20 September 2011

It's An Ugly World Out There

Since I've "entered the blog world" (that's in quotes since I'm so technologically un-savvy it seems almost a lie to say I'm really IN the blog world) I've been recently exposed to The Troll. It's kind of exciting since it's really my first encounter, but kind of scary because I was being attacked by someone I didn't know.

I was commenting on a blog about modesty and the female gender (Yes, reader you may now feel free to groan, roll your eyes, or bang your head on your desk), which I felt went too far. This shouldn't really come as a surprise, since they usually do. Sometimes I feel that Conservative Christians go a little Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi on people while discussing this particular topic. It's not that I am not sympathetic. I often feel a little overwhelmed by so much skin shown by my fellow females, and do find myself wondering what they are trying to do and whether they truly respect themselves. However, I do not think one can count bikinis as something that is causing the entire WORLD to fall apart. Nor I do not think the bible has a specific skirt length or standard swimsuit which is "allowed." And I think anyone who attempts specifics is adding to the scriptures. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

Anyway, on this particular "modesty" blog I decided to share the above thoughts (minus the slight sarcasm, I wasn't really out to offend just converse). This turned out to be a mistake much later, because this particular set of people has deemed jeans as immodest. This was a little much for me and clearly wasn't the forum to air my ideas on.

I should backtrack because many of you are probably wondering why I would even follow a blog this...I don't want to say radical, but it's the only word that comes to mind. I hope everyone reading understands that I would call myself a Conservative Christian, but I also usually hope to use that label without any baggage attached to it, whether positive or negative. I know that is virtually impossible though. Anyway, I was invited to follow this blog, by the daughter of one of the contributors because we had agreed on some other issues on yet another blog. (Perhaps I'm more "in" the blog community than I thought) So, I began to follow it and there were some good posts and some bad posts. Rather, there were posts I heartily agreed with and posts that caused me to frown. The modesty post was half agreement/half frown.

Now for the troll. This is a person who deliberately follows this blog just to wreak havoc. In fact, in his own blog he called the contributor whose daughter I have cyber-friended, a fool. So, when I posted what I hoped was a fair comment in a rather cheerful tone I was shocked to find myself impaled by this person's utter contempt and misplaced anger. He mocked my need to be a "strong and independent woman" (personally I was a little flattered, but confused since I never used those words); he told me I was closed off to people suggesting modest clothing because I just thought I was "too cool" (oddly enough I had just thanked the contributor for sending me a website with "modest" and nice looking clothes); and he told me that I was completely immodest because he was "reading my post with his eyes open" (another confusing statement since...I didn't really mention what I wore and I believe the troll lives in Ohio).

So, I did what every other rational thinking curious person would do. I went to his blog. Ok, so maybe most rational people would avoid his blog knowing he is crazy or attention seeking or bitter or just obnoxious, but no. I went to his blog. It reads like a parody of Glenn Beck really. In fact, I think he probably thinks of Glenn Beck as some sort of "leftist" or "stateist" (yes, this is the kind of person who makes up words like that). In fact, I would suggest he and Sarah Palin get together and make up their own conservative vocabulary, but I don't think even she is as radical as he is.

One of the first blogs I read was called "Strong Women" or something like that. It was pretty much what I expected. He basically got on yet another blog written by women for women and posted outrageously disgusting/provocative/insulting comments. And when, inevitably, the women became offended he suddenly began whipping out words like: fools, twits, skanks, and (my personal favorite) harridan. I'd normally just pass by someone like this, but it pains me that he calls himself a believer. As a believer myself, I hate to see someone like this claim to carry Christ's name stamped upon his heart and behave this way to people. So, I wrote a long response to his post asking him how he justifies this type of behavior. Asking him what exactly the problem with being "strong" was. Asking him why he was so angry and just hated women so much. And then I got to the captcha, which was emp1ty. It must have been speaking to me. Telling me that anything I had to say would be swallowed up in the vacuum of this guy's hatred (of something/one). I'm not sure how much stock I put in modern day signs, but I do believe God is in control of my life and He knew what that captcha was going to be. I think it was cathartic to write out all my questions and concerns over this guy, but in the end, a troll's a troll. All of my well-intentioned, or ill-intentioned words would be empty in the long run. It was better to erase the whole post, and rant on my own blog.

"How many have I seen to fall into sin by speaking, but scarcely one by keeping silent; and so it is more difficult to know how to keep silent than how to speak. I know that most persons speak because they do not know how to keep silent. It is seldom that any one is silent even when speaking profits him nothing." - Ambrose

08 September 2011

Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, Post 1

My church is reading through John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and I thought I would share some thoughts with The Patronage, as I read through it. It will mainly be quotes because I don't really think I can add much in my immature ramblings. This is from the chapter dealing mainly with the scripture and it's importance.

"No one can get even the slightest taste of right and sound doctrine unless he be a pupil of Scripture." 1.6.2

"Errors can never be uprooted from human hearts, until true knowledge of God is planted therein" 1.6.3