The Fundamentalist Who Just Discovered Facebook, Or You Will Change DANGIT!

I’m out of town this whole week, so I’ve scheduled a few posts. If this is your first time here when I’m on vacation I polish off the posts stalled in draft-land and offer them as b-sides. I will likely not be able to reply to comments til the end of the month. 

Alright, so an acquaintance of mine posts daily on facebook about how liberal Christians are destroying his beloved and it’s been getting to me. I’m not usually the type to get riled up over anything, but I think it’s how he says what he does – pinpoint right to the nerve. I haven’t responded to him yet, mostly because of the if you don’t have anything nice to say... rule.

I have also decided – why bother even getting upset by people you disagree with? Why let it get so deep into you? Especially because, more than likely, even after a year of debates neither party would likely budge. 

Last week my wife was having a bad morning and it made her a bit grouchy. After receiving a few criticisms I was getting upset myself. As I did the dishes I plotted what punchline I could deliver to show her how she was treating me and make her feel bad about it – but then I realized that doing that would gain her nothing. It would certainly not help lift her out of the mood she was in.

This sounds very elementary but I think we easily forget – that if you want to change someone you won’t do it by treating them poorly. You won’t do it by calling them names, pointing out all their faults or bringing them down. My college acquaitnece won’t change my progressive ways through condescending posts and I won’t change him with well thought out replies pointing out all of his thinking errors.

If we want to change someone – then we’d better get to treating them humanely and loving them.

But here’s one other thing I’ve learned – that only Jesus transforms people. We like to think that we change other people, and certainly we can be influential but ultimately it is Jesus who breaks through hearts. So leave that work up to him – and work towards people meeting Jesus in big and transformative ways rather than converting them to whatever your flag colors are.

How do you deal with (crazy religious) people who unknowingly, or not, hit that nerve? Do you succumb to the temptation to go off? 

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7 Responses to The Fundamentalist Who Just Discovered Facebook, Or You Will Change DANGIT!

  1. I know you are gone Charlie but just wanted to weigh in on this post. I think you struck a nerve here, my friend. Not mine. But I am sure with some. Like most people, I read things that I don’t always agree with. Imagine that! I can respond in hurt, or in love, or not at all. I choose to leave out the first. Sometimes the best thing to say is to say nothing. No matter how convinced I am that I might be right, two things apply: (one you mention) only Jesus transforms people; and 2) what good does it solve to be rude and crude in my responses or comments to people? None. Zero. Zip. Good word today. Hope you are having or had a nice time away.

  2. I think a lot of those people are that way because they’ll be labeled as hypocrites, liberals, or spiritual slackers if they don’t. It’s the mentality that if you’re not willing to FIGHT for God at the drop of a hat, you must not even really believe in him. As well, often they fight to convince themselves.

  3. David says:

    This blog only makes me think that people want to be religious – and right. I don’t really care. I get tired of the mindless Bible verses that get displayed in my Facebook feed, so I simply block them. Facebook is a relational tool, not an evangelical tool. It is really shallow to post religious banter. I post some things that are controversial, but I ask what people think.

    Be sure, after 35 years of this stuff, I am pretty set on what I believe, but how I act there is always room for improvement.

    My desire is not for folks to know what I know, but for them to know Who I know, and know Him deeply.

    Most people want to believe what they believe until they have some deep and life changing situation during which they call on Jesus and find something different. Until then, stratus quo.

  4. I really, really needed to hear this. I am in this place with one particular person right now, and am about at my wit’s end. Thanks for recentering me on grace and peace.

    Also, just subscribed. Not sure why I hadn’t already.

  5. Larry Hehn says:

    Very timely post, Charlie. I’ve been chatting with my (late teens) kids about this recently. Sometimes it’s really hard to squelch that snappy comeback we want to use, but it’s the right thing to do.

  6. Su says:

    Usually I don’t. Apart from calling them crazy once I get home, that is. I don’t know if I’m laid-back or just restrained, but I generally don’t mind letting it all roll off.

    I’m curious, though: Liberal Christians are destroying this guy’s beloved what? Did I miss something really obvious?

  7. Larry Hughes says:

    I don’t know what I am saying has any thing to do with what you are saying.

    Adolf Hitler came to mind when I was reading this. As we all know, He was blaming an entire faith based religion ( Jewish) for their woes and promoting a super race( Arian).

    I don’t think God cares at all whether we are liberal, conservative, or just plan radical as long as we don’t alter scripture or His words of truth by promoting love, grace, and seeking to serve Him through His wishes.

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