Monday, December 3, 2012

The Reformed Christians Guide to Facebook:

Firstly, Facebook is not to be viewed as or treated by any Christian as a replacement for attending church on Sunday. This goes for every Christian.  Hebrews 10:24-25, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

To quote the Belgic Confession, “The marks by which the true Church is known are these: If the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein; if it maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ; if church discipline is exercised in punishing of sin; in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church. Hereby the true Church may certainly be known, from which no man has a right to separate himself.” Simply, the sacraments cannot be administered on Facebook. Excommunication cannot be carried out on Facebook. You are not physically assembling with other Christians when on Facebook. Facebook is not a church service. You must attend a church.

However, Facebook can still be used as a helpful and edifying medium for theological fellowship, debate and discussion on Facebook. And, there is lovely international dimension to this – I have had the pleasure of meeting and praying for Christians from every continent (inhabited by mankind) through Facebook. So, here is a short guide to some of the better Reformed Groups on Facebook.

Undoubtedly the most active Calvinist group on Facebook. The group (CFDD) is actively moderated, and “exists primarily for dialogue and fellowship between Calvinists", though non-Calvinists are still welcome to join, learn and participate. If you obey the rules, you will learn some theology, and benefit from and enjoy the fellowship in this group, away from a lot of the nastiness in groups that are not moderated. The members mostly get along, so you might even have some fun … once you are up to date with the jokes.

A more relaxed version of CFDD (the group described above). Probably more theological diversity, but if you are Christian and respectful, chances are, you will be invited to have coffee with other Christian friends. This group is in many ways that scenario.

Created in the aftermath of the closure of the original “Calvinism: The Group That Choose You”, due to controversies over Kinism [refutation of Kinism here]. This group is a new Kinist-free group, and a replacement of the original. Similar to CFDD, this group exists for moderated dialogue and fellowship between Calvinists, while allowing pleasant non-Calvinists to participate where appropriate.

This group isn't so much a place for debating lapsarianism or eschatology – it is more for those who are already married with children or gearing towards that direction. If you are a high school student who just wants to debate baptism – this is not the place. The Godly Home is a closed group designed to “help Christian parents in their pursuit to train their children up in God's word as well as be a resource to encourage godly marriages.”

5.        The Book Club
I have never met an informed Calvinist who does not enjoy reading. Though not incredibly active, this is a group where Reformed Christians are able to discuss what they are reading. The books discussed are more likely to be out of print than on the New York Times best-seller list – so to those like-minded people who read mostly dead theologians – there is no need to worry.

This is a closed group for dialogue and fellowship between Christians who understand the Bible by covenant theology.  This group is not incredibly active, but there are often worthwhile threads untangling deeper aspects of God’s covenantal relationships and dealings with His creation.

7.       The Reformed Steakhouse
Similar to Reformed Covenant Theology in some ways. Though the Reformed Steakhouse is not as active as it once was, there are still some threads well worth reading.

Another CFDD spin off. As the name suggests, this is a group exists primarily for dialogue and fellowship between Reformed Baptists, while allowing other Christians to participate on the side. Even as a Reformed Paedobaptist, there are many beneficial discussions in this Baptist group. They are not the Baptists who think Jesus only drank grape juice, or play antichrist guessing games.

Yet another CFDD spin off, and the Paedobaptist equivalent to the Reformed Baptist group. Even though you will likely disagree with either the Reconstructists or the Westminster Seminary-ites, this group contains many ‘iron sharpening iron’ discussions and debates on a variety of topics from perspectives within [Confessional] Reformed Theology.

CFDD is basically the Superman of Reformed Theology on Facebook. A lot of spin-offs, but all for different purposes.  The Men of CFDD is a closed version of CFDD, to discuss topics relevant to guys.  The group members are close, so unless you know someone in it, or are known by a member from elsewhere, you won’t be let in.

Another off shoot of CFDD. Designed the same as the men's group, but for women, rather than men. I could not tell you what exactly is discussed in there - and even if I could, I probably wouldn't understand it.

And I’ll conclude with one final spin off of CFDD. This group, administrated by Calvinists, is a closed group deigned to be a place where Christians [Calvinist or not] can share prayer requests – the group is not for theological debate. Just as with the two previous groups, only Christians are allowed in the CFDD Prayer Request Group.

A place for Open Theists, Pelagains, Moral Government Theorists, Sinless Perfectionists and everyone else condemned by the early church to be united in misrepresenting Calvinistic Christians, despite being corrected about 237 times. A group to stay out of, in order to avoid formulaic straw-men and not waste time. My point is: use your time on Facebook wisely. You should have higher priorities. You should use theological interaction on Facebook for mutual benefit from Christian discussion and fellowship, not to waste time.

I hope that the Reformed Christians on Facebook find this useful and helpful. But even more so, I hope you all attend church this Sunday, and the Sunday after that.

©Jonathan Williams, December 2012.


  1. So the women group is for men only as well? Quite the awkward title it has.

    " The Women of Calvinism Fellowship, Debate and Discussion
    Another off shoot of CFDD. Designed the same as the men's group, but for men, rather than women."

  2. "But for women rather than men". Thanks! I'll fix that.

  3. The mods at CFDD don't deal with others in a Christian manner at all, and are quite adamantly unreasonable. I expose their dishonesty and shenanigans here.