Brian has posted a brilliant essay by Bob Passantino. The article is about how to apply the "Golden Rule" to how we do witness and how we do Apologetics.The principles and points raised are timeless. I totally agree with his points We can't ever treat people like we don't want to be treated and more than that we must do for others what we want done for us. I'm amazed how often people think the negative form of the Golden Rule is equivalent to what Jesus said but it isn't. He phrased it in such a way that we can't just passively not harm others but we must work to have a positive impact.
It can be really hard not to mock another's viewpoints or belief when they disrespect your own. I think that sometimes when people push on you, you have to push back so that they know you are serious. This isn't always what we need to do. It can be used to make a point, get attention, and not to just smooth a bruise ego. I find that discussing Christianity on John Loftus' blog - Debunking Christianity - does bring up a lot resistance. People who disagree with me often resot to name-calling and speaking meanly at me because they disagee. So much pain and suffering and they dismiss the only way they can be free. However they have convinced themselves that God is not real and they don't need Him even if He did.exist. One example of how heated it's gotten is after Bronxboy47 had said very horrendous things to try to rebut my arguments.At one point he said that the Bible does not make sense and then makes the following argument:
On Satan's Fall From Grace
To speak of the unprompted emergence out of nowhere of a malice so unfathomably deep as to reject one's maker and attempt to sabotage his creation, is to postulate yet another uncaused cause. We are told the angels have free will. Free will to do what? To reject and rebel against an omnipotent God? That would be sheer and utter folly, and the angels damn well knew it. And yet, we are asked to believe that, nevertheless, some made the choice to rebel. Now I ask you, how brain damaged would you have to be to make a decision like that?
And please don't answer me, as Marcus would, that don't have brains!
But what I said in response was:
BronxBoy47, Why shouldn't the angels be that stupid? I mean you are.
I realize that some might think that's heavy handed but I wanted to drive home the point that he is saying that it's stupid to rebel against an omnipotent God, yet that is what he himself is doing. I've realized the best way to handle things so I don't end up getting so frustrated that I say something I'll regret later is to step away and then come back. It's not even that they have great compelling arguments, it's that one can take only so much stupid in a single setting.
Apologetics 315: The Golden Rule Apologetic by Bob Passantino