Shutting Up TBWSNBN…Temporarily

TBWSNBN sent a message to my wife this morning

TB: Hey, do you want to grab coffee or dessert today?

Wife: No, I don’t think that’s a good idea.

TB: Why not?

Wife: Um because I don’t need more stress in my life right now.  I need to surround myself with people who are supportive and will listen, and that’s not you.

TB: I am definitely here for you.  I can’t support the SIN but I will support you.

If you’re new, TBWSNBN is the girl trying to out me as an atheist.

TBWSNBN actually wrote more than that but I was seeing red, furious with anger, that I couldn’t even…

I lost the ability to even.

Can anyone out there help me even?

So I came to my office this morning and tried to think of the most effective way to communicate with TBWSNBN.  That was hard.  I really want to tell her off.  You know, exactly like what I wrote in my posts that had to be deleted.

***side note*** so in my anger I apparently swear, ummm…profusely? I noticed my buddy Drew when he posted those blogs onto the public TCP facebook page he used the words “raw” and “not for the faint of heart”.  I do hope my intense anger isn’t too much of a turn off for my readers.  I’ll try to swear less…on most posts. ***/sidenote***

But I need to be, well Jesus said it best:

Be as innocent as a dove and wise as a serpent

Yeah, ok.  So umm, hmmmm.  What to do, what to do?

This is what I came up with.  This is Pastor John at his finest (if I do say so myself)

Are you familiar with the Book of Job?

It’s a great story. Everyone of course knows Job as the guy who Satan made a deal with God to destroy his family to see if would renounce God. When Job’s devastation fell upon him he had 3 friends who came and sat with him during his time of grief. For 7 days they sat around a campfire and no one said a word.

Finally after 7 days Job speaks, he starts airing his grief. But then his 3 friends quickly jump to God’s defense, trying to prove to Job that God has a reason and purpose for everything he does and what has happened to Job is Job’s fault. Job defends himself and constantly begs God to show himself to Job. Job even gets a bit obstinate and demands God tell him why all this has happened to Job.

Job’s friends are in complete outrage at Job’s arrogance. Convinced of his sin they plead, insult, and harass him to repent so that God will restore Job. Job responds:

Job 16 1

Then Job spoke again:

2 “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! 3 Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? 4 I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. 5 But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief. 6 Instead, I suffer if I defend myself, and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak. 7 “O God, you have ground me down and devastated my family. 8 As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones. My gaunt flesh testifies against me. 9 God hates me and angrily tears me apart. He snaps his teeth at me and pierces me with his eyes…. 20 My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. 21 I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends. 22 For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.[he means death]

Of course this angers Job’s friends, for they cannot believe Job would blame God for his troubles. So they pester him and argue more with him. They desperately want to see their friend stop uttering blasphemies about God.

God decides he’s had enough and he grants Job’s request, and meets with him face to face. God puts Job in his place. Of course God knows what he’s doing. God created the universe and Job did not, God very effectively proves that he is in all ways superior to Job. Job responds to God:

Job 40

The Lord said to Job:

“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Then Job answered the Lord:

“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”

Job 42

Then Job replied to the Lord:

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

It would appear that Job’s friends were right to question Job and defend God.

Except God disagrees:

Job 42

After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

God was angry at Job’s friends because the words they used about God were not true, effective, or helpful. Which is weird, because when you read the arguments of Job’s friends, it looks very biblical and Christian (or at least Jewish). And yet God humbled Job’s friends, but forcing them to beg Job to pray for them that God might forgive them. God didn’t want them to pray directly to God, but rather God would only forgive them if Job agree to pray for them.

(Interesting side note: this is foreshadowing the Gospel of Christ. Where it’s through Christ sacrifice that sinners are forgiven. And also Christ is the Man of Sorrows, very Job like.)

I have felt like Job. I have that my God has crushed me. I have felt that He has left me. I have felt that my prayers have fallen on deaf ears. And I only recently discovered that I have acted like Job, demanding that God show himself to me and answer me.

But I am not Job, I am nowhere near as righteous or as faithful.

But my wife is. And you have been Job’s friends. But at least they had the decency to sit with him in his grief for 7 days before the demands and accusations started flying.

She is hurting. She feels her God is crushing her. She is striving to be the best biblical wife possible, even now. She is talking to her Father who is a very biblical man and getting advice from him. She is talking to people who have been through similar things and ended up divorced and is trying to do everything possible to maintain our “one flesh”. After all “God hates divorce” as Jesus said.

She is grieving, she is hurting and you can’t even just sit in silence with her.

You have not loved my wife. You have not supported her in the way the Bible commands it. You have been Job’s friend. Someday she will need to forgive you. But perhaps you should apologize first.

But don’t take my word for it, read the Book of Job yourself.
Until then do not contact my wife.
I will contact you the moment Kevin emails me back.
I know that was a lot to read, and probably on your phone. But I hope you read it all, especially the scriptures.
And do you know what TBWSNBN response was?
Nothing.
But she could be at work just fuming.  So you know, I might be in for it soon.
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17 thoughts on “Shutting Up TBWSNBN…Temporarily

  1. A noble effort. Again, not sure she can be reasoned with. From one of her now deleted comments, I think she thinks she’s fighting Satan. If that’s the case she won’t have a problem stomping all over the two of you . . . in the name of Christ of course. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    • About Zoe’s comment earlier: the intriguing thing is, as you know, the biblical role of Satan is, literally, “the accuser.” Satan is prosecuting attorney — whose job in Job is to go “roaming through the earth” to discover who is doing wrong. The defense attorney, in the new testament, is the Paraclete — literally, “one called alongside” — the holy spirit, that Jesus promises. This would be maybe hugely awkward to point out oneself… but Kevin could. Snbn would likely be reluctant to align with Satan’s role.

      A way you might be able to suggest this yourself, however, would be to say that this is one aspect of Christianity that gives you hope…. that is, if Christianity is actually true, then Jesus is the defense attorney.

      Likewise, as our pastor pointed out a Sunday ago, the parable of the fig tree in Luke 13 shows the forbearance of God, as the vine-tender pleads for another year of fertilizing and care before determining to cut down the unfruitful tree.

      In other words, you could be helping snbn to discover or rediscover amazing grace.

      Like

      • I should add, the reason I think of this tack is my all-time hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and his goal of “a double victory” in his sermon “Loving your enemies.” In the face of their homes being firebombed and shot at, and threatening telephone calls, he still wrote: “One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.” http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2015/01/19/martin-luther-king-jr-on-loving-your-enemies/35907

        If I hadn’t read King’s sermons and speeches, I would have thought this was strictly New Testament hopeless hyperbole. Many African Americans talk about refusing to let their minds be taken over by hatred of their oppressors. On an infinitesimally small scale, I found this helping when engaging a troll recently — There was infinitely less at stake than there is in your occasion, but in this minor instance it changed from being an attempt at shutting them down to a rather interesting project to see if maybe I could strike just a glimmer of grace from what was presenting as a flinty spirit. So far I haven’t detected any grace… but at least that avatar stopped being so strident.

        Again, this is strictly just an idea for the mix and could be totally inappropriate for this situation. You have great sensitivity and will make great decisions. Thanks again so much for all your writing

        Like

  2. And this is why you don’t get in a fight with someone who is stronger than you. Or in this case, get into an argument with someone who is smarter and knows the subject matter better than you. We atheists have known for a while the best way to end most religious debaters is to quote their own scripture at them; the majority aren’t familiar with it enough themselves to come up with a decent counter. Bravo.

    Also, have to share what popped into my head while reading this:

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Job 6:14 was a very meaningful verse to me during my deconversion:

    “A friend should treat a troubled person kindly,
    even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty.” (God’s Word Translation)

    Different versions say it in very different ways—but from what I’ve researched, this is the most accurate sense of the verse.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This post worries me. You’re feeding the troll. Youre ministering reason to a dogmatic individual. I fear your words will be used against you. Be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have high hopes that the message will get through, but it was worth a try (and a damn good try). Sending lots of virtual hugs your way.

    When I was a Christian, I could pray to God to make things better, and often some change would happen that did make something better. I have no one to pray to now, but I find that resolutely determining that things will get better (even if I haven’t figured out quite how) is often effective, because it leaves me open to serendipity and opportunity. Mind you, there are days when it’s extremely difficult to hold that resolution. I have significant physical and mental health problems, and some frustrations in my marriage that don’t help the mental health. But that’s more reason to hold on. It will get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I look back on my evangelical Christian ministry, I see individuals like TBWSNBN as devoid of empathy. Doctrine comes first; others…well…we are just sht out of luck. So I think it best to realize that you are dealing with someone who acts like a psychopath, and tailor your approach accordingly. Here’s wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It would have been better to ignore her. It would have been better if your wife just came up with a plausible excuse to avoid meeting her.

    I am seriously concerned that now the bitch is primed for a fight and for revenge.
    In her mind she very likely had built this fantasy where her righteousness and jesus armor made her into this Christian warrior primed to slay the dragon. That being your loss of faith. She even calls it a “sin”. That actually showed me very clearly that she is on the war path.

    I am sure that in her mind she imagined the both of you would recognize the error of your ways, change your mind, rediscovered the truth of the Word, as presented by her, and actually thank her for it in the end. She has made herself your judge and jury and she is this close to be your executioner.

    She is now even more dangerous.

    Once again, I would feed her a steady diet of bullshit. Right now, that has to come from someone else. Your wife needs to stoke the flames of the gossip fire so that she is informed that your crisis of faith, if not over, is back to the proper way. Only that will placate her ire and take away her weapons.

    Trying to get her on a theological level, even if it may seem the natural thing to do, was a mistake. I don’t think she has the brains or the willingness to engage you at that level. In her mind, she is righteous, she is the god warrior and you are the devil using the bible to distract her from her quest.

    A bit dramatic, I admit it, but I don’t think a rational engagement with her has any chances of working. She is engaged in a battle against “SIN”.

    You want to get her off your back? Tell her she is right and that you have been thinking a lot about it and you feel your faith coming back to you like a wave crashing on a shore. Better yet, have someone else tell her. She’ll gloat and feel like that was all her doing.

    That will buy you time to go do what you need to do. The revenge will be all the sweeter. For now you have to humor her.

    PS: there is another method, a much long term one that is used to help people coming out of cults that I think would apply here. But you don’t have the luxury to use it. UNless you want this bitch to accelerate the dismantling of your life before you are ready for it, you are going to have to treat her like the worse enemy you ever had.

    Like

  8. Hello, PNF … these are just some initial brainstorming thoughts for the mix, since events might move swiftly….

    * I notice that an accuser on a different blog declined to cite a biblical basis for his demands that a pastor be public immediately. Maybe one reason snbn has not replied is that she realizes she is reacting largely based on her intuition and feelings, and not so much on the biblical record?

    * This next would require a huge effort of mind… but as a sort of “out-there” goal — one has to think that snbn is herself the victim of an ideology that may be similar to the one you’re growing away from — and many of us would think that she herself needs freeing from the pernicious effects, which are driving her to behave this way. Maybe regarding her that way could help dissipate the (understandable) fury at her and make any meeting with her go just a little easier?

    * The rapidly evolving circumstances may mean that the time to become public may be very soon, so that people can hear your story first from you yourself, and not from the grapevine (which tends to add and subtract important points).

    Yes, I think crowdsourcing is a great idea. I can’t do a great deal, but would want to help if a reliable mechanism were set up.

    Thank you again for the light your writing is throwing on the challenges that a worldview change brings to the mind and heart.

    Liked by 2 people

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