Tuesday, August 3, 2010

who are our enemies?

I spend quite a bit of time on the internet, on blogs and forums, reading and making comments. And it doesn't take too long to find that it is an angrier culture than we find in "real life". You can find anger and insult in unexpected places, such as on computer forums, but clearly people are more prone to insult where political, social, ethical or religious differences are discussed.

I regret to say that I find that christians are not exempt from this. On the face of it, you would expect followers of Jesus to behave better - after all, he gave his followers clear instructions: "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

Yet christians so commonly are rude to those who disbelieve, are often insulting and angry when discussing or arguing about religious truth. Somehow they think this is justified, and can even criticisew those obeying Jesus as being unnecessarily "nice".

But I have yet to find anyone who can show me how being hateful is actually showing love. I have yet to find any christian who says they are happy to disregard these warning from the apostle Paul:

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15-16)

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:5-6)

Those who cannot follow these clear teachings should perhaps stay away from discussion on the internet until they can mature in these areas. None of us is perfect, but are supposed to know our limitations and gifts.

In a future post I will explore why I think this situation has arisen.


  1. Related to anger, I think it is interesting (and almost incredible) how you managed to give this site an enormously peaceful vibe. You have done a very good job on that.

  2. Thank you very much, that is an interesting and encouraging comment. When I first began the site I wanted it to be trustworthy and fair-minded, not argumentative like so many religious and anti-religious sites. I have since seen that open-hearted is also important, so "peaceful" is a very nice attribute for someone to see. Best wishes.


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