Even A Blind Squirrel Finds A Nut Once In Awhile

My daughter Rebekkah recently wrote a post entitled An Answer For Everybody which was her response to all the differing opinions offered up to my post An Answer For Arkenaten. Since she has graciously allowed me to borrow her laptop since mine died a truly horrible death, I have been reading the comments to her post to her over the phone.

The battle of comments rages on even now over these two posts, and tonight Arkenaten wrote the following:

“Reborn Christians are some of the most uneducated of the Christians sects, having little or no true understanding of the history of their faith or the bible, and are even less inclined to ask pertinent questions.”

Now, on the one hand, I find this statement to be merely an opinion thrown out to insult the person he was debating with. But, when I read what Ark had written to Rebekkah, her response was, ” That’s true.” I was very taken aback when she said that, chastising her a bit for her seeming callousness. But when she explained why she felt this was a fair statement, I had to reluctantly admit that she was right. But not before I snarked back a little. I hate all-encompassing stereotypes. I really do. I did mention I am the Queen of the Knee-Jerk Reaction, remember?

I don’t agree that Arkenaten has thrown out this tidbit out of any real knowledge or wisdom, but like we Southerners like to say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. So at last, he finally gave me something to think about.

One of Rebekkah’s points that I couldn’t argue with is the severe lack of knowledge of what the Bible says and where it says it. A few years ago, Chef was working at a restaurant in a corporate park, and some of the people who would frequent this place were students of the Rhema Bible College, located here in Tulsa.

Now, I absolutely do not want to insult any Christians. I merely want to get people to ask themselves if they truthfully know why they believe what they believe. If this message doesn’t pertain to you, please disregard it. Not everyone falls into this category. I speak only to those who tend to rely on other people — teachers, preachers, friends, parents, books.. — but have not studied the Word of God for themselves. With so much in print, both in books and on-line, added to televised media, we are inundated by information. But all of that information needs to be secondary…The Bible needs to be the First and Last Word on everything.

I had numerous conversations with people in that restaurant, and many of them were with people attending the Bible school. And while they seemed ready to hit me with some form of “Shock and Awe” theories designed to impress with dry quotes of philosophers and some real twisting of random verses, they seemed woefully lacking in the basics of the Bible. For instance, I have been instructed in detail how we were already living in Jesus’s 1000 year reign, but that same person couldn’t tell me why he believed this. He quoted professors, and offered up some random bible-sounding stuff, but when I inquired about where these verses were in the Bible, he said he would get back with me. I never saw him again. One woman tried to tell me that Mary was not a virgin, and went into a long diatribe about her theories on that little tidbit. That one made me sad, because you simply can’t cherry-pick what you want from the Bible and then throw the rest out. There seems to be a real wave of Cherry-Picking theologians coming out of Tulsa right now, and I find this really, really disturbing. But doesn’t the Word say in Hosea 4:6:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”

Knowledge of what that Bible says is paramount to our walk with the Lord. A person who truly knows why they believe the way they do is not easily shaken from their beliefs. And satan is a worthy enemy. He knows how to attack us in our weakest points. By knowing the Word of God, we close down a lot of his abilities to attack us using our own minds; hence, the Word of the Lord is how we are able to carry our Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:17.

Over the years, I’ve had many, many conversations with many, many Christians, and I would have to say that it is only a small amount of them that seem to have a firm grasp on what they believe and why they believe it, with scriptural references to back their beliefs up.

There are many excellent teachers of the scripture, both in the real world and here in Blogosphere. But as Romans 9 instructs us to do, we should study to show ourselves approved. An unbeliever should never know more about that Bible than a Christian does, unless a Christian is just starting out. But for those of us who have been followers for years, the Bible should be written on our hearts, a quiver of spiritual arrows, ready for any surprise attack satan would launch at us.

I don’t necessarily agree that Christians are the most uneducated, or that we don’t as a whole, ask pertinent questions, or know our faith’s history. But I do believe that there is always room for improvement, and seeing that the days of the end are getting near, I would encourage all of us, me included, to brush up on our Biblical knowledge, or if necessary, begin anew to commit God’s words to your heart. I don’t mean to randomly memorize verses, but instead, read the Word of God as a whole, so that the Holy Spirit will be able to bring to remembrance His instructions to us when we are really in need of it.

Tonight, when I read 2 Timothy 2, I also found these verses, and they seemed a clear instruction to me on how to handle the many, many debates raging on those two posts on my site:

14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,

17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

That tells me that these sorts of conversations are not useful for me, and I am fine with leaving them to other people.

I hope you all have a peaceful evening!

— Bird

 

An Answer for Arkenaten

Jesus
Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Update:

Be sure to read the comments for Arkenaten’s response. Thanks!

Anyone who has visited Anne’s site – My Life Uncut…Almost has probably met Arkenaten. As a tireless advocate against the existence of God, he tends to show up at her site, and occasionally mine, to toss out a few bits of his opinions and wisdom that usually make my head want to explode. I simply hate an illogical argument…

Today, I feel pretty peaceful and as such, I feel like I can address some of these arguments without letting my own human anger get the better of me, and to not tie up all of Anne’s WP memory, I’ll just see if I can’t lure him over here. I have a less than strict policy on language so he might feel a little more comfortable responding here.

So, let me say this first, Arkenaten. The anger you may hear in my “voice” isn’t directed at you, but is instead directed at the only real enemy I have, and that is satan. You may think I hate you, but you would be very wrong. I hope some day you are saved. I don’t wish for you go to hell, and I’m not interested in seeing God humiliate you. When you talk, I hear satan’s perfect voice luring doubts. I hear your voice puppeting the hatred satan has always harbored toward Jesus, knowing full well that Jesus would defeat him and take the throne he had so desired and envied for himself. So, please don’t think this is a personal attack.

Here’s how one Christian girl responds to long-winded diatribes laced with dusty old supposed logic and random references to little-known authors, philosophers, saints, etc, and all laced with an attitude of superiority and disdain.

I don’t have to prove God’s existence to anyone. Leaving out the “tired old book — the Bible“, God has actually proven Himself to me and an entire church full of people here, and a million times to me alone.

I don’t use intelligence as a measure of a person’s worth, as evidenced that I went to private school with people who ALL have achieved greater worldly successes than I have. I tend to feel more drawn and respectful for people who have had to overcome terrible, painful things in their lives. It is a point of reference for us that I consider a starting point for a real relationship.

So, let me explain why your careless words bother me. Anne has a real patience and love for a different kind of people, and I respect and admire that. But, I’m not going to insult you by pretending that I want to love you into the kingdom of God. I’m not dishonest, not even with the crappy parts of my nature. I have a feeling the more I read your writings and the more I interact with you that you are simply really, really angry. And believe it or not, that makes a point of reference for you and I to understand each other too. So, let me give you a glimpse of the world from my perspective.

I had an adult man molest me for years while I was a little girl. That person was a professed Christian. Tell me, how do you deal with how slow time is when you wait in the dark, afraid to go to sleep? Years ticked by slowly.

I went to authorities but they were uncomfortable with the subject matter back then and because they were unsure how to proceed, they just ignored the problem, leaving me, a little girl, to deal with a problem that they themselves had no clue how to fix. Tell me, are you lonely? I’ll bet I know loneliness better than you do.

How do you respond when your own mother refuses to acknowledge this horrible situation because she can’t afford to financially care for all the other children in your family? What did you think that felt like? What does “betrayed” mean to you, Ark?

Instead of having crushes and learning what it meant to first fall in love, I learned that touches were painful, and I still struggle with people touching me to this day. Is this a point of reference you and I share? When other girls were dreaming of white weddings and playing at being mothers, I was dreaming of murder and maiming a specific person. Am I evil, Ark? I know what hate feels like.

To hide his own behavior, he would tell anyone who would listen what a liar I was. I was accused unjustly, and labelled incorrectly. When I thought the nightmare was finally over, I found out that I’d been so scarred that the nightmare would continue to live on in me for decades, always haunting every interaction with mankind I’d ever have. Can you tell me what disappointment, hopelessness, grief mean for you?

I went to a church pastor who informed me that a demon that my own father had passed on to me had caused this person to stumble…in other words, it was my own fault. Can you say you’ve ever felt betrayed by God Himself?

I went to the world’s “intelligent” people, and they were full of big words, medicines, and science…but none of it made a difference. I know big words, too, Ark. I don’t use a lot of them out of rebellion against those same people. For people who were supposed to have a lock on the education game, they were powerless to fix what was broken in me too…My whole being right down to my sense of who I was was destroyed. Intelligence, education, science…they were powerless to give me my self-esteem and sense of worth back. They don’t make medicines for that.

I was angry at everyone in this world, and at myself as well, for not being able to pick up and move on. To not be able to just let the whole thing go. Drugs would help for a moment, but it took more and more, and it was never permanent.

I tried to be better for my kids and for my husband, but you can’t sell an image very long, and I was unable to keep up the pretense, no matter what my reasons were.

I studied Buddha, Taoism, and every manner of new age crap looking for something that would make my heart stop hemorrhaging, and that includes most forms of Christian variations. You aren’t talking to a person who grasped at the first lifeboat that I could locate and threw myself all in…I tested the God I serve now because I don’t like to be tricked. I don’t like anything or anyone having any power or control over me. And I don’t trust easily…So, if God couldn’t handle me questioning Him, then we had no basis for a relationship, because there could be no trust.

I eventually picked up that tired old book — the Bible, and I began to read, absorb, re-aquaint myself with the words in it, and they became alive. I had gone to a Christian school, Christian churches. I’ve always know God was there, but I had split when I felt He had not lived up to His end of the bargain. In the end, I didn’t find God in a church. He came straight to my room when I called out to Him.

Without drugs, professionals, churches, medications…nothing, Jesus began to lead me out of the darkness I lived in. There is simply no way someone who isn’t even looking for God is going to understand that. There are no words that will sway a hardened heart.

I write all of this to say this, Ark. When you carelessly run your mouth off, being ever so witty and clever, aren’t you as mean and evil as this God and religion you’ve declared war on? How are your intentions really different from Stalin or Hitler, or the many, many Christian Crusader’s wars you continually bring up? Hurting other people for the sheer joy of pursuing what you selfishly want to make your own existence more tolerable is simply the same thing. Self-love above what is good for someone else. Basic motivation that has varying, horrifying results. Isn’t that what the motivation was for the man who thought my life and well-being was secondary to his getting off??

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument that you are right, and I’m deluding myself. Is it more merciful of you to shake me out of a delusion and let me sink back into the hell that I lived in than to let me be healthier and happier now? Is the rush that you get by “proving” your theories and stirring people’s pots,  more important that the happiness people get from their religious beliefs?

People who are honest with themselves first always show that trait, no matter what they say or do, and it is a trait that I respect. We both know that your intentions aren’t to help your fellow man..I know this because I had a close friend who was a real atheist, and while her beliefs made me nuts, her motives were really rather good. You aren’t worried that we Christians will rise up and start the Crusades again, injuring innocent people everywhere. I imagine a lot of people can see through the words to your heart, even if you yourself aren’t being really honest with yourself.

I don’t have any clue where you are going when you die. I’m not stupid or simple enough to believe that God doesn’t have a better grasp on the “light that you walk in”, and people like Anne, who God put specifically on this earth for people like you, will probably always be a plague to you as long as you live and resist. Sorry. None of that is my business. What is my business, though, is that I’m positioned here for those who have experienced Hell already, and I won’t let you toss out nonsense logic without calling you on it. Not when those who are still weak can so easily be swayed by satan’s very excellent deceiving abilities.

— Bird