From Internet Forum to Church

ESTONIA. Adventist Church forum on the Internet is extremely active and has more members than any other Estonian Christian virtual meeting place, where one can meet lots of friends, but also find truth that will change his or her life forever.

The official homepage of the Estonian Adventist Church has about 100-115 visits a day. The visitors can read the news form Estonia and from the world, see the picture gallery or visit the forum. In august the number of hits leveled up to 7000 in a day. Mostly people are visiting the news page, which in august for example was visited 2840 times. Popular is also the page of Our Times, the magazine of Estonian Conference.

But the biggest magnet has been the Advent forum, that has been operating a little bit over a year now. Right now it has 194 members who have made about 8000 postings.

Mostly the members are Adventists, but among them are also member of other denominations and nonchristians. Does this kind of entertainement do any good? The question got its answer on August 31, when Tallinn Adventist church had a baptism and one of the baptismal candidates was an active forum member Allan.

According to Allan, the forum was not the first contact his with the Adventist church. His grandmother was a member of the Viljandi church.

Allan got interested in spiritual things last winter. “I discovered many Christian forums on the Internet, but I sticked with the Adventist forum, because I saw that the discussion was really active there. I have to admit that in the beginning I had the idea that I will show them how wrong they are,” says Allan. But with the time his point of view changed. He found that Christians are very interesting people and “absolutely normal,” says Allan.

Allan had typical information about Adventists: “don’t eat pork, don’t use alcohol, keep the Sabbath and don’t marry anyone but their own church members.”

With closer contacts he found that the prejudices he had faded away. “I got to know their convictions and found to my amaze that they were rational, logical and coming from the Bible,” speaks Allan.

Soon enough time came to think about the baptism. What helped to make the decision? “There are lots of reasons. For instance I like how precious the Bible is for the Adventists. My journey to God started from the Bible study and what I read, I liked a lot. Very important was for me the conviction of the Adventists. They are really trying to live by their faith. Whats the use of your principles if you don’t live by them?” asks Allan.

Last day of August was a really celebration for Tallinn church when 6 young believers made their covenant with God.

“It is interesting that I started to read the Bible right after the death of my grandmother, who was Adventist and that in spite of my prejudices towards Christians and especially Adventists I am now a member of the Adventist Church,” concludes Allan.

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Lauri Beekmann,
Estonian Conference Communication Director