My heart is heavy because a reader of FOTM has lost his way, and I need your help.
K. and I have been casual email correspondents for several years — a correspondence that he initiated. He sends me jokes and news tips, and is supportive and complimentary of FOTM.
He went to a Christian high school but did not become a minister. He became an expert mechanic who specializes in British autos. He’s 62; long divorced; has grown children with whom he seems to have scant contact; is emotionally needy, and often complains of being lonely.
Three days ago, he startled me when, out of the blue (we weren’t discussing Christianity or any religion or anything, for that matter), he declared — knowing full well that I’m a Christian — that he no longer believes but thinks Christianity to be illogical, irrational and oppressive. These are his exact words:
“I was raised Christian. My folks were raised Christian (well Mom was). My kids are Christian (Mormon).
So I fell in line with it by default. But as I examine it rationally, for the first time in my life, I notice that the whole thing falls apart if one applies common reason and logic. I have been really surprised at how no fellow travelers (Christians) will even discuss this. I am put down as living in sin, et al — you know the drill.
Maybe it is time for a shift from Christian to something new.”
I chose to avoid getting entangled in debating Christianity with someone who is clearly antagonistic, and responded with two sentences:
“Well, I feel sorry for you that you are no longer a believing Christian. I will pray for you.”
He reacted with venom, accusing me of being “condescending and insulting” to him. Once again, he trashed Christianity, characterizing its “key tenants [sic]” as “guilt, condescension, and shaming”. [A psychiatrist would find noteworthy his frequent resort to the word “condescending”.] He told me to “wake up” and called me a fool who has been duped, “lied to and grossly mislead [sic]”.
I responded calmly, pointing out that it is he who is condescending and insulting, and asked that he cease emailing me.
He responded with more venom, accusing me of not forgiving him as a Christian should while, at the same time, redoubling his trashing of Christianity and flinging even more insults at me, calling my Sunday Devotional posts “crap”.
I replied that his behavior, consistent with previous incidents, displays a Jekyll-Hyde, passive-aggressive quality that I find frightening, and informed him that I’ve instructed Gmail to delete his emails to Spam.
I am heart sick and at a loss to account for his sudden change of attitude and behavior.
Please pray for our brother who is lost.