There's this guy who prowls the Beliefnet Christian Welcome and Faith and Life forums -- I'll call him Billy Bob -- who drives me absolutely crazy.
He is, I think, a Southern Baptist of the Jerry Falwell end of that theological spectrum, so it's pretty much a given that I will strenuously disagree with almost everything he has to say.
But antagonistic online religious blowhards are a dime a dozen. That's not what drives me crazy.
This guy, Billy Bob, has a disturbing tendency to find some lost soul posting online in a state of spiritual distress -- and then verbally bash the hapless individual over the head with his King James Bible and pretensions to his own righteousness.
The other day someone began a topic thread explainng that s/he'd been the victim of an armed robbery, and had been so shaken by this experience that s/he was starting to lose faith in a good God.
Along came Billy Bob. Instead of offering this person comfort and encouragement, he lit into the robbery victim for daring to doubt God; for having such paltry faith. He suggested that if this person's faith were so easily shaken, then s/he probably wasn't a Real Christian[tm] to begin with, like Billy Bob.
Well, needless to say, I weighed in with what I hoped was more helpful and theologically responsible advice to the individual who'd been robbed at gunpoint. But I didn't address Billy Bob directly, because I was sure I couldn't do that without violating the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct.
I don't want to get all hyperbolic-Martin-Luther here -- but if Satan himself responded to this hurting individual, I am convinced that he'd sound a great deal like Billy Bob. And I couldn't help but think of what Jesus had to say about people who cause the anawim, the "little ones," to lose faith.
Lord, save us from your followers. Again.