Ah, Sunday morning. A time to relax, start slowly, worship, spend time with family … and engage in a minor religious battle on Facebook.
That’s how last Sunday began for me, however unintentionally. A friend of mine posted a photo of a church sign she found interesting. And from the depths of cyberspace came a friend of hers, with this comment:
“Churches are founded on ignorance. It’s what they do.”
My eyes stared for a second. My brain spun. To comment or not to comment?
Me being me, I commented:
“There are ignorant people who follow every religion, plus a lot of ignorant people with no religion. Churches do not ‘do’ ignorance.”
I then figured I’d go back about my day, or at least get back to my oatmeal. But in came Grenade No. 2.
“Like the one that thinks drinking the blood of their gods dead son will absolve them of their sins. Or the one that thinks babies are born with sin because 2000 years ago a girl at an apple. you think god made me right? You think god knows the future right? Then he made me knowing that I would be unable to muster the faith needed to worship him. So he made me for the sole purpose of going to hell. Great guy.”
This one made me sit back in my chair. I guess the good news is, I didn’t get angry. I actually felt sad. The commenter clearly is in pain, living in a world he finds hopeless, dark, and pointless. As much as I might get down or have a bad day, I don’t think I ever would have articulated my low points with a commentary so revelatory of a foundationally deep emptiness.
I didn’t want to engage in a day-long war of words with this fellow. Nor did I want to sign off with a meaningless, “I hope you find peace,” or somesuch namby pamby response. So here’s what I wrote:
“Wow. What I do know is God made you and loves you whether you believe in him or not. So, yeah, I’d say he’s a pretty great guy. You might never believe that, but that doesn’t change God’s faithfulness to you. I think that’s pretty cool.”
I don’t know if that was the right thing to say or not. It’s just what I felt in that moment. I am certain nothing in my comment will ever change this man’s mind, and I’m OK with that. As I said: God loves him anyway.
I’m also certain that sometimes you just have to say what you feel and what you know is true.