I must admit I am confused by the rants in which Roger Pearse is engaging over on his blog. He began by misconstruing what I said in a blog post of my own. Then, when I repeatedly tried to clarify my meaning (which, to be honest, I don’t think was all that unclear to begin with), he has now accused me of “brinking” because I refused to allow him to twist my words and set the terms of the discussion when he had misconstrued my meaning, often in bizarre ways.
I invite all those with skills in dealing with difficult people to try to get Roger to approach this matter fairly and rationally, before he embarrasses himself further by accusing others of the behavior in which he is himself engaging.
The sad irony is that Roger’s behavior illustrates my point. Conservative Evangelicals often project a hostility onto others that simply isn’t there, and may in fact reflect an assumption that others are as hostile to them as they are, deep down, to others. My initial point was the irony of a more exclusive group calling a more inclusive group “less friendly”. I can appreciate a good bit of irony, but things seem to have gotten seriously out of hand at this stage.
Thinking back to my more conservative days, I wonder whether a key reason for maintaining that one is facing hostility even when one isn’t has to do with the Bible. The New Testament reflects contexts in which real persecution (arrest, imprisonment, even execution) were part of the church’s experience. Might one reason conservative Christians treat the world as hostile in this way, even when they live in a country that safeguards their religious freedom, be that if the world they inhabit doesn’t allow for direct application of the New Testament, then they simply don’t know how to make sense of their lives? Could it be the desire for a simple hermeneutic (or conversely, fear of a more complex process of interpretation) that is at the heart of this phenomenon?