A Gentle Rebukegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
I pretty much steared clear of the contriversies at CS and I avoided reading most of the threads that contained subjects that people are passionately opinionated about. Those were the threads that polarized the CS community. Population control, eugenics, euthenasia, these are subjects that show the ugliness in people on both sides of the opinion. These also served to make us all too familiar with our neighbors. We realized, if they lived next door, we would have nothing to do with them.
My gentle rebuke is to Christians who first started the exodus from CS after the first wave of familiarity. When you left, you gave that ground to the enemy and left the rest of us Christians in the minority. No need to wonder why the battle was lost, the Army of God deserted the battlefield for the peace and safety of their own exclusive forum.
None of us has the right to not be offended, Christian or Pagan, but as Christians we do have the responsiblilty to hold our ground and our beliefs spiritually and intellectually. If we want to think we are strong Christians, then we need to BE stong Christians whenever and wherever we are confronted by the enemy.
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 22, 2001
I had to read your post three or four times and I'm still not sure if I understand you correctly. Do you really believe that anyone who does not share your religious beliefs to be the "enemy"? That's a pretty harsh statement, isn't it? That's not how I interpert the Scriptures. You don't even know me and yet if I don't have the same beliefs as you then I am your enemy? And by the way, this doesn't offend me, it just baffles me. If I have misconstrued your statement I'll apologize in advance. If fact, I HOPE I have misconstrued your post.
Thanks for reading.
-- Dianne in Mass (email@example.com), June 22, 2001.
Diane, people are not my enemies. No where have I ever considered a person my enemy.
" For we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darknes of this age, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 22, 2001.
I guess I hadn't really perceived my prescence there as a ministry or conversion effort. I was there to visit, learn and share what I knew. I have always felt that the most meaningful way of teaching anybody anything is by example (which sometimes I'm not real good at). It holds us to a higher standard. Of course, I never really left. But still, the idea that Christians could swing the influence by their mere prescence is a new idea to me. I mean, it would seem to me that if the Almighty were on the side of the Christians in this effort, then two would be enough( where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them).
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 22, 2001.
I understand well what you are saying, Laura. However, on one point I disagree. I have many, many friends who are not Christians...some of them are even PROUD of being Democrats of all things...and I have never removed myself from their company. I think those topics are very volatile, and yet very worthwhile when discussed and not fought about. I like a good debate as it tends to make me think about things from a perspective that I normally wouldn't even consider. the biggest problem seems to arise when you pit natural man against spiritual man....it gets tough to relate.
Ya know, before I accepted Christ I would have argued the exact same position as John Leake....weird, huh?
At any rate, I believe that there is a time to pull back when you are clearly shown that you are not welcome as who you are in a place. Cside became that kind of a place. It is a spiritual battle, and it is being fought everywhere every day. God bless...and Laura, thanks for the rebuke.....I will digest it some more.
-- Doreen (email@example.com), June 22, 2001.
Yes, Doreen, those topics should be discussed because we need to understand that worldview before we can ever make an impact with those who adhere to it. CS was hit hard and heavy with these contriversial subject for several weeks. Wounds and feelings never got a chance to heal between rounds.
Some of my favorite discussions have been with Doreen and John Leake and many others with differing points of view. They were educational and intellectually stimulating.
Rebbekah, as Christians, we have an effect on people no matter where we are, as long as our feet and our mouths match the Word of God. I've seen this phenomena played out many times in real life, where just the presence of Christians has a positive influence against sin. When I first found CS forum 20 months ago, it was predominantly occupied by Christians of one stripe or another, now it has descended to the pit for blasphemers.
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 22, 2001.
Luke 9:5 "If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them". Jesus' words. Matthew 7:6b "do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Again, Jesus' words, and I don't think he was really talking about swine. After the first volley of anti-Christian rhetoric a few months ago, some left, most stayed. Then, the policy statement from Dave, a few more left. Most still stayed. After this week, I don't think we have many cheeks to turn. Most left. What are you supposed to do when you cannot proclaim your faith, even in the most modest way, without being censured? I answered Hoot's post that yes, I was a Christian. It, along with others, was deleted. What good is it to stay at a place where you can't defend, proclaim, or even mention your faith without being attacked or deleted? I don't see this as a battle. I simply see it as someplace that I don't need to be, like bars or casinos. Maybe some are led by the Holy Spirit to continue, as some are led to picket porn shops or abortion clinics. I choose to go where I can do more good, encouraging fellow Christians.
-- melina b. (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 22, 2001.
aren't the "blasphemers" also the "others with differing points of view"? I am not Christian but have many good friends who are devout Christians. I also have a friend that is Mormon, a few how are Buddhist and a few New Agers thrown in there. I listen to what everyone has to say, regardless of whether or not I agree, because I believe there are some kernals of truth in everything. And also just like you, Doreen, I love a good debate. I find it extremely mentally exhilarating. Healthy debate actually tests yours beliefs. I also know a lot of Christians who do not like to debate with anyone who doesn't have at least some beliefs in common with them.
-- LIsa (email@example.com), June 22, 2001.
I'm gonna stick my neck out here and presume to speak for some other people who I'm pretty certain will agree with me as well as myself.
Despite what you may think to the contrary the issue has NEVER been one of "heathen, pagan, Godless" against the "Christians". The opposition has been against the inappropriate prosthelytizing.
What it has been about is the insistance of the "Christians" to shout down dissenting voices, even those of other Christians who are not into the evangelical movement. It stifled discussion and drove people away. Merely because it "seemed" as tho you were in a majority does not give you the "right" to force feed your version of religion or spirituality on anyone else and again that is the way it seemed.
I've read mention of something like the "pagans can say anything they want and don't get deleted but us poor Christians are censored." My first impulse is to say BOO HOO, but instead I'll say only that what goes around, comes around. That is exactly how many others who may or may not call themselves Christian. And while I'm on the subject do a search at CS. I recall only ONE specifically pagan thread and discussion and NUMEROUS threads about Christianity and several lively discussions.
Is this the kinda world you wanna create? When your "religion" seperates one group of good people from another? Believe it or not the rest of us who don't share your take on spiritual matters have good relationships with our creator too and we do have the same creator don't we?
I posted the following on BTS and its true here also.
We don't feel compelled or commanded to preach that our way is the only way and some of "them" do. I think most of us here at BTS are content to assume responsibility for our own souls and tend to our own souls in the way that best suits our nature and makes sense to us, to find peace, contentment, love and satisfaction from life while at the same time "helping" and giving back to life by the choices we consciously make. That comes in different ways for different people (viva la difference!) but the common thread that SHOULD unite us all, regardless of "faith", is our common human experience and mutual compassion and respect.
That shouldn't be taken to mean that those of us who call ourselves something other than Christian are without a moral compass tho or that we lack spiritual ideals that we aspire to.
We don't need "saving" because we've enlisted the aid of THE higher power who dwells within us ALL as WE individually relate to it. I personally call that the Christos and other people call the same thing by a different name. That spirit is universal and it goes by many different names.
The people who need saving Hoot, if you're listening, are the ones without a moral compass, without a "Higher purpose", without Love and compassion in their heart and life, and not necessarily those who are a different kind of Christian than you or even a "different" kind of person than you. For you to think otherwise is presumptous and arrogant IMO.
Like it or not we are ALL subject to how we, individually, determine the ultimate meaning of this or that bible verse or whatever. Even if the bible is inerrant,(and I'm not personally suggesting it is) is that any guarantee OUR interpretation of it is also? I think not!---- and that fact alone should give anyone pause, and create in us at least a germ of humility when facing something or someone who believes differently than us.
No intellectually honest and sincere person could say that is not so without claiming inerrancy for themselves in the same breath. Yet thats is how "they" come across to me sometimes.
To do otherwise seems arrogant and presumptous to me. I don't doubt the sincerity of many "born agains" but I think their efforts are misguided. Help and wittness to those who ask you to or those without the moral compass, or higher purpose mentioned earlier and if you must judge, then judge by the works. Are we kind, constructive, well meaning, compassionate etc? If so then consider you're among friends that its not necessary to preach to or at.
"They" sadly will see this as Christian bashing however and some will whine "persecution" when its just good sense to me.
-- john (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 23, 2001.
A gentle rebuke and accompanying statements are for my Christian brothers and sisters who I met at CS forum. It is for those with the spiritual maturity to understand. For the younger Christians, please try to understand.
For the non-Christians, I don't expect you to understand nor do I feel compelled to defend my words or my Lord's teachings on this thread. Neither do I care what your opinion may be on what I say to my fellow Christians.
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 23, 2001.
Melina, I agree what started as minor emigration has turned into massive hemmorage. Just by my presence here tell you that I also left. After deleting Hoot's post, I won't be going back, either.
I guess what I am offering is a post-op debriefing. What did we learn, if anything, from this cyber experiment?
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 23, 2001.
I learned that I have a lot to learn....even more than I thought originally. That's about the best paraphrase I can come up with without rehashing a lot of stuff I have already said.
I am thinking that there is also a tremendous amount more than meets the eye in the scripture regarding "faith comes by hearing and HEARING by the Word of God" (y'all know what I mean) ....I wonder if this medium can actually be an effective medium to the world..?..I have the hope that seeds were planted and minds brought to at least consider the impact of eternity. I am sure that His Word will not return void, yet I know that I wasn't always a good example for Him and I feel shame about that. And I did learn to take a cyber beating:). I'm sure that the trials of a real life beating like that will contain a whole other set of learning opportunities.
-- Doreen (email@example.com), June 25, 2001.