had my faith very aggressively tested tonight.(191 Posts)
This is not about the action, I'm fine with what happened. This is about how I feel now.
What's just happened.
I gave a friend a lift home as I was driving and he was quite drunk.
Midway home he asked how we (group of friends) cope with a mutual friend being religious...she's getting married in a church.
I replied that I was religious, he attended my church wedding 6 months ago.
"You can't be religious, you're supposed to be intelligent"
"You're a scientist, you have an analytical mind, why are you acting like a brainwashed idiot?"
God love him he loves a soap box so I was then treated to a tirade of how there was no God, how if there was a God we would be perfect, how God couldn't exist because of the diseases babies in Africa die of. (That was his pet topic)
No responses from me were heard so I allowed him to rant himself out including a full session of calling God all the names under the sun, asking God to smite or kill him now and laughing at me.
I am at peace with the event. Shocked but not upset. He'll apologise for being so aggressive, confrontational and rude tomorrow (if he remembers)
I felt tested. I wanted to come home and open my bible and see where it fell (something I did a lot as a teenager) but I can't find it which makes me sad. I wanted to find the verse and chapter about not testing God.
I would like to ask for a verse or chapter to read. I have a digi bible. I can't explore the book, I can't find it right now.
I'm so sorry, as I'm not religious so might not understand clearly, but why would someone having a drunken rant test your faith so strongly?
Because I sat and endured a tirade of abuse. I wasn't tested "strongly" but he was aggressive in his tirade.
Sadly I was thinking about everything being said and despite not being heard, answering each point. It's testing and challenging to not just agree for an easy life.
I found a random scripture generator
When I clicked on it thinking of you this came up
Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
When I find those kind of verses I see them as an acknowledgement if how I feel and to accept it in stead of fighting it
or flick and find your own!
Ah sorry, I misinterpreted aggressively as strongly. My bad! I don't think you should have to 'after' for an easy life but it's probably also a little pointless in answering his points as a) he was drunk so wouldn't even be processing what you were saying and b) had his own beliefs and wouldn't be swayed by any of your reasoning.
It was terrible of him to be aggressive towards you but in a similar situation again I would think the best thug to do is say that you will both never agree so it would be best to change the subject and it's incredibly rude of someone to rant at you when you are giving them a lift.
When they are giving you a lift. English is not my friend tonight!
I think you were right to just take his words and see it as a test of your faith. If you had tried to counter his statements - not a good idea when he was drunk - I think he would've turned aggressive.
I live abroad and new people come into the expat community all the time. I used to try to help them gain their footing, help out with shopping trips etc. I saw it as something my Heavenly Father wanted me to do - I'm quite shy really, meeting new people makes me terribly nervous.
One such lady, she was a little younger than me, but was seen as 'difficult' because she had 4 children all under 5. She didn't have a car yet, needed to find a nursery place for her eldest, was studying for her degree and was quite lonely. I helped her as much as she wanted - pushing my way into her life was not me at all, I'd call her if I were off to the supermarket etc. She was firmly in the driving seat. Anyhow, she asked me to pick some things up from the supermarket one day, I took them to her and as I was catching up with her, a lady in full abaya and niqab walked by. She started scoffing about the lady, saying things like, 'my word, get a grip, this is the 21st Century, how can a one be so dumb not not realise? There's no such thing as the magic sky fairy. Only idiots and the uneducated believe in that.'
I told her my beliefs and that even my DH, a very educated man held his beliefs of strongly as me. She was a bit taken aback but she was ok, I thought.
The next time I did a similar shop run, she invited me in, then proceeded to lecture me how wrong I was for my beliefs! I politely tried to counter her assumptions, but she kept on, and on, and on. If I 'proved' a point, she came up with a new one. For 2 hours! I realised she was trying to 'save' me. Well, I tell myself that anyhow
There's a difference between respectful inquiry and even debate and what happens in a situation like you've experienced. Yet, if 'we' object or return with the same aggression or forcefulness, we are seen as hypocrates as we clearly don't practise what we preach. I think a lot of people see meekness and humility as weakness and submissiveness.
I don't know what the answer is Space, but be happy with yourself that you chose to not respond to his ranting. You kept yourself safe and you actually knew the counter points to his rants.
Happy Sabbath if today's your day. If it's not Happy Sabbath for when it is!!
Some peope are very arrogant. The assumption that intelligent people think like he does suggests he is very egocetric. Faith and beliefs are much more solid when you can see why others believe what they do and can respect those views, even if you don't accept them.
Times like this can make you explore, question and develop your faith.
I can't help you with the bible because I'm not religious. But I like ths guy, he is a bishop who felt tested too youtu.be/HtMtA1N3_eQ
Matthew 4 is the chapter to read
V7:Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
Well done for staying calm and using it as a good way back into reading your bible
Religion is much easier if you don't think about things too much. God doesn't want us to question or be tested. We must accept faith blindly,
" 'You must not test the LORD your God.'"
If we start to question our faith then we may open up a can of worms.
In fact god doesn't want you to get drunk, ""Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:6), so maybe that is part of the reason.
Abuse, rudeness and drunkenness certainly aren't acceptable , let him walk home in future.
There's no proof that either of you are right or wrong, and I also don't see how this tests your beliefs. Beliefs are not immune to mockery, although people should be. As I said, let drunks walk home.
Thank you for your responses.
Just to clarify.
My responses weren't heard, they were formed in my mind but lacked opportunity to be shared, on in the instance I started to reply, were interrupted and talked over.
I wasn't trying to change his opinion, I was asking that he respected mine but that was not acceptable bless him.
Thank you for the verse and the generator.
We have a good friendship. He suddenly stopped himself and said "we're gonna fall out if I don't shut up aren't so?"
"That's why I stopped talking 10 minutes ago my love"
"We should talk when I'm not pig headed and drunk"
"Entirely up to you"
Smile, hug, and because I'm cheeky, as he got out the car I said "may the Lord be with you"
And he laughed and said "and also with you"
FWIW I offered a lift and I would do the same again. It clearly happened for a reason.
and see where it fell
Isn't that testing God? Like expecting him to have it fall open on what he wants you to read?
My guess is that you might be feeling uncomfortable because your friend wasn't reflecting your personal boundaries rather than because of what he said about your faith. There are many books and online articles that address issues about the problem of pain and suffering. It is perfectly reasonable to be a scientist and a believer. If you need intellectual answers then you can look out these types of articles. Maybe though you just need to acknowledge that when someone doesn't respect your views and doesn't even want to have a reasonable debate but just wants to rant and be rude to you, then this is uncomfortable at best and possibly note like extremely annoying;
Sounds like it was your patience and boundaries that were tested. I've done the street pastors training and gone out on some late night sessions with them and it is pointless trying to debate or discuss with people who are angry or drunk.
The idea that all people of faith are stupid is just silly. In my current congregation there are people with PhDs and masters degrees in science subjects as well as the humanities. At least two of us have degrees in philosophy. There are also people who have no formal education but know how the world works and are my go to people as a sounding board for new ideas. We also have people with learning difficulties who like to come and be part of the worshipping community.
I hope your friend apologises for his bad manners in having a punt people of faith especially when one of those people was giving him a lift home.
Sorry to hear of your experience SpaceDinosaur. When people mock me for having a faith I always remember Matthew 5 v 11. It really helps.
What a shame as those topics and questions are really worth exploring... But best done when everyone is sober, or only slightly sozzled!
I think with reading the Bible for timely words you are best off just picking up from where you last read. Its amazing how often it ends up being relevant to specific needs.
If someone had a drunken rant about my Dad not existing I would be amused at how drunk they were. No matter how vociferous they were in their drunken rampage it wouldn't even cross my mind that my belief in my father was being tested, because I know he does.
If your reaction was to think your faith in your god was being tested there is only one conclusion. You are not completely sure he exists.
Urbanfox, being 'tested' is not about doubting what you believe necessarily, it is also often about being made to feel uncomfortable or harassed about what you believe.
As Christians we are encouraged in 1 Peter 3 to
'Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.'
Often in doing so we are not treated with the same gentleness and respect in return. This can be hard.
That is true, vdbfamily.Though actually doubt is ok too, I think. I would try to explain, but (as I've posted on another thread before) Stephen Cotterel has said it better than I can:
"Faith is holding out your hand in the dark and not knowing it is held. Otherwise faith has become certainty, and this is not the Christian way. Faith is holding out your hand in the dark and believing it is held, even though there are times of great doubt as well as times of great faith. The two belong together. We too often speak and act as if doubt were the opposite of faith. This is not the case. The opposite of doubt is certainty. Doubting is part of believing."
Presumably, you would have interpreted the place your Bible fell open at as the verse that God wanted you to read.
What does it tell you if you can't find it?
"Doubt is a crack of light in a closed mind. Grab hold of that doubt and use it to direct you to the truth, dont be dragged back into the darkness of ignorance".
When something shakes our beliefs then we have to question why our beliefs are capable of being shaken. Usually its because our beliefs are built on what we have been told our whole lives. That is the time to actually investigate why you actual believe something and that is the opportunity to break free from a lifetime of being told what you should believe.
Yes we should all examine our beliefs I completely agree. I had nearly 30 years of complete certainty that there is no God (having been a religious child/teen) but eventually questioned my beliefs and am now a person of faith (and sometimes doubt). It works both ways.
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