Updated: Jan 19
One of my students emailed me after class one day and thanked me for sharing the information. And she said, "I will be praying for you. I can't imagine Satan not attacking you for the interest you are stirring in our hearts for God's Word." At the time (a couple years ago before this website) I didn't feel under attack. Recently I do.
I knew at some point some people who don't share what I believe would blast away. I jokingly refer to them as the 'crazies." Not that they really are, but they are crazy mean in relaying their beliefs. All I want to do with this website and social media is share what I have learned over the years and to encourage people in their spiritual journey. I want to encourage them to read the Bible. But I was resistant to start it and continue it because: 1.) The technology of learning how to do this was a bit overwhelming for me. (I pretty much have it figured out now although there are still some glitches that some day, when I have time, I will figure out how to fix.) 2.) I knew doing this website would put me in a position as a role model. To be honest I don't really want to be a role model. Anyone who knows me knows God still has a lot of work to do on me. But please recognize He has done a good amount already! 3.) I knew the crazies would come. I don't like confrontation. I don't like to argue with people. I don't like the meanness. And well, I am sort of sensitive and my feelings get hurt pretty easily.
Today people think they can say anything they want over the anonymity of the internet. A vomit of mean and hateful words come out of their mouths while they comfortably sit at home behind their keypads. I want to scream, "Would you speak to your mother the way you are speaking to me?!" Sadly, they probably would.
I have recently had a few interactions on social media with some Jehovah's Witnesses and some atheists. On my social media I share Christian quotes, Scripture pictures, Christian songs, and my blog posts.
As best I can tell these people come on a Christian social media forum and blast away. They aren't targeting just me, they are targeting all Christians. Saying we are idiots and posting memes and graphs and quotes targeting our beliefs. Many people interact with them. I usually ignore them. But when they comment on something I share and start blasting away, I have responded and on a couple other occasions.
About a week ago an atheist posted (now remember this is a Christian forum) about how when google said the flood happened and how that was proof it never happened because it was after the pyramids were built. I was curious about the dates he mentioned and I looked it up. I responded why google believes those were the dates of the flood (from two ancient epics discovered and a tablet in Syria) and that is not a mountain of evidence to conclude when the flood happened. Oh my, did he go off on what an idiot I am because I believe the flood happened. I tried to be nice, but after much back and forth, I responded to the the atheist "God tells us to love others, to serve them, to respect authority, to encourage others, to trust Him. Why is that a bad thing to believe? You may think it is a lie. If it is, where is the harm to you?" He replied, "Where's the harm??? When the people who believe in this nonsense want it taught in schools as science, that harms us. When they want to legislate their beliefs into law, that harms us. When they want to impose their brand of morality on the rest of us, that harms us. When they deny science, that harms us..."
I typed, "Are you equally mean and angry with Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus?" And his reply was, "No... not with Buddhists, but Muslims most definitely. As for being respectful, what makes you think your crazy beliefs deserve any respect???" This is from a guy who on his profile has "Religion - Together We Can Find the Cure."
Someone posted a meme about something Charles Spurgeon said. It caught my attention because I highly respect what I've read of his and his theology. But this statement was off the wall. So I asked the person what her source was. It was one of Spurgeon's sermons. I printed the 8 pages off and read it. After I read it I commented that the universal church holds to the idea that Jesus is God. And this woman said, "The "universal church" is the APOSTATE church that Jesus and his apostles foretold would develop after the death of the apostles. And develop it did, with its lying doctrines of eternal hellfire torment, immortality of the soul, God being triune instead of the One God of Judaism, etc. All these beliefs are unscriptural." I responded, "Wow" which must have pissed her off because she proceeded to say I was desecrating the Word of God, "twisting Him into a three-headed Cerberus, making our God of Love into a cruel God who would TORTURE his children." I didn't reply to that or the rest of her comments blasting my theology. I wanted to mention the Gnostics, but figured that would set another round off.
This woman is a Jehovah Witness. You may not know what Jehovah's Witnesses believe so here is quick rundown. They are a cult. They do not believe Jesus is God. Nor do they believe the Spirit is God. They do not believe in the Trinity. They only read from their version of the Bible and consider all other versions to be heresy. They do not believe in hell. They believe salvation in heaven is limited to 144,000. They will come to your door and try to talk to you and give you their pamphlets - Watchtower. They know their Scripture pretty well although they twist it to their doctrine. So be wary. They believe their theology is correct and the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists,.. all have it wrong. They think we are the "apostate church." They don't want to convert you to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. They want to convert you to their beliefs which are quite different from the universal Christian church.
I remember years ago my pastor did a sermon on Jehovah's Witnesses. His recommendation was not to engage them. Don't answer the door. Throw their Watchtower pamphlets in the garbage.
I shared on this Christian forum the following Scripture picture:
Someone commented, "Is this about allah God of all?" I wasn't really sure what the guy was asking. So I briefly explained there are various Hebrew names for God including these two - YHWH (Jehovah from Latin, LORD, Yahweh) in this verse and the Hebrew word in the original language manuscripts Elohim (Elohiym) which is plural. Christians understand it to mean the Trinity - Father, Son, and Spirit. This set off a Jehovah's Witness (a different woman than I was talking about above) saying I was wrong. (She said the plural only meant reverence for God.) When I gave her some of my sources - various study Bibles (all of which had scholars with degrees in the Old Testament and/or the Hebrew language), commentaries, various Bible studies, and even the past president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary who had told me this was sound theological reasoning - and then I asked her (in a snarky tone), "Where did you get your PhD from? And where did you do your studies in Hebrew?" (I know, not very nice.) Her response was, "Maybe he believes that, and wants others to believe that, but it's actually not true." Like I would believe her (unknown credentials) rather than him with his PhD (and running a renowned seminary) and the rest of the scholars of the Hebrew language who say something different than she does. She replied, "Just because someone has accolades of this ungodly world, doesn't mean that they understand things correctly." She then said I should pray and do my own research to make an informed decision. Oh my folks! I think this comment from her says a lot. I do research from reputable Christian sources!
This morning I shared this quote by Claude Bernard, nineteenth-century French physiologist: "It is what we think we know already that prevents us from learning." Within 4 hours I had 27 comments - all of which were between an atheist and a Jehovah's Witness arguing with each other over science versus the Bible. I did not respond.
I have finally realized it is best to not engage them. And I can block them on this Christian forum where they will not be able to comment on anything I post. And I may quit sharing my quotes and Scripture pictures on that forum.
The whole experience has me wondering.
First I wonder, don't these people have a job and a life? They seem to have all the time in the world to come on this Christian forum and ridicule everyone.
Second I wonder, why? What is their motive? Do they think they will in some way influence us, change our beliefs? Fine if they don't what to believe what Christians believe. But why the attack on Christians?
Third, why is it alright in society today to be so unkind to each other? Why has that gotten to be the norm? You don't agree with what I believe in, so you feel it is your right to call me ignorant, uninformed, and stupid? There seems to be a whole lot of intolerance in a society that is always preaching on tolerance for others.
It makes me so sad the depths we have fallen in being respectful of others and their beliefs.
Believers are under attack. I suppose we always have been. But it seems so much more out there now. So much more visible. Perhaps because of social media.
The words of these unkind angry people don't make me doubt what I believe. I am very sure of my beliefs. But it does discourage me sometimes. It brings me down. It feels heavy sometimes. I have my moments when I want to shut this whole thing down. Just a couple nights ago I was telling God I am just so tired. Worn out. Would it be OK if I take a little break? Spiritual warfare isn't fun.
And I was reminded Oh sweet child, you know how to battle it though.
Yes I do God.
Put on Your full armor and fix my eyes on You.