While I would prefer to stand back and be impartial when it comes to Facebook wars but sometimes it goes too far. Recently the situation with a friend of mine escalated from insults like "you're stoopid coz you believe in God" to reporting profiles for banning and setting up hate groups.
He actually lost several Facebook accounts and the barrage of hate hasn't seemed to stop there. But he fights back which seems to make him a target.
Yes, atheists (just the "new" atheists or evangelistic atheists, mind you) troll, cyber-stalk and set up snarky little hate sites about certain outspoken Christians (hello Mr Botten and Mr Young). If you go onto the Facebook sites of Ray Comfort, William Lane Craig, Eric Hovind and the like, the trolls come out of the woodwork like cockroaches crawling out from an old dilapidated building.
Opinions not truth…
I have no qualms about atheists expressing their opinions – that's awesome! All the power to you and your opinions if they're well thought out, intelligent opinions. What I do have a problem with though is the same old tired rhetoric from team "we have dibs on science and reason". Their petty objections usually have answers if they looked them up. But their ignorance only speaks to one thing: they're not actually interested in answers.
And the fact that they're not interested in answers is how come it has escalated to Facebook hate wars. When anti-theists show up on the Facebook sites of popular theists it is often to mock instead of search for truth. One of the favourite insults of the day is to call Christian apologists "liars for Jesus".
But just because we are stating a historically different position does not mean it is a lie. Interpreting evidence in a different way is fair and the evidence we do have fits better into the theistic framework than the non-theistic (in my opinion).
But the double-sided slap with this insult is that as Christians we are actively trying to NOT be liars for Jesus, because we are to be holy like God. Which is why this insult persists around social media sites. It is just one of many however where biblical creationists get flack that they are "anti-science" (not the case), "anti-evolution" (which is not true as we do accept a certain form of "evolution") or "flat-earthers" (ironic as the president of the flat earth society is an atheist).
Defend but lay down your swords…
Sometimes it does go both ways, but those very few Christians who retaliate are not being Christ-like when we are ordered to turn the other cheek. So that is what I am urging all people involved in Facebook (and other social media) wars to do now.
People enjoy being essentially faceless on social media - but I urge you not to fight pointless wars. Don't let it get too heated. Share the truth in love and then back away. If they're going to rile, let them rile and don't be there to read time-consuming rants against God.
Let's stop these wars but still stand our ground. And if someone puts up a hate site naming you, be thankful that you're able to fulfil John 15 verse 18.
Bridget Brenton has been researching apologetics, philosophy and the paranormal for years. You can check her apologetic effort out at www.101arguments.com.
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html