Born again again, the high-tech evangelical church, has opened a 16-acre campus in Second Life, reports New Scientist. Bobby Gruenewald,’s Pastor-Innovation Leader, writes on his blog that the virtual church will feature on-demand video, free virtual t-shirts, a special “LifeKids” area for little avatars, and something called a “ glass house.” Beyond providing a gathering place for the virtual faithful, hopes to use its presence to help redeem Second Life. Writes Gruenewald: “I need to warn you that there is a huge problem on Second Life with porn and ‘virtual sex.’ It is one of several reasons we are there, but it is also something that you need to be on guard about.” To combat the licentiousness, has invited the “Porn Pastors” from to set up a mission within the campus.

The establishment of virtual churches and congregations of avatars would seem to raise some knotty theological questions, which I’m not sure the pastors have fully thought through. In creating virtual worlds, aren’t we usurping God’s role – and hence committing a heresy? Are avatars created in God’s image or our own? Can they be saved? Can they be damned? Does sin even exist in a virtual world? Is there a Second Afterlife?

3 thoughts on “Born again again

  1. Bobby Gruenewald

    I love your blog.

    Thanks for the post on our efforts in SL.

    I don’t know if you are seeking answers to your questions, but I figured I’d respond with a quick comment.

    Surprisingly, we actually did think quite a bit about what it means to have a church community in the virtual world. :) Even with the forethought we still have more questions than answers and hope to use the effort learn a LOT more.

    I hope we are able to impact people (not avatars) through our effort in SL. We have found that several people use their avatars in the metaverse as a way to seek spiritual answers that they are simply too uncomfortable to do in real life. Others simply see the environment as a more immersive social community than the facebook/myspace that they have been participating in for the last couple of years.

    Whether or not it is theologically appropriate to argue that God is present in Second Life, I certainly believe He is present in all of the places where the real life people behind each avatar live.

    Again..thanks for the post.

  2. Condo

    I’m pretty sure I saw a clip of a camel passing through the eye of a needle on YouTube this week.

Comments are closed.