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To My Fellow Christians

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posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:05 PM
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In my short time here on ATS, I have seen a large amount of religious flame-wars between non-Christians and Christians. With that in mind, I would like to offer a few thoughts regarding how Christians reply to flagrantly anti-Christian posts.

1) Stop threatening non-believers with fire and brimstone. In most cases, they've heard it all before. You telling them that God will smite them will most likely NOT result in "Oh, wow! I had no idea that was what he would do if I didn't follow him. I'll just run off and worship him now! Thank you Christian!" If they do not believe in God, or follow Christ, threats of of his wrath are hardly going to sway them.

2) Scripture verses will NOT prove your point to a non-believer. If the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales to the poster, what is the point of tossing verses at them? It's like if you and I were arguing about the possibility of the existence of giants and I roll out Jack and the Beanstalk as my proof of their existence; It would look pretty foolish, wouldn't it?

3) If a post offends you, STOP READING IT! Replying to voice your disgust with someone else's point of view of your faith will only make you look backward and ignorant. Move on to a topic that you can take part in in a mature informed manner, after all, this site is NOT a Christian site; there are a great many different belief systems being employed by the posters here and though you may be offended by it, it is their right to post their opinions regardless of your sensibilities.

4) There is a lot of hate and disdain out there for the Christian church, some of it is well founded. Why do I say that as a Christian? Simple. WE ENCOURAGE IT WITH OUR BEHAVIOR! If you want to change someone's view of your faith (which in my opinion is a fools errand anyhow), Display proper Christian behavior in your posts. Only by exhibiting the love of Christ can we expect others to even begin to entertain the thought of wanting to know Him.

5) Stop feeding the Trolls. This one is easy to understand (or it should be). There are plenty of folks out there that want nothing more than to confound Christians with their posts; stop falling into the trap and move along.

6) Not everyone is going to follow Christ, so stop insisting that they recognize Him. As believers, we are told in scripture that there is going to be only a select few that make it into Heaven, so why on earth would you feel shocked that there are so many non-believers?

7) Expect persecution; be it warranted or unwarranted. Christ told us that as believers we would fall prey to intense persecution because of Him. Don't get all butt-hurt when it happens, when you gained faith in Christ, you should have been aware that it would happen, so stop whining about it.

As Christians, we are called on by Christ to judge ourselves for our actions, not to judge others. Be responsible for yourself and your family, everyone else will have to answer for themselves, it is not your place to pass judgement on anyone else, let alone a non-believer, I mean think about it for a moment, would that type of behavior win you over to someone else's cause? Of course not.

What I am trying to say is this: We should know from the bible that true Christians are and always will be the extreme minority in this world, get used to it; otherwise, you'll actually be hurting the cause of Christ rather than helping it. Share your faith with those that want you to, don't force it on those that do not. If someone is going to be in the Book of Life, they'll get there in their own time.




posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:18 PM
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Good job OP.

Although a lot of Christians will continue to behave like the world....what you said was right on. Not our job to convict anyone.

Star and Flag for you.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by ProfessorChaos
In my short time here on ATS, I have seen a large amount of religious flame-wars between non-Christians and Christians.


As an esoteric Christian mystic I am pretty darn sick of orthodox fundamentalist Christians and their judgmentalism, their ignorance, and their dogmatic man-on-the-street exoteric exegesis.

Maybe if they brushed up on comparative mysticism it would help.

edit on 22-1-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:21 PM
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Well said! I agree. I am unclear why there is so much defensiveness in Christians, being calm, or better seeing the humor in it, can bring peace all around. I tell my friends I am not in the soul saving business, that is what the Holy Spirit is for.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:23 PM
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This may be the best Christian thread/post I have read on ATS. Thank you.

S+F



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 


Wow! Very good points my friend!!

Really logically and I just wanted to say I agree.

But I have been reading up on agnostic Christian....seems to fit me more now...


I've gotta study more.

Thanks for this thread.

And judging anyone is very inappropriate, no matter what you believe!

To each his own!
edit on 22-1-2013 by natalia because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by ProfessorChaos
3) If a post offends you, STOP READING IT! Replying to voice your disgust with someone else's point of view of your faith will only make you look backward and ignorant. Move on to a topic that you can take part in in a mature informed manner, after all, this site is NOT a Christian site; there are a great many different belief systems being employed by the posters here and though you may be offended by it, it is their right to post their opinions regardless of your sensibilities.

A good post, though I'd take this one with a bit of salt. Yes, if someone can't rationally and reasonably reply to something that is offensive to Christianity, they should find another thread to contribute to, but for those of us who can, we have a responsibility to defend the faith and correct untrue statements.

Over the years, I've seen all sorts of crazy claims about Christianity, and I make it a point to provide the counterpoint facts, which are usually historical in nature. As I've said many times, I don't do it because I think I'm going to change the mind of the person who is, for example, claiming that the Romans wrote the Bible in 300AD, but rather for the benefit of someone who comes in, after the fact -- without a refutation, the non-critical thinker (and the world is full of them,) may believe that the Romans wrote the Bible in 300AD, since there's no one saying otherwise.

Apart from that, yeah I agree with you -- if someone is an evangelist (as opposed to an apologist,) ATS is not likely to be a rewarding experience.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by ProfessorChaos
In my short time here on ATS, I have seen a large amount of religious flame-wars between non-Christians and Christians. With that in mind, I would like to offer a few thoughts regarding how Christians reply to flagrantly anti-Christian posts.

1) Stop threatening non-believers with fire and brimstone. In most cases, they've heard it all before. You telling them that God will smite them will most likely NOT result in "Oh, wow! I had no idea that was what he would do if I didn't follow him. I'll just run off and worship him now! Thank you Christian!" If they do not believe in God, or follow Christ, threats of of his wrath are hardly going to sway them.

and

What I am trying to say is this: We should know from the bible that true Christians are and always will be the extreme minority in this world, get used to it; otherwise, you'll actually be hurting the cause of Christ rather than helping it. Share your faith with those that want you to, don't force it on those that do not. If someone is going to be in the Book of Life, they'll get there in their own time.


--------------

Excellent and Timely advice not only on ATS, but Anywhere in the World !


The well known Biblical story of The Rich man and Lazarus

Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: 20and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; yea, even the dogs come and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. 23And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted and thou art in anguish. 26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us. 27And he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house; 28for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 But Abraham saith, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 06:52 PM
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S+F
I think of it as young love. Most of the time the people that do this really believe that in the long run our salvation is most important while at the same time lack the experience to understand and convey the truth in a coherent manner. Yes i'm guilty. My new motto is be real and check out their fruit!



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:02 PM
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Have you guys read much Rumi?

Moses and the Shepherd

Moses heard a shepherd on the road praying,
“God,
where are you? I want to help You, to fix Your shoes
and comb your hair. I want to wash Your clothes
and pick the lice off. I want to bring You milk,
to kiss Your little hands and feet when it’s time
for You to go to bed. I want to sweep Your room
and keep it neat. God, my sheep and my goats
are Yours. All I can say, remembering You,
is ayyyyyyy and ahhhhhhhh.”

Moses could stand it no longer.
“Who are you talking to?”

“The one who made us,
and made the earth and made the sky.”
“Don’t talk about shoes and socks with God!
And what’s this with Your little hands and feet?
Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like
you’re chatting with your uncles.
Only something that grows needs milk.
Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God!
Even if you meant God’s human representatives,
as when God said, ‘I was sick, and you did not visit me,’
even then this tone would be foolish and irreverent.

Use appropriate terms. Fatima is a fine name
for a woman, but if you call a man Fatima,
it’s an insult. Body-and-birth language
are right for us on this side of the river,
but not for addressing the Origin,
not for Allah.”

The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed
and wandered out into the desert.

A sudden revelation
came then to Moses. God’s voice:
You have separated Me
from one of my own. Did you come as a prophet to unite,
or to sever?
I have given each being a separate and unique way
of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge.
What seems wrong to you is right for him.
What is poison to one is honey to someone else.

Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship,
these mean nothing to Me.
I am apart from all that.
Ways of worshipping are not to be ranked as better
or worse than one another.
Hindus do Hindu things.
The Dravidian Muslims in India do what they do.
It’s all praise, and it’s all right.

It’s not Me that’s glorified in acts of worship.
It’s the worshippers! I don’t hear the words
They say. I look inside at the humility.
That broken-open lowliness is the Reality,
not the language! Forget phraseology.
I want burning, burning.
Be friends
with your burning. Burn up your thinking
and your forms of expression!
Moses,
those who pay attention to ways of behaving
and speaking are one sort.
Lovers who burn are another.”

Don’t impose a property tax
on a burned out village. Don’t scold the Lover.
The “wrong” way he talks is better than a hundred
“right” ways of others.
Inside the Kaaba
it doesn’t matter which direction you point
your prayer rug!
The ocean diver doesn’t need snowshoes!
The Love-Religion has no code or doctrine.
Only God.
So the ruby has nothing engraved on it!
It doesn’t need markings.
God began speaking
deeper mysteries to Moses. Vision and words,
which cannot be recorded here, poured into
and through him. He left himself and came back.
He went to eternity and came back here.
Many times this happened.
It’s foolish of me
to try and say this. If I did say it,
it would uproot our human intelligences.
It would shatter all writing pens.

Moses ran after the shepherd.
He followed the bewildered footprints,
in one place moving straight like a castle
across a chessboard. In another, sideways,
like a bishop.
Now surging like a wave cresting,
now sliding down like a fish,
with always his feet
making geomancy symbols in the sand,
recording his wandering state.

Moses finally caught up with him.
“I was wrong. God has revealed to me
that there are no rules for worship.
Say whatever
and however your loving tells you to. Your sweet blasphemy
is the truest devotion.
Through you a whole world is freed.
Loosen your tongue and don’t worry what comes out.
It’s all the light of the Spirit.”

The shepherd replied,
“Moses, Moses,
I’ve gone beyond even that.
You applied the whip and my horse shied and jumped
out of itself. The Divine Nature and my human nature
came together.
Bless your scolding hand and your arm.
I can’t say what has happened.
What I’m saying now
is not my real condition. It can’t be said.”

The shepherd grew quiet.

When you look in a mirror,
you see yourself, not the state of the mirror.
The fluteplayer puts breath into a flute,
and who makes the music? Not the flute.
The Fluteplayer!

Whenever you speak praise
or thanksgiving to God, it’s always like this
dear shepherd’s simplicity.
When you eventually see
through the veils to how things really are,
you will keep saying again
and again,
“This is certainly not like
we thought it was!”

edit on 22-1-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 


Good stuff, PC! I enjoy talking about my stance on religion and gods, and I focus on the topic at hand. But, as soon as I receive a reply with the word 'You' in it, I automatically know that the debate has gone from sharing each others thoughts on a subject to name-calling and childish insults - as if that would win a debate.

Sad really, because I do find it fascinating how humans can buy into the bizarre and the impossible.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by jiggerj

But, as soon as I receive a reply with the word 'You' in it, I automatically know that the debate has gone from sharing each others thoughts on a subject to name-calling and childish insults - as if that would win a debate.

Sad really, because I do find it fascinating how humans can buy into the bizarre and the impossible.


Correction... into the things that YOU personally consider to be bizarre and impossible. It's a matter of opinion.

Oops.



edit on 22-1-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by BlueMule

Originally posted by jiggerj

But, as soon as I receive a reply with the word 'You' in it, I automatically know that the debate has gone from sharing each others thoughts on a subject to name-calling and childish insults - as if that would win a debate.

Sad really, because I do find it fascinating how humans can buy into the bizarre and the impossible.


Correction... into the things that YOU personally consider to be bizarre and impossible. It's a matter of opinion.

Oops.





Okay, okay, I'm sticking with bizarre, but I'll downgrade impossible to highly improbable. And don't EVER call me YOU again!



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 




1) Stop threatening non-believers with fire and brimstone. In most cases, they've heard it all before. You telling them that God will smite them will most likely NOT result in "Oh, wow! I had no idea that was what he would do if I didn't follow him. I'll just run off and worship him now! Thank you Christian!" If they do not believe in God, or follow Christ, threats of of his wrath are hardly going to sway them.


Examples? I don't see this. I have been here for a few years now and I have yet to see a thread that proclaims this type of language.
edit on 22-1-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 




2) Scripture verses will NOT prove your point to a non-believer. If the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales to the poster, what is the point of tossing verses at them? It's like if you and I were arguing about the possibility of the existence of giants and I roll out Jack and the Beanstalk as my proof of their existence; It would look pretty foolish, wouldn't it?


Your premise is that people who choose to read disagree. This is not the case. Because some may disagree or fail to seek does not mean that a vast majority of those who read are not engaged in what they are viewing. My PM box is filled with thank you messages that say your premise is a bias and not a reflection of the truth.

edit on 22-1-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 




3) If a post offends you, STOP READING IT! Replying to voice your disgust with someone else's point of view of your faith will only make you look backward and ignorant. Move on to a topic that you can take part in in a mature informed manner, after all, this site is NOT a Christian site; there are a great many different belief systems being employed by the posters here and though you may be offended by it, it is their right to post their opinions regardless of your sensibilities.


Should you follow your own words here? There is a religious section available for those who cling to the higher mindset. Additionally, all secret societies are founded on a belief system that matches the scriptures of religion. A conspiracy is against the spirit. Since the spirit is law, conspiring against law is a topic that must involve belief about that law. Those who cling to the universal laws of the God that created them must be included in a the marketplace of idea. As Holmes stated:



"The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas...that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country.”


Another Holmes quote is this: “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

I am sorry, but there is enough space on this hard drive for all of us. I do agree that the Christian should take the higher road when it comes to bias and condescension. You are very correct there. Love wins in the end.

edit on 22-1-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 





4) There is a lot of hate and disdain out there for the Christian church, some of it is well founded. Why do I say that as a Christian? Simple. WE ENCOURAGE IT WITH OUR BEHAVIOR! If you want to change someone's view of your faith (which in my opinion is a fools errand anyhow), Display proper Christian behavior in your posts. Only by exhibiting the love of Christ can we expect others to even begin to entertain the thought of wanting to know Him.


Right on. Bias, condescension and anger kills the message. I totally agree.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:53 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 




5) Stop feeding the Trolls. This one is easy to understand (or it should be). There are plenty of folks out there that want nothing more than to confound Christians with their posts; stop falling into the trap and move along.


Not so from my point of view. Truth needs to be expressed. The best way to face your own misconceptions in life is to be placed against a wall by a bully. Love and truth sets us free by denying ignorance. Many people need to be placed against the wall themselves in a kind and truthful manner, as you say. This process helps the one ignoring truth to experience the fire of pride being cut away. No believe expressing his knowledge can judge anyone. Truth does this. Light reveals what it hits. Light cannot be seen.

Just like my arguments to your numbered points, growth comes from the debate. Higher axioms always win the debate and ATS is a place to debate. This is how a marketplace of ideas shows the economics of the transaction. Truth is always the most valuable commodity. Denial of ignorance must come from the comparison. The reflecting points are necessary to see the larger map of the territory.



edit on 22-1-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 




6) Not everyone is going to follow Christ, so stop insisting that they recognize Him. As believers, we are told in scripture that there is going to be only a select few that make it into Heaven, so why on earth would you feel shocked that there are so many non-believers?


Luke 15:7

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The majority are sick. Christ came for them, not those who are well. Those who are well are charged with a task. That task is to share and show the truth by mirroring it in word, thought and deed. This is not possible fully at this time. We are all fallen here in a place that is out of context with truth. Because of this, we each learn by the reflections of opposites.


edit on 22-1-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 



7) Expect persecution; be it warranted or unwarranted. Christ told us that as believers we would fall prey to intense persecution because of Him. Don't get all butt-hurt when it happens, when you gained faith in Christ, you should have been aware that it would happen, so stop whining about it.


Good point. An aspect of faith needs to be that we trust. A believer should be filled and not so empty that anyone can take away the joy they experience. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Ultimately, we will be filled like this. Not so at this point. Until we meet the Father and Son, we are all empty and waiting. This is why we see division in the world, including ATS - even among believers and seekers. Do any of us know God yet?





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