Recently, I refered to a Christian blogger writing about the Golden Compass. We've communicated in emails and I've found his reactions very interesting. In our communications two points were of great interest to me:
He didn't seem to understand why I was not offended by the author, Phillip Pullman wanted to undermine Christianity or kill God in his books. If anything, the most I could even be shocked by is that there is an implication that kids have sex at the end of the book (but since I've not read the book, I don't know for sure or how old these kids are - they could be teens for all we know, not as disturbing). But where in the Bible does it state that we are to hold non-Christians to the same standards as Christians? In fact, I think the Bible says something completely different doesn't it?
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
So why would I purposly try to behave in an un-biblical manner? Of course a non-Christian is going to attack Christianity and our beliefs (NOT saying all do, but it's no surprise when non-Christians do) - why wouldn't they? They do not have the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit inside them, they are still slaves to their flesh - the better question is why would they behave in a Christian manner when they are not Christians? And as fellow sinners, why are we surprised when they sin? The only difference between them and us is that we are saved sinners, they are not. Blows my mind.
Second, he assumed that I didn't understand the politics and "hardships" of blogging on MySpace. After the past few months of angry emails from family, former LDS friends, and even attacks from fellow Christians - I have to say this was a bright spot in my day. No of course I don't understand the mud slinging from posting on MySpace. He's got me nailed. What I've learned from going from Mormon, to Christian is huge - I do my best not to make assumptions about people. While LDS, I made tons of assumptions about Christians and especially ex-Mormons (vile heathen! ) but once on the other side I realized how wrong I was. Of course, my flesh didn't stop there - I began to make assumptions about Mormons - and felt confident in doing so since I was just a Mormon and knew my own way of thinking and the culture and ways of the LDS people. Yeah... the Lord knocked me down and reminded me how bad assumptions are. I think He gave us all a warning in Proverbs:
He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.
(Proverbs 18:13 NIV)
Having loved and married an atheist, I've been privilaged with insight into an atheist mind - and have really loved it. However, it's also burdened me with extra care for an atheist - I listem to my mother in laws stories of Christian behavior (in her Christian church) that drove her to atheism and my heart just bleeds for her. How can I then just ignore that or the stories of my husband and just be quiet when I see such midleading statements made about atheists and their agenda overall? To me, that is equal to listening to a non-Christian stating that the Westboro Baptist church was the symbol and standard for Christians in general. No way would I stay silent through that either.
But what has been the most curious is that this blogger was on my friend's list and I've left him subtle comments on his blogs - a call for references for example or on one blog where he asks if he is intolerant in other blogs - an answer. Yet, he has removed me from his friends and has declined to publish any of my comments. What happened to the Biblical precdent to correct a Christian brother and sister?
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
In Matthew 18:15 "trespass" (Greek: hamartano) means, "to err, be mistaken;" I have been rebuked in private from fellow believers - and it's an honor (now watch I'm going to be tested in that area ) to know that other believers are watching out for me and my well being. Proverbs goes a little further with this:
15 The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise.
10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.
11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards.
We may not always receive reproof the best - I know I haven't always and the posters at AIC can attest to that - but what matters is that we learn from it, move on, and accept it better in the future. The Lord uses anyone for His message - even a donkey - and He only disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12) so in reality, shouldn't we delight in reproof? I used to not think so - mostly because I didn't know the Biblical standard for it - so when "anti-Mormons" like A Voice or Jenny would leave challenging comments on my blogs, I fumed because they weren't someone I wanted reproof from - but that didn't make their messages any less valid. Shouldn't we seek God in prayer to grow from it? Or should we simply ignore the message simply because we don't like it or the messenger?