Saturday, June 23, 2012

In which I get hit by a bus and damnation

I had an interesting Thursday.

First, I get hit by a bus.  Not the famous Christian Hypothetical Bus, an actual bus.  Lucky for me I happened to be inside a bus myself at the time so I'm totally fine.  Word to the wise, if you really have to be hit by a bus I strongly recommend being in a bus yourself!  Aside from some slight whiplash that may or may not be entirely psychosomatic, I walked away without a scratch!

Then I get home and I get hit by a metaphorical bus in the form of my first ever blog related hate-mail.  Except it wasn't really "mail" in that it was a comment on my previous post and I'm also not sure if "hate" is the appropriate term since despite calling me the son of Satan and implying I should kill myself, I didn't really feel like it was that hateful.  So forgive the poor terminology but I had to call it something.

Now I have had people disagree with me in the comments before but this was a first for me.  At first I was a little stunned, then I was a little hurt - which I know is ridiculous because this is a total stranger from the internet and I really shouldn't care what they think of me but nevertheless, it wasn't pleasant to hear - but that passed eventually.  Now clearly Rebecca didn't come here looking for an argument, she took the time to read my blog, disagreed with its content (rather vehemently) and then composed a rather long comment to me explaining why.  That is all good, this is an open forum and I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with me.  Also, this is actually a great opportunity for me to think about and clarify my own beliefs, so thank you Rebecca.  I know you weren't asking for a response but I'm going to give it anyway and I'm doing it here rather than in the comments, not to be a dick, rather it's because I detest having to read long walls of text squeezed into the tiny comment strips and I suspect others may share my distaste. 

Ok, after reading through your blog I think you are doing what your father the devil tells you to do. You are turning everything upside down, you call evil good and good evil (like calling satanic Lady Gaga holy and a Nazarite), you paint a very unbalanced view on purpose, for example concerning modesty. 

I like how this starts by you casting yourself in the role of Jesus with me playing the role of the pharisee.  Obviously we aren't going to agree on much here.  I agree with you that there is an evil side and a good side here.  On the one side you have the Church, on the other side you have a pop star.  The one side is causing a lot of pain and shame and suicide in the GLBT community, the other side helps prevent such suicides by offering unconditional love, kindness and acceptance.  One of those sides is very good and the other side is really evil.  One of those sides can even be called "satanic".  I just don't think its Lady Gaga's side.

I have never heard a teaching about modesty that does not place responsibility on both sexes, but you chose to compare Christians to radical Muslims. Since you can express yourself very well I don't think this happens because you are stupid. I am sure you are intelligent. You are deceiving on purpose and at the same time you are being terribly deceived. The devil has obviously blinded your eyes. So sad.

The reason my view of Modesty seems unbalanced is because it is.  It may very well place responsibility on both sexes but the responsibility is overwhelmingly placed on the women.  In all my years in the church I have lost count of the many admonishments for the ladies not to "cause their brothers to stumble" but not once have I ever heart the same admonishment given to men.  Whether it is said or merely implied, the message is always there - men have trouble controlling themselves therefore women must carry the additional burden of being responsible for a man's lack of self control.  Men being a temptation to women is rarely if ever even discussed.  Have you ever heard words like "cheap", "trashy" or "easy" being used to describe men and how they look?  I certainly haven't!  Those are words you use to describe things, not people and yet somehow it's OK to use it to describe women.  While I appreciate you complimenting my intelligence and writing clarity, I obviously didn't express myself that well if you walked away with the idea that I'm comparing Christians to radical Muslims!  What I did do was point out how expecting women to bear the responsibility for not being "stumbling blocks" just leads to an endless shifting of the goal posts.  No matter how conservatively they dress, no matter how much they cover up, men will just find new "stumbling blocks".  You are clearly intelligent and not just some troll so I have to wonder how you missed that.  Maybe I'm not the one being blinded here...

I don't think you were ever a true Christian who believed with all his heart. You hate Gods word and you did not have the Holy Spirit to open it up for you this is why you don't understand it. You were never born again. Because born again people are sealed and persevere to the end.

I disagree but obviously you are never going to believe me.  I get it though.  The scaffolding that holds your worldview together cannot accommodate the possibility of someone moving from true believer to honest doubter.  I've been there.  Those truths are supposed to be self evident and anyone who looks at it is supposed to believe more, not less.  You have the blessed assurance, you know that you know that you know that you know that this is all true.  Therefore people like me must have just never really gotten it.  Not true but you're never going to believe me so just believe what you need to in order to function.

You could be striving to understand Gods Word correctly, like I did, and yes, it is a journey through a thick jungle of heresies and plain stupidity, it takes a lot of study and effort, but instead you are mocking Christians. 

You have no idea how much study and effort I put into that.  I just ended up at a different destination than you. I do think the very existence of that "thick jungle of heresies and plain stupidity" raises a lot of interesting questions though.

Where is the love you like to talk about so much? I don't see any love, kindness, forgiveness or humility from you. So perhaps you are not in the position to judge Christians for not being loving enough.
You may very well be right here.  I mean I try not to be a total asshole but I could very well be failing miserably at that without even realizing it.  My main beef with Christians is not their lack of love (though that pretty much falsifies the entire faith according to its Founder), I mainly take issue with them when they are cruel, dishonest and/or just plain wrong.  There is a difference.

Are Christians not loving enough? For sure. But we are not going to heaven because we are good, we are going to heaven because Jesus was good and we lean on His victory over sin and death. Frankly, I don't expect anything from my christian sisters and brothers, all my expectations are fixed on Jesus. Have I been treated unjust in the church? Oh yes. But that does not stop me from loving the church that Jesus has died for, how imperfect it may be. It is the only church we have. These are the children of God with whom I will spend eternity. And in the meantime we are commanded "to bear with one another". (Col 3, 13). Not an easy job, pretty exhausting sometimes. But we are to die to ourselves. We are to become LESS! Not expressing ourselves to the maximum like Lady Gaga. That is why your comparison totally stinks. Lady Gaga dies for nobody else. She does not try to cut parts of her selfish ego back to serve another human being. She serves only herself and mammon and satan. And she does not glorify the Creator!
OK first off, I said Lady Gaga is the last true Nazirite, at no point did I say she's the Messiah.  So apart from that last screed about Lady Gaga I don't quite get, you do raise some interesting matters.  Clearly you are not blind to just how bad things can get inside the church.  Does it ever bother you that the people inside and outside the church are basically indistinguishable despite the life altering power promised by the salvation experience?  Does it seem at all odd to you that an infinite and almighty creator God would create people to be unique and distinct persons and then expect them to empty themselves of all He created them to be so they can all be identical empty vessels for Him?  Sorry, that is probably a really long discussion and I know you're not looking for a debate here.  It just illustrates our differences I guess, that you can hold such strange contradictions in your mind and believe them both while I cannot.

It is one thing to call out heresy and to ask heretics like Benny Hinn to repentance, it is an entire different thing to mock all of Christianity.

In the midst of the congregation you have been like Judas has been in the group of Jesus desciples. A traitor. But we all know how Judas life ended

I would very much like to thank you for the sincerity of your comments.  You accept that we disagree and you didn't try to persuade me to change and I'm taking that as a sign of respect, whether you meant it to be or not.  I especially appreciate you not signing off with something condescending like "I'm praying for you".  Thank you for that.  However I can assure you that I am in the midst of no congregations and I haven't been for quite some time.  I labour under no illusions that I'm winning hearts and changing minds here.  This is just my tiny corner of the internet where I try to make sense of things.  So rest easy, I'm not leading anyone astray.  That's why - if it's all the same to you - I'm going to go ahead and NOT hang myself (or fall to my death, depending on which version of his death you are referring to).  Thanks!


GumbyTheCat said...

Hate mail? You call that hate mail, sonny? Why, back in my day, Christians have wished me to burn in the gasoline section of hell. They've told me they hope they can be there at my Final Judgment sso they can see me pushed into the pit. They've told me they hope I die in a fiery car crash, and they've told me that they want my head to be split open by a train. Now THAT'S hate mail! You youngsters, so soft and squishy. Now get off my lawn! *shakes cane*

Well, at least you got a "you were never a true Christian", and you did get a "you hate God's word". I guess you get partial credit for that.

I like how she calls the Bible "God's Word" but also calls it "a journey through a thick jungle of heresies and plain stupidity". Ooops.

Oh, and glad that bus didn't hurt!

Eugene said...

Well it's no wonder! I only hang out here on my blog - a place known for its civilized discourse. You on the other hand hangout in that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Topix! OBVIOUSLY you're going to get the most flaming poo filled hate mail!

Mary said...

Hey Eugene-

I was just listening to Dongtini and came over to check out your blog. Invisible people are mean and I really hope the internet is just showing the worst of their "Secret selves" and that Rebecca in the flesh would never suggest you or anyone else kill yourself. I am impressed that you responded kindly instead of just telling her to fuck off.

Since I left the church, it has been difficult to know how to handle such criticism. I have to think people mean well, are disillusioned and ignorant to how much harm they can cause. I have had a few circumstances of people telling me I'm probably going to hell. My best response has been that I don't believe in hell, so I'm sure things will be fine. It seems to be especially un-nerving in person since I smile when I say it:)

Take Care and keep on keeping on.

Eugene said...

Thank you Mary, I appreciate the comment! And good luck, sounds like you need it!