Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Topic - Remember Aaandy? He was a *nice* Christian" 

“Aaandy used to post on here a few years ago. A thoroughly nice chap he was. He was funny, intelligent, slightly eccentric and he displayed a sense of caring for his fellow humans. He was my favourite Christian on the site...

”Some of the Christians on here seem to behave in a thoroughly un-Christian way. In the last couple of days I've seen one gloating, hoping he'd ruined someone's day, and another claiming he was good family friends with the employer of his opponent and suggesting they might like to find out how much he posts on here.

”I'm far more impressed by Christians who display their faith by example than ones who seem to think that it's ok to arguing in its favour "by any means necessary", including being disingenuous, dishonest and revelling in their attempts to offend others.

At lunch time today, I noticed a cluster of hits on my Sitemeter log (just checking, as you do…) from a climbing forum that I used to frequent a few years ago – before I started blogging, fact. Intrigued, I followed the link back and was gobsmacked to find a thread about… me! Or at any rate, using me as an example.

Apparently, there had recently been a number of occasions on the forum where debates involving religion had degenerated into slanging matches. Neither side had exactly covered themselves in glory (a rather apt expression in this case, it would appear!) and I was being cited as an example of someone whose faith is manifested through their living rather than through the force of their argument.

It has to be said, debates of that kind were a not infrequent occurrence on that forum four years ago, and were a significant factor in my abandonment of it. Although there were plenty of people willing to engage in dialogue, and plenty too who were quite content to use the forum purely as a social meeting place (or even – heaven forbid! - to exchange information about climbing), there were a few who found amusement in behaving like obnoxious 13 year old brats in the school playground, or dogmatists who just wouldn’t let a point go but insisted on banging on and on and on about it, gaining the last word simply by being the last to remain standing when everyone else had dropped through sheer boredom.

I was astounded that anyone there remembered me (my last post was in October 2003) and even more amazed that I’d created such a positive impression. It just goes to show that those little things we say and do each day can have an impact way beyond what we might imagine.

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