Wisdom is indwelling truth awakened by experience. It educates using natural law, whose prerequisite of understanding is to exist. Intolerance is intolerant. Jesus left us a great example when he fed the crowd of 5000, got in the boat and spoke his piece (*peace*) to those assembled to hear him, and moved on to the next shore. He left each one to decide for themselves, as Pontius Pilate was to later ask him, "What is truth?"
That is a lesson I learned the hard way. I never knew what I was up against until I spoke up for what I believed in and got the living crap beat out of my beliefs. You know you've reached the edge of Eden, when the briers and brambles start sticking you everywhere you go. The enemy already knows you and treats as such, even if you didn't know you were considered a foe. You've got to spill their blood or they are going to spill yours. This is where the rubber hits the road people, and you find out just how far you have to go to get there. This kind of unexpected conflict exposed power dynamics in a struggle that I did not even know I was a part of fighting. The wake-up call that I am about to share with you is not pretty and it showed me a weak side of myself and the harshness of the world. The water is rising and the tide is coming in fast for people like me. Grab a life-line quickly or perish. Here goes my story, if only to open your eyes to the truth.
I was hanging out online and ended up running into a world-wide mob of angry people there. Going by names like Hate Machine and ***666, it turns out they were a group of self-proclaimed atheists that were chewing up people and spitting them out on a regular basis. They banded together like a pack of anti-religious pitbulls and attacked anyone not in total agreement with their worldviews of scientific evolution and anti-theism.
They threw out hate at every turn and were especially vicious when they knew someone was faith oriented, then they continuously insulted, cat-called, taunted them, and generally played by their own militaristic rules. They loved a war and ran to the sound of battle. This Gestapo logically tied up those they perceived as foes and beat them without mercy. They ambushed and black-jacked the Christians wandering Red-Riding-Hood-like down their primrose path. When any faithful dared to fight back using the same tactics, accusations of hypocrisy and even more flaming darts were hurled at them. It was a blood bath. One of the mob went so far as to say, "If Jesus returned," he would "send him back in pieces". The room lit up with dark laughter. It had the spectre of the downfall of everything sacred to me, challenged my faith, and shook me to the core. It was a scene on the verge of chaos.
After seeing all of this, I was amazed at the intensity of their hatred to anyone coming their way who smacked of faith based logic or believed in a god, though they genuinely accepted themselves as earnest and good people who did not hate anyone. They quickly subsided their massacre whenever the moderator came into the room. Curious of this group's inner workings, I pretended they had convinced me that not creationism and Christianity, but evolution and atheism was The Way. I figured they were unreachable by all accounts so what did I have to lose? I might even learn something useful even from them. Turns out that even when befriending them they still are hateful to each other if sideways-slipping to the religious point-of-view was perceived. There is also evidence of a pecking order to their group, according each member's skill set, like specialized knowledge, visceral ability in damaging their enemies, or breaking their spirit and laughing them to scorn.
Actually, they do not even trust each other, though as a rule they have their personal heroes championing their beliefs, and will apologize to one if brought in line by another member of the group or the room moderator, who also supported their theories. In their words, "They loved to poke fun at the "religees", a word they coined to describe the "religious ones", at every chance and get them all bent out of shape." They did this over and over, because they said the atheists were so sick of hearing the religee's circular logic and hearing that garbage from them about God, creation and that hippie love crap, so that it was hard for them to hold their tongues out of frustration. It did not take me long to figure out that this was deadly ground and that they had been at this game far longer than me. It was pretty bleak for this Christian it seemed. For the pitbulls, the outcome was always the same for them as the arguments broke down into head-butting into the wall and tempers flared. So they stated their well learned facts as they knew them, and went for the jugular, in what they saw as the blind faith of their "enemies."
I prayed and then prayed some more. Still they were brutal in their license and intensity of their attacks. I seriously considered getting out of there, since I was left sleepless at night over this and was continually checking my email for their comments forwarded to me during the day. I was a man at the cross-roads and was obsessed and sick over my grim state of affairs. This left me not at all and soon consumed my every waking thought. I was a mess. Hopefully this story will be cathartic.
Anyway they were not totally convinced of my conversion to their side out of the blue, although a few were willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, but afterward a big fight ensued. I finally stopped trying to be loving and kind, as they were not swallowing it, and gave one of them a taste of his own medicine.
They yelped loudly in outrage and painful realization of betrayal and deception, "How could you treat us this way? Who is next in our group? Why would you play kiddy mind games on us like this? Who do you think you are and who made you king over everything? Don't ever talk to me AGAIN!"
After all of the harsh treatment I suffered there without complaint, I was promptly EXPELLED from the group by the moderator.
They said about me, a leopard does not change its spots, and they knew that I had not gone anti-religious all of sudden as it had been tried before. The word on me was that they knew I was not one of the disbelievers like them, because they all knew what they were about, but that I had the stench of redemption on me! I am guilty as charged of being a Christian, even if I was given a "nice try," for acting like the devil. Now I see why in the Bible they are called ravenous wolves.The Apostle Paul knew this because he walked in their shoes known as Saul of Taurus destroying the church and having believers put to death, before the Lord temporaily blinded him and spoke from heaven to him, leading to his conversion to Christ. I avoid the pack of wolves when possible, but they are multplying, getting bolder and come after me anyway, like sharks when they smell the blood of Christ on me.
Therefore, Paul, having this foresight, warned believers the wolves were already among them and they would try and destroy the flock after his departure. His words of warning ring true even today both inside and outside the church. The modern wolf, with sharpened teeth glistening, comes to breakfast, the University classroom, and is seen everywhere snarling and growling with no bother anymore of getting dressed in that silly sheep's costume. The bloodbath continues. Come back quickly Lord Jesus!
"For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the Lord: the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water." Isaiah 32: 6 NIV