Because life is a series of edits

Worldview: A High Schooler’s Perspective

In Calling, Church, Education, Technology, Thought on December 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

Got this from a former Ethics student who is now a senior taking Worldviews here at WCA:

Lately when I've been on You Tube, I've seen some pretty stupid videos (like REALLY stupid videos) of ignorant people saying ignorant things and it makes me so mad!!! My heart hurts really bad and I feel horrible when people challenge or attack Christianity. This year, Worldviews has helped me SO MUCH in broadening my er…worldview (I love it but I can't test on it for crud).

Anyway, I was just wondering what my role is in this situation? I don't like standing back and watching people sling mud at my religion with really bad arguments…HORRIBLE arguments that I could easily counter, but it's not my job to convert them…is it? And is it my job to educate them? I feel like if I put a cork in their mouth nicely and logically they might not convince anyone else to convert to "atheism" or whatever.

Here's how I responded:

A few thoughts:

1. You probably need to consider the source before you get too angry. The greatest strength of the Internet (self-expression to the fullest) is also its greatest weakness (no checkpoints whatsoever); thus, anybody can say anything for any reason and, in the true spirit of pluralistic relativism, there exists this assumption that you have to take it all seriously and view it all as equal in terms of truth. The good news? You don’t have to do either.

2. While I appreciate your heart for the name of Christ, God does not need a defense lawyer; rest assured justice will be served in his time, and he is certainly big enough to take it. This is not anything new that Christianity has not already endured for hundreds and thousands of year, and Jesus warned us about this kind of stuff in the gospels. He’s not surprised (and we shouldn’t be either) that those who don’t know him would think of him as they do.

3. As for your role in any of this, the thing I would encourage you with is to rejoice that, by God’s grace, your conscience seems to be working, that you don’t desire to do the same thing, and that you have an opportunity to pray to resist judging those who seem to hate us (that “love your enemies” thing seems appropriate here). Use all this as a check on your own life, pray for those who persecute you, and give thought and prayer as to how to love them. Maybe this indeed leads to a response of some kind, or maybe not (I’ve found Internet discussions like this are usually pointless); regardless, look for the same kinds of discussions going on around you (in the student body or with friends) that you might be able to jump in, join, and engage.

I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying Worldviews (I thought you might). Don’t worry about the testing part; the important thing is to grasp what you’re learning and think about holding onto it both now and into the future.

I noticed on your Facebook page that you’ve been reading some good stuff and I wonder if I could make a book suggestion for over the Christmas break? The book I’m thinking of is The Reason for God by Tim Keller. It’s very well-written and deals with a lot of what you’re struggling with in terms of responding to the online stuff, and doing so in a tone that I think would really be helpful for you to hear. Would you consider picking up a copy and reading it over the break? I believe the library may have a copy (and I’ll be glad to go to bat for you for an over-Christmas-break check-out if that would serve).

I’m proud of you for caring about this. Stop in and let’s catch up sometime and maybe we can talk more about all this. Congratulations on being halfway through senior year. I’ll be cheering for you when you graduate.

Hope some of this helps,

Mr. D.

  1. Sound advice– and encouraging evidence of the strength of your influence on your student(s).
    One thing I would add:
    “You might seriously consider stopping the cycle. The only thing worse than the mindless attacks on Christianity on the internet is the unhealthy spirit they stir in Christians, and the unloving responses they offer. At least until you are an adult and in a profession where you might ably and thoughtfully defend your faith when it is attacked, what profit comes from consuming this dross.”
    My two shekels’…

  2. Does PayPal deal in ancient coinage, Ed? Pretty good deal for two shekels. Thanks.

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