“I can complain if I want to, it’s comforting.”
The last day or so, I’ve been in a dialogue with a user that almost immediately said these things to and about me: “you’re a complainer” “you’re writing out of a victim mentality” “You seem to carry a lot of resentment” “you’re blaming others for your own mistakes” “why are you directing your anger at me?” “you’re wrong, bible interpretation has eluded you” “you’re wrong, you’re failing to backing anything up with Bible verses” “you’re wrong, you haven’t posted anything to prove that you’ve read from the Reformers” “you show that you have no understanding of Scripture” “so you admit to being a victim” “why are you pointing fingers at me?” “I’m not interested in reading your complaints and attacks on others.” “Go find somebody else to complain to.”
By the way, the guy saying those things is claiming to be in the leadership position of a Christian church. Do you want to know what I said elicit that warm, loving kind of response? “I’m tired of Christianity telling me exactly what I can and cannot believe in order to be accepted by them.” I didn’t see it at the time, but now I know, most of those responses are ad homenim attacks and some of it also poisoning the well. This means two things: (1.) by poisoning the well, he wants to muddy up the waters so that other people who read my comments will be put-off by the characterization of me as a complaining victim, than any argument I make is seen as the emotionally-compromised non-sense drivel of such a person (which, by the way, is a totally wrong idea; if a victim of a car accident breaks down in tears describing the unsympathetic look on the face of the driver at fault for killing their spouse because of the alcohol he had been drinking nobody would say “I’m sorry ma’am, but you’re an emotionally compromised victim and your testimony cannot be taken seriously at this time.”). and (2.) He has no real argument to respond to the question of how much control Christianity is permitted to exert over the beliefs of it’s adherents that he’d rather attack me personally, which means that there’s no logical or sound argument that he can make to answer the question.
This is the frustration I think a lot of people feel about Christianity. It’s not enough to be given a list of beliefs in order to secure approval from the church. We want to be connected to the sorts of beliefs that we can believe in and that we can believe to be true. First we have to remember that what we believe changes us, it emphasizes certain traits as morally acceptable and others as morally unacceptable. One example is that of honesty. So long as Christianity prefers the truth to lies, then my beliefs would have me speak only the truth. But that’s also the source of some of the problem, when some have come to believe that only those who believe as they do are the ones who believe correctly, then anyone who claims to be what they are, a real true Christian, and yet does not believe as they do is compromised in some way. They probably don’t know the Bible enough to know the truth, otherwise they would believe the same things. In which case, education will clear up the misconception and restore them to the truth. If they do know the scriptures and yet believe differently, then they must be liars and must not be real true Christians. Because there’s no way that a person can be a real true Christian and somehow believe differently than what other real true Christians believes.
So when there’s reports of droves of people leaving Christianity, we can rest assured that they’re all ‘cultural Christians’ or false Christians or people who weren’t real true Christians because all real true Christians would never leave the churches or the denominations behind. Which answers the question quite well: real true Christians can exert total control over the beliefs of others who claim to be Christians. It’s their duty to turn a brother or sisters from the error of bad theology or incorrect teaching and to restore them to the truth as they know it. And that is why I’m tired of Christianity telling me exactly what I can and must believe in order to be considered a real true Christians, mostly because I already don’t believe some of the things I’m supposed to. So that makes me a liar at best or a heretic at worst. So yeah, I’ll complain if I want to, because that’s no way to treat brothers and sisters. Any family that polices the beliefs of the rest is a dangerously unhealthy one that doesn’t respect any individual therein.