Examples of dealing with a full blown attack

(Nancy J Berg) #1

Not sure this is the appropriate place to ask, but I’m wondering if people, RZIM staff or otherwise, have either video or written examples of a non believer asking hostle questions to a believer and the believer answering in peace and kindness? I love watching RZIM staff do the large Q&A after a speaker talks. Some questions are a bit pointed and sharp, but overall, the atmosphere of calm, civility before the Q&A even starts pervades the questions/questioners whether they are atheists, skeptics or not. I’m wondering about learning from the modeling from an all out attack like what happens in the world, both one on one and online, in this escalating cultural atmosphere of taunting, contentious vitriol. Any links would be appreciated.

My point in asking this is I am personally seeing, for the first time, the rancor out there in social media in various private fb medical focus groups. I’ve always heard how people get so cruel online but just seeing it now. Hard to know how to respond. Seems best to say nothing and just stay out of it. Avoiding conflict is my default. But then, on some subjects, silence seems like being complicit if truth in kindness isn’t stated. Some things need to be spoken up about. The thing is, I see groups of people bullying lone people who are voicing another opinion and then circle like wolves and verbally devour them. Any pearls of wisdom of how or if it is even wise to wade into such things? It is such a breath of fresh air coming here to Connect after seeing what is “out there”. :blush:

(Claire N Streb) #2

You can click the like/love icon for the people being bullied. You can get your fb friends to do the same. You can lovingly reply to the post of the “victim”, being a role model for what proper behavior should look like. Beware not to fall into the trap, though, which is fb and social media itself. It isn’t real. It feels real, but it is deceptive. A lot of the “people” on fb aren’t even the real people! If you want my opinion, Life is too precious to waste it on fb, especially ignorant people attacking others online. If the victim is a child, that’s another story entirely. In that case, contact the fb “authorities” by reporting the bullies. Good luck!

(Matt Western) #3

As @clairestreb says; You do have to wisely pick your battles - otherwise you’re just wasting your own time which could be spent productively learning something new that is useful for your own growth. And yes often the bullying accounts being used are fake accounts, but there is a real person behind them - only emboldened by their anonymity to insult and bully - but still able to be reached.

Assuming that you thought a particular scenario was worth taking a stand on, I guess to start with you’d have to do some research and understanding on what motivates a bully… Ego, low-self esteem, part of a pack, jealous etc. ?? It probably shouldn’t take long to figure out who is the main ‘instigator’ and who are just the people who can’t even think for themselves and as you say ‘just wolves circulating to devour them’ (great analogy). Don’t bother talking to these bystanders.

Once you’ve done that try to figure out the core emotion of a bully’s comment - if someone is posting personal insults, the core emotion is likely anger, and they might be masking a range of insecurities. Ask them very short simple questions to get them to think about their core beliefs. Don’t give them any answers at all about what you think - ask them questions to get them to reveal more about themselves, to which you can ask more questions - which in turn makes them think about their own actions (which their conscience is no doubt condemning them for engaging in this behavior). If they continue to insult you could simply ask ‘Why are you so angry?’. If the person is an atheist, perhaps ‘Why are you so against Someone that does not exist?’.

If you can get a conversation steered towards one of the big 4 question areas about worldview (as outlined in the Intro RZIM course), you are planting seeds of doubt in their mind about their base worldview assumptions and it forces them to go away and question themselves. It is going to require very tough skin, and maybe think of only one post for the day - in the form of a question - and then let them rant and rave a little about it. :slight_smile: Maybe if an insult is directed at you and only you, you could ‘like’ the insult comment and say nothing. Silence is still a response. That might make them think some more. :slight_smile:

Of course, we are not able to do any spiritually lasting good at all without God helping us, so pray about it before you type a single word.

It’s probably wise to discern between insults, and personal threats, and I personally wouldn’t engage anybody at all who was using an excessive use of profanity (Don’t cast your pearls before swine principle)

Good luck - and remember we won’t see the results of seeds sown until eternity. It may be that a single question asked of a person is the start of them actually starting to consider the claims of Jesus Christ.
Hope that’s helpful… :slight_smile:

----4 questions----


How do you think the earth came into existence?

How do you think human life began?

What is the purpose of human life?

How do you determine good and bad?

Destiny: What will happen at the end (at death)?

(Nancy J Berg) #4

Yes, you are right. Prioritizing how I spend time with fb/social media and just the phone in general, is important. If it wasn’t for these medical work related groups, which I have found very helpful info in, to understand both sides, it would be easy to delete fb altogether. And that day may well come. Thank you for the gentle warning to not get too drawn in and waste time. I am in a learning curve here a bit, but I take that warning as from Him and will need to watch it. Thank you again. :pray::sparkling_heart:

(Nancy J Berg) #5

Thank you Matthew. You had some great thoughts to share. Yes, the verse “don’t cast your pearls to swine” has come into my thoughts as well. And the word of not typing anything without prayer is so simple yet so key!! It is a medical focus group. One piece of the topic is research and development on and the use of abortal fetal cell lines in biologics. So, hard to say nothing on that as that really feels like the silence is being complicit. But mainly have just been watching and learning how this bizarre cyber world works that I have only heard of. Lots of smoke and mirrors. I really appreciate the two of you who responsed here. It was helpful and directive. Thank you!!

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #6

I certainly suggest you look up Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason. He has amazing resources on how to respond to attacks by militant skeptics. I certainly would suggest his book, Tactics.

Here is a YouTube video of Greg explaining Christian tactics:

I would also strongly suggest you get a booklet from the Stand to Reason store called The Ambassador’s Guide to the New Atheists. It is only about 45 pages long and reasonably priced. Here is the link:

In this booklet, Greg basically shows you how to deconstruct the arguments of the new atheists, which is directly related to what you mentioned about full blown attacks. I hope this helps.

(Nancy J Berg) #7

Oh wow! Thank you so much!! I will be buying these two resources this morning. So appreciate your insights and recommendations! And so grateful for this RZIM Connect community and team that makes it possible. :heart_eyes::grinning::hugs:

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #8

No problem. I’ve been in your shoes as well. It can be tough reading such nasty name-calling and such online by skeptics that really can get a person down. Using Greg’s tactics is a really really good strategy to engage in conversation even if you don’t have all the answers yourself (we never really will).