The Cyber-Church of Jesus Christ Childfree is a group of Christians who feel the call to have no descendents by fleshly means, just as Jesus had none.
In the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 7, the apostle Paul wrote that he wanted believers to be free from anxieties, particularly those which come from family relationships. The married man or woman is full of anxiety over the marital relationship. How much more so, the man or woman with children?
Jesus loved children but chose to never have any, so that he could devote his life to telling the Good News. What a model for childfree Christians to follow!
We commune via mailing list, with a "cyber-sermon" once a week.
We started with eight people on the mailing list in May 1999. Since then, we've grown to 80 or more. But that's not important; Jesus once said it only takes two believers to have God among them.
2021 Update: Well, our mailing list crashed and we'll be lucky to have eight people again. But that is no reason to stop our fellowship.
A lot of people only go to church when they want their children in Sunday school. This causes a lot of churches to consist mostly of parents. People without children are therefore often neglected when churches decide their priorities.
Some parents may believe that Christianity isn't about being childfree. Indeed it isn't. But neither is it about being a parent. Christianity is about serving God as best one can, from the state in which God calls you. We were called as childfree Christians, and (God willing) childfree Christians we shall remain.
No! We're trying to fill in a gap in the Church Universal. God has a place for everyone in his plan, especially those who are willing to seek his will and cooperate with him. But sometimes his Church Universal needs to do a better job at making that place available. That's what the Cyber-Church of Jesus Christ Childfree is for. We're kind of a "parachurch" that's filling in until real churches arrive in the childfree mission field, just like paramedics fill in for the real doctors.
We have no intention of abandoning Christian fellowship with parents. After all, God lets whomever he wants into heaven, including parents. But we do challenge all parents: Don't put procreation ahead of God in your lives.
Our Cyber-Church covers the full range of Christianity, from Catholic to Protestant, from liberal to conservative. It also covers the full range of the Childfree, from those who greatly like children (but don't want their own), to those who cringe in their presence (and wait for the inevitable meltdown). This Cyber-Church is intended to provide a safe cyber-assembly point for all of these.
We do not have an official theology, outside a very short list of rules; our members' beliefs are left to the members. But still, we've gathered together because we have some common beliefs, in addition to the belief that Jesus Christ died for our sins.
Many of us believe that parenthood is a necessary and honorable occupation. But not everyone should be a parent, just like not everyone should engage in any single occupation.
Many of us believe that children are not necessarily a blessing. Genesis 3:16 treats childbirth like a curse.
Many of us believe that children can be disruptive to worship services, and such disruptions should be avoided. Of course it's a good thing for the children to come to Jesus... but I Corinthians 14 establishes that churches need rules, to prevent even good things from disrupting the worship of God.
Many of us believe that Jesus himself had no children (popular thriller-novel theories to the contrary), and therefore is a shining example of how Christians can live forever with no children.
Many of us believe it is right and proper for people to come to Jesus whatever the motivation, even parenthood. But we believe God reserves a special blessing for those who come to him without ulterior motives, especially parenthood.
Many of us believe that the Lord needs volunteers not to have children, as part of our responsible stewardship of the Earth. Isaiah once warned Israel against any one family needing too much room for themselves: "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, 'til there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the Earth!" Isaiah 5:8 KJV
Many of us believe that even good and natural things are sinful when they get out of control. Childbearing is a good and natural thing... but when it's out of control, it results in overpopulation. Which (for instance) results in overcrowding, such that people live in the most dangerous parts of hurricane zones. And so the children suffer for the sin of their parents. As for all sins, God will sit in judgment on the sin of uncontrolled childbearing.
One thing we all have in common is: We all believe that children are not absolutely necessary to God's plan for our lives. John the Baptist said, "God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham" (Matthew 3:9). He didn't say, "from these stones and your precious human seed". So at least for us, no matter what people said in the Old Testament, the pressure for reproduction is officially off.
Like any Christian teaching, these verses may be taken out of context. Some people do this to imply that children should be allowed into all Christian activities, without control or restriction. To this, we answer:
Again, like any Christian teaching, these verses may be taken out of context. We interpret them within their context, as follows:
Childbearing, like most other human activities, can be made holy by the inclusion of God in the process. But it is not in and of itself a holy thing. The Bible does not treat it as a necessary part of the Kingdom of God, and modern preachers should not either.
One could say, this is actually Satanic theology.
Some people (now including the author of "The Da Vinci Code"!) think Jesus must have had children, because:
To this, we answer:
(Yes, some people believe Mary was a virgin forever, and Jesus either had big step-brothers or no brothers at all - "James the Lord's brother" and the absence of the family at the Nativity notwithstanding. But many of us don't believe that.)
The Cyber-Church has two rules now:
Our definition of Christian is pretty simple: If you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, you are a Christian. God may reserve the right to decide whether you really get into Heaven... but then he's the judge and we aren't.
As in any church, anyone (parent and/or non-Christian) may walk in (that is, join our mailing list). But they will not be considered members unless they commit to the rule above. And if they argue against the rule, they will be asked to leave.
As we've noted above, our Cyber-Church has both liberal and conservative members. Nowadays, it seems liberals and conservatives can barely tolerate each other's existence, even inside churches. This has led to much namecalling and bad feelings, even within our own Cyber-House-of-God.
Well, too bad, people. Jesus preached tolerance, in a time and place where rival factions were at the brink of bloodshed. We are called to follow Jesus in this matter.
For that reason, and by vote of the membership, this group was once fully moderated. Moderation is like the administrative style of the apostle Paul, complete with cyber-enforcement for the modern age. Paul was often heavy-handed, but it seems humans need that sometimes. But fortunately not here, not now... we've lifted the moderation for all current members, and will lift it one by one for new members as they come in.
So what does this rule mean? For one thing, no name-calling of fellow members. Theological discussion will always be allowed, but your fellow members claim the name of Jesus, just as you do. If you call them rude or hateful names, or question their salvation status, you will provide Scriptural justification for your accusation, complete with chapter and verse, or your post will be questioned to say the least.
Also, Jesus told his followers a Golden Rule. Our Cyber-Church will now observe it. However you treat your fellow members, they may freely ask you if that is how you would want to be treated. If you can't say "Yes" (or even that old dodge "Yes, if yada yada yada"), you will be judged, by moderators and (more importantly) by God.
These rules are still much less intrusive to your personal piety, than the rules of any live-action churches are. We hope the rules won't scare you away.
2021 Update: We used to have support from Yahoo Groups. But that crashed. We're down to one way now.
2021 Update: We're all here freely. So should you be. Likewise to joining, there is only one way to leave: