I agree with Seraphim, too, but Prodromos is right on the money.
Berean, Guitarpicker, et al are not likely to suddenly post "Damascus Road" conversions to Orthodoxy at CBBS (but, who knows?
). They are far too partisan and too full of pride. Their chief concerns are winning arguments and looking good for the other Fundies.
No, it is the others
who visit CBBS, those persons who are not concerned with sectarian loyalties, whom we must win for Christ and His Church.
I really like what Prodromos said about the contrast between darkness and light.
Berean, Guitarpicker, and blurbsky are their own worst enemies. They are easily frustrated. It is then that their lack of self-restraint shows itself and they begin name-calling. Once they have done that, it is all too apparent to anyone reading their posts that the Spirit of Christ is far from them. That
provides a contrast that is perhaps a greater testimony to the truth of Orthodox Christianity than anything we can say.
And that is why WE must avoid being guilty of such things at all costs. Better not to post at all than to needlessly and heedlessly give offense.
It is okay to say, "Sola Scriptura
is unbiblical and unChristian."
It is quite another to write something like, "The xyz sect is apostate and its churches full of unsaved heretics."
One thing I try
to do is to avoid use of the word you
unless I am praising the person. I do not always succeed, but I try.
Avoiding the word you
allows your opponent some dignity and breathing space when you are otherwise shredding his assumptions.
I like to substitute the word one
wherever possible, like this:
Even one who believes in Sola Scriptura
must admit an authority outside of the Bible in order to know what books belong in the Bible.
That is less confrontational than, "You
must accept an authority outside of the Bible . . ."
The second sentence can cause a person to become defensive because it sounds like a command, and no one likes to be told what he must
It is possible to avoid the word you
and still present a forceful argument.
"Those who argue
for the doctrine of Sola Fide
must ignore what St. James wrote in James 2:24 . . ."
I think we can all see that the sentence above is much better than, "You
are ignoring James 2:24."
It's a little extra work, but avoiding you
makes for a far less offensive, and more Christian, argument in the end.
Of course, I would NEVER want to avoid any of you
You are my brothers and sisters, after all!