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Online wars over doctrine spark concern (reporting from New Orleans): Amid heated talk on social media, two-day symposium brings together leaders for face-to-face dialogue. 

NEW ORLEANS — And they’ll know we are Christians by our … vitriol on Facebook?

Scriptural and responsible use of the Internet was a key point of discussion as more than 100 ministers and church leaders gathered for the recent “We Be Brethren Symposium.”

Organizers described the two-day event — hosted by the Elysian Fields Church of Christ in the heart of the Big Easy — as an effort to foster unity and face-to-face dialogue on doctrinal issues sparking heated debate online.

“All of us can become victims of Facebook bullying,” said Herman Wesley III, minister for the NorthPointe Church of Christ in Montgomery, Ala. “Facebook is not the proper forum to expose people’s sins, and Facebook is not the proper forum to correct people’s sins.”

Tim Anderson, minister for the Southside Church of Christ in Montgomery, said younger Christians wonder, “How is this the church that Jesus died for when we kill each other on social media?”

This story appears in the September 2015 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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