It amazes me how un-Christian those "Christians" in your hate mail really act. And what is most frustrating is that they don't realize it. The two most important tenets of Christianity are: 1) love your God, and 2) love your neighbor as yourself. Many of them do an excellent job in loving their God. In fact, they do too good a job of that. But they neglect to love their neighbors. And that's because they don't realize that their neighbors include people who have different beliefs, or no beliefs as the case may be.
What's sad is that the polite Christian is decidedly the exception in the online world. I'd be willing to bet a healthy chunk of cash that the majority of these hosers wouldn't say such things to my face.
Ironically, if I showed the mean emails to the Christians I know, they would disassociate themselves from them and call them "un-Christian". However, I find the most hostile and hateful emails to be most consistent with the overall tone of the old testament. Praise be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
As another one of these apparently rare respectful Christians, I am going to respectfully point out that, no matter how un-Christian certain activities of other Christians may seem, remember that labeling them "un-Christian" is just as much a sin as writing hateful, judgmental letters. Remember in Matthew where it points out that he who calls his Brother a fool is liable to judgment. But hey, I struggle with this, too.
We should perhaps gently point out to them certain verses in the Bible that say "judge not lest ye be judged" or "blessed be the peacemakers" and pray that they can calm down. Jesus wants us to be aggressively passive: Let others believe what they want and do what they want (unless they're hurting other people) but strive to depend on God in your own life so that you can be a light to others in deeds and words - not keeping your faith private, but being respectfully outgoing with it.
Morgan Matthew, have you ever read The Challenge of Jesus, by N. T. Wright? It's extremely intelligent and puts the gospel in a whole new theological light in terms of what our actions should be as Christians. I definitely recommend it.
Hi JustCurious. I think you should know that the rules that apply to you are not universal and as such, do not apply to non-believers at all. So when you say "sin", we do not cringe in fear that we've offended as invisible observer who is waiting to condemn us for the over-sight. Although I generally try to leave the judging to the judges, there are many instances that we as "lay judges" can make excellent judgments regarding the behavior of our fellow citizens, especially when they are so clearly prejudice and hateful towards their fellow humans and when their hate is motivated by hateful, although ancient texts. It's really time to reel in the religion and confine it to the membership who chooses to believe and practice it.
woops, sorry, I added that last bit before I knew someone had replied to my first bit. lol
Yes, I understand. I was replying to someone who had written something as a Christian and I was giving my opinion in that light. I understand that atheists don't fear an invisible judge. I wasn't writing that comment in light of atheist readers, even though this is an atheist website. I was replying to a Christian comment in a Christian way.
Oh, and as for the comment concerning the hostility of the Old Testament: yes, it is often very harsh. This is because Israel was God's chosen nation to be the light of the world, and to be the race that would give birth to the Messiah. As such, God held these people to ridiculously high standards of purity so that they would stand out from other nations. False prophets and wicked kings were struck down in order to protect the children of Israel from being led astray. God also promised Israel that if they did go astray, that the inevitable consequence would be humiliation and exile. Israel went down this path several times and was redeemed several times. This is to show us all that God is powerful and good to His word, but he is also merciful. He never judged without fair warning, and those who repented were saved. As such, since Christ is the new temple and humanity, which is in exile, will be redeemed and brought back to God through His Son, we must be the light of the world , and God holds us to new standards of purity in thought, no longer prescribing certain behaviors but striving to depend solely on God for our grace and purity of mind, and, most importantly, peace. .