Internet Evangelism, and 'converting' non-believers

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  1. jlpark profile image79
    jlparkposted 9 years ago

    Whilst I can't say I haven't learnt a lot from discussions on these forums, answers and hubs, one thing has become very apparent to me lately, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

    We are all capable of hiding behind a keyboard, saying anything in order to get the response we are seeking - be that anger, hurt, someone to tell that they are wrong, bully etc.  I've met a number here on Hubpages who make a game out of it - theists and atheists alike.  I've also met a number of wonderful people who will be honest despite being reasonably anonymous - they will answer as they feel truthful and if no one agrees, thats okay with them too.

    However, what I've come to realise lately is that the Internet Evangelist - of faith and lack thereof - does not realise one thing in particular:

    Their forceful, argumentative ways are actually turning away those people whom they seek to 'convert."

    For myself, the more pushy and arrogant a Christian (not all, only a select few actually) is towards me, or my lack of belief in a god or gods (not an atheist however), the less likely I am to want to even consider being Christian, or associated in any way with the type of Christian that these select few put across.

    Is it ignorance or arrogance? Ignorance in that they don't realise they're doing it, or arrogance in that they know exactly what they are doing, but may not realise that it's going against everything they say they are trying to do (turn people to God being their aim)

    Am I alone in this?
    Can anyone explain it who happens to realise that they are doing it?

    (name-calling, etc will have this thread closed)

    1. profile image0
      calculus-geometryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know if it's ignorance or arrogance, but it's also an inability to form a logical, non-circular argument.  Discussions around here often go like this:

      Religious person: Such and such is true because it is written in this sacred book of my religion.

      Non-believer: I do not believe in your sacred book.

      Religious person: Then you are going to Hell because in my sacred book it says that anyone who doesn't believe the sacred book is going to Hell.

      Non-believer: Your argument is circular.

      Religious person: No, it's not! My sacred book says this is a sound argument.

      Non-believer: Okay, have a nice day.  I'm going out for gelato.

    2. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      For the devout theist and atheist alike, I think it is simply strength of conviction that drives them. A closed mind is difficult to reason with. I don't think those types accept that there are no universal truths in the realm of religion and philosophy.

      I suppose you could label it arrogance, but I would think it is more a matter of ignorance between what constitutes opinion and fact.

    3. bethperry profile image83
      bethperryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Whether it is a Christian, an atheist or anyone else with a hardcore belief that convinces them that they are so privileged, enlightened and superior that they assume the right to diss anyone with a differing opinion, I think it boils down to a matter of  arrogance. Ignorance is not harmful in itself -sometimes it even reaches out for understanding and can be replaced by knowledge and tolerance. But arrogance is a bully, always.

      1. jlpark profile image79
        jlparkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I wonder why the arrogance takes over.  Most of the time, the very LAST thing I want to do after experiencing one of these people is to become what they are, or worship who they worship.

        Their arrogance has the opposite effect on me than they were likely intending.

        Saying "Im right, and any opinion you have on it is wrong, You should worship my God, or you are nothing" doesn't make me want to rush out and join a church, group, etc.

        1. Kiss andTales profile image61
          Kiss andTalesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I listen to many comments ,and I also have learned a lot. That depends on what you are looking for .if you are looking for the True God he will let himself be found , but if you are looking for a god that fit your reasons of comfort in a lifestyle you will find that . For many have and are not truly happy. Why do you think people are rich and are not happy, have mates and are not happy ,seem to have it all and not happy. Because they do not poses the real treasure ,Example what good is it to be with some one who can not really love you genuine. Many fill that space with things they think means love and it is not.
          That is why they keep searching, they know they need something ,but they refuse to admit the truth when they hear it. Because it means sacrificing something they want to do as pleasure,or giving up something they do not know how to turn a lose. Many times we know the answers ,we just do not want to face them. We want to hear a good reason to do what we want. But if I told you there was treasure in a dangerous  cave , and you could have it if you learned more about caves and how to enter avoiding danger would you try to get that education ,or would you keep trying to do it your way at your own risk. That is where we are today. I can not live anybody life for them, I have to answer for my own decisions but I can as a fellow human be very truthful in a loving way to let you know our  Heavenly Father has feelings too! When will people learn he made us in his image. When will people learn what bothers you bothers him. When will people learn God is Love. When will people learn he is a God of order.  So many things to learn ,true what we want we may not have now but in due time happiness will be real as the sun and the moon.

        2. bethperry profile image83
          bethperryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          jlpark, that is very true, like the old adage of biting your nose to spite your face. And when they do this, it is quite clear that it isn't their message they care so much about as the sense of power they take in playing the bully.

          1. Kiss andTales profile image61
            Kiss andTalesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            A bully has a purpose to do bodly harm. That should never apply to some one who believes in peace and love. And that is what God is Love.

            1. jlpark profile image79
              jlparkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Nope, K+T, a bully can be verbal also. Bullies do not need physical violence to be bullies.
              Telling someone they are going to hell because they don't believe in a God or Gods in particular is emotional abuse. Regardless of what it says in the Bible re: Hell, threats aren't going to make anyone join a religion unless they are incredibly vulnerable....and then it's even worse.

              I'm not saying that speaking of Jesus, God, Allah, Prophet Muhammed etc is necessarily bad - as it is not.  Sharing your faith, in a positive unjudgemental way is fine. It's when people get "you are bad cauase of this ....AND you don't believe? SOOOO going to Hell unless you join us" and get stroppy when questioning of said religion (or lack of) in order to gain more information is seen as "getting at" or "bashing" the religion, and then people get nasty...

              1. Kiss andTales profile image61
                Kiss andTalesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                You are right that would be a form of bullying , But God can not benefit from this kind of actions. That is where people have to learn the truth for them self who God really is. Because people claim to represent him ,when they really don't . Hell in Hebrew is really a persons grave.  If many would study God's word ,they could not be fooled or controlled by false words . people use religion as a dishonest gain, and many times they will benefit money wise. Again man puts a price on everything even God as we can see.
                His truth is free, like our love and truth for our own family.
                Jesus is never recorded asking any one for money. He served people with little rest. Feeding multitudes, being concern for their welfare.
                Reference Bible Mt 20:28 Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.” 
                That means Jesus served people .

    4. cjhunsinger profile image61
      cjhunsingerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It would seem that we have divided the camp into two basic categories, Believers and non-believers and then divided those even further and I am sure that there are divisions on those divisions.
      Well I am a Believer. I believe in America and  I believe that I am an American. I believe that the American Constitution is the greatest document ever written in the history of mankind. I believe in individual freedom. I believe  that each person has a right to achieve based upon his own merit, without the  permission,  guidance or assistance of a government  or a church. I believe that the family is the best to raise a child, as idiots come from the village. I believe that the family is the back bone of a free society and that if that should be destroyed chaos and tyranny will rule. 
      I believe in 'freedom of religion' and freedom from a religious mandate. I believe in the rule of law predicated upon the concept of Individual freedom and a limited government; best described in the American Constitution.
      I believe that Man is possessed of the capacity to reason and it is within that talent that we will solve all man made problems, all those obstacles of nature  and too, what the universe is and is not.
      I believe that peace will come, not through a god or power envy, but rather through the idea that Man must be free to achieve, free to realize his own dreams and  ambitions, not those defined by a state or a church.
      I believe in the individuality of Man, in  the great value of each, as a sovereign entity born not to serve, but to rule over his own life, not the lives of others.
      I believe that we are self-proclaimed stewards of the planet of our birth and  it is ours to cherish, as all the life upon it, but that such proclamations of doom and guilt serve only to garner money and power and diminish that most precious commodity, Man and his freedom.
      What I do not believe in is God and Country. I believe in freedom from both. I do not believe in charity or giving back or sharing. I believe in compassion, empathy, as a positive human trait,  but only on my terms and not defined by a state or church.
      I believe in  Mans humanity to Man because that is all we have. All we have is each other and that is the premise of the American Constitution and that is my belief.
      Perhaps, there are those unbelievers who would disagree, but to those, tyranny awaits in the form of a theocracy or a totalitarian rule and your vision of perfection is not is mute.
      Maybe my rant had nothing to do with the topic, but I believe it does and if not well, it did not, but I feel better.

      1. jlpark profile image79
        jlparkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Nope, I think that your reply fits perfectly.

        I'm more about those who are of one camp INSISTING that anyone who isn't in their camp MUST be of the OTHER camp, and nothing in between, therefore "if you aren't with me, you must be against me" is what they see and then pounce on to say "You must be with me and this is why."

        Instead of seeing "If you aren't with me, you may be of a different camp, but not necessarily against me".

        (do I even make sense??? Some days I think the baby babble of my daughter in the background makes more sense!)

        1. cjhunsinger profile image61
          cjhunsingerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Baby Babble---Its been many, many, many years--only  baby giggle is better--enjoy

    5. tsmog profile image85
      tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      IMHO it is as it is. It does not matter if it be a theist or any theological viewpoint or an agnostic or an atheist. The same thing occurs in forums elsewhere. You will see Ford lovers condemning the Chevrolet lover (lovers of cars) as vehemently as the [a]theist and the a[theist], (lovers of life) . There will be Cannon lovers condemning the Nikon lovers (lovers of cameras). There will be accountants arguing LIFO and FIFO, (lovers of the product of numbers) There will be democrats disagreeing with republicans (lovers of government). The nature of the beast sort to speak is the same with all of those.

      The question is of civility and civility has variance. Else why does the constitution provide for civility in the U.S? (From the preamble . . . "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" where there is an emphasis on the word 'our'. Once an individual or group is singled out then 'our' can no longer exist.)

      An old adage says, "What is the difference between yours and ours?"

      The answer is "why".

      The subject is not of consequence with personalities, feelings, and emotions as those are personal and individual. It is the formed belief and the willingness to accept another belief while not being threatened or threatening or remain civil. One challenge is to concede the other is living life happily with what ever that belief is. That is simply the 'blessings of Liberty'. It is simply scary for 'some' to consider they are wrong especially when one has lived their life based on a premise for a belief and/or a belief system. Some to the extent of defending beyond reasonable to seeking harm. Again, that is the nature of the beast with differences. However the law of reciprocity applies when they may be correct.

      There is an adage that asks, "What is the difference between right and wrong?"

      The answer is . . . "What's left".

      One thing to consider is the difference between right and wrong as compared/contrasted with correct and incorrect. Right and wrong has meaning with morality and ethics. Correct and incorrect has meaning with true or untrue. That gets messy with systems of belief and language usage. A question that could be asked is . . . is it wrong to believe even if the belief is incorrect of least thought so by another differing viewpoint or belief, (I chose differing over opposing)? Even scientist and theories have been proved incorrect later, although they were not wrong. Else why was that theory by a scientist functional in 'its' lifetime?

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 9 years ago

    I guess it depends on whether people want to be seen Evangelizing, which is essentially egotistical or for show--or whether they want to maximize the chance of actual conversion.

    The only person who ever made me seriously think about Christianity was a Quaker.  It was just the way he lived his life as Quakers never preach.

  3. Kiss andTales profile image61
    Kiss andTalesposted 9 years ago

    You are correct in your right of love in God's good land. But all belongs to him every inch of earth and waters ,when I speak I look at the whole planet ,not part of it , I believe in the universal laws of life . I believe across the other side of this planet their is some one similar to ourselves in likes and dislikes and  love as strong as we love our family and friends  and love for this soil we walk on.We all share the same genetic make up and scientist have traveled the world and studied many nations of people and came to terms we all are related. There was a time there was no America, neither the many other countries that stand now . Our love should not be limit to others based on our location. Because no one could help where they were born and the timing. But our existence is a wonderful opportunity because we could not have been born. How we view and value life could offer future benefits of eternal life by the one responsible for all living things.

    1. jlpark profile image79
      jlparkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      True, K+T - yet actions speak louder than words is something that these people seem to have forgotten - I have no problem hearing of Jesus, Mohammed, Allah, God, Buddha etc etc (or the benefits of atheism for that matter), but I can't stand it being forced at me from every which way, when if we disagree we get the "but my God is the only one, and if you don't like that, you're going to hell" type stuff.

      A saying I saw once is crude, but fits perfectly with how I feel about things being forced upon me or mine:
      (please  read "Religion" as inclusive of all belief systems (or lack thereof))

      "Religion is like a penis.  It's fine to have one, its fine to be proud of it, but if you start bringing it out in public and shoving it at my children, then I have a problem."
      (fits with something going on in NZ at the moment with Bible in Schools in our secular schools (all are secular except the private ones)that people are finally fighting back against (BIS has been around for years)....I might have to write a hub on it....hmmm)

      1. Kiss andTales profile image61
        Kiss andTalesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I do understand your feelings of being forced by others using the bible and certain beliefs, people paint God as a monster who would burn children or people in general, Not true at all. There is a story in the bible where people worshiped false gods and sacrificed their children by burning them. That is not the way of the true God.
        But if people allow these non truths to run them away from the true God of love. Because they are fed up of religion. Which to say at first can be bad experiences ,but the real treasure is there ,the truth is we have to accept how we mirror it , or how we can make adjustments if needed.


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