Opinions on faith and life

The Hamster Wheel

2011-11-21

I just left my last “Christian” board, and I’m not the only one. People no longer know how to discuss anything of importance, follow a train of thought or argument, disagree with civility, or separate the argument from the person. The boards run rampant with double standards, gossip, and betrayal, not to mention heresy and blatant false teachings. The so-called Christian world essentially fiddles while Rome burns, and the boards mostly operate at one of two extremes: a wild cage match whose religion is really conflict, or a sickly-sweet garden club whose religion is really etiquette. Real fellowship, real Bible study, real trust and character, are rare commodities these days. The “church” is distracted by programs and internal squabbling and has utterly failed to be the “salt and light” of the world, with few individual exceptions.

I used to think that such boards were a great place to learn and help others, and for a while I do believe that happened--- well, at least I learned a lot about people. And what I learned is that only a very precious few can be trusted. I’m a fiercely loyal person, but if someone I trust turns on me (especially over a secondary teaching), that trust will never return. It only happened on occasion in the past, but in recent years it has become the norm. People who will defend you on topics you agree on will suddenly become your worst enemies the moment you happen upon a topic where you disagree. And even moderators have shown an uncanny ability to take the most innocent statements as “goading and flaming” while ignoring blatant violations with obvious ill intent. I could cite examples of trumped-up charges that would make a police state blush.

More recently, this trend has spread to blogs and social networking sites. People you “friend” will not allow you to post your opinions on your own home page without feeling the need to get in your face about it. I personally just ignore or “hide” people whose comments/status updates irritate me. I don’t go to their “walls” to lambaste them about what they believe, I just post my own views on my own page, and they’re free to ignore me or “unfriend” me. So I get very angry when they don’t treat me with the same respect of free speech.

And this is the world we live in. We see this double standard all the time, in the media, the “protests”, government, everywhere. People want to impose their opinions and preferences on others, even while blasting those others for wanting to do the same thing. The world, and the “church” with it, has devolved into chaos and anarchy. Did the “church” structure/hierarchy prevent this? Did big government? So why do people look to those institutions for rescue from the ills of the church and world?

These discussions have become so futile and counter-productive, mere exercise that goes nowhere--- like a hamster wheel. But the way off this hamster wheel is to live on principle and character derived from the very nature of God. The Bible is where we learn this, yet this too has become a “double-edged sword” in more ways than one. The way people mangle and twist the scriptures has often made me wish those scriptures were still hidden by jealous control freaks. Most of the “isms and schisms” plaguing the Christian world would never have come to fruition without wide access to the scriptures. But the price would have been too steep; the ones who take the time to study and exercise discernment and patience would have been robbed of this great treasure, and injustices such as slavery would still be thought “natural” (yet, ironically, the subjugation of women still remains, though Christian women were instrumental in ending slavery in the US). Would we still know that Jesus rose from the dead without the written testimony of the eyewitnesses?

I’ve often said that the best way to test character is to disagree with someone on a topic they hold dear. The fact that many proclaiming Christ get nasty about opinion or tone but show no emotion about blasphemy (or even defend it!) tells me everything I need to know about their character, about what they really hold dear. What upsets you (or fails to upset you) is at least as telling as how upset you get or how you express it. I’ve mentioned this before concerning Bible prophecy (the bride not caring if her groom ever shows up), but it extends to every topic.

For all those reasons, the only message boards I’ll ever post in again will not have anything to do with religion or politics. The blogs I comment in will be very few if I post at all. Blogs have their own followings, and there is usually an inner core who cannot be disagreed with. (And I forgot till now to mention the practice of both boards and blogs of erasing or altering comments, removing evidence that could be used against them.) I have lost all hope of finding fellowship in this life and seem to have completely failed in my quest to be of some use to the Body of Christ. And while I’m sure there are quite a few people who cheer at the thought of being rid of me, we’ll see who’s cheering at the Judgment. My conscience is clear; nobody can say I never tried. But I cannot try anymore.

9 Comments

Truthseeker

Paula, I, too, have learned from you. I am sure I am not alone.

Paula Fether

Tanx TS! :-) And even one or two is worth it. But I don’t want to just sit here either, so I’m waiting to see what I can do next.

Shirley Taylor

Paula, you have enriched me with your knowledge and love of our Lord. We will suffer from not having your wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures connecting us. I have no idea what has happened, but I grieve with you, my sister. God bless. Shirley

Paula Fether

Thanks, Shirley. :-)

Bob

The woes of Christian Forums

Surviving being attacked by neo calvinists on Christian forums. Here is some quotes from the chief bully.

nobdysfool http://www.christianforums.com/groups/399-15/

Sorry, Troy Brooks, you won’t find anything here....

To my brethren, what was formerly here I had to remove. I will not have what I said in confidence used against me. It is unethical, it is dishonest, and the person who has been doing this is no Christian, yet has the unmitigated gall to try and use private communications to besmirch my character, and try to portray me as a false Christian. This person is guilty of identity theft, posting private communications publicly, and harassment. He is no Christian. He is an imposter, and a tool of Satan.

Post that, Troy Brooks, Pinkman, cindy161, onyourcase, Lake of Fire, Norbert Dent, or whoever else you call yourself. I will not be intimidated by such antics..

On Soteriology cindy161 asked "If God predestined man to be reprobate, totally depraved, unable to respond. How can God then hold man responsible for what God himself did ?"

A valid question which no neo calvinist has yet been able to answer. Instead she received a wall of hate post and character assignation.

nobdysfool To me, it has just become an exciting, fun challenge. I honed my Calvinist teeth in Free Republic, where there was a time when the Religion Forum was a rollicking, free-for-all, a regular punch-fest.

I learned how to take it, and how to give it. I learned how to insult someone subtly, how to read someone’s pedigree nicely, and how to cut to the heart of a matter. As I said, it was a verbal punch-fest, so these wimps in Soteriology wouldn’t have lasted a day there. I can’t use but maybe 20% of the methods I learned, or I would be perma-banned in less than a day. As it is, I have had action against me by the mods here, some deserved, and some not.

nobdysfool I wouldn’t doubt it, since he is getting his head handed to him by several of us. I managed to get one of my replies edited, and had FreeInChrist insert my updated copy right after he closed the thread for review. I would have liked to edit a little more, but it is what it is. I do stand by what I said. I have not reported him, although I could have. So, if he reported me or any of the others, he’s the one that blinked, and couldn’t stand the heat. He sure doesn’t like it when he gets a taste of his own medicine....

Also beware that apart from winding Christian up to cause strife.

He uses his friendly moderator to close threads and get people banned.

nobdysfool

I wouldn’t doubt it, since he is getting his head handed to him by several of us. I managed to get one of my replies edited, and had FreeInChrist insert my updated copy right after he closed the thread for review. I would have liked to edit a little more, but it is what it is. I do stand by what I said. I have not reported him, although I could have. So, if he reported me or any of the others, he’s the one that blinked, and couldn’t stand the heat. He sure doesn’t like it when he gets a taste of his own medicine....

Another tactic to cause stress is to post some thing foul to provoke a heated response and the delete the post to avoid being banned. E.G.:

Tzaousios

Nobdysfool, I think you are very right in that. One of the posts that I ended up deleting so as not to get reported put forth the idea that a good deal of his fellow Orthodox would disapprove of both his methodology and some of his content. It is no wonder he does not venture into TAW or fight with Catholics any.

I saw that post, and then saw you had deleted it. RG has been daring me to report him, so I’ve posted some things that, if he reports them, will show him to be a hypocrite. So, if I get nicked for it, I’ll try to let you know, so you can point out his hypocrisy publicly. Personally, I’m getting tired of the constant noise of battle, and the stupidity of these self-styled "crusaders for truth", who think they can just shout down Calvinists at will. Some of the stuff these clowns post doesn’t even make sense! Have people really become that stupid???

The hatred is not just for non calvinists. Any other denomination get the same abuse E.G

nobdysfool Personally, I think there is a time and a place for a well-placed knuckle sandwich. One thing is clear to me, Rightglory does not speak for the EOC, and I think those over him would have some disciplinary words to say to him if they knew what he was doing.

Also beware that these neo-calvinists work as a pack.

Many Christians have attempted debate. After 20 or so posts the neo-calvie disappears and his mate come sonline to cause the Christian to repeat everything.

Originally Posted by cygnusx1

this thread is far better than the soteriology threads !!!

I saw that post, and then saw you had deleted it. RG has been daring me to report him, so I’ve posted some things that, if he reports them, will show him to be a hypocrite. So, if I get nicked for it, I’ll try to let you know, so you can point out his hypocrisy publicly. Personally, I’m getting tired of the constant noise of battle, and the stupidity of these self-styled "crusaders for truth", who think they can just shout down Calvinists at will. Some of the stuff these clowns post doesn’t even make sense! Have people really become that stupid???

Apart from outright demonizing posters, E.G.:

nobdysfool We need to at least keep a presence there, because the enemies of the Doctrines of Grace are always trying to find a way to sneak in and spread their poison. Case in point, the re-appearance of Troy Brooks, the heretic.

Ben Johnson is on the ropes, his Responsible Grace error has been exposed and he has thoughtlessly called into question his own character, with a false accusation against. His character is on the line

I get frustrated at times, but I’m starting to feel like the watchman on the wall. Someone has to warn of the danger. Woe unto me if I fail in that regard.

More recently he has given the of assisting and being civil. But them backstabbing.

nobdysfool

Hey guys! Thanks for the invite!

So how many of us here have been MOD warned while trying to defend the Gospel?

Amazing how Terene plays the victim, when she brought most of what she complains about on herself. Self-justification runs through her posts. She thinks she is justified in speaking harshly to those who take issue with her Calvinist-bashing, but none of us are justified in taking issue with some of the harsh things she has said without cause against Calvinists. So she can’t take the heat and runs to the mods to close the thread, so she can have the last word. She brought it on herself.

Paula Fether

(moved from the About page)

Thanks for this, Bob, and welcome. :-)

It’s a fact of human nature to deny one’s own faults and project them onto others, and ’fool is an excellent case study. This sort of whiney, "those bad Arminians" tirade has been going on there for years; it’s always the other people’s fault. But when any rational person looks at the actual words, as you mentioned here, the most reasonable questions are seen as attacks and lies. They whine about being challenged and then respond with vicious ad hominem while accusing their victims of the same.

EDIT: There is a glitch preventing further comments since I moved some from the About page. Until I can figure out what happened, feel free to add any comments to newer posts that are allowing them.

Sonnet

"and seem to have completely failed in my quest to be of some use to the Body of Christ" Paula, you have helped me.

Tiro Lynn

I am very sorry to hear this.  And sorry that you have been offended again.  My prayers are for you in the Lord.

SaberTruth

Tanx ladies :-)  I’ll still blog, but I’m not quite sure why. o.O