On Dealing With Apostates Like Us: An Update

Sometimes I update entries in the archives. I did so recently on the offensive riposete used by many Christians in dealing with apostates like us. Link.

10 comments:

Joe E. Holman said...

That was a phenomenal post, not only in content, but in subject matter. I concur...

"I maintain that the side a Christian takes with regard to how to treat false teachers is more likely to be based upon his or her own personality type. Hateful, self-righteous, know-it-all, competitive, arrogant and angry people will simply have the strong tendency to interpret the Bible the way they do."

Couldn't be truer. While many hate-mongering bigots are made so by religion, a certain personality type is needed to help it really "take off." A divisive, arrogant chipmunk of a man before indoctrination can be far worse afterwards, as the disposition compliments the received dogma, resulting in an even more pronounced form of hatred than would otherwise have been possible.

(JH)

Carbon Based said...

I'll agree with both Joe and John, I believe it just gives them "permission" to hate others not like themselves. The most closed minded, small minded and prejudiced people I've ever met were "good up-standing christians."
I've never understood that.

Steven Bently said...

Most Christians either do not want to or refuse to see their self-righteous arrogance.

When people are put up in front of the other believers and are baptised, they have made a an oral commitment and oath to their unwavering faith, by undue influence, this is their bond, they now wear their full armor of god.

Now no amount of reasoning, or logic can easily penetrate this mental shield.

This is the "free gift" offered to them when they dip their bread into Jesus' blood, they are granted their license, they presume they are walking in the mist of their lord, they are having a relationship with their lord, they are walking on holy ground with their god.

This is because of what they have been told by another self-righteous hypocrite, in their mental-disease spreading, death worshipping cult.

Brother Crow said...

I am not sure it is an issue of hate, but fear. For 25 years, as a pastor,
I saw a common issue in believers...the fear, deep inside, that their belief system was flawed, or downright wrong. Why? Because they all experienced daily the rebuttal of real life...ie, prayers not answered, promises that seem clear in the Bible not kept by "God", biblical inconsistencies (that yes, could be argued away, but were still there nonetheless), and the reality of their own mortality/weakness/"sin"...whatever.
I never, never met someone whose faith was so certain that they did not experience some level of doubt, and therefore fear. (I take that back - one arrogant prick who was so certain of his faith because he was so certain of his ownself, a self-worshipping CEO who thought God's greatest gift to the world was his own fat self). Add this to the twisted personality (you become either a religious apologist or a policeman...either way, you get to wear "the uniform" and push people around) recognized by Joe and John. ..and you get a very volatile mixture. I am very concerned with extremism, but honestly I think extremism is more the consequence of fear. Hate follows because you have to destroy that which threatens your survival and which you fear...and violence (beginning with rudeness and ending with bombs) follows hate. God, I sound like somebody from "Star Wars." Caw! Caw!

Jim Holman said...

I think the problem is that people end up trying to model the behavior that is described in the Bible. Throughout the Bible various famous persons -- prophets, apostles, God, and Jesus, are always denouncing this or that group or person because of sin, worshiping the wrong god, unbelief, wrong belief, or whatever.

I haven't actually tried this, but I think it wouldn't be possible to read any book of the Bible in which someone wasn't denounced, condemned, threatened, or otherwise "dissed."

By contrast, the number of times in the Bible where people have anything like polite and rational religious discussions could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

What happens is that all these biblical condemnations, threats, and denunciations can become a model for how the believer conducts religious discourse.

In fact, to the extent that a fundamentalist Christian engages in a rational discussion of religion, it is only because of the effect of the Enlightenment on Christianity.

There should be no surprise when a fundamentalist Christian denounces or reviles an unbeliever (or anyone else). He's just following the example of the holy people and deities of the Bible. It's a completely natural consequence of reading and believing that kind of material. Fortunately, even many fundamentalist Christians are better than their religion.

gl_carey said...

Hello,

I just recently found this web site and while doing research on atheism.

I am a Christian and would like to enter your discussion.

Would that be ok?

Thanks

Grant

John W. Loftus said...

Grant, every respectful Christian who wants to actually engage our arguments in a non-harassing non-sermonic manner is encouraged to participate.

Glad to have you here.

gl_carey said...

John,

Thank you for letting me enter your discussion. After reading the 5 comments posted related to the subject I would ask the following:

Would the readers consider the following on the posted quote from the first comment submitted by Joe?

A person who exhibits the attributes listed, ". . . Hateful, self-righteous, know-it-all, competitive, arrogant and angry . . ." is not demonstrating the teachings of Christ?

Thanks

Grant

Trou said...

"A person who exhibits the attributes listed, ". . . Hateful, self-righteous, know-it-all, competitive, arrogant and angry . . ." is not demonstrating the teachings of Christ?"

Due to the mixture of influences on the gospels the teachings of Christ range from apocalyptic to those that praise the meek and the poor. Certain passages do render Christ's teaching as hateful, violent and angry.
He said we should hate our parents.
He said that he came not for peace but with a sword.
He drove out the money changers.
Sounds like Christ could easily be portrayed as an arrogant, angry, violent sob.
Other texts have him humble, loving and ministering to the sick and the poor.
That's the portrayal most prevalent today.
So, not completely understanding your point I would have to say that a productive discourse needs to have all parties to be honest and truthful in their discussions. You can be blunt or impolite at times because this is an exchange of ideas and as such blunt words should not affect a mature debater. However, what I see as a problem is deliberate obfuscation of relevant points or ignoring of responses and claiming that no one was able to respond or things of that nature. This is the path that leads to name calling and outright lying.
If you can't respond to an argument then don't think that anger is going to substitute for a well reasoned argument.
The best advice I can give is, reserve the possibility that you could be wrong. I think Christians have a harder time with that than non-believers do. As a former Christian I have already found myself being wrong before so it would not be surprising if I was wrong again.

Trou said...

"A person who exhibits the attributes listed, ". . . Hateful, self-righteous, know-it-all, competitive, arrogant and angry . . ." is not demonstrating the teachings of Christ?"

Due to the mixture of influences on the gospels the teachings of Christ range from apocalyptic to those that praise the meek and the poor. Certain passages do render Christ's teaching as hateful, violent and angry.
He said we should hate our parents.
He said that he came not for peace but with a sword.
He drove out the money changers.
Sounds like Christ could easily be portrayed as an arrogant, angry, violent sob.
Other texts have him humble, loving and ministering to the sick and the poor.
That's the portrayal most prevalent today.
So, not completely understanding your point I would have to say that a productive discourse needs to have all parties to be honest and truthful in their discussions. You can be blunt or impolite at times because this is an exchange of ideas and as such blunt words should not affect a mature debater. However, what I see as a problem is deliberate obfuscation of relevant points or ignoring of responses and claiming that no one was able to respond or things of that nature. This is the path that leads to name calling and outright lying.
If you can't respond to an argument then don't think that anger is going to substitute for a well reasoned argument.
The best advice I can give is, reserve the possibility that you could be wrong. I think Christians have a harder time with that than non-believers do. As a former Christian I have already found myself being wrong before so it would not be surprising if I was wrong again.