Why it’s hard to be a Christian online.

For the last 3 years I’ve been writing about two distinct topics:

1. Christianity.

2. Business.

The weird thing is that I’ve found it’s a lot easier to write to a business audience. The ideas I share are received with more grace, acceptance and discussion in the business world than they are in the Christian world. That’s a strange thing to me. You would think that if someone had the corner on grace, it would be us Christians.

I think I figured out why it happens, particularly online.

When the business world disagrees with your idea, they critique your idea.

When Christians disagree with your idea, they critique your soul.

Case in point, I recently wrote a post that said I didn’t think tracts that were disguised as money were the best form of evangelism. A Christian band then went online and said, “@JonAcuff I’m sorry you think spreading God’s Word to those otherwise totally uninterested isn’t worth your time.” They tweeted a lot of other things, but that was the one that struck me.

For a faith called to live out the great commission, deeming that I have declared spreading God’s Word isn’t worth my time is a fairly weighty accusation. Had I said that in my post? No. If anything, dropping a fake money tract on the ground is an incredibly effective use of my time. That saves me all that hassle of actually having a relationship with someone and telling them about God in that context. Relationships take forever, ugh.

But when we as Christians attack each other’s souls we forever lose the ability to get better. When we can’t debate without it turning into a soul attack, we can’t grow.

I’m not saying I have the answer, and to be honest, there have been times when I’ve been the passive aggressive loser in a conversation. I’d love to say I’m great at focusing on the idea and not the individual. But I get it wrong too.

My fear is that we’re missing something pretty powerful in this type of situation. My fear is that no one in the history of mankind has ever said, “I saw two Christians on twitter attacking each other and that made me want a lifelong relationship with their Christ.”

And that should matter to us.

Question:
Have you ever been attacked by a Christian online?

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Comments

  1. says

    Been attacked both online and in real life. I think the problem is not every Christian believes we’re saved by grace. They think we’re saved by orthodoxy. So if I’m not sufficiently orthodox, I must be going to hell, and must either be dragged forcibly back to the light, or condemned to hell—and they don’t have the time to drag anyone. Like you said: Relationships take forever, ugh.

    • Kimberlee says

      “I think the problem is not every Christian believes we’re saved by grace. They think we’re saved by orthodoxy. So if I’m not sufficiently orthodox, I must be going to hell, and must either be dragged forcibly back to the light, or condemned to hell—and they don’t have the time to drag anyone. Like you said: Relationships take forever, ugh.”

      Brilliant.

  2. says

    This is so true! I’ve often said that I can disagree with you about a philosophy or opinion, but that doesn’t mean I hate you or don’t like or think you are a horrible person. Considering that unbelievers are supposed to be pointed to God by how we treat each other, this is kind of an important thing. Thanks for posting this! :) Btw, if you want to read a great book on evangelism, check out Rebecca Pippert’s Out of the Salt Shaker. She tells the story of sitting at a stop light and having this piece of paper hit her in the face. Apparently, the person in the car in the next lane, had thrown a tract at her! lol I also want to get it across to every Christian out there – if you leave a tract for the waitress, you also need to leave a good tip – the money kind! ;)

    • says

      Rebecca, I am dumbfounded by that story!!! Seriously?!!! Someone threw a tract at her?!!!!! Oh my goodness!!! I am with you, girl, I wanna “like” your comment 10x! People – in general- put a lot of conditions on what’s supposed to be conditional love!

    • Kathryn says

      “I also want to get it across to every Christian out there – if you leave a tract for the waitress, you also need to leave a good tip – the money kind! ”

      I am a waitress and I cant tell you how frustrating it is to get a tract with no monetary tip when i’m here making $2.45/hour. I am a Christian and therefore a tract does me absolutely no good. The best experience I ever had, however, was a couple guys who came in for lunch and were not only very kind and polite, even when I made a mistake, and left a generous tip (with no tract, might I add) but they also asked me if there was anything they could pray for me about. It lifted my spirits and made the rest of my shift so much better.

  3. says

    I recently wrote a post about a time my child was bullied and how I responded. I was saddened by how many people felt the freedom to attack my Christianity and my ability to parent based on a 1000 word blog post which summarized about 15 minutes of my life.

  4. says

    I have.
    I disagreed with a product. A PRODUCT. I have opinions on inanimate objects. Heck, people have opinions about MY product. But, I received quite the backlash for being a “hater”. It stung for a long time. We REALLY don’t know how to disagree. Disagreement doesn’t equal disunity. I find it much easier to converse and share debate with non-Christians. I admit that I haven’t always dealt with situations like this in a the most mature way, either. But, it’s sad we can’t share what’s on our mind without being labeled.

  5. Michael says

    Yes, I have been attacked. Sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly (usually through Jesus Jukes).

    Giving an honest critique of another Christian’s idea has gotten me attacked more than anything.

  6. says

    Well, I know one Christian “band” that I won’t be listening to or buying their product. ;)

    Seriously, those things are lame and cheesy. I can say that because before I became a Christian I would see those things and use them as a reason to not want to be a Christian. After all, if they think something like that is worthwhile, then Christians must be idiots.

    As for being attacked by Christians online…well…yeah. It happens a lot.

    Although, to be fair, there are a lot of people out there who say they’re Christians but really are anything but Christians. (I know one guy who says the Bible’s completely false but still claims to be a Christian…and never explains how if the Bible is completely false he can say Jesus is the Son of God which is in the Bible.)

    • Hannah says

      Unless I missed your sarcasm, you missed the idea of this post. Boycotting a band for attacking another Christian’s idea isn’t showing grace to the rest of the world. If I wasn’t a Christian already, I would think it was OK to retaliate with equal vehemence to an attack, but that’s not what Jesus was trying to teach us. I think sometimes we lose ourselves in our human drive to react and retaliate and we don’t stop to think about how we’re really portraying our faith. Also, just because you didn’t want to read tracts doesn’t make all Christians idiots. That’s quite a stretch. It only makes one of our ideas ineffective for you.
      That all being said, remember you’re more precious than gold to our Heavenly Father above and He and His hosts of angels rejoiced when you became a Christian. Welcome, brother.

  7. says

    This has *almost* led to me quitting blogging. Not necessarily on my own blog (although I’ve had a few), but in trying to grow in learning about blogging, social media, etc. I never knew there were camps. Never knew who you follow or RT can put you in a camp. I’m attending Storyline in a few weeks and I’ll admit that this dynamic has added a layer of anxiety for me. I’ve not been to a great number of conferences before and I guess I’m nervous that it’s going to be like real life Twitter.
    I’ve often wondered if churches aren’t teaching conflict resolution well and so we’ve got bunches of believers walking around with frustration and discouragement towards others and it just comes out in the “security” of the anonymous online world.

    • Faith says

      I think in “real life” we also tend to hang out with those we agree with. This leaves us woefully bad at knowing how to agree to disagree with someone… something I’ve been trying to get better at, and trying to teach my kids.

  8. says

    In business we deal with the temporal. In Christianity we are immersed in the eternal, so there is much more at stake. Unfortunately, bludgeoning your mark with your rightness (as opposed to righteousness) has become the tactic of choice for a segment of the church. Listening, loving and sharing truth with grace takes humility, patience and grace, which are in short supply. Keep at it Jon. You are doing a service for the church when you help us laugh at ourselves, and question some things we do in the name of Jesus.

  9. says

    It’s hard for me to ever say how I feel in general in front of the majority of church going Christians. I always feel not good enough or I should be doing something that puts God in a box. I constantly remind myself that God made me for a reason and put those dreams I’m after in my heart for a purpose on purpose. No one else has to understand or agree with me but Him. It helps but I still struggle with actually being okay to be a Christian in front of other Christians. I don’t want people to know I’m a Christian because I say I pray, go to church and attend Bible Studies; I want people to first realize something is different about me by my genuineness and authenticity. Then I can point them towards Jesus.

    • Hannah says

      Don’t be a Christian in front of other Christians, then. Be a Christian in front of God and all the rest will fall away.

    • Courtney says

      I know what you mean, because I feel the same way. I just started attending a really loving church where everyone is really open and accepting. I don’t feel good enough; not through any fault of theirs, but because I just feel like I don’t act Christian enough around these other Christians. I’m constantly having to remind myself that it’s grace, not righteousness and works, that saves me.

      I also feel God drawing my desires to something different from the status quo, and it’s difficult for me to openly express and pursue that desire around other Christians. On occasion I’ve actually been bullied into thinking that my dream must not align with God because it doesn’t fit into a certain type of box that most Christians are comfortable with. I also have to remind myself that God’s plan for my life can’t be defined by what makes other people feel comfortable. :)

  10. says

    I have a startup Christian blog and so far I really haven’t had too much trouble. The only thing was there was one theistic evolutionist that tried to go at me. I guess I also had another evolutionist and 2 atheists. The worst thing that you can do is fight though. The atheist was the one that I had the most debate on.

  11. says

    I feel you on this one Jon. I once wrote a post about loving certain marginalized people in our society.

    People told me I had lost my morals and was being “lukewarm” in my faith.

    Of course I then reminded them thatJesus love the marginalized and by their logic He was lukewarm in his faith.

    Being a Christian blogger is definitely tough, hut if you can influence just a few people for the better, it’s completely worth it.

  12. Rob Ward says

    If there’s anything we’re good at, its the straw man fallacy to make people seem like horrible people when they actually said something far different from us

  13. Steve Curran says

    Jon,
    Thanks for posting this. In my younger years I dabbled in the theater and every “No” or “You are just not right for the part” felt like a personal rejection of my existence. I have experienced the same from Christians, both online and in real life. It’s as if people feel the need to audition Christians for heaven on God’s behalf. And based on their “expert” analysis, you’re just not right for the part.

    We only see snippets of each other, especially online. Our own filters clog our vision and lead us to criticize those who are doing things. I think it’s because we worry we are not doing enough on our own. We are still auditioning and view everyone else is competition. As if salvation has a maximum occupancy.

    But the truth is, God reads your tweets and thinks they are pithy, he reads your blog and loves it, and he knows your heart, so he gets it, everytime. He doesn’t ever misunderstand or misinterpret.
    The critics just lack the vision to see what God sees.

    You are the perfect person to play the role of you.

  14. says

    Well, writing about business and Christianity are vastly different things emotionally and spiritually, so it makes sense that you’d get a more vociferous response to the latter.

    I’ve written about Christianity, but didn’t target a Christian audience. I was VICIOUSLY attacked by atheists. They were FAR more vehement in their personal accusations than any Christian I’ve ever encountered in my entire life–and I like to challenge sleepy Christian thinking. The atheists immediately insisted they knew everything I thought or believed, even if I clearly stated the opposite, and constantly attacked my character instead of responding to my point.

    I think when we write about spiritual topics, it exposes the state of peoples’ souls, good or bad. I think it’s GOOD that this happens! It shakes people awake and makes them think. Even if you received negative feedback on tract-giving, your critics will feel a check the next time they whip out a tract–they can’t toss it out thoughtlessly any more. Which is probably what made them so defensive in the first place. That means your posts and tweets are extremely effective. Good job!

  15. says

    Well said. All of a sudden, I find myself scrambling through my memory trying to double check and see if I have done that recently. Its something I have tried to change over the past 5 years or so and I think I am becoming more grace-filled, at least 51% of the time. :)
    But the jolt was good!

  16. Rosalie Tonkin says

    Oh completely! Admittedly this wasn’t online, but you should see many Christian reactions when I tell them I’m a makeup artist. The word Jezebel comes to mind.

    • Ginger says

      Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Why? I guess I’m too “secular” – I don’t see how you being a makeup artist has any bearing on your salvation.

  17. EatinPonies says

    Perhaps part of the problem is that we belong to a creed among many other creeds that all believe we are right. Maybe this unfortunately gives us a sense of judging every other thing we encounter, and we think that by essentially belonging to the same creed we should be free to slam others in our club. Maybe we take this too seriously or personally. Unfortunate. I don’t think the Bible says “Judge not, unless ye belong to the same secret society.”

    Now, while I’ve got your ear and we are in the same club: I resonate with your thoughts on littering – I mean leaving tracts on the ground to trick people. Not cool. Whew! I’m glad we’re on same team.

  18. says

    I am a borderline Christian. I REALLY WANT to be Christian, but I don’t want to be associated with Christians (especially some of the Online Versions) I have to make a point to not read comments because they cause me to renounce my Christianity. I don’t want to be part of a group that likes to tear each other apart. Thankfully there are blogs like this one that remind me that not all Christians are like that.

    • Hannah says

      Please don’t let us sinners subtract from your faith in God. We all fall short of the glory of God. If you’re in a church family, please, please sit down with someone you trust and admire and ask for prayer and guidance in your faith. If you’re not, find some teachings that really resonate with you and follow them up with the Word. Only the actions of Jesus should be your compass in your faith journey. And remember, our Heavenly Father loves you so much, and his heart aches when you turn your back, or get discouraged. Its not other Christians you should measure yourself against, but Jesus Himself.

  19. David says

    Of course, I have … and no doubt I have been perceived as doing the same thing. For example your point (that I agree with by the way) that tracts disguised as money are not the best idea was probably perceived as an attack by the people who DO think it’s a good idea, even though I’m pretty sure you did not intend it to be one.

    And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in identifying the problem. When we do something, anything, for God, it’s VERY personal. “…they critique your soul…”.

    The internet, however, is very IMPERSONAL, we don’t see the nuances of facial expressions, hear the vocal inflections etc that give “soul context” to a soul impacting remark.

    Christianity IS personal. (“I accepted Jesus as my ‘personal savior’) …

    Business is less personal. You do business with strangers all the time. So, the internet and business are a better mix.

    That is not to say that you should stop writing about Christianity, but it will hurt. And that’s OK. Conflict and contention within the faith is part of how we grow.

    I hope this has not been discouraging, but it will always be easier to write about business than Christianity … which is why you should keep writing about Christianity. Keep it up!

    • Christi says

      Well said! I also happen to agree that leaving the money tracts may be perceived by the waiter/waitress as Christianity’s version of punk’d but there are some really sincere Christians out there who believe they are doing a good thing.

      I know some of these people. They are not techie or trendy. In their day, tracts were the way to go…along with door to door evangelism and delivering fresh brownies to new visitors. Now, we are offended by tracts, don’t open our doors to strangers, and would assume the brownies were laced with drugs. Of course there are also Christian jerk posers who leave the paper money because they have a dark spot in their soul (see here I’m soul attacking but they deserve it right?)

      Point being, that generation of Christians are constantly being told they are irrelevant, old fashioned, and being made fun of. When that comes from another Christian, and in such a public way, you should expect a little scolding.

    • H says

      At this sensitive time in America culture where Christians do not love the God of the Bible and each other, well, i feel blogs to benefit business coincide with bringing more love to God

  20. Crystal says

    The world will know we are Christians by our love and ultimately decide if they want to share in the faith based on this .Those in the faith and truly care about the kingdom of God don’t attack others based on their own criteria of what living out faith should look like but base it on the
    Bible. We live out the bible differently excerpt when it comes to sin .if only we weren’t do blind as to attack our own .

  21. Jaclyn says

    These are great comments and insights! I find it interesting that the only people Jesus got mad at in the bible were the self righteous. We laugh and scoff at the Pharisees during Sunday school, but then go live like them during the week.

  22. says

    I’ve noticed this phenomenon quite a bit with my Christian colleagues (including myself) and it’s really quite unfortunate. It almost reminds me of a “Jesus Juke” in some ways. So many Christians feel the need to assert themselves as “holier than thou” and when they do, it reeks of arrogance (because I think ultimately, it is arrogant). For any human being to act like they have all the answers is just ridiculous.

    In the conversations I’ve had with my atheist friends, this kind of self-righteousness is at the core of so many of our problems (and it gives the world a lot of reasons to bypass religion altogether). Humility goes a long way in human relationships – and the fact that so few of us have it is really a tragedy.

  23. says

    Christians are taught from a young age that we’re the “only ones”. We grow up with an “us vs. them” concept, and we begin to fear anyone who thinks differently, especially other Christians. Then, while hiding behind a screen we feel a boldness to strike out viciously. It somehow it makes us feel better about the fear & doubt we really hide inside.

  24. says

    Out of balance, threatened and uneducated.
    Saved, but like kindergartners, all we know is “play nice” and say nothing, or attack.
    Having been in church since before I was born, I can legitimately say that I have rarely experienced leadership focus on maturity and wisdom… it’s a never ending cycle of repentance, worship and giving.
    We reproduce what we know, fail to grow.

  25. Shelton says

    I think it’s obvious that you can love Jesus and hate fake money tracts. If you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face, then don’t say it online is my motto. I have read too many stories about underpaid waitstaff who get tracts instead of tips. What if the person is already a Christian? The “tips for Jesus” movement might be a better witnessing tool for those who can afford to leave a $1000 tip. Leaving real money instead of a tract is probably a good place to start though.

    • Patrick Moore says

      Yes! Leaving a tract and no tip = Christians are cheap, ungrateful people…why would I want to be one of those people?

      Leaving a tract + a nice tip (like maybe 1.5-2 x the “normal tip”) = Christians are generous and realize I live off of these tips so they must care about me! I need to check this out.

      If the best tippers were Christians, instead of rappers, movie stars, and pro-athletes, then maybe the typical “role model” in this country would shift a little to where it should be.

  26. Patrick Moore says

    People feel so empowered to be bold, often too bold, online because not only are you not face to face with the other person but they don’t hear you voice even. Add to that the ability to sit back and think about how you want to zing the other person before having to actually type it and you get a powerfully bad combination. This part applies across all people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

    The other thing that I have personally experienced is that you can have a MUCH more civil debate with many atheists online that you can with (it seems) a large number of Christians. Let me preface the next portion with the fact that I am a Christian, so some of this is from self evaluation on how I have acted in the past myself.

    The general feeling among many atheists that I have talked to is that they don’t know the answer to why we are here, so until they get a concrete answer they will assume there really is no real “reason” until proven otherwise. The real core of atheism is that they have this need to have concrete proof for everything or it must not be true. God doesn’t align with any ruler, scale, spectrometer, etc. The key thing here is that they question things, so are willing to listen to your answers if you give them a good one. It doesn’t mean they will automatically accept your answer as correct, but they will listen. That is an important point.

    On the flip side, we as Christians are SO sure of our belief and faith (or at least are perfectly willing to act that way online even if we don’t walk it in “the real world”) that we are unwilling to even listen to any answer that doesn’t match the one in our head…even if that answer is just a slightly different understanding of the exact same faith/belief we hold ourselves. We will nit pick each other to death over the least detail, so how do you think we treat atheists. We are inflexible in our arguments, to a fault, even with each other.

    Those watching us, including atheists, are looking for a reason to believe in the same way we do…that is why they are watching. They know we have “something” that they don’t understand. When we show them “something” that includes bickering and ridicule of each other, and anyone else that doesn’t believe as we do, then we have lost them. We become so legalistic that we push away people that don’t already match our belief.

    Loving people means respecting them, even if you disagree with them. Loving people means listening to them, even if you disagree with them. Loving people means talking to them in a kind, civil manner, even if you disagree with them. Loving people means not just telling them what “Christ Like” is but showing them as well.

    Walking the walk with your fingers on keyboard should mirror the walk you do in real life, which should mirror what you profess as your belief system. I doubt any of us profess to be inflexible, rude, argumentative, nasty people…do we?

  27. Adam T says

    “If anything, dropping a fake money tract on the ground is an incredibly effective use of my time. That saves me all that hassle of actually having a relationship with someone and telling them about God in that context. Relationships take forever, ugh.”

    A while back I heard somebody say that an implication of 1 Corinthians telling us that “Love is patient, love is kind” is that also “Love is not efficient”.

  28. EJ says

    This showed up in my facebook feed from a friend. I, myself, am not Christian, but I notice the diversity of interpretation among different denominations, and even different individuals, and I’m not surprised at all at the divisiveness. The only thing I seem to find Christians agreeing on is that Christ died for your sins. Everything else seems to be cause for debate. If there was more of a focus on living Christ’s example and less on prostyletizing, criticising and condemning, the world would be far better off.

    Just the passing thoughts of a non-Christian

    • Marni says

      EJ, I love your candor! You’ve laid out, in a few honest sentences, what many church leaders will spend countless amounts of time trying to execute via sermons, programs, songs played by the praise team, etc. Thank you for sharing your perspective :-)

  29. Paula says

    “My fear is that we’re missing something pretty powerful in this type of situation. My fear is that no one in the history of mankind has ever said, “I saw two Christians on twitter attacking each other and that made me want a lifelong relationship with their Christ.””

    This makes me remember a song we used to sing in church growing up…”they will know we are Christians by our love…”

  30. says

    Jesus called all to be “Fishers of Men”.
    I know just enough about fishing to know, what you use for bait will determine what kind of fish you catch. Heaven knows there is a lot of different kinds out there. The real question is how are we doing with what God has given us? How many fish are we catching? Most of us has been Spiritually Wounded, Read the book “The Bait of Satan” and learn to be healed. We need to clean ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us, before we can help others.

  31. says

    I spent enough time getting attacked by Christians in real life when I worked as a pastor that I just avoid them online (and pretty much everywhere else) now.

  32. says

    I have a ministry that offers Biblical help for men who struggle with porn addiction, and one of the ways I reach out is by keeping an active presence in the r/nofap and r/pornfree subreddits on reddit. I’ve found it’s much more effective to answer questions by contacting the poster through a personal message rather than in the comments though, mainly because of the flak I get for bringing Jesus into the discussion. The most common response I get is something along the lines of “I’d be much more interested in your advice on finding freedom if you left the Jesus stuff out of it.” I get why there’s opposition, but in reality, leaving Jesus out would be like writing a dessert cookbook and leaving sugar out of each recipe.

  33. says

    My momma said, the Christian Army is the only army that turns around and shoots is wounded. We can have very sharp tongue and all all people not think about the consequences of our words.

  34. The_Other_Tom says

    Hi Jon,

    I’m going to offer you a piece of what I would consider “constructive criticism” to you:

    “You take negative comments very personally. For every negative comment, I would guess you get a much greater percentage of positive ones. A lot of people LOVE Stuff Christian’s Like and they LOVE your Tweets and Blog Posts and anything else you might write. Roll with it. You’re doing the right thing.”

  35. 22044 says

    Yes. The one person on my FB blocked list is a Christian. I thought I was doing him a favor by putting him on my blocked list, as he said I shouldn’t post comments on a blog that uses the FB online discussion tool,

  36. Jens says

    I have posted a number of things on social media supporting human rights for the LGBT community. For several years, I served in a leadership role in the Bible study at my church. After seeing several pointed articles that I posted, the other leaders called me into a meeting, where I was questioned on whether or not I “believe the Bible.” (Because I didn’t interpret the clobber passages the way they did, my reverence/respect for God’s Word was questioned. Even though they had known me – and sat in Bible study with me – for many years. I mean, I was actively participating in a Bible study! Of COURSE I had a reverence and respect for God’s Word!)

    I realized that many people in that group were afraid to say ANYTHING about the persecution of LGBT people because it might look like they were condoning the choices LGBT people were making.

    I started to become very self-conscious about what I posted, for fear the Bible study Nazis would be judging me. I don’t attend that Bible study anymore.

  37. says

    Jon wrote: “When the business world disagrees with your idea, they critique your idea. When Christians disagree with your idea, they critique your soul.”

    They do that to non-Christians too. I’ve had people on this very forum accuse me of being a bad husband, a bad father, and a bad human being, for posting ideas they disagreed with.

    • Scott says

      Michael, if folks have done that on this blog they were flat out wrong! I have read and a few times responded to your posts – not out of anger or defensiveness, but to share my thoughts and experiences – and my faith.

      I do recognize that the two of us don’t share the same faith – but I have seen and read your posts with great interest. I admire you for your willingness to get on here and share your perspective – and to make us think.

      I don’t want you to take this the wrong way….. You seem to be very intellectual and hve spent a great deal of time researching and considering many facets of life. I pray that in your searching you find Jesus Christ as your Savior. Not because you are “bad” and we Christians are “good”, because none of us measure up.

      • says

        Don’t worry, I don’t take it negatively when a Christian prays I will become a Christian. That is perfectly normal and understandable.

        What drives me crazy is when a Christian assumes I must have “issues” because I’m not a Christian. That’s insulting and irritating.

      • says

        I think part of the reason Christians are so quick to label certain opinions as proof of “issues” or “resentment” is that they have a really hard time stepping outside of their faith and viewing it as an outsider.

        Think of the feelings that come to mind when someone mentions that Hindus believe cows are sacred. You can’t help but think “seriously, sacred cows? Well that’s just silly“, right? Even if you don’t say it, you probably think it, so the only real difference between saying it and not saying it is how honest you’re willing to be.

        Now imagine that someone looks at Christianity from an outsider’s perspective, and from his perspective, all of the most treasured and sacred parts of your faith look just as silly as the idea of Hindu sacred cows does to you, while you chow down on a burger. Perhaps then you can see that refusing to take a religious teaching seriously does not necessarily indicate “issues” or “resentment”; it just means you have no particular reason to take it seriously. You don’t harbour “resentment” about Hinduism, or have “issues” with it; you just don’t have any particular reason to take it seriously. And it’s the same with an outsider and Christianity.

        • Brenda C says

          Michael,
          I’m glad to see that you are still following Jon. I agree that you make us think and would have missed your opinions.

  38. says

    Yes.

    Here’s my take:

    If other Christians AREN’T attacking you for how you choose to evangelize, you probably aren’t doing much. Maybe that isn’t always true, but I wear the attacks like a badge of honor.

    Badge of honor…feel free to insult me for having too much pride.

  39. Tim says

    That’s not been my experience. I have been attacked by more nonbelievers than believers. I frequent IMBD and if you say you are a Christian on there you are open to an attack by some Athiests. I can’t say any Christians have attacked my for anything I have posted but I’ve had to ignore several atheists members of IMDB. I’ve seen it other places as well.

    • says

      You are probably just shocked that the things you say in an open forum don’t get the usual warm reception that they get in Christian circles. On a forum where anyone can comment, then you get peoples’ unfiltered opinions, and yes, some of them will show a lot of hostility toward Christianity, particularly those who have experienced Christian hostility themselves.

      • 22044 says

        Michael,
        Tim will answer best if he wants to, but I wonder why you say that he is shocked when you have no basis for that.

        • says

          Simply refusing to take Christianity seriously often shocks Christians, as you can tell by the fact that they tend to interpret it as an “attack” upon them personally.

          For example, if someone posts a quote from the Bible and someone else responds with a line like “don’t waste my time with your ridiculous book of fairy tales”, the Christian will often report that he was “attacked”. In reality, he merely ran into someone who treats his religion the same way he would treat, say, astrology: as an irrelevant interjection based on something he views as utter nonsense.

  40. says

    Honestly, I’ve done this a lot. If not on social media, I definitely do it in my head. I think it’s because it’s hard for me to differentiate between a person and an idea when it comes to Christian blogs/ podcasts/ music. When a Christian shares an idea through media, I don’t think our default is to try and see things from their perspective.

    I’m trying to make it a habit to hear the person behind the blog post before I make assumptions.

  41. says

    Slightly different line, but the other day I had an opportunity to correct a person who was part of a larger social media conversation. (As is, Person–A communicated she was struggling, which in turn led to “Woman -B” to offer… “God made you perfect, you don’t need ever feel guilty. etc.” (Which I felt was so fundamentally wrong that it needed immediate correction!) But I felt a “check” in my spirit, then worded an alternate response to the larger situation, that did not include correcting the aberrant voice. Well, what should happen, but Woman B messaged me, saying how much she appreciated my response, and that she was just trying to comfort. etc. All I know, is if I had torn into this soul in a public forum, I might have lost my ability to speak the gospel to her from that point on.

    • says

      Very good. I don’t know if I would have had that insight, since I can get my dander up, but I am much more likely to mutter in my beard (I don’t have one) than confront the person with what I think they are saying wrong. I guess I am saying that I should say “The check, please,” when I encounter that situation.

  42. Jessica says

    Plenty of times. Isn’t that what Facebook is for?
    I recently “shared” an article on my page from the American Eagle company, Aerie, about their new campaign to stop airbrushing their models and using non-super models. Oh, I probably should have mentioned that Aerie is American Eagle’s…umm…”undergarments”…company for ladies. Well, if you know about sharing articles on FB, you know that they usually include a photo. Of course, this was a picture of a young woman in her undies, but in my mind, (compared to Victoria’s Secret) very tastefully laying on a bed. I honestly thought nothing of it. She was actually wearing the product being sold, not naked and covering herself with her hands instead of the clothing. I was just very excited as a young woman that this company (geared towards the younger generation) is helping fight the battle against young women’s body image issues. I have had them, all ladies have, and it makes me tear up when I hear my 16 year old cousin use “fat talk” against herself. I shared the article to bring attention that it is a struggle for women, and that this is a company ladies should be able to buy proudly from and not have to view soft core porn in store or buy a “bag o’ undies”. I am always promoting modesty in dress & attitude, and at 27, still “saving myself” for marriage. All that being said, (I thought I needed to give a little background on myself so you can see how much more ridiculous this is) the wife of my late pastor, who happens to be my dad’s cousin, attacked me, saying that I was sharing porn and men should not have to be bombarded by that on FB. No positive comments on all the articles & photos about modesty or being a Christian single I share. And on FB, it stings even more when people “like” her comment. I consider a very godly woman, and I believe she was right, but her approach was very wrong. Then of course others chime in with comments like, “We need more wise women like you (pastor’s wife) to lead the young naive girls.”(me) Of course, those comments are not at all encouraging or helpful. An FB message would have been more appropriate. What happened to Matthew 18:15-17?? Ugh. (She later apologized)

  43. says

    Pastor Andy Stanley did a seven part sermon (yes, that’s almost 2 months of ONE sermon series!) about “Christianity” and the difference between what that is and what being a disciple is.
    It is much harder, but worth it since it is the more loving path – loving towards God and others.

  44. says

    I’ve been attacked by people from my old church on my Facebook. Granted, I probably didn’t leave that church in the best way, but even years later, people who were friends of ours act like I committed treason or something.

    We decided that our family wasn’t growing there, they weren’t behaving according to the Bible, and we prayed for weeks that leaving wouldn’t be the answer. End of story.

    As far as the tract thing goes, you are completely right. My in-laws use those tracts, and they love leaving them with their tips. What’s worse is that they apparently got a bulk discount, so the last time I was in their car, they were all over the floors and stuffed between the seats.

    “Here, server who worked so hard for me to enjoy myself for the last hour, take this crumpled piece of paper with dried soda stains on it and partial footprints as a symbol of how much God loves you!”

  45. Andrew Smith says

    While I would tend to agree with you that tracts disguised as money may not be the best method for spreading the good news – you do realize don’t you that you invited attack by criticizing someone else first? Recognizing that we all have different God given talents as well as differences in intellect – is there really a bad way of spreading the good news? Should we ever criticize someone who tries – weather their level of dedication, skill sets and effort are equal to our own? Didn’t Christ tell his disciples to leave the man who was casting out demons in his name alone even though he wasn’t a disciple? Basically, aren’t we all to help others realize that they are loved by God by attempting to be an instrument of God’s love in their lives. While I agree that building relationships is much more effective in sharing God’s word – I would also bet that someone somewhere has read one of those tracts and could point to that moment as the moment that they began to consider their relationship with God in a new way.

    • says

      Gee, Andrew, I sure didn’t feel that Jon was attacking someone in commenting that leaving a fake-money tract was perhaps not the best way to spread the Word. He didn’t resonate with the approach, but I did not interpret that as criticizing the person or their faith. I see a lot of attempts to spread the Word which I feel are counter-productive, certain bumper stickers being a prime example, but I am sure the person feels they are doing God’s work. Someone may indeed be led to Christ by reading one.

  46. says

    I’m guilty of this and it’s embarrassing. I recently decided I would stop posting snarky comments on news pages because clever doesn’t equal loving and filled with grace.

    I have to apply my “gossip question” to any posts I now make: would I say it if I was standing in front of the person?? I also ask myself if I’d be proud to stand up in front of others and recite all the comments I’ve made online.

    No, no I wouldn’t.

    The path to reclaiming grace toward others is a tough one.

  47. loungeshep says

    Used to work at a church where you had, HAD to be there by 7:45 am for devotions. Well my wife tends to have dramatic moments in the mornings (she had to go to work when I did) so I’d end up being late and missing devotions. I think this happened last year when she was having a medical problem, don’t remember, but one day I get into the office when they’re coming back from devos, when the Youth Pastor comes barreling down the hall and yells “HEY! SO GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT TO DEVOTIONS!!!!!!” Just yells it with everyone one around. He used to be a friend of mine, so I thought he was joking till he gets half an inch from my face and starts berating me for not being in devos, I catch the associate pastor coming behind him, so I quickly decide between yelling and dragging him into my office, and drag him into my office and him what his problem is. Obviously its my lateness to devos, did I mention my wife has multiple issues in the morning, and she was probably dealing with a medical problem at the time (don’t remember)? Well he just lays into me about how I need to be there every morning because it’s expected that I be there every morning (I had cleared with the Associate and my immediate boss why I was late sometimes and they were cool with it, and I saw no reason tell the Youth Pastor, because, well. Seriously.) and how I’m not living up to my commitments and I’m just a bad employee and christian, and the way he said it I just called him out on it and told him ‘you don’t even think I am a Christian do you.” Nope! He did not, because I miss devotions. Well by then I’d calmed down enough so that I wouldn’t be yelling at least I mean seriously? I think I remember becoming a Christian, I was there for it, there was a book and prayer and everything, so I’m sure I was a christian. At that moment though, if he was the example of Christianity (and him being pastoral, yes he waaaaaaasssssssss) then I could kind of glimpse why people didn’t want anything to do with Christianity, people are so haughty and arrogant and quick to judge anyone around them that does not fit their small view of how things should be. This youth pastor though, like I said, used to be a friend. We resolved his little tiff with me, he left, I warned my boss and the associate(I did video production, so I worked closely with the associate pastor.) they both laughed because this guy is well known for being a by the law fundamentalist evangelical poster boy for everything wrong with Southern Christianity and the only reason he was still there was the pastor loved him for whatever reason.
    He did apologize later though, not sincerely, it was kind of forced, if not at least fake, gave me some sob story about how he wants to be my friend and I told him to show that, prove to me that he wants to be my friend because I’m tired of Christians pulling that ‘I wanna be your friend!’ line and then not following it up.

    Hm. Christians are why I’m anti social (there’s reasons for it, but this is a comment not a therapy session)

  48. David says

    Love it. Using deception to accomplish god’s work. Well said john. I think we are so good at deception we think the end justifies the means. No wonder those converts usually don’t tap into the living water and grow the fruit.

  49. says

    This hit a chord with me. Recently, I responded to a FB post. I mentioned how I would ask God for a parking space in crowded areas, and I always got one. The response was, that God had bigger things to do, than help me with parking. I said that was an example of how much God loves us, that he even cares about our parking. The reply was how self centered I am, when there were bigger things that needed God’s attention.

    I know that God is big enough for all of it. The big, and the parking.

  50. Steve Rosberg says

    I’m an art collector and i have posted pictures of my house with all my pieces of art that i have collected over the years. One guy said my house was full of demons. It made me so mad!!!

  51. Jeff Turner says

    I might have a different take on the matter, so hear me out. While it is true you write about Christianity, 99% of your posts come from the perspective of satire or are ideas laced with sarcasm. The whole reason there is a “Jesus Juke”, is because some people don’t fully understand your wit or where you’re coming from. You like to make fun of the stranger elements in the bible and the silly things Christians do. Its only inevitable that you’ll rub some people the wrong way. The definition of satire is “a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc.” I know you don’t feel that way about Christianity, but some people might get confused. Has anyone ever come out and called you a non-Christian? I don’t think people are always critiquing your soul either, so much as they’re critiquing how you express your ideas about Christianity. I think there’s a big difference there.

  52. Daniel says

    James 3:1–10 (ESV)

    Taming the Tongue
    3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

    How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

    Clearly we are no further along in taming the tongue than we were 2000 years ago. “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

    I guess one additional caution I’d urge: don’t assume that every Christian who disagrees with you is “nasty”. There’s enough nastiness out here (particularly, in my experience and shame, from the more conservative side) that it seems easy for more liberal Christians to think that every Christian who doesn’t agree with them is a nasty bigot. I guess that’s what bugs me, even though I understand it. You can honestly hold fairly conservative orthodox positions without being nasty about it. Just not on the Internet, it seems.

  53. says

    Are you kidding?

    I get attacked by Christians all the time.

    It’s ok to criticize what another Christian says, writes or believes. In fact, if their ideas are counter to the gospel (God’s forgiveness for the ungodly), then you have a duty to say something.

    But we ought never, never judge anyone’s salvation.

    I have written and said some pretty dumb things about the Christian faith in my lifetime. But God still loves those whose doctrine isn’t lined up perfectly.

    Thanks.

  54. says

    I have a blog which is about faith (Christianity) and finances and I have noticed that if I write about something religious… Like the debt Jesus paid for us, I get a LOT less readers than if I blog about money. :l

  55. Tim says

    So you like to write about business and Christianity. Man cannot serve 2 masters, you cannot love both God and money. But you said you like writing about business more than Christianity, guess we know which one you are serving. Actually I’m just messing with you all, great article and points, I just had to say that first part because I could totally picture someone like what you pointed out in your article saying something like that, but they might actually mean it … Sadly ironic.

  56. Ashley says

    I think, as someone pointed out earlier, it can sometimes be hard to know where you’re coming from, given your unique humor approach to Christianity. (Most people don’t read the bible and try to mine it for jokes.) In doing so, you almost set yourself up to be misunderstood some of the time. Also, I think its kind of dangerous to say that any Christian who disagrees with one of your ideas is critiquing your soul. That’s pretty harsh, not to mention, judgmental. I’ve noticed you writing about “haters” more frequently. You say to just ignore them, and not give them a voice in your life, yet you gave this “band” a voice in yours. Enough to write a whole post about it.

  57. says

    Amen. I think some Christians pour their hearts and souls into doing what they think is the right thing and if it gets joked about or criticized at all then they get defensive. Especially when they’re not totally sure their method is the right method or that thing is the right thing and they do it anyway. Pretty much anytime you’re insecure about what you’re doing or who you are, you’re going to be defensive. Like I am with parenting. Gah! Parenting is so hard. I’m always convinced I’m doing it wrong. My defenses are up when it comes to that topic. I wish they weren’t.

    My only attacks from Christians were when I wasn’t sympathetic enough to racists. Apparently, God loves racists too. I don’t know why, but I guess He does.

  58. says

    First, I totally agree with you. Second, anyone who thinks that leaving a fake money tract counts as telling someone about Jesus needs to get their head examined. When I was a server I had to apologize for other Christians all the time. I get so annoyed every time I think about it.

  59. says

    Jon. I enjoy your serious Wednesday posts more than anything you post here or on your other blog. You are able to cut to the heart of the matter, speak with truth, humor, and grace. I wish more Christian bloggers were able to do these things. Your voice is important and I appreciate you!

  60. says

    First, I’m really sorry you were hurt bro. I think you’re doing AMAZING things for Christ leveraging humor and pop culture to cross lines and expand the Gospel. Don’t let anyone, not even “well intentioned Christians” get you distracted from your purpose and mission.

    About your well worded blog post – I’m not disturbed by the disagreement, I’m disturbed by the disrespect in the disagreement. I don’t know who the band is <> I think a more Biblical way to handle this disagreement is the respectful Biblical way…to prayerfully approach you privately, communicate his/her concern and take it from there – NOT – “pants your bro” on social media for the “cause of Christ”. The cause of Christ is not throwing stones it’s using the stones to build bridges to hearts for the cause of Christ. Keep writing and pressing Jon, you are making a difference!

    • Lois Pepple says

      Well said, Steph. I think too many “Christians” nowadays are living in critical spirits, and in a kind of pride that says being a Christian gives one the right to criticize others, especially Christians. All in the name of Christ, of course.

    • Lynette says

      ” ‘pants your bro’ on social media for the ’cause of Christ’”

      Sounds like a great song for a Christian band.

  61. Vikram says

    I think we can all agree that we need to go ahead and stop it already with t-shirts that say “Faithbook” on them.

    *braces for impact*

    In all seriousness, though, I heard from one of my youth that he was told at a church event (in person, mind you) that he was a bad Christian for wearing an Under Armor t-shirt to worship instead of whatever the Christian knock-off is. Silliness. So much silliness. Do yourself a favor and look up a Derek Webb song called “t-shirts”

  62. Heather says

    The thing I love is trying to have a debate in a loving way about something that I am morally against or for, and because someone else disagrees with me I am now all of a sudden evil and I don’t have empathy for people and I’m out of touch. I guess what I’m trying to say is just because we are Christians and we have a disagreement about something in society we shouldn’t have to just lay down and take it and be a doormat, right?? Is it wrong to stand up for what you believe as far as cultural and political things go.

  63. Mel says

    Growing up , we were poor and came from a big family who all served in the church. One day a fellow Christian handed my dad a rolled up $20. My dad was so blessed by it until he got to the register to buy food , only to realize it was a tract.

  64. Lois Pepple says

    Remember the Pharisees anyone? Seems like many contemporary Christians pattern their attitudes (judgment and pride) after the faith leaders of old, rather than after the One who came to show us how to live in grace, and extend the same to others.

  65. Scotty says

    I think, perhaps, that one of the reasons it is easier to write about business that it is competition. And as Christianity we struggle with this fact. The reality is each sect is a business competing for attention both with the world and with each other. If I have a business and someone disagrees with my business model it’s not that big a deal. They are my competitor. We as Christians have a hard time accepting that same fact.

    While individual Christians say that the goal is to bring souls to Christ., The real goal is to bring souls to their version of Christ. That means that if they come to Christ a different way, they are wrong and, potentially, going to hell. As much as we would like it to be ideally, there is no ONE Christianity. Each denomination, at its heart believes that they are the ONE Christianity.

    I’m not proposing this as any sort of solution, simply saying that this is how it is. Trying to make it be another way is unrealistic and ultimately frustrating. Regardless of the form, if you think your marketing campaign to bring souls to your brand of Christ is a good one and productive, then go for it. If you don’t then try a different way.

  66. Wendy says

    Yes. It’s aweful. When we’re on social media or when we catagorize eachother into groups we can, for some twisted reason, disassociate with the fact that we’re all human and attack with NO mercy. This was my fb post a couple nights ago: “This evening’s food for thought: What if we stepped back from our braced, passionate, disassociated, reactionary, emotional, defensive and/or offensive places here on social media or in real tangible life. Let’s breathe and take a moment to remember that we are all flesh and blood people with beating hearts and feelings. Our stories are all different & yet we are all works in progress. How we think, what we believe, what value systems we follow are all in progress. SO, how about before we speak (or type), let’s T.H.I.N.K. Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? And I would add, Is it loving or respectful? Am I remembering that I am talking to other people who have feelings and are works in progress just like me? Is the statement I am about to make accusatory or dehumanizing? Can I re-phrase this in such a way that the people I am talking to will be inspired to look at my point of view as a possible new perspective or will it inflict a wound and provoke them them to fight instead? I know it’s been said here before but I’ve seen a rise in very painful, angry, accusatory reactions, responses and conversations lately and I felt it was worth repeating. To be continued…” Do you think it’s possible that we don’t really know how to not do that if we don’t really know or own true worth, value & depth of being loved by God? If we subconsciously feel as though God is doing that with us could we be subconsciously “passing it on?”

  67. says

    Yeah this is part of the reason I no longer associate myself with evangelical christians. To put it bluntly, social media has allowed the world to see how and what evangelical christians really think…and it is truly embarrassing. I know Ev. Christians are not a homogenous group…but your most ignorant seem to speak the loudest. Therefore the outside world will continue to ignore the bad along with the good.

    In the wise words of George Carlin:

    “[They] who know it the loudest, know it the least.”

  68. ritz says

    I used to work at and still frequent a coffeeshop that is is owned by a Christian couple who use their business as a ministry. I guess you could call it a “Christian” coffeeshop, but it has a great and diverse clientele of people of all ages, races, religions, & creeds. A local pro-life group asked if they could put out a survey on the counter, and the owners obliged. It was up for a few months before a customer pointed out that some of the language was harsh and probably would do more harm than good for the pro-life cause (it was basically an “agree with us or you are going to hell” situation). One of the baristas took it down to evaluate it, and in the meanwhile the representative from the pro-life group came in and asked where it was. When the situation was explained to him, he said he was going to write up the coffeeshop in his newsletter as a business that was hostile to the pro-life cause. When the barista asked if he would talk to the owners before making any hasty actions, the guy said he wasn’t into confrontation. Aren’t we all on the same team here?

  69. western ky pastor says

    When you deal with a subject that affects ones eternity, folks tend to get passionate. And we are living in a near narcissistic culture that tends to mock and attack those things that don’t meet our level of expectations. A lot of folks don’t know how to handle parody or sarcasm. So, a parody about evangelistic tracts seems like a direct attack about how one is trying to keep people out of hell, the best way they know how. You were encouraging excellence. But, some just wouldn’t get that.

    I use different types of tracts, including a $1 million bill tract, because it gets attention and is a good ice breaker to initiate a spiritual conversation. I agree that relational evangelism leads to personal discipleship. But, I also understand the high percentage of our population that needs Christ. So, encouraging every Christian to share in whatever way they feel comfortable seems like a good idea to me, even if it is something that seems cheesy to some.

  70. Chris says

    Sometimes u guys make it sound lke once one becomes a Christian, one is no longer human. I thot we are all work in progress and imperfect children of.the Perfect God. Comon guys, let’s not give d enemy bullets to fire at us. We are not cannibals guys, we are just humans. What works for you may not work for me but like Paul says, for the sake of Christ, I eat up my pride and sit where you are so I can bring Christ to u, whether thru a dollar bill track or cheesy music, important thing is that, when I’m done, I am not important, but Christ is magnified. Let’s spread love always.

  71. says

    I’ve been attacked recently actually. A friend on Facebook posted a fake movie poster for the upcoming release of the Left Behind remake starring Nicolas Cage. So I commented on it and then the fire reigned down from someone on her friends list that I’ve never met. When it comes to movies, I will defend them to the death, because I want to be a filmmaker. I know what God has the ability to do within the movie industry and I want to be a part of that, desperately. I’ve seen what God has been doing in the movie industry over the last few years. But this person said that “Maybe God will intervene and move the hearts of the money-people to pull the plug and leave Left Behind…behind.” And it got worse. After defending why I think it is a good idea that the movie be remade (even if I’m not a Left Behind fan), saying how maybe God will intervene and change more lives this time around. You never know how He is working in the lives of the cast/crew that worked on the film and anyone who sees the movie. She came back with an even stronger response saying, “I believe more lives would be changed by Christians showing up for work everyday, on time, earning their pay, caring for the poor, laying down their lives for others, showing compassion, loving the unloved, being true to their word, taking care of the widows and orphans and other things like what Jesus did…than by the re-make of Left Behind.” That kind of hurt my feelings, only because it is absolutely possible for filmmakers to do everything she listed and I know many who do. Movies play a great role in our society and will continue to do so, we need more faith-based films. It is impossible to convince some people of your stance on a subject matter within Christianity. And honestly, its comments like that, that drive me to push me to pursue my film-making career even more.

    • TheBigOne says

      Except the funny thing is she is right. Not right in the WAY she said it but right in the fact that too many *Christians* are still asleep at the wheel as our freedoms every month now seem to slip away from us as Oh Liar and his Marxist agents are slowly taking off the gloves.

      Bill Clinton started the trend and now we are free falling.

      Even without 9/11 to take away our freedoms the government would’ve still done all this crap anyways as it was their intentions all along.

      The Iraq war would’ve still happened since it was done illegally to begin with though maybe at a later date since it was Bill Clinton that stirred the pot on wanting to destroy the chemical weapons but was too chicken to do it.

  72. Michael says

    It’s great that we all agree with one another here (hyperbolic attacks bad!), but I’d really like to see the reaction of someone who HAS ‘attacked’ a Christian online – in love, of course. Because dollars to donuts, they probably don’t think it was an attack.

    Some do, probably – they wake up the next morning and reflect that they could have handled their online debate with a little more grace.

    But others will be convinced that the only thing standing between their ‘opponent’ and eternal damnation was them, and then how could you possibly construe their words and sentiment as an attack? They’ll call them “friend” and say they’re going to pray for them. They leave the exchange convinced they were right and the other guy was wrong. And if a few feelings were hurt along the way, well, what’s the cost of online pride weighed up against an immortal soul?

    I mean, would you rather go to hell forever if it meant not having your feelings hurt in this life? That’s not an attack, friend. That right there, that’s love.

    So yes, it’s great that we’re all preaching to the choir here, but I want to know the reaction of someone who HAS ‘attacked’. Because when they do it, it’s not attacking: it’s correction, guidance, friendship, discipline, love. And if you don’t agree, well, I’m sorry you don’t think my trying to help you see the error of your ways isn’t worth your time.

  73. says

    Great point, John. How can we win society to Christ if we don’t work together? Anybody that speaks out against the self-focused, materialistic, anti-God consumerism of the 21st Century is on the same page. We should realize that and not speak against those who are speaking out for God (whether we agree with their doctrine or not).

  74. says

    YES, 100%. My cranky old military dad used to say “the church is the only army that shoots its wounded.”
    KINDESS IS A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT TOO, PEOPLE.

  75. says

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  76. Dixie says

    Just found this site and really enjoyed this post. It is true that we seems to get a kick out of kicking one another. The problem is that it is a self perpetuating behavior. We saw our parents do it, in the car, at the store, on the street, around the dinner table. And then, we do it, in the car, at the store, on the street, around the dinner table. Behavior is changed by the individual and our children’s behavior is affected by us. It doesn’t matter how “they” treat me. It matters how I treat them. If we live by that, change starts with us and spreads. And if we can instill than in the next generation, then the world might actually be changed.

  77. says

    I’ve not been attacked on my blog yet (give it time, it’s new), but I’ve been attacked on Facebook and in person. I hold political opinions that are taboo in many church circles, and expressing how I reconcile those opinions with being a Christian has gotten me condemned to hell (literally – a former pastor of mine said, publicly on Facebook and singling me out by name, that because of my political view it was obvious I had no real relationship with Jesus and was destined for hell). Of course, in their minds they were just speaking the truth in love.

    I’ve also been accused of being the bully. When I get into a debate with someone and they repeat points I’ve already responded to, my answer gets louder and louder, more and more frank, and less charitable and gentle. That’s not a good way for me to be – but there is a reason for it. I perceive repeated talking points, especially from people I know to be intelligent, as attacks of a kind. When someone asks me the same thing over and over again (doubtless hoping they’ll make me change my answer because the one I’m giving will send me to hell), it comes across to me as a passive-aggressive way of saying “Jen, you’re not worth listening to.” If you don’t like or agree with my point, and you’re not budging any more than I am, just say you don’t agree and leave it there if there’s nowhere new to go. If you’re asking again because I wasn’t clear, say I wasn’t clear and give me the chance to say it better.

  78. says

    Yes. I have this Youtube Channel where I talk about current events in the Christian world. My big thing is “Here is my opinion but I want to know more.” I’ve learned that no matter what I say, I’m wrong and probably a terrible person.

  79. says

    Yes! What is even more weird to me is that the more likely the site you are writing for is to reach people who are not Christians, the more likely you are to get blasted by Christians in the comments! I recently wrote a post that basically said “God loves you no matter what” in 500 words and was sated for being a universalist. The comment stream ended with an atheist saying that these people (Christians posting in the comments) are the reason he can’t believe… Ugh.

  80. TheBigOne says

    One thing I always find very strange is that despite the two dominant beliefs being Christian and Islam I hardly ever find those subjects on the internet.

    Instead I find Atheist trolls seeking blood and go crazy over the slightest drop and can smell the blood a mile away. There ARE trolls that pretend to be Christians but they are actually few and far in between.

    What you stumbled upon was the lucky or unlucky few but in reality you are going to have to defend yourself against Atheist who cover their ears screaming to the top of their lungs. *GOD DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST!!! GOD DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST! LA LA AL LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!* and won’t even read what you have to say if they don’t like you.

    The internet IS going to be the weapon of the AntiChrist as soon as they figure out how to install a kill switch like they have in China to scrub everything they don’t like WITHOUT Americans going in arms against it. It will be a subtle effort and likely disguised under a false flag unless Oh Liar decides to just do it after one of his vacations like he did with the executive orders to take over key infrastructure ignoring and trashing Congress which disapproved of it.

    This is all part of Agenda 21 to force us into controlled communities and they have plans to make certain areas deemed inhabitable but I think they are holding back until the World War 2 Baby Boomers die off so their won’t be any resistance.

    Right now there are still too many smart people that now Article 1 section 1 on the US Constitution.

    Sources. I am a fallen angel myself and even I can see the crap being spewed.

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