I've been doing some introspection lately. The question stands out as significant. Why post in this forum? Other related questions come up as well. Am I just wasting my time posting? Is interacting in the forum healthy? Are other avenues of interaction more valuable and beneficial? These are important questions, and the answers aren't simplistic.
So here is my attempt, off the cuff, at answering the previous questions.
(1) Objectively judging the value and benefit of interacting in the forum is very difficult to do. Much of ministry to others leaves you in the dark. And much of ministry is more about your faithfulness to God rather than your perception of results. I do not endorse numbers Christianity. Certainly, one could go to the book of Acts and point to the numbers listed there. However, I could go to the gospels and point to the smallness of Jesus' impact upon 12/11 disciples. Numbers follow from the joint working of the Holy Spirit and the faithful proclamation of the gospel.
The faith chapter, Hebrews 11, points to people who believed the promise. However, the fulfillment of the promise did not happen in their lifetimes. Faith preceded the external results. Many died because of their trust in the promises of God. One could make the case that their objective results were disastrous. If "results" were just a human accomplishment in a secular sense, then I could objectively evaluate the impact of ministry. However, God is a person; He is not an impersonal tool to be wielded. He sets the times and the seasons.
These are a few reasons that come to mind in evaluating whether other avenues are more valuable or beneficial.
(2) I've received a few comments that point to others being encouraged. God forbid that I'm just here tooting my own horn. I'm just stating a fact that encourages me. It is truly encouraging when others do recognize the effort and grace that God has given you to serve others.
(3) I've lessened the amount of time posting in the forum. Being very busy has been a way of life for me. We all have priorities, and for me this forum is lower in priority than many other avenues of ministry. Time and priorities are intimately connected.
(4) Why do I like posting in the forum? Putting thoughts out there for others to digest and ponder is fun for me. I enjoy a small degree of debate, provided that it is within acceptable bounds. I don't enjoy extremely hostile interactions. However, I enjoy being tested to some degree; it depends upon the quality of the testing.
A forum is an informal way of getting thoughts organized. I've never been the best at the gift of gab. It takes me time to ponder what and how to speak. Most people who know me personally know that I'm not a chatterbox. Often in my life, conversations point me to many communication obstacles. This is especially true when a person asks you a question, and you realize that you need to give five points to adequately address the issue. However, all five points are needed at the same time, and so you don't know where to start. Writing helps with this communication impasse.
I enjoy reading the thoughts and opinions of others. Of course this takes place with the filter of scripture, languages, hermeneutics, grammar, presuppositions, etc. In short, we all ought to be evaluating all the time
(5) What is my goal for the forum? Why do I post here ultimately? Truth is certainly important. First graders understand how to speak their mind (e.g. "Susie is fat." "Johnny looks weird."). However, their truth telling lacks tact. Tact is important; it doesn't mean that we can jettison truth. However, it does mean that there are better ways of saying things or better ways of expressing disagreement. Being on the side of truth doesn't mean that rudeness and verbal brashness is acceptable. Fighting for truth doesn't need to come at the expense of mistreating others.
Encouraging the propagation of God's word in the lives of others is certainly a noble goal. Teaching takes a lot more work than many imagine. Patience is very important. I often lack in that regard.
Ultimately though, it comes down to my walk with God. God needs to be the One who I am following and obeying by interacting in the forum. God is the One who tells me what to do. My life shouldn't be ultimately governed by my own selfish aims. Paul called himself a bond-servant of Christ. Have I scrutinized my life in light of God's goals and aims for me? In short, (1) spreading a better understanding of the gospel, (2) proclaiming God's word, (3) encouraging others, (4) personally benefiting from deeper scripture study, (5) continuing to develop communication skills, etc. all serve to leave me with the conclusion that my interaction here is something that God wants me to do.
(6) My interaction in this forum has deepened and strengthened my understanding and commitment to the doctrine of the depravity of man. The radical resistance and tenacity in the face of flat scriptural contradiction and logical refutation points to the bondage of the will. I literally do not see how "free will" (in the libertarian sense) has any meaning in light of the adamant impossibility of choosing otherwise than what you believe to be true. It is a practical reality that combats an ideologically naive position. This forum, every single day, refutes libertarian freedom.
Perhaps, the most important element of one's understanding of the nature of depravity is found in the connection between depravity and the nature of faith. If you do not see depravity in scripture, then you are typically focused upon your own ability, what free will can accomplish. "Faith" then becomes an expression of your own ability; it is an action of self-reliance in keeping with the commands of scripture. In contrast, if you do see depravity in yourself and scripture, then you are much less prone toward self-trust. God's strength is more significant, and His grace overcomes human depravity. "Faith" then becomes empty-handed and a dependent focus upon the One who accomplished your salvation upon the cross. I see the divide as nothing short of a watershed issue between a false gospel and the true gospel. The very meaning of "faith" is at issue.
These are a few ramblings that I hope are helpful. God bless you all as you dive into the scriptures and depend upon His grace as you study.