OOZING for answers... Ducking the sadists...

I can't deny it: www.theOOZE.com is the most user-friendly and enjoyable online discussion portals I've ever used. It also helps that the thousands of site users and visitors are interested in many of the same subjects I am.

On the other hand, I've also found that (naturally) the same personality types inhabit theOOZE as I find in local churches and Christian circles I frequent...

Lately I've been working on a chapter for my book entitled "Missional Sadism," or something like that. Maybe I'll call it, "Sadistic Witness." Either way, it's about people who literally derive pleasure from watching people squirm and shrink by asserting theological, intellectual or spiritual dominance through religious discussion or evangelism efforts. Sometimes, it's even physical dominance - only masquerading as religious, spiritual or moral.

There are lots of different kinds of sadists: typically we (ok, I) think of sexual sadists when the word comes up, but the kind of Christianized bullying I'm speaking of is subtler - harder to identify and harder, still, to convict. Many of us have been victims of sadism-as-witness. Maybe someone danced over you with theological terminology you didn't recognize and thus couldn't counter. Perhaps they spoke so fast (and so fluently) that you simply couldn't process the arguments (or indictments) coming at you. Maybe they were playing on deep-seated insecurities in your own life (moral struggles, temptations, embarrassing past experiences, chronic fears, guilt, etc...) that left you feeling small, weak and defeated.

No matter what the method or supposed justification, know this: the Kingdom of God does not breed disciples who feed on suffering. The Gospel does not tolerate arrogance, spite, manipulation or tyranny (even on a small scale).

The next time another Christian gets in your face to tell you how wrong you are, how immoral you are, or how right they are - if it makes you feel small, ashamed or silly) - tell them:

"Hey asshole! I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and there's no room for your words in the beatitudes of Jesus Christ. Now go steal some kids lunch money and let me seek, first, the Kingdom of God."

...Well, something like that.

read more about my thoughts on Christianity in the real world at www.essenceproject.blogspot.com...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man, you are so negative!

2Pete said...

Heh, heh.

No, just a little masochistic ;)

Shae said...

Good word. :)

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