We are all hoping that the long pandemic is ending and that a return to the “normal church” will soon be possible. I pray it will be so. Yet I think this pandemic will have a lasting impact and one reason is the way that digital or online church has come to shape our beliefs and practices.
During the pandemic, we’ve seen different ways in which digital church has been used. One way has been as a means of holding together a local church while physical attendance was not possible. It’s hard to be troubled by that. The other way, however, is more problematic. While many of us have taken the opportunity to engage in some harmless curiosity about what happens in other churches, others have found themselves becoming committed to one or more digital versions of “Saint Elsewhere.” The result is what I call “ecclesiastical polygamy.”