Friday, September 20, 2013

Love Your Enemy

I have been following a "Christian" page on Facebook, and have suffered a lot of anti-mormon attacks in the process.  I have been told that not only am I not a Christian, but that I follow a "false Christ", and that I am a Satanist.   I have also been told I belong to a cult.  I have had the most sacred parts of my religion openly ridiculed.  We have sacred holy temples, and participate in sacred ordinances there.  This is not publicized openly to the world because it is sacred and we reverence it.  But these people post videos and pictures of these sacred things that our enemies have posted online. It is amazing to me how much hatred people feel for our religion.  We can readily identify with the bias shown against the Muslim religion.  It is unbelieveable to me that mankind can be so cruel, and justify it in the name of religion.

Here is the thing I keep thinking.  Aren't Christians supposed to love their enemies?  Aren't they supposed to act the way Christ would act if He were in the same position?  The Jesus Christ I read about in the Bible is a loving person who did not spend His time boasting of His righteousness, but spent it blessing others, and trying to help the sinners.  He was criticized for eating with those who were "unclean", but as He said, those who are whole don't need a physician.  If you are really Christian, wouldn't you spend your time trying to help others instead of cutting them down?

So here is my dilemma.  Part of me thinks that if I leave the page, they have won.  Although it causes me grief to read the slander and unjustified attacks, I feel that by staying, they can see for themselves what kind of a person I am.  "By their fruits ye shall know them", and my hope has been that they will see by long correspondance with me, that I am truly a follower of Jesus Christ.  The SAME Jesus Christ that they read about in the Bible.  But I have to admit that sometimes the attacks are so vicious that I feel like throwing in the towel.  And I should add that they are not only vicious towards me, but towards ANYONE whose beliefs differ from theirs.  It is unbeliveable how much they argue with each other.  I have made several comments on the page that we really show our Christianity not just by what we say, but also by how we say it.   It feels like it is falling on deaf ears.

If you don't believe my religion, that is fine.  But if you haven't truly studied it out with an open mind, and asked God if it is true, how can you go around preaching to others that it is false?  In my mind, that is being dishonest.  Most of these people are grossly under-educated in what we actually believe.  Many of them are grossly under-educated in their OWN beliefs! 

So for now I am suffering along with their predjudiced attacks, and am trying to be an example of what I believe.  I may end up dropping this group in the long run, but I hate to give up without at least trying....


Mike Goad said...

Actually, I think if you stay on that page, those who are expressing hate win because you are giving them a target for their hate. Religious bigots likely grew up in that environment and they are not likely to change their bigotry.

While I'm not a Mormon, I have nothing but respect for the social fabric and tradition of your faith.

Inklings said...

I know where you are coming from, because when I went to the Brigham City Temple open house, there were people handing out anti-Mormon literature (an older man with an army of teenagers), and when I went to the Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant, there were protesters yelling hateful things to the people attending as they left after the program. Also, I have signed up for an online LDS children's church handout ideas site, and on almost every handout there is an anti-Mormon comment that is pretty disgusting.
I chose not to reply, not to react, with the exception that I did accept every anti-Mormon pamphlet offered me so I could throw it in the trash later.
Someday they will answer to God for their actions, just as we all will.

Fromagette said...

I agree with the other comments. While it is a wonderful thing to be a good example of what a true Christian should be, exposing yourself to that kind of abuse and negative discussion is not a good idea. We recently lost a couple of families in our ward because they decided to read some anti-mormon literature to help them be better member missionaries.

Just make sure you feel good about what you are doing. If the things posted on the group are that negative and that anti-mormon, what good will it do you or any of them?

Rummuser said...

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Anonymous said...

It's a difficult one. But as Fromagette said - you have to first protect yourself. That's not to say you should necessarily withdraw, but be careful. Unrelenting attacks drain morale. That's a risk in itself, never mind the specific worry she raises.
On the happier side, not all the people who visit that site will comment. So there may be some potentially open minds reading the comments - including yours - even though their presence may not be immediately obvious.