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Discussion 4 to Meditation 404
I didn't mean that you cannot defend yourself

by Maarten van den Driest

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syrinxfox wrote:

"But I'll stop trying to prove things to THEM when they stop trying to prove things to ME! It's hard to hear you're going to hell so many times without trying to defend yourself. (Especially being a New Yorker in the Bible-belt... not by choice mind you!)."

I will certainly give you that. Of course it's hard.

My point, however, was not meant to be that you couldn't defend yourself or even, occasionally, lash out with a good one-liner.

What I did mean to say is that there is no sense in attacking these people on their own turf. By acknowledging their definitions and views as valid (see my meditation 410) you maneuver yourself into a defensive position.

You can't ever win that because obviously they know their own very special brand of 'truth' better than you. It would be like debating a fastfood restaurant manager on nutrition after having promised to only use their marketing lingo.

My response to someone claiming that 'the Bible says..' is to simply state: "I don't read the Bible like that". Or maybe "The phone book is literally true, don't you think the Bible is more than that?"

By the way, there are valid quotes and wisdom to be pulled from the pages but I find that when people start using scripture to support their own position, instead of the other way around, the quotes are usually forced. It is important to realise that this is a lack of respect for the Bible. Merely being able to spout chapter and verse doesn't make one a good Christian.

"I don't believe in Hell." could be a nice one for you? As a non-believer you'd even have an easier time of it than poor me. I have sometimes used "Write to me, if it's so important to you." You can then pull apart their points at leisure.

It is very tempting to jump into the ongoing debate with all these handy websites at our approval. I occasionally do it but usually to my regret.

Please don't start arguing individual verses with them, it doesn't help.

Maarten