IT’S NOT EASY TO BE POLITE when people come at me with harsh words.
My immediate response is to retaliate with a crippling counterpunch. When we are fighting with words, I can counterpunch fairly well.
I actually have to stop myself from reacting that way. I have to take a few moments, sit back, and think about how to write a reasonable and helpful response.
I believe it’s especially important for me to do that when I’m exchanging comments with people outside the faith. These are the very people I target with my books. I don’t write for people who are already Christians.
Blame it on the Great Commission: “Go and make followers of all people in the world….Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Below is a glimpse into what that looked like for me this past weekend.
Some time ago I created a short little video called “The day the sun stopped.”
I often get comments about those little homemade videos. Take a look at one exchange of comments that took place over the past few days.
Pardon the profanity, but respect the opinion of the writer. I do. He and people like him outside the faith are the reason I try to make the Bible as understandable as I can.
KN: It must be hard to rationalize all the bullshit you believe. God helped him [Joshua] murder and kill other people. It was impossible for him to pray to god to help him find a diplomatic solution?
Steve: Finding a diplomatic solution in the middle of a battle in which 5 armies have surrounded a city they are in the process of trying to level…that’s possible. Perhaps slightly less of a miracle than stopping the sun and moon from shining. It’s good to have an optimist out there.
KN: It’s even better to have a god on your side that will murder at your request.
Steve: Not all Christians read the story as history or see God as an assassin. They read the story as told by someone who believed God was in charge of everything. So that writer figured that if Joshua won the battle with the help of a hailstorm, God is the reason they won. Christians who read Bible stories that way tend to see God as uncontrolling, and as a Creator who has put humans in charge of the planet, for better or worse.
KN: Why do you write in the third person as if you are doing a documentary on what others believe? Are you embarrassed to say what you believe? So what you are saying is the bible has a bunch of stuff in it that is indistinguishable from fairy tales or poetry. So please let me know about the following:
- The Nephilim – Sons of god having a good time on earth or just a myth?
- The big flood – Poetry or factual truth?
- Jonah and the whale – fact or fiction?
- The virgin birth – It happened or it was just poetry?
- Bible cure for leprosy – it works or its a poem?
- The resurrection – Zombie jesus or its true?
See where your bullshit fairy tale is leading you? Now you have to think up more crap to stop your own brain from facing the truth.
You’re a grown man. Let go of your superstition.
Steve: I prefer not to tell people what to think. I’m not a preacher. My undergrad degree is in news journalism. I prefer to report on what Christians say they believe, since they are so diverse in their views.
Christians are on both sides of the items you listed, with one exception: the Resurrection.
Paul put it this way, “If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection” (1 Corinthians 15:13-15, The Message).
Christians seem to agree that one thing they are solid on in their agreements with each other is the Resurrection and life after the physical death.
I need to call it quits on this string, but there are comment boxes on my website blogs at StephenMillerBooks.com. Peace to you.
I don’t know if anything I said makes any difference to KN. The writer seems fairly hostile toward the Bible and to people who believe what is in there. But I wanted to make sure the writer knows that there is room within Christianity for wide differences of opinion over how to interpret many of the teachings.
Holiday discount: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible
Starting today, Harvest House Publishers has dropped its price on the e-book edition of A Quick, Guided Tour Through the Bible.
The book is available for $9.99.
They will pull the plug on this offer sometime before Thanksgiving.
This is the promo I have been waiting for. I will be getting the e-book edition for myself at this price.
Now, I’ll be able to use the book on my phone and on my tablet.
Here are the links you can use to get the book:
For more about the people I write for
- Introduction, A Quick, Guided Tour Through the Bible
- Introduction, Complete Guide to the Bible
- Why I don’t write for Christians
I respect the way you handle those attack questions. I’ll bet the Apostle Paul asked questions like that prior to having his eyes opened on the road to Damascus. May the Lord open KN’s eyes in like manner.
Stephen M. Miller
The fellow wrote another comment overnight. I had to delete that one. He F-bombed me with some fairly hateful language. I don’t like it when I have to cut people off like that. But sometimes the conversation becomes purposely hurtful. That’s the time to say so long for now.
Peace to you Greg.
Steve you did well with this guy. I have learned to never get involved with online blogs especially when it involves these type of skeptical type of “troll” questions that go around in circles. It is very grieving to my heart to see such hostility toward God and the Bible. You just can’t answer some of these questions, especially to an unregenerate mind, even when we have faith, some of these questions still bother us. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who ministers to us! I had this delivered to my email this morning – I think it is appropriate for this discussion:
If God is all-powerful, then why does he allow suffering?
Stephen M. Miller
Yeah, there’s a point in the conversation when you realize there’s no point to the conversation anymore.
That’s when it’s time to walk away.
Still, I think it’s important to answer the questions people have about God, the Bible, and Christianity.
Hey, I have a book about that: 100 Tough Questions About God and the Bible.
Hello Steve, That guy aint even worth your time, he’s probably just jealous of the work you doing to advance Gods kingdom. Satan has his workers out there also.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Shawn. I try to respond to at least a first query. But I can’t do pen pal writing with either friends or foes. I do think the gent raises solid questions that are on the mind of people outside the faith. So we need to be able to address them. I generally walk away, though, when the conversation turns purposely hurtful.
If I could respond to KN, I would say this: I hear your hurt, man, and your doubt and unbelief. But God loves you, and nothing will ever change that. Here’s a prayer that might make a difference: “God, if you are real, reveal yourself to me.” And he will.
All KN needs is love and his perspective will be different.
Stephen M. Miller
It’s hard to get through to people who say they think religion is a crock and a crutch. But I agree that they need love, kindness, and respect….especially when they don’t show it to others. I can tell you, though, when they lash out it’s hard not to lash back.