FACEBOOK FUN(damentalism)! - Part 4 (Finale)

It ends with what I can only characterize as anger, though one can never be certain when dealing strictly with text.

I thought over and over about different "finale comebacks."  Yes, getting in a last dig would have felt great!  I'm sure you can think of plenty.  But I didn't.  What would be the point?  In fact, now I'm invisible to these folks on Facebook - thanks to the block list.  Not because I'm scared of posting this material to their "faces," or worried about further conflict, but because we all have to recognize boundaries, limitations and - ultimately - futility.

Now I just hope that you and I can glean something more from the conversation.

I realize that, based on my online persona (especially my e-persona) I probably come off as brash and cocky, generally ready for a fight.  The truth is, I obsessed over the interactions I've posted here in the last few days.  Silly and trite as it may seem (certainly not healthy) I had knots in my stomach over the impending responses I would receive for my comments and questions.  I didn't want to kick the hornets' next.  I wanted to convince them that they were - in fact - hornets.  I cared enough about the possibility of softening the attitudes of these acquaintances that I was willing to keep at it.  The exchange lasted about four days.  Here's how it finished, and how I left it:

*          *          *
Me:

Alfonso, to say that "a Christian does not" promote perverse doctrine is wholly false and dangerously naive. If you believe (as I assume you do) that Christians are capable of sin, then the church itself is comprised of sinful people (saved, forgiven, but sinful). Christianity is not some ethereal, esoteric concept. Christianity is manifest as the Body of Christ. Therefore Christianity is what the Followers of Christ demonstrate it to be.

Throughout this string, repeated assertions have been made to the effect that, "real Christianity wouldn't such-and-such," or that "true Christianity doesn't..." do such-and-such sin. But that simply isn't true, because real Christians DO do those things.

I have to question, again, your motives in demonizing Islam, here. What exactly do you hope to gain by it? Do you think you'll win more converts by systematically proving that Muslims are bigger pricks than Christians? That's all this conversation appears to be to the outside world. Believe me, I've seen this play out dozens of times in secular circles... What's your motivation?

Randy:
Peter. A Christian is a follower of Jesus. You are correct when you say 'Christianity is manifest as the body of Christ.' Beyond that, you could have said that there is middle ground in dealing with Satan. Islam is not Christian, but anti-Christ. Their god is Allah who is Mohammad's family familiar, the moon god. Jesus is not manifest as the moon god. Mohammad and the followers of Islam promote war against non-Muslims. They will babble 'Allah Akbar' while cutting your throat. A Christian promotes quite another thing, even while walking in the sins of this world. A church promoting suicide is not a Christian church even when Jim Jones said it was. You wrote, 'Christianity is what the Followers of Christ demonstrate it to be.' That's correct, and that's what I'm saying even if you don't understand it. Christians demonstrate the idea of eternal life with the Lord and does not find middle ground with evil. Islam promote quite another thing, an after life with their moon god, and forty virgins all because of the claim of a man.
You mentioned African Christians pouring acid down children's throats. Have you been there? I have, in more than one country. You have no idea. Christians don't pour acid down children's throats. If a man does pour acid down a child's throat, he is no Christian. I doubt if Muslims will pour acid down the throats of their children, but they will beat or slay their daughters for looking upon the face of a non-Muslim.
Muslims are taking all of Africa one nation at a time with machetes, and they are the rebels you read about. The same thing is true in S.E. Asia. Have you been there? I have. Actually, you can neglect Christianity or even Islam in these countries if you wish to study with another bias. Their problems are of a tribal nature (read the history of Monrovia). Yet, you can't neglect Islam in those places very long, because Islam thrives in tribal countries.

Another thing about compromising with anyone that wishes to remove Gods gifts of Liberty. They don't think like you do, they don't value things the way you do. I think you are well meaning, but are naive about many things concerning people of this world. If you compromise with evil, before you know it, you will have become, in part, evil. Which of their fruits, even Islam, would you choose to adopt?

This is far more than I have intended to deal with your idea of compromise. So, I'll leave you to your own devices and say goodbye.

*          *          *

I never DID get "Randy" or anyone else involved in this exchange to articulate WHY they felt the need to convince anyone of the evils of Islam.  As I've said, I have plenty of guesses, and I'd imagine, most of them are right (after all, I grew up a fundamentalist) but it's telling (and terribly problematic) when fundamentalists won't ADMIT their motives.

A little later today I'll be posting a video of some cute, furry, animated animals rehashing some of this conversation for your enjoyment.  


6 comments:

Luke said...

wow... yeah.. ummm... no further questions your honor.

good job in walking away, sometimes that's the best thing. esp. with " Beyond that, you could have said that there is middle ground in dealing with Satan." cause that misses the whole way Jesus BEAT Satan if one were to go with a sacrificial atonement model (which i find repulsive BTW). odds are this dude has this very model and yet goes against it here in that comment. gotta get the atonement straight, and that will help in figuring out how we deal with evil. Jesus effectively LOSES and then resurrects and forgives and carries on. his sacrifice is the same one we're called to make. only then can the "rules of this world" be truly defeated and we will "see Satan falling like lighting."

but that's only if you have Satan in your metaphysic, i don't. i don't think you do. this guy does, but only when it's convenient.

the irony here is he sounds more like a fundamentalist Wahabist with this "God is on our side, you serve Satan, my book is God's true word!" that he does anything else. go figure.

Mike said...

Peter ~ Thanks for sharing the exchange. From the very start, I never expected that you would receive any explanation as to why. I find this to be a common thread in people who claim to be Christian.

"I'm right and there's no reason for me to listen to you"

It is this very closed mindedness IMO, that has caused this rift between Christians and non-Christians; or for that matter, other Christians which is an entirely new rant.

I know one thing to be absolutely true. One of these days, we are all going to find out exactly how much we didn't know.

Tobias said...

Hey, as much as I dislike some of Randy's arguments and feel like he just repeats the same thing over, I didn't feel so much anger there. At least not towards you. Yes, he thinks you're seriously misguided. But he also thinks you're well-meaning. I feel he could have attacked you much more personally. Hm... maybe I'm just too used to online arguments like that already. I expected worse... ;)

Tobias said...

I find it interesting, though, that he complains that Allah is a tribal god who promotes war against non-Muslims but doesn't have the same problem with YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who promoted war against, for example, the Canaanites. I have problems bringing this into sync with the spirit of Christ in both cases...

Peter said...

Tobias, thanks for the perspective on 'Randy.' You may be right - it's good to get a second opinion. I know my gut causes plenty of tunnel vision and perspective can leave too soon.

I definitely agree with your second comment, re:YHWH.

Tobias said...

Sure. I mean, I don't know him so I might be totally off. I sure feel that his generalization of Muslims is totally off the mark and I totally agree with you about caring about the plank in our own eye. However, something to think about for you: We are so used to arguing and discoursing. You also led the conversation with him by trying to convince him that his point is wrong. I read a quote by Edward DeBono a while ago where he said that it is much harder but also much more productive to try to find the good in the thoughts of the other and encourage it. For example while you (rightly) disagree that Christians are not capable of atrocities you could have partly agreed with him by restating his comment. You could have said that you also believe that all these atrocities are completely against the spirit of Jesus and therefore against what a true Christ-follower should do. You could then have suggested that being a Christ-follower is not the same as being part of a religious group. Maybe in time (with much patience) somebody like Randy would begin to see the world not in terms of Christians or non-Christians but in terms of his neighbours in whom Jesus hides and who he's called to care about and see Jesus in, no matter their religion.

I'm not very good at this either, but I think it's quite important. I feel we should try to acknoledge the good thoughts in each other more often then we attack the bad.

Having said this I can totally understand your frustration in this conversation and I'm not sure if I would have reacted differently.

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