I used to like doing Christian apologetics, but I have grown weary of it lately. There are several reasons why I grew weary, but lately I thought, among others: “If the all-powerful God I serve chose, or allowed, to let Bible passages be included that could be used by a rather reasonable anti-Christian to call God murderous or misogynous (and God sure did)*, then He is bigger than me and He can defend himself against these charges.”
Today on a blog I visit, so-called “Christian domestic discipline” was discussed. Someone mentioned that this fringe action (which I certainly do not call Christian whatsoever) causes unbelievers to blaspheme Christianity, and I wondered how far Christianity, as lived by some today, deserves the insults to it. I know, to say God is bad when Christians/”Christians” are bad is a fallacy, but “Christianity” as lived by some who call themselves Christians – and left un-criticized by much of the rest of Christianity – deserve some of the flak it gets.
I was still steaming about the [censored] that passes for Christianity these days (and worried how this “domestic discipline” could affect those that participate “because God say so,” who therefore feel they cannot refuse any of it) when, while I was thinking that, a comment came in on my e-mail, from a blog I participate in. The comment replied to a place where I mentioned disagreement with an (alleged) believer who makes money from her Christian™ books. After my comment, I linked here. The commenter, Gimpi1, said:
Well said, Retha. I don’t exactly share your faith, but I can get behind the whole “love others as you love yourself” meme. And I would be a whole lot more likely to listen to you than to the author of this article, who appears to cherry-pick not only her scriptures, but current events, history science, and most of life.
Good comment. Good philosophy.
The clincher to me was:
I would be a whole lot more likely to listen to you than to …
When I am the Christian before them, the killing in some Bible texts is not part of Christianity – I do not have a desire to kill or hurt. And the misogyny that seems to be (I don’t think it is really there) in the Bible’s teachings is not part of the Christianity they see when they see me.** The often disastrous combination of Patriarchy/ home schooling/ extreme submission/ courtship/ quiverful ideas discussed on the blog where Gimpi1 answered me is not part of my belief system and they know it.
Sometimes, love is apologetics. Sometimes, common sense is apologetics. Sometimes, standing up against those who call themselves believers is apologetics. Christianity becomes more reasonable when a reasonable person can, in good conscience, live like the Christians he knows.
* Please see that I never called God either murderous or mysogynous. “Reasonable” does not equal “correct”.
** I am not bragging here – God still has a lot of work to do on me, and I used to be more foolish than I am now – but this time I learned not from my mistakes, but from how people react positively to certain messages.