HomeRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Resentment towards TheologyWeb

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
muckie
Metal graduate
Metal graduate
avatar

Number of posts : 490
Age : 30

PostSubject: Resentment towards TheologyWeb   Wed May 27, 2015 4:22 am

For several years I was an active member of TheologyWeb, a major internet forum for religious discussions with a christian moderating team as well as sub forums for people of other faiths to discuss their religion as well. Generally they were very tolerant in regards to disagreements and members were encouraged to be honest. However, TWeb has an heirarchy of sorts, which run the site and made up the so-called 'cool crowd'. Their figurehead was a woman who had a reputation for introducing obscure or niche theology to the members and everyone would follow suit. They also gave much reverence to a particular apologist who had a website which, although it had some great resources referenced, was mostly littered with his childish buffoonery and revisionist theology regarding how christians should conduct discourse with not only unbelievers but other christians as well. This view, which he developed entirely from conjecture based on several authorities consulted (and from what I know, one of them does not actually condone the actions he takes in these matters, contrary to said apologist's claims) says that we're supposed to insult unbelievers by calling them stupid, jackass, etc. to put them down and shame them into submitting to christianity. However, I was always quick to renounce these ideas because of their lack of basis in historical contexts from christians who dedicated years of study to the subject, in other words, it seems like this guy and his cult are the only ones who devote themselves to this idea and basically claim that all these years we've been wrong in being kind to unbelievers because Jesus wanted us to demean them. They place alot of emphasis on authorities that they don't exactly follow themselves to a tee, and they are generally very cruel individuals, having a subforum dedicated to mocking 'stupidest skeptic of the week'. To add to that, they are very quick to judge people rather than build a connection with them when trying to understand the hard questions in life or religion. Part of this is due to the high rate of Aspergers on the forum. They tend to have empathy issues (I know, being one) but on there its almost applauded and allowed to run rampant without consideration for others on a toughness sort of attitude. Commonly, people will say to someone "You're just a big stupid pile of emotions with no intellect" or whatnot. A good friend of mine which I made there was a moderator at one point and one of the humblest, most sincere christians on there. He eventually renounced his position because he felt the attitude professed on TWeb was demonic. Now let me just say that I learned alot about the more historical or textual aspect of christian apologetics at TWeb. They had alot of knowledge of obscure subjects or arguments. However, despite all that they were also too quick to embrace extremely liberal or borderline heretical theology simply to appear more intelligent or unique that I later came to personally believe was bullshit. It wasn't until I stopped relying on them to teach me the bible and read it myself that my relationship from God significantly improved. The people who I looked up to for counseling on spiritual issues treated me like a piece of shit. One guy ignored my requests for prayers and help and put me on ignore on the basis that he didn't believe me. He was a moderator and everything he ever did or said was terribly annoying and arrogant. On the other hand, websites like christianforums did little to offer any alternative, because they are filled with shallow theology and members who can't tell their ass from a hole in the ground. So TWeb may not exactly be the worst, but it did hurt me alot in my interactions with members there during a troubled time in my life. Because of this, I began to actively pray that if there were any reason TWeb should not exist due to the fact that it is doing damage to the kingdom of God, then let there be some kind of judgement or rebuke, or leave it be if it really had any merit. Not long after the site suffered a massive failure and lost years of its history to some crash. I can only hope that it was a judgement, but I don't know if the members were given the rebuke that they needed. Of course, not everyone was a twit, but it still gets me angry when I think about it. I'd think with the number of christians on this site, someone will have some comments or advice on this.
Back to top Go down
Runicen
Heart of Metal
Heart of Metal
avatar

Number of posts : 1589
Age : 34

PostSubject: Re: Resentment towards TheologyWeb   Wed May 27, 2015 8:34 am

Though it's a nice idea in some aspects, I don't know that I'd attribute a server farm crash to divine intervention. Sorry, but that mental image is a little funny - though I suppose a modern Biblical plague probably would take place in the IT realm ("40 Days of Darkness and no Facebook!")...

Anyway, as to the meat of what you're talking about, I'm not a Christian, but I was raised with it and I have to admit, the things that drove me screaming from any kind of organized faith somewhere near 20 years ago now have only gotten worse in the larger culture of religion. People of faith, I have no issue with. I can disagree with someone all I want, but I have to cop to the fact that I have no absolute knowledge of God or what God wants or whatever. That's personal stuff - in the most literal sense. I've even made a level of peace with the idea that people like you're describing from this site could be right, God could be a total prick and I could be in the @$## when I croak... Oh well. If they're right, I'd probably prefer God didn't like me anyway.

So, the fine print out of the way, something about this whole "holier than thou" claptrap that has ALWAYS rubbed me the wrong way is that it's so completely out of touch with the New Testament. I mean, there are probably folks here who can lay me out if I'm massively off base as I haven't read the book in ages, but my recollection was that Christ was all about outreach. The only people he EVER lashed out at were the money lenders in the temples or the pharisees and priests who were so self-assured in their "protected" status, spiritually. He broke down people who felt they were too right to be questioned and he seemed to have infinite time for those who needed to be reached - even if they didn't end up converting. The conversion didn't even seem to be the point as much as making sure they were AWARE of the message - which they could then (again, that personal relationship thing) choose to accept or not at their leisure.

So, that all being the case, the idea of creating a forum for discussion where you lay people out for disagreeing with your incontrovertible truth is... Well, it's bull$#@% by the standards of your own faith, isn't it?

I'm also going to lay out another "tell" that is worth examining. This isn't meant to be a dig at you because I don't know you and, to my knowledge, this is the only time you've mentioned it (i.e. you don't bring it up to get points or excuse behaviors, etc.), but the Aspergers thing is beaten like a dead horse on the web much like claims of any mental illness. More often than not, it's so assholes can get away with being assholes and (mostly) escape scrutiny for it. "Oh, well of course I called you an X, Y, Z and threw a tantrum like a two year old on Amphetamines. It's my Bipolar/Aspergers/OCD and you set me off, so not only are YOU the ass here, but how dare you draw attention to my disorder?"

Like I said, this isn't universal, but it's usually VERY telling if someone is willing to be an ass and just say, "You have to deal because it's my disorder." You know, as if there was NO component of personal restraint or adaptation involved. Without going into it, I deal with my own mental health issues, so this is something I feel I can say a little about without speaking beyond my competence.

That wasn't meant to turn into a lecture, honest...

Bottom line: you've got a forum being run by people who are crap Christians who seem to have a parallel thread for seeking out ANY excuse for indefensible behavior. Sounds like it's got about as much to do with genuine faith as fish have to do with bicycles.
Back to top Go down
muckie
Metal graduate
Metal graduate
avatar

Number of posts : 490
Age : 30

PostSubject: Re: Resentment towards TheologyWeb   Wed May 27, 2015 9:18 am

You're mostly right. I have many friends who used to go to the site, including one who used to be a mod (he's in his fifties) and disagreed with their views on the riposte subject that I spoke of. He is  very committed to his faith but is also humble and doing the lord's work in helping the homeless, sick, and so forth. Most of the people I'm still in touch with (who were not part of the so-called 'cool crowd' btw) are people who practiced what they preached. Again, you're right about who Jesus was criticizing when he used the riposte thing, and most of the respectable and credible material written about this subject strongly disagrees with the Tweb interpretation of 'what it actually meant but that supposedly we had our heads up our ass too long to see'. I met many people from all sorts of denominations on there: catholics (roman and orthodox), protestants, even some fairly friendly atheists who had something to share who refused to join the elite crowd. But the creeps got too much of the time and highlights as they were always the ones promoting some article or trend going on at the time. And their example of what was cool in entertainment only furthered the idea that christians are boring and have bad taste.

That being said, my favorite subforum on the site was Unorthodox Theology, if only for the entertainment factor. People came up with so many random and outrageous ideas that you couldn't help but smile at them (like the one suggesting that some people we talk to on the internet could actually be demons). It was also home to some interesting personalities like a mentally ill woman who claims she became aware that she was the bride of Satan and Jesus reborn and that "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins reminds her of the time when we will have a new body and new planet after Satan rises. Thing is, the elitists made it a habit to balance humor with theology discussion which didn't quite work, because their humor was as stale as dried bread. Someone with an avatar featuring a frog wearing a sombrero was only so funny if it wasn't for them having a cow and threatening to edit your post because you approved of someone who disagreed with his/her essay on escatology. Even more tasteless was the mockery given to a suffering indian missionary trying to care for the poor and sick while they sat behind their computers and ate doritos in a wealthy country.
Back to top Go down
Runicen
Heart of Metal
Heart of Metal
avatar

Number of posts : 1589
Age : 34

PostSubject: Re: Resentment towards TheologyWeb   Wed May 27, 2015 11:44 am

This is something I try to avoid dipping into too often becuase it can delve into self-pity, but I miss the hell out of the days when you had to be smart to get online. Yeah, you had your share of idiots and trolls, but the ratio was far more favorable that you were talking to people who had to at least have some technical knowledge to have gotten far enough to even be talking to you.

Now, any mouth-breathing neck-beard equivalent who wasn't hugged or smacked enough as a kid can vent their spleen over any discussion, violate your privacy, poison discussion, etc. It can be funny, but it's also a tremendous drag that you have to sift through so much bull in order to really engage with interesting people who are plugged into the same stuff you are.

Come to think of it, that makes me pretty grateful for this place. We only end up with the best of the mouth-breathing neck-beards. Laughing
Back to top Go down
muckie
Metal graduate
Metal graduate
avatar

Number of posts : 490
Age : 30

PostSubject: Re: Resentment towards TheologyWeb   Wed May 27, 2015 12:36 pm

You hit the nail of the head! I do remember the discussions I had in the past circa 99-00 during the internet boom were better than what you have now because there is more competition. Made me think about who my true online friends were, the kind that I still hope to meet someday and dedicate more time to chatting with them than a bunch of losers on 4chan or reddit who do nothing but bitch about the smallest things.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Resentment towards TheologyWeb   

Back to top Go down
 
Resentment towards TheologyWeb
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Heart Of Metal :: General Forums :: Of Unsound Mind-
Jump to: