The Challenge of Baiting Anti-Christian and Similar Threads for Believers

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posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:04 PM
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I really don't know how many more or less authentic, intrinsic Christians there are on ATS. In terms of active posters of such ilk, my impression is only a half dozen or so.

I haven't counted . . . but my rough impression is that in an average week, there are 3-5 or so brazenly baiting hostile to Christians/Christianity threads posted.

The dog-piling of "the hostiles" on such threads can be . . . incredible.

I don't know that there's a solution that is fitting or comfortable for Believers.

However, I'm . . . encased . . . more or less . . . within my own perspective. Perhaps the other intrinsic Christians hereon would have a creative solution that would be mutually supportive for Believers as well as responsible in redemptive, productive ways to ATS and the average reader as a whole.

I've thought of simply boycotting the obviously baiting threads. And often, I do.

Yet, some baiting titles and OP's are soooooooooooo outrageously off the wall while seemingly plausible to those not well-studied on the topics, that they almost require some sort of counter-point in behalf of our values.

Certainly, my impression is, that the bulk of us intrinsic Christians experience those on the other side rarely to never being the least bit even open to, much less congruently responsive to . . . high quality proof of our perspectives and convictions. The best historical, logical, critical analysis etc. types of posts from our perspective are met with more or less the same derision as absurd irrational statements are.

It clearly does not matter what we post on such threads. The responses are virtually always going to be more or less equally derisive, dismissive, caustic, insulting, trashy, ignorant, ill-informed, damned-if-we-do/damned-if-we-don't; moving goal posts; constantly raised bar; angry; etc REGARDLESS of what we say in response. Big thrill!

Yes, I know . . . these are the END TIMES and this is but one of thousands of data points affirming that . . . and I know . . . it will get worse long before it gets better.

So I guess my musings are . . .

1. What's our best stance . . . not necessarily rigidly . . . but as a rule of thumb? . . . a guideline?

2. How to hold forth redemptively on what's worth speaking up about in such threads?

3. What kind of criteria can we use in a rule-of-thumb way to help us discern WHAT IS worth speaking up about and what isn't?

4. There's a lot of noise--usually from those who have absolutely no accurate clue about what an authentic Christian REALLY IS and REALLY IS ALL ABOUT--castigating us for not always being 100% warm and fuzzy sweetness and light in the face of their constant stabs to the heart and genitals of our perspectives, priorities and values. What is our fitting stance being SALT AND LIGHT . . . hearable, loving, kind, generous, forgiving etc. . . . and WHEN and HOW is it fitting to speak as Christ did to the Pharisees?

5. What place does satire and satirical humor have in such threads, contexts? My experience is that the other side can be ruthless in their use of satire etc. and yet they will scream bloody murder about the least bit of satire against their hostile perspectives. Do we just ignore that or what?

6. The double standards applied to us on such threads can be outrageously absurd. Yet if we say much about that, we are again castigated for a list of absurd reasons in a variety of ways. Do we ignore that? How else might we deal with it?

7. Some new authentic believers seem to have joined ATS recently. How can we as a group of Believers support one another besides in prayer and encouragements on the threads and in U2U's?

8. Are there any other points or questions suitable for this thread related to the above?

9. I realize I'm opening us up to more machine gunning and dog-piling against us on this thread. However, I don't know a better way for us to discuss such issues with a maximum amount of participation of those of us of similar perspective. We have to do it openly, imho, to avoid risking leaving anyone out unnecessarily.

10. We COULD just ignore the detractors, naysayers, hostiles that undoubtedly will dogpile us on this thread. LOL.

Blessings,




posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:17 PM
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I don't know. Sometimes, I have to just take a deep breath and remember some of my grandmother's wisdom - There is good in everyone, even if it's only to show you how you don't want to be. And if it's really getting under my skin, I leave it alone or I may only look if I recognize the name of the last poster to have commented because it means I won't be alone should I decide to speak up.

There are also just some days when you have to pick your battles.

In the end, it's what I believe that matters and they are only faceless people on the 'net. I can't let them get too far under my skin because it's not worth it. If they were actually able to shake my faith with some of what they say and do, my faith wasn't very strong now, was it?

Honestly though, it's my husband that should be addressing this. He's the brave one. He tackles atheist pages on facebook and they are ten times as ugly as anyone here.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:23 PM
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Ignore it.

It doesn't need a counter point at all. Just ignore it. I know it is hard and I have failed on a handful of occasions myself... but that is my fault alone. It isn't the thread starter's fault that I couldn't resist the temptation to jump in. It is mine, because I am obviously lacking in self control if I cave into giving explanations THAT I KNOW, they already know.

There is nobody on this forum that does NOT know most of the basic beliefs of most Christians. So depending on the questions asked, and the particular topic... one can safely assume (99% of the time) that the thread starter is not genuinely curious, but simply looking to troll, stir the pot, poke with a stick, etc. people who believe in God/don't believe in God.

I do run across some who seem to ask questions out of genuine curiosity and those are generally the threads I will reply in.

That's about all you can do... Both sides. You can see a thread started (for or against) and know right away what is coming down the pike.

Both sides need to ignore it. It does neither side any good and only seems to strengthen the stereotypes both sides have concerning each other.

Just walk away is about the best advice I could give. I wish there was a better solution but the fact remains that fault lies on both sides and until both sides quit falling for any excuse to jump into the frenzy.... we are just adding fuel to the fire.
edit on 1/10/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by ketsuko
 


Excellent points. Some days I do better at that, than others.

I think I've increasingly been more disgusted than in earlier years . . . though that seems preposterous, too. LOL. It just seems like the horribly obnoxious stuff has multiplied in intensity and in prevalence.

Like there used to be a binjo ditch running down the side of the streets here . . . of such stuff . . . but now, the whole street is flooded with the binjo ditch water. One can put on deep hip-waders . . . or maybe get a boat. But navigation is going to be a smelly task regardless. That results in more and more just abandoning or avoiding such threads entirely.

I suppose that's a viable option. It kind of leaves the hostiles to stew in their own juice or to break their arms patting one another on the back about how erudite, kewel, brilliant, modern etc. they are compared to the Believers. LOL.

Part of me thinks that's a reasonable option. Part of me thinks it's a dreadful thing to consider the sources and therefore abandon that turf to so much hostility, hypocrisy and irrationality. What about the not so well studied and not so critically thinking trained average blokes who happen upon such blather and go . . . "Oh, well, I never thought of it that way." And are unthinkingly led down the yellow brick road to the stooge of a wizard from hell? No easy answers, it seems to me.

However, I think your rule of thumb perspective is a fitting one. Perhaps it's one I should take more often--though I have increasingly been doing so the last few years.

.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:13 AM
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Dear Bio Xian - anytime I start to get upset or feel attacked I try to think how Jesus would behave. He's all about love and that's how I try to live my life. That doesn't mean I have to be open to abuse.

Basically I remind myself I can't explain my beliefs to the point of understanding to others who aren't genuinely interested and/or open to having an open mind about our beliefs. I do not comprehend why so many attackers and those who are so hateful towards Christianity have to come onto the Christian threads. But then again I do like to think that the topics they attack may reveal God's existence at some time in their future lives - and that there is still hope of them coming to God.

I also have to remind myself that Satan is working all out to deceive all people and we should be gentle and answer those who have questions. Those that are just baiting and always asking why, why, why who I realize aren't really interested in any answers and just stirring the pot - I just let them carry on and eventually keep quiet. I do feel sorry for them because I do get the feeling they are wanting a magic answer, that maybe they want the answers but just are too afraid to admit to it, or don't want to hear how it is, but they want something that lets them off the hook - but God doesn't fit into our ideas, we fit into His. My heart goes out to them.

In my heart I fear for those who are so anti-Christian and those who really don't know any better as the end times are coming and they will be beyond any human comprehension of how bad it really will be. So in the end I pray for them.

I really enjoy your posts and comments in threads.
edit on 11/1/14 by ccseagull because: incomplete sentence



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:22 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 

I have not joined in religious discussions as of yet.

It is time to start standing up for my Lord in Heaven.
Will be good practice for what is to come in the not so far future.

The best way for me to approach the discussion is to first pray for guidance and for God to bridle my tongue so I can maintain a Christ like attitude.

Peace, Love and Joy to all.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:31 AM
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"So then forgive me."
Bill Hicks



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:45 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


Very well put. Its getting ridiculous isn't it? You should check out the "hand of God" thread in the new topics. Its a perfect example of just how out of control things have gotten. The mods seem to be turning a blind eye to it as well.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 




It clearly does not matter what we post on such threads. The responses are virtually always going to be more or less equally derisive, dismissive, caustic, insulting, trashy, ignorant, ill-informed, damned-if-we-do/damned-if-we-don't; moving goal posts; constantly raised bar; angry; etc REGARDLESS of what we say in response. Big thrill!


To be honest and fair, I feel the same exact way about believers. No matter what we non-believers say, no matter how logical it is or how many contradictions we point out, the responses are always the same. Denial, denial, denial.

By the way, there are a lot more Christians that regularly post on this forum than you seem to be aware of.

I don't think debate has ever hurt anyone, a debate is supposed to be a learning experience for both sides of the argument. If anyone gets offended by debate, I see that as them being insecure in their own beliefs. This is a free speech forum, let people make any kind of thread they want. I see just as many pro-Christian threads on here as non-believer threads, if not just a little bit less, and that's to be expected on a conspiracy forum as religion is the biggest conspiracy in history.

Live and let live I say. If you feel offended by something someone says, either ignore it or find out the reason why it offends you. Maybe there's an underlying reason for the feeling of offense that you're suppressing.
edit on 3601000CST363 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:53 AM
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Well, as one of the assigned "non-believers" I'd like to suggest that the most reasonable solution is we all stop participating right now in ill-mannered, PERSONALLY insulting posts anywhere and anytime on ATS. If we're here to discuss and learn from each other, well, then lets do that. Because, I can promise you, the same list of the same things you feel happens to you and your posts, we feel happens to ours. So, neither side can be completely right, that's illogical. BOTH sides do approximately the same thing. We've all lost our good ol' fashioned manners at times.

But Christians, you have to remember that your beliefs are just as absurd to a non-Christian as ours are to you. Also, many of us were raised as Christians and we, with full understanding and great conviction, rejected that religion to whatever degree. We believe in evidence, usually physical, and you believe in faith, usually non-physical. Just as surely as you find our positions obnoxious so also do we find yours, often because of real abuse we suffered in the past at the hands or mouths of Christians. You feel like you've been abused and targeted, and believe me, so do we. The majority of Americans identify themselves as Christian. You're really not an endangered species, in reality, there are more of you than ever. This thread of feeling like victims is one of your greatest weaknesses.

You are not being victimized when we say what we think and believe anymore than we are being victimized when you say what you believe. At another level, both positions are simply our opinions. I realize that one of the components of Christianity is that there is no other truth, it's an all or nothing proposition with you. That, in and of itself, is quite likely the central hub of difficulty in peaceful co-habitation. People who don't believe as you do don't need to be told, repeatedly, that we're wrong, because the Bible tells you so.

I really do not believe that answer is to withdraw further into some rarified group or echo chamber where you only hear the things you already believe and where you never have to deal with contrasting or contradictory positions.

Another thing that might help, remember, we're all human, we're all making our way through the world as best we can. We're not your enemies. We aren't in "Satan's army" just because we don't believe what you believe.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 12:58 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


First off this is a conspiracy website, unfortunately in all religions there is a great deal of conspiracy, both part of and not part of the faiths.

Secondly there are more people in the world who are either of a different faith than christianity or who do not believe in any faith at all. There is nothing wrong with being a christian, how ever people of different faiths may not like christianity or having it pushed upon them. There are also plenty of groups in the world who view christianity as not a good thing, whether it be historically speaking or personal experiences.

I myself am not a christian, I do not agree with a lot of the way various denominations of christian and their churches have gone, how ever I could not care less what you believe. If it makes you happy, and it's right for you that is all that should matter. You can not expect to live in this world with out some one disliking or disagreeing with your beliefs.

There is good in all people, being a christian does not mean you are a good person, nor does it mean you are a bad person. I often find this the hardest thing with christianity. All that are not, are some how bad, or are not of the same blood and flesh as christians. It drives me crazy, at the very core of christianity is a beautiful message, and I'm happy to believe and follow that. How ever I am not okay with the fact that if someone is not a christian they are going to hell, and have to be saved by agreeing to be christian.

Beautiful religion at the core, very twisted and corrupted with time how ever. This is my personal opinion, and I love you for being human just the same whether you are christian or not. Hold your head high and pride because you have something meaningful you believe in and leave it at that. There will always be people out to harass and ruffle your feathers. No matter what color, sex, race, religion or sexual orientation. Just keep what's true to you in your heart and don't sweat it.

I will admit I love to go after hard core believers now and then and question certain beliefs but I personally am not out for christians specifically, nor am I trying to change what they believe.

Just be,

. Hijinx.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 01:08 AM
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Dear Gryphon66 - I just wanted to let you know that I respect what you've written. I do like reading a variety of threads on ATS, but if I go to a clearly non-Christian type thread I don't add my input.

And I agree - everyone should treat each other respectfully. Just because we Christians may not believe or advocate certain threads and comments it gives me no right to treat anyone else in a non respectful manner. I apologize on behalf of other Christians. It's interesting how some people become more firm in their faith and others turn away depending on what life throws at you. I have come through many trials in my life, many imposed by other Christians, and I'm sure we could exchange some heavy duty stories - but I speak for myself when I say I turn to God through all my trials and it makes me stronger and I see His hand in my life (just saying it's so interesting how people grow closer or farther in their belief system, or dismiss it altogether).

I do not believe you or any other person is a member of "Satan's army". Personally I do believe that people who aren't Christian are not aware of the reality of God, etc but I am in no way implying anyone who isn't a Christian is any less than I am. In God's eyes we are all equal, whether a Christian or not.

I do wish you all the best.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 01:11 AM
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reply to post by Hijinx
 





There is good in all people


I wouldn't say in all people, there are some pretty evil scumbags in this world without a good bone in their body, look at the top to find them. Most people have good in them, not all.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 01:50 AM
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I don't have any beef with those who are actually "Christ-like." If you live as Christ lived and do as he did, you are salt of the earth as far as I am concerned. Sadly, it has been my experience that most who claim to be Christian are anything but. They pray loudly and openly to glorify themselves. They keep more than 1 coat or 1 pair of shoes. They pay more attention to (and seek to emulate) Paul of Tarsus than they do Jesus Christ.

Our (spiritual) world is inverted. The red-words are minimized and the OT / fluff is exploited for social and political points. The Pharisees and hypocrites are forever telling us about their faith, instead of showing us through their actions. They cannot enter their own Heaven, and they block the door for everyone else as well.

Same as it ever was.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 01:55 AM
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BO XIAN

3. What kind of criteria can we use in a rule-of-thumb way to help us discern WHAT IS worth speaking up about and what isn't?



No criteria required, unless you have some genuine input towards a conspiracy regarding your religion.

If there are any members that actually joined ATS to make a misguided effort to "convert" non believers, then let me assure you now that nobody on this forum is going to be swayed in an alternative direction to their own logical thinking based on your blind faith, and a 2000 year old book.

Don't get me wrong, religion is riddled with conspiracy, but that is not what we see.

We get a constant stream of bible pushers using ATS as a platform to smugly spread the word.

I personally find all of this extremely childish, and nauseating.

I know my tiny post will do nothing to make you rethink, and act in an adult fashion, but please look at the title of the website you are abusing / hijacking.

Now tell me how any quote from the 2000 yr old book, that has been duplicated millions of times could ever be considered "Above Top Secret"



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 

S&F Bo for a well thought out op.

Perhaps, when we run across an insulting Christian post or one we know is trolling, we should try and put ourselvea in that persons shoes.
Many people in their heart of hearts know that Christ is king. Yet they also feel that to serve Him would mean giving up to much of themselves or too much of the things they like to do. Therefore they lash out at those who are not afraid to answer the call.
Many are jealous of the relationship many Christians have with God. That jealousy leads to bullying.
I honestly believe that the farther a person runs from God the more He hardens their hearts toward Him. They do not understand that by accepting the gift, the price that Jesus paid, they are not losing or giving up anything. They are gaining everything!
Just my thoughts on your op,
Quad



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 03:57 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


There's only one thing on my mind when I decide to participate in
a theological discussion on ATS. That's the seeds I'm hopefully spreading
that if only begin to grow in just one person? If I can make some kind of
a difference, or cause someone to rethink their stance, somewhere ?
If I hear of it or not, doesn't matter. But I'm certainly not standing up for,
or defending God. That would be the ultimate arrogance I think. Surely,
I'm hoping he defends me.

But with only that one person ( hopefully more ) in mind. I see no reason
to take any crap off any haters, because that looks unattractive, And at that
point that someone might lose interest forever. I don't actively, aggresively
try to save people here. But I cherish the possibility, that something I say
just might. So I'm not at all the passive Christian who turns the other cheek.
I've had more than a couple haters make posts in thread. whining because I
was more abrasive then they were expecting. Because they got their ass
handed to 'em.

See, as long as I'm a soldier for Christ, I follow him. But he doesn't want me
to drive myself nuts trying to be him.

SnF of course.
edit on 11-1-2014 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 04:52 AM
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BO XIAN

I really don't know how many more or less authentic, intrinsic Christians there are on ATS. In terms of active posters of such ilk, my impression is only a half dozen or so.

I assume I'm one of them.
I have to say that my own threads almost entirely escape the attacks of the flamers nowadays.
This may be because they are well-prepared, so the flamers know they won't get very far.

On the question of what to do about deliberately baiting threads, the dilemma is very nicely summed up in Proverbs, ch26 vv4-5;
"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself [Do not get caught up in a war of insults]
Answer a fool according to his folly. lest he be wise in his own eyes [Do not leave false claims unanswered]"

I deal with them on a case by case basis and tend to ignore the more obvious ones, especially when they come from certain posters who are so predictable.
One solution I'm working towards is to think about the quibble being raised and provide an answer to it in a reasoned thread of my own at a later stage.
Recently I've done three threads on the Garden of Eden episode which tackle some of the questions which have been raised, and which are now available for quoting in future exchanges.
So that side-steps the immediate fight but doesn't, in the long term, leave the point unanswered.

edit on 11-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 05:04 AM
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BO XIAN
I haven't counted . . . but my rough impression is that in an average week, there are 3-5 or so brazenly baiting hostile to Christians/Christianity threads posted.

The dog-piling of "the hostiles" on such threads can be . . . incredible.

I don't know that there's a solution that is fitting or comfortable for Believers.


This is the Conspiracies in Religions forums...

I think you're in the wrong place. Just a friendly reminder.



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 05:13 AM
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reply to post by ahnggk
 

It could be argued that the common use of baiting tactics in reigious discussion is a conspiracy.



edit on 11-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



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