This brilliant little viral really rattled some ‘believers’ and many others simply retorted, ‘Yeah, that’s why we have the Alpha course to answer these questions’ having had a complete irony by-pass and altogether missing the point. I saw it on Twitter where a Christian admitted to feeling guilty for enjoying it.
The one that really annoyed me, though, was the patronising, ‘I’d like to know why he’s so angry. Maybe if he came on the Alpha course…’
I would like to say, that this guy isn’t angry. He is intelligent, enquiring, clever and really quite amusing. In fact, he looks that relaxed (check out that body language) he could run classes at most churches to help those coiled as tight as a spring and having a hissy fit about the rota. He asks honest questions, raises real doubts, pinpointing paradox. It’s the stuff of real conversations with real people, living real lives in the real world.
To patronise, project negative or ‘damaged’ emotions, infantilise and otherwise poo-poo the person who makes valid apologetic statements about our faith actually places us into the very category we claim not to be in (I like to call it La-La-Land. GPS users type in ‘somewhere over the rainbow.)
If we really are serious about our apologetics, and about mission and evangelism, then we need to stop patronising happy, healthy, bright, witty individuals who are living interesting, productive lives. We need to get into relationship and only then do we stand a chance of real dialogue. We need to stop banging on about God until people get a Pavlovian recoil every time they hear Jesus’ name or the word ‘Christian’, and give them the space to ask their own questions, in their own way in their own time. You never know, we might learn something.
Fanatical about the gospel? You bet.
Fanatic? Not on your life.