And, perhaps because people sometimes forget that there’s a human being on the other side of the computer, some people think that a lower standard of ethics or personal behavior is acceptable in cyberspace.

*Know where you are in cyberspace

Lurk before you leap

When you enter a domain of cyberspace that’s new to you, take a look around. Spend a while listening to the chat or reading the archives. Get a sense of how the people who are already there act. Then go ahead and participate.

*Respect other people’s time and bandwidth

You are not the center of cyberspace

It’s a cliché that people today seem to have less time than ever before, even though (or perhaps because) we sleep less and have more labor-saving devices than our grandparents did. When you send email or post to a discussion group, you’re taking up other people’s time (or hoping to). It’s your responsibility to ensure that the time they spend reading your posting isn’t wasted.

*Make yourself look good online

Know what you’re talking about and make sense: Don’t post flame-bait

You will, however, be judged by the quality of your writing. For most people who choose to communicate online, this is an advantage; if they didn’t enjoy using the written word, they wouldn’t be there. So spelling and grammar do count. Be pleasant and polite. Don’t use offensive language, and don’t be confrontational for the sake of confrontation.

*Share expert knowledge

The strength of cyberspace is in its numbers. The reason asking questions online works is that a lot of knowledgeable people are reading the questions. And if even a few of them offer intelligent answers, the sum total of world knowledge increases. The Internet itself was founded and grew because scientists wanted to share information. Gradually, the rest of us got in on the act.

*Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes

If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don’t know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it.

My personal biggest online advice? Never, ever, EVER write something in anger and then publish it right afterward. Give it (at least) 24 hours before publishing it online. That will give you time to take a breath, read over your thoughts, edit the nasty out of it and if you STILL feel you need to contribute your thoughts to the issue, THEN hit publish.

Remember folks, once it’s on the internet, it’s THERE to stay. Oh sure, you can delete it, but it’s cached somewhere and someone will likely see it at some point. Interact at your own risk.

I’m participating in the A to Z challenge. Just post something every day with the appropriate letter (except for Sundays), and then submit your link to one of the hosts and don’t forget to visit other participants! Also, you can find other A to Z participants on Twitter via the #atozchallenge hashtag. (This trying to relate the alphabet to your life thing is HARD. It’s taxing my brain and oh look! A puddle of brain mass. Sweet).

Abundant Life

Teaching: Is the Day of Pentecost the “Birthday of the Church”?

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

FAQ: I have heard it said that the Day of Pentecost (in Acts 2:1 and following) was the “birthday of the Church”?

Words have specific meanings, and in any biblical discussion or exposition, defining our terms is critical. The three key words in the above question are “Pentecost,” “birthday,” and “Church.” Let’s start with the “Church.”

The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia, and in Scripture it simply means a group of people called out for a purpose. In its 89 uses in the epistles written to Christians, it refers either to individual groups of Christian believers or to all Christians as a body. When we in Spirit & Truth Fellowship refer to the latter group in our writings, we choose to capitalize it as a proper noun. 1 Corinthians 10:32 lists the only three kinds of people in history, biblically speaking, and distinguishes this group of people from the other two groups: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God” (KJV).

As per Ephesians 1:22 and 23, the “Church,” i.e., all Christians, is synonymous with the “Body of Christ” (also a term we capitalize as a proper noun, though most Bible versions do not): “And God placed all things under his [Jesus’] feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Virtually all Bible commentators agree with the above definitions, but not all agree upon when the Church began, that is, when the first people became “Christians.” OK, then we’d best look at what it takes to become a Christian, and Romans 10:9 is perhaps the key verse in that regard: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

That verse makes it clear that no one was “saved” by being “born again of incorruptible seed” (1 Pet. 1:23), that is, becoming a “Christian,” prior to the resurrection and subsequent ascension of Jesus Christ. Salvation has always been available ever since Adam’s sin necessitated it, but never until after Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and exaltation as “Lord” (Acts 2:37) did salvation consist of being “born again” of God’s spirit, receiving His “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4) and being “sealed with that holy spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).

The Four Gospels basically end with Jesus’ ascension (Luke 24:51-53). If we then go to the book of Acts, we join the timeline with that same event in Chapter 1, verse 9, after which his disciples chose a replacement for Judas, who had committed suicide. And then comes Chapter 2, which begins as follows:

Acts 2:1-4
(1) “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
(2) Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
(3) They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
(4) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit [more accurately: “filled with holy spirit” (the gift from the Giver) and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Obviously, this was a monumentally significant event. What happened? Acts 2:33 gives us more information, as Peter explained: “Exalted to the right hand of God, he [Jesus] has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit [holy spirit—once again the gift, not the Giver] and he [Jesus] has poured out that which you now see and hear.” It was that same holy spirit of which Jesus had spoken to his disciples prior to his death, as well as after his resurrection, and his words in Acts 1:5 (see also John 14-16; Luke 24:49) are especially significant: “For John [the Baptist] baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit [again, holy spirit, the gift of God’s divine nature].”

Certainly the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 is the only biblical event that meets the criteria as the time when the first people ever were “baptized in holy spirit,” setting the pattern for each person thereafter who makes Jesus Christ his Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:13 confirms that: “For we were all baptized by [in] one Spirit [spirit (the gift)] into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” To be sure, let us look at the opening of Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians in order to determine who the “we” is in 12:13 who were baptized in holy spirit. Chapter 1, verse 2 reads: “To the church in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.”

It is clear that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord by confessing Jesus as Lord and believing that God raised him from the dead joins the ekklesia of those born again of God’s incorruptible seed and filled with the gift of holy spirit. It is also clear that the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was the first time this happened. As such, it is the “birthday” of the Church, that is, its beginning.

So what was “Pentecost,” when the birthday of the Church took place? In the Old Testament, Pentecost was one of the major Jewish feasts that occurred annually as per God’s directive for His people. These holidays were designed to keep God in people’s minds and to promote national unity. Pentecost was also called the “Feast of Weeks,” the “Feast of Harvest,” or the “Feast of Firstfruits,” and was held on the 50th day after Passover.

What a perfect day God chose to bring in the “first fruits” of the Church, the eventually global Body of holy spirit-filled believers who would sow the good seed of His Word throughout the world. And, unknown to anyone until later in the Acts period when the Lord Jesus revealed the Sacred Secret to the Apostle Paul, the whole Church itself now enjoys in our “earthen vessel” bodies the same “first fruits” of the gift of holy spirit that all resurrected Jewish believers will one day have in their new bodies in the Millennial Kingdom.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

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