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Author Topic: Respecting people of different beliefs  (Read 741 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: March 10, 2013, 09:18:47 PM »

I know I'm supposed to be tolerant and pastoral and stuff. But I just have a hard time respecting friends who were previously very religious who now are posting classic internet-atheism quotes on their FB walls, acting disrespectful during school prayers, etc. I don't think I have any control over it. I just subconsciously value piety in people and dislike its antithesis.

Help?
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 09:21:56 PM »

My advice? Just avoid them. To an extent, I feel the very same way--except in my own household. Being the religious minority, I always find it very odd whenever my family discusses religion amongst themselves, and many times they will speak hostile against Orthodox doctrine without even knowing it, or will ask my opinion on something religious and make things awkward. It really bothers me. I find that when you stay, you are either going to become very bitter and hostile, turning them off to Orthodoxy, or you are going to end up leaving your beliefs behind and becoming a dirty ecumenist. Best thing to do is avoid them, leave the room and area etc.
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 09:23:40 PM »

BTW when I say internet atheism quotes I mean stuff like George Carlin calling religion scatological things and the like.
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 10:11:18 PM »

I know I'm supposed to be tolerant and pastoral and stuff. But I just have a hard time respecting friends who were previously very religious who now are posting classic internet-atheism quotes on their FB walls, acting disrespectful during school prayers, etc. I don't think I have any control over it. I just subconsciously value piety in people and dislike its antithesis.

Help?

You are not the one with the problem. The situation is sad. Pray for them. It ain't over till it's over, so there's always hope for them and always cause for us to be careful how we stand, lest we fall.
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 11:01:51 PM »

Hide their wall posts.
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 11:25:20 PM »

Hide their wall posts.

This. I actually see only about a dozen of my friends' posts. I got tired of being condemned to hell for scrolling down my news feed instead of liking/sharing.
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 11:33:49 PM »

I know I'm supposed to be tolerant and pastoral and stuff. But I just have a hard time respecting friends who were previously very religious who now are posting classic internet-atheism quotes on their FB walls, acting disrespectful during school prayers, etc. I don't think I have any control over it. I just subconsciously value piety in people and dislike its antithesis.

Help?

Asking this forum a question about respect...what a great idea.
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 11:48:14 PM »

Hide their wall posts.

This. I actually see only about a dozen of my friends' posts. I got tired of being condemned to hell for scrolling down my news feed instead of liking/sharing.

I agree.  I've done the same thing.  Those are truly annoying posts....just as bad as chain letters used to be.




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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 11:56:37 PM »

Do it anyway. Respect them anyway. You'd want them to respect you despite your differing views, and even though they don't, you still have to. As abouna likes to tell me about respecting my own father now that he has joined an anti-Christ cult, honoring one's father and mother is not just for when you agree with them or like them. I think the same is probably true of friends or even enemies, what with everybody being made in the image of God and all that good stuff.

Of course, you don't have to respect their views on religion or anything (so maybe blocking their posts isn't a bad idea, if they upset you too much), but respecting the person as a person is pretty much a must.
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 01:58:35 AM »

I find myself in this same situation, not just on facebook, but at school.  Either I'm arguing with a Protestant about our defender the Theotokos, arguing with a Catholic over the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (true story,) or with an anti-religious person.

I find that many times these people are simply too ignorant to come to any religious epiphany about Christ, so I just give up.  Their conversion would (and hopefully will) be a true act of God.

Try not to expose the ignorance of the ignorant too much.  It's easy to talk someone into a corner and punch them in the face with your Church history knowledge when you've actually read a book in your life, but such things aren't towards the salvation of either party involved.

Just ignore them.  Ecumenism is a slippery slope that I've fallen down before, one that is condemned by the Fathers for good reason.  Stay away from it as much as possible.  I find that many times interactions of a spiritual nature with non-Orthodox Christians are worse than those with the anti-religious types.
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 02:22:47 AM »

I'm open minded enough to hear what people have to say about their beliefs/politics, but I am pretty firm in what I believe in. I'd like to consider what people have to say on different things and come to my own conclusion about them. Sometimes I am open to changing my views into what is right, I'm not all that stubborn.

But I try to love these people regardless of our differences. That isn't the same as liking them, either. I don't like the conservatives on this board very much, and fling insults at them all the time, but I still love them, and deep down I care about them. One of the things I like about the Orthodox is they don't confuse being nice and being loving.

Other people will be abrasive to us, because we do what we believe, so it's not easy.
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 05:05:08 AM »

Folks need to lighten up.

It is not like anyone is really taking this incredibly seriously, so stop acting like it on FB or wherever.

You all believe the same stuff:

Use facebook.
Sleep.
Maybe some other nonsense in between.
 
Religion or whatever you go on is just a manner of facilitating the above.

You enjoy getting worked up. This is really not that complicated. And you younger guys need to find some other stuff to jibber jabber about.

And one last point, if you are asking if you respect someone, you are. It is to look over again in greater detail. If you walk away from someone considering anything about their person, you are respecting them.

There is nothing moral or ethical about respecting people or not. It is a function of how we are taken in by others.
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 05:37:33 AM »

BTW when I say internet atheism quotes I mean stuff like George Carlin calling religion scatological things and the like.

George Carlin made a living out of getting people's dander up. Now he's dead, and his quotes are just recycled stuff. Just roll your eyes and move on. Don't comment, don't try to counter. Wall today, gone tomorrow.
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 05:38:06 AM »

I know I'm supposed to be tolerant and pastoral and stuff. But I just have a hard time respecting friends who were previously very religious who now are posting classic internet-atheism quotes on their FB walls, acting disrespectful during school prayers, etc. I don't think I have any control over it. I just subconsciously value piety in people and dislike its antithesis.

Help?
I use to respond to that type of ignorance.  They don’t like being challenged or having shown their statements incorrect.  It causes a great ruckus.  I deleted my FB as a result of this and political ignorance.  I let them wallow in it.  
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 09:21:34 AM »

I have deleted a number of Christians from my facebook friends because of stuff like this. One was even my first daughter's godmother, a matushka of all things. Some people you just can't reach with reason.
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2013, 11:54:20 AM »

Maybe consider that you can be as annoying and frustrating to them as they are to you...

I'm currently discussion the Real Presence right now with a not-actually-friend of mine on FB.  He's a pretty annoying fundamentalist Calvinist type.  It's annoying, trust me; but I willingly entered into the discussion.  If I get annoyed, I'll just say thanks for the chat and drop out.

I don't usually comment on his posts, so I'm not a major annoyance to him.  But for the sake of argument, it's possible that I might be annoying HIM.  I responded to a post of his and things went from there.


I know that we sometimes paint ourselves as the righteous heroes of our daily stories, but have you considered that your zeal for Orthodoxy and "good theology" etc, is actually profoundly annoying and grating and bothersome to the people in your life?--on FB, your family, your friends, schoolmates, etc.?  I mean, let's be honest, often in these little narratives, we're the ones just a'prayin' peacefully in the corner, just loving people, and loving God, not bothering anyone else -- then all of a sudden these papists and anabaptists and atheists just start confronting us.  Let's be real...that's not how it goes down.

You are complicit in these difficulties as much as anyone else is.
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2013, 12:27:02 PM »

Maybe consider that you can be as annoying and frustrating to them as they are to you...

I'm currently discussion the Real Presence right now with a not-actually-friend of mine on FB.  He's a pretty annoying fundamentalist Calvinist type.  It's annoying, trust me; but I willingly entered into the discussion.  If I get annoyed, I'll just say thanks for the chat and drop out.

I don't usually comment on his posts, so I'm not a major annoyance to him.  But for the sake of argument, it's possible that I might be annoying HIM.  I responded to a post of his and things went from there.


I know that we sometimes paint ourselves as the righteous heroes of our daily stories, but have you considered that your zeal for Orthodoxy and "good theology" etc, is actually profoundly annoying and grating and bothersome to the people in your life?--on FB, your family, your friends, schoolmates, etc.?  I mean, let's be honest, often in these little narratives, we're the ones just a'prayin' peacefully in the corner, just loving people, and loving God, not bothering anyone else -- then all of a sudden these papists and anabaptists and atheists just start confronting us.  Let's be real...that's not how it goes down.

You are complicit in these difficulties as much as anyone else is.

+1

I know in my life I'm probably more responsible for such things than most, but I'm afraid do enjoy a good argument.

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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2013, 02:51:22 PM »

I just laugh at their ignorance, sometimes say a short prayer and move on.
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2013, 03:29:40 PM »

I just laugh at their ignorance, sometimes say a short prayer and move on.

Good thinkin'  Wink.

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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2013, 03:34:00 PM »

I for one enjoy it to an extent--it gives me an opportunity to argue, sharpen my rhetoric and learn more about my own beliefs in the process.
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2013, 04:10:01 PM »

If you're able to debate with them in a civilized manner, do so! I think it's good for all parties to air out their beliefs and be challenged to think critically.

That said, this is the Internet. "civilized" isn't really a word to describe the Internet. If you can't stand what they post, you can now hide people from your wall without having to delete them. In real life? If you can't be around them, just slowly and quietly work your way out of their lives...and pray for them.
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2013, 04:55:07 PM »

Guys FB was just one example. It happens in life too. This thread was more supposed to be how apostasy from some form of Christianity into irreligion holistically should affect our relationship with that person, not me complaining about mean posts on Facebook.
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2013, 05:02:45 PM »

Guys FB was just one example. It happens in life too. This thread was more supposed to be how apostasy from some form of Christianity into irreligion holistically should affect our relationship with that person, not me complaining about mean posts on Facebook.

FB walls and one-on-one conversations are not the same thing. What we post in public depends on what we consider our audience to be. If someone has moved away from religion but still has what made them your friend in their attitude towards you, your relationship won't suffer (much) - unless your attitude towards them has shifted to make that unlikely.
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 08:02:56 PM »

Guys FB was just one example. It happens in life too. This thread was more supposed to be how apostasy from some form of Christianity into irreligion holistically should affect our relationship with that person, not me complaining about mean posts on Facebook.

There's no rule you have to respect their beliefs. There's also no rule you need to engage them in conversation. Just commend them to God.
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 08:16:53 PM »

Try, perhaps, posting Bible verses as comments below the offensive posts. you know, God's word is like a sword or something like that...
Happened to me. For reasons still blurry, but I was actually on the receiving end of the evangelistic endeavors.
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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2013, 08:24:18 PM »

But now seriously if you feel the urge to correct everything your friends say and turn them all into your image and likeness it's more your problem than theirs. You just have to live and let live.
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2013, 11:37:44 AM »

But now seriously if you feel the urge to correct everything your friends say and turn them all into your image and likeness it's more your problem than theirs. You just have to live and let live.
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« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2013, 08:12:29 PM »

As the only Christian in the otherwise fairly irreligious crowd I hang out with (a few agnostics, a couple deists, but mostly a strange sort of pseudo-deist nominal non-denominational variety of Christian who wouldn't know the difference between a prosphoron and a prostration if it came up and bit them on the ankle) I can definitely sympathize here. I've learned to love and respect my friends as individuals and to hate their ideas on the side. They're still good people and fun to be around, if they weren't I wouldn't consider them friends in the first place. Don't ever be afraid to defend your beliefs when the topic comes up, however. These people are your friends (well, some of them anyway, judging by your post) but that doesn't mean they can't be wrong, and it certainly doesn't mean you can't...ahem...correct them. laugh Who knows, with a little patience you may find yourself winning a friend over to your way of thinking one day: The best way to do this is by living a Christian life displaying kindness and generosity, not just because honey catches more flies than vinegar, but also because it's the best way to live anyway. Smiley

Good luck!
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« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2013, 04:29:39 AM »

In real life?  Tell them you would like to respect their beliefs, but really need them to show you how its done.
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