I recently posted a couple things on Twitter that got some atheists all worked up. In several ensuing conversations, I had the chance to defend my faith to the best of my ability, all the while attempting to respond in kind, loving ways to blatant attacks on me, my intelligence, God, Christianity and more. It wasn't easy...
Here are some examples (warning, these may offend you...they certainly offended me...):
"You disgusting sack of ****."
"Pick up a ******** science book moron, stop reading infantile fables."
"I have very little patience for ignorance and willful ignorance."
"How much more clear can I make this? Do you need me to draw you pictures?"
"Most don't mock your faith, they mock your ignorance, stupidity, and weakness to indoctrination."
"You are a criminal fraud and you belong in prison."
And there's more. But I'll spare you. My point is this...if you want someone to listen to your argument, regardless of what side you're on, have the decency to do it with respect. I understand that the reasoning behind why Christians would do so is different than why non-Christians would, But the fact remains that regardless of why you do it, people deserve basic human dignity and respect. Swearing, taking shots at each other, and attacking the basic intelligence of one another is no way to win an argument in any circle whatsoever. Furthermore, it is a massive sign of holistic immaturity, a lack of self-control, and an inability to discuss controversial topics without being relegated to insensitive attacks that should have been done away with on the childhood playground.
Now, for Christians, we have many reasons to respond well to attacks like these. I think immediately of 2 Timothy 2: 24-25, which says, "And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth."
During the ensuing theological/logical debates that occurred that night that I was attacked for my faith, I had every emotional and prideful reason to lash back. But by the grace of God, I didn't. It may be that those who said such harsh and insensitive things will never come to know the saving power and love of God. But at least I've been faithful to God to give an answer for the hope I have within me, and I've done it with patience and gentleness...this time. Do I always do this? I wish I could say yes, but there have been times I haven't. But fortunately, recently God has granted me the ability to remain cool and not stoop to the level I normally would apart from his work in my life.
Question for you: When have you been so attacked and insulted for your faith that you eventually lashed back? Why is it important to respond well? Answer in the comments!
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