|image courtesy of duchesssa via sxc.hu|
Over 2000 views and almost 60 comments in the first few hours. Whereas it started on this particular site (reddit.com), I think it spread elsewhere. Page views kept trickling in over the next few days. Whoa, Nelly!
Like I said, maybe made a mistake by stirring up the hornets nest. I did not have the time to respond to comments as they came in, nor was that the intention of the post. But, part of me smiled knowing that there are certain buttons that you can press to bring about a response. I probably need to learn to be more of a peacemaker, huh?
Here are a few things that I learned from the comments and feedback I received, whether on the blog, email, Facebook, or verbally:
- I enjoy comments. If you have something to say, whether supportive or not, please say it. I always look forward to keeping the conversation going.
- I do enjoy comments that are civilly and thoughtfully presented. Some of the comments, even from an opposite perspective, I appreciated. Many self-proclaimed atheists presented logical arguments, and a few were upset at how other atheists conducted themselves.
- I don't enjoy mindless or profane comments. I had to remove a few that were unrelated babble or that were outright nasty.
- The purpose of the post was NOT apologetics. I did not intend to give a full evidential support about Creationism and the Resurrection. Give me some credit! Some commenters took a line or two, and assumed that was as deep as my thinking has gone. Trust me -- I am skeptical to the bone, and not afraid to question and say, "No." It was with much, much, much skepticism that I began to explore the claims of Christianity over 16 years ago.
- The purpose of the post was to illustrate how I talk with my kids. Dialogue (not just me "preaching") and questions are a great way for my growing kids to learn. I love that Elijah thinks of things like this, and that he feels comfortable asking me. This has come about through years of conversations and the grace of God, helping him feel safe with me.
- I want my kids to learn how to think. It's interesting the number of comments that referred to me being "abusive" or "deceiving" or "immoral" to my son. The whole point of the conversation was actually to encourage him to ask questions. I have never told him to "just believe blindly." I just shared why I believe.
- My child's faith is not in my hands. In this case, I agree with the comments that I need to let my son make his own decision about God. I have to realize that Elijah's faith is really between him and God. Of course, my role as a Christian father is to encourage him in his faith, and to lead him in the path of truth, but ultimately I cannot control his spirituality. But I do trust in a loving and gracious Savior, and I pray for mercy on my kids' souls.
I did find this comment regarding my post on a separate site (not in my original link). It is from a strong atheist, and I appreciate his or her honesty and civility in these excerpts:
"This dad even mentions in the story that he wants his son to believe in God for his own reasons, and that one day he will have to believe in God for himself. This is EXACTLY what we want Christian parents to be like. This is a father who isn't angry his son is questioning at a young age, this is a show of tolerance in the most basic form we can hope for in a religious family (especially one willing to visit a Creationist Museum).
"I've noticed that a lot of people [on this forum] act like born-again Christians, finding a need to preach to every person who express their beliefs in public form, and not doing so in a polite way that implies a discussion or debate. . . .
"I also think the wording here implies that he expects his son to believe in his Christian beliefs later in life, but he's also not blindly telling his son "God just does exist, why would you not believe that?" and making him read scripture. He's explaining his own personal beliefs using opinion and hoping that his son understands where he's coming from. . . .
"My argument isn't even that this man is RIGHT, the fact that this story was tolerant in terms of Christian families was just a note. My argument is that we bandwagon against religion on [this forum] in the same way that religious people bandwagon against other religions."
Likewise, I am especially appreciative of words that are both encouraging and supportive. Comment #60 or so on the original post was from a Christ-follower, and included the Bible reference Matthew 5:11-12:
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Finally, I re-posted a particularly good rebuttal of many of the comments. It was a comment itself on the original article, but I thought it was worth highlighting.