Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We Have a Little Shadow

I occasionally hang out on an online bulletin board called Learn About Christianity. Unlike contentious, "I know you are but what am I?" types of religious discussions, this forum is designed for people who have questions about Christianity to ask them in a "safe space." All responses need to be responsive to the original questioner, not to other respondents; and the forum is moderated adequately enough to ensure that this rule is followed.

I'm pleased to note that, despite jokes about the "frozen chosen" and concerns that Lutherans just don't know how to articulate their faith, our team, and some other folks in the broad catholic Christian tradition, have a strong presence on this forum, and regularly step up to the plate to respond to questions. The regulars identify their religious affiliation, and generally qualify their remarks with a note that this is what we believe or this is how we do things.

Lately a representative of a Large, Culturally Aggressive Conservative American Denomination has been joining in the discussion. I recognize him from my involvement on debate forums. He has a fairly consistent message -- You are going to hell if you don't get this salvation thing right -- which he delivers with great conviction, not to mention palpable relish.

I perceive that the rules of engagement on this forum are quite constraining for this fellow, because he cannot directly address the heretics and apostates who are leading sinners down the primrose path to hell.

But he dogs us. If one of us answers a question from our perspective, he is right behind with his. I honestly think that he thinks he's been called to a special ministry of saving the lost from...well, from us.

It's kind of cute.


Anonymous said...

i'm impressed you can call it "cute"!

a few weeks ago we had a function at our church and two fellows came in and handed out tracts, apparently in an attempt to save us in the church! i did find it laughable at the time.

the arrogance is unbelievable...i don't know that i could think it was cute. i'm not that understanding just yet.

Kievas said...

This really resonates with my post about labels. I liked your comment, too, and will have to use that response some time just to see the reactions I get :)

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

I was on a blog somewhere where the various respondents were posting about HAVING to do this and HAVING to do that. I posted about grace and God coming to us, etc. Hmmmmm. A couple of days later, my comments dissappeared.

Mary Sue said...

If you get into the mindset that they're concerned for you and care about you, instead of that they're attacking you and you need to be defensive, it's amazing how adorable they become.

Anonymous said...

"Culturally Aggressive Conservative American Denomination "

The C.A.C.A. Denomination?? :)

Anonymous said...

mary sue, you are correct. i try to remember that but sometimes it's very difficult...adprable still seems a stretch! ;)

Grace said...


It's great that you're taking this so well. But, to me, I think I would want to work things through with this person. All Christians should at least be agreeing concerning the content of the gospel. If not, where's the break down of communication.? Otherwise, I think it can be really confusing and divisive to "seekers".

I've found that many non-Lutheran groups misunderstand the Lutheran belief relating to infant baptism, feeling that somehow this is something that either adds to or detracts from the awesome, necessary work of the cross of Jesus.

Anyway, I definitely would be having the dialogue.

The same goes for groups coming into the church distributing tracts. God have mercy! Something is amiss.