I've learned a lot of lessons during the years that I've been blogging, and in particular I've learned about contention. I first fell in to the trap when reading a fellow Christian's blog. I wasn't really trying to contend, I felt like I was trying to defend. He continually asserted that Mormons aren't Christian, and that we are saved by Grace alone, and that repentance isn't necessary. When I was a missionary in Taiwan, there was no such thing as "Bible bashing" for me, because most of the people I taught were Buddheist. So I guess I didn't have a clear view of the definition of Bible bashing. But that's the trap that I got sucked in to with him. I know this might sound proud, but in all honesty, I think my arguments were far better. lol He used the same two or three scriptures all the time, and I tried to bring new ones to the conversation. In all honesty, I dont' think he really even paid attention to what I wrote. But I learned that you can't convince people who have already made up their minds. And when they are so angry towards, and hateful of our church, they won't listen to reason. In their heart of hearts, they believe that by attacking us, they are defending Christ. The point they miss is that this is not the tactic that the Savior used.
Eventually I got tired of the continual caustic remarks. I felt that if he couldn't accept that I'm a Christian, it wasn't even worth my time discussing with him. In addition, I felt it was highly disrespectful, and I told him I had no more desire to talk with him. In some ways it was a good lesson for me so that I could sort of set an internal rule that if people get disrespectful in the conversation, then I pull out. For me, it became abusive, and I'm just not going to take it. To his credit, I should say that he has become more civil, and we have had some nice conversations since then.
Recently I made a new mistake that I have learned from. I saw a comment by someone on a fellow blogger's blog, and I could tell this was a Christian, so I stopped by his blog to see what kinds of things he wrote. I would say that 90% of what he wrote was anti-mormon. What shocked me was the level of misunderstanding both by him, and by the people who left comments. Not only were his posts full of half truths and out right untruths, but it was shaded by hatred and anger. Not exactly full of the light of Christ if you know what I mean. A few of the comments just made me crazy. One in particular said that "Mormons believe that the only way a black man can get in to heaven is as a slave." WHAT? Unbelievable. I couldn't help but answer and try to set him straight. There were a couple of other crazy comments like that, some of which weren't even church doctrine, just some arcane statement by some church leader that was never made official church doctrine. Anyway, so I made the mistake of leaving a comment saying that I couldn't believe the wealth of misinformation, and I tried to clear up a couple of the misconception. That was a mistake because that drew some of them to my religion blog. They tried to get me to come back and answer their rebuttals, but I had already seen the type of crowd his blog drew, and I had no desire. They likened that to a "drive-by", but I felt I needed to at least let them know that from my perspective, there was a lot of untruth being perpetuated.
So one of them in particular has been leaving nasty comments on my blog. It's unbelievable that a person could be filled with such venom, yet assert they are more Christlike than us "evil Mormons". I told him that I really am not interested in discussing at all with him because of the tone of his comments. I had enough of that with the first blogger I talked with. But this guy seems bent on trying to undermine anything that I post. I have to say that I feel like his arguments lose weight when he uses such caustic angry tones. But that aside, I still have him leaving nasty comments that to me are full of unfounded arguments.
So the question is what to do. My feeling all along has been that I am just not going to get in to an argument with him. I'm not even going to address such angry remarks. He doesn't really want to hear anything I have to say, he just wants to attack. It makes me wonder if he is an ex-communicated Mormon who has a score to settle or something. At first I was a little concerned that people would come to my blog and read my nice post, then read his horrible remarks. It feels like it taints my blog....dirties it somehow. But the overwhelming feeling I've had is that all people have the "light of Christ", and can discern for themselves. They can discern whether he is full of the Holy Spirit, or if he is full of some other spirit. So I have chosen to ignore his comments. I haven't deleted them, because like I said, I felt people can judge for themselves. But my question is whether you think I should delete them just to preserve the right kind of atmosphere on my blog, or I should leave them. I'm curious to hear your opinions on the matter.