Monday, August 28, 2006

Quote, Support, Unquote

Today was a pretty normal day. I got up, went to class, chilled in the dorm's common room, ate from UNCW's superb dining hall (they have a place where you can make your own Belgian waffles, how cool is that?) I was also invited by some friends to go to the Ab Workout Class in the Rec Center...or as I shall now call it...Fifteen Minutes in Hell. The instructor was a perky redhead who cheerfully welcomed the class by saying, "By the end of this you'll be wishing for your life to end, but you'll look fab!" She wasn't wrong on either count (but then again, I always look fab ;-)

After my tortured abdominals had a chance to cool down, I checked out what was going on at (I know, the nerd alarm's going off, sue me). Earlier that morning I had submitted myself to another one of Mike Adams' rants (call me a masochist, whatever). This time I left a comment. Disagree with Adams though I do, many of the commenters on his column--conservative and liberal alike--tend to be a more rational (and more fun) bunch than he is. After introducing myself as "ex-gay" I talked a little about my disagreement with Adams calling homosexuality a mental illness. (I know the ex-gay title isn't technically true, but for the sake of simplicity I used it). If you want a transcript of the article and the comments, click here. I am "Jay in NC," by the way, not "JayJay." Let me also warn you that some of the other comments are less-than-Christian, if you know what I mean.

I received several responses from people who had only good things to say about me overcoming my temptations to sin. There was one commenter who called himself "Jerubaal." He and I disagreed on a few issues, but in the end I had to thank him for his support. He replied back, saying "Jesus Christ is your support, I'm just celebrating along with you."

Of course he was well-meaning in his reply, but I was a little curious about this attitude. Isn't the support (i.e. encouragement and prayer) of other Christians akin to the support of Jesus Christ? Indeed, is it not a little more effective, since it is certainly more tangible (physically, at least). What do you guys think? Does all of our support come from Christ alone? Is the support of Christians just Christ supporting us through his followers? Or are Christ's support and Christians' support two separate entities? Which is most important when it comes to overcoming a sin or temptation?

On a side note, I encourage everyone who likes politics to become part of the commenting community on Townhall or a similar political blog. It's really a fun place to discuss issues (though conversations can get heated sometimes :-) If you're going to use Townhall, let me warn you to turn off all the "Mailing List" options when you register. Otherwise you'll get a ton of spam.

Hope everyone has a good night,


Brady said...

Jay- I used to be a frequent commenter of conservative message boards like that. Now I remember why I stopped *shakes fist in air at Jay*.

The thing is--while there were a few commenters that encouraged you and your take on the issue (which is great), there were so many more that wanted nothing more than slam gays. They weren't there to listen, to understand, to witness, any of those things--they were just there to slam gays.

For me it was just sad to see how most of the people there were out to pick a fight with each other and make gays look like monsters.

I think your words were well stated and positive (even if I disagreed with some of them ;-) and some people were definitely feeling it from you, but the rest of them could not have cared less.

If this is how conservatives and Christians act to one another and a group of people they barely know, I'm not impressed.

Jay said...

Brady: You make a very good point. I've noticed that there are two distinct groups of commenters on Townhall and similar blogs: those that are there to seriously discuss politics and theology and those who just like to hear themselves talk (I like to call this latter group trolls ;-)

I don't respond to people who leave inflammetory comments. But I will respond to someone who leaves a well-reasoned and respectful comment with which I disagree. When it comes to large public blogs like that, you can't get rid of the trolls. The best thing to do is not respond to them.

Ron Belgau said...

Hi, Jay,

I agree with you that it is important to receive support from other Christians. I also think, however, that one of the reasons a lot of Christians are reluctant to provide support to those of us dealing with same-sex attraction is that they don't know what to say or how to be supportive, because they're confused and uncomfortable with the issue.

That's one reason I think that it's important for the larger Christian community to learn more about the issue so that they can be more supportive.

Tin Man said...

Love to hear questions like this. This makes me think of something that Rob Bell said in his sermon that I went to hear this summer. I think the answer to your question is, "Yep."

I am sure that there is some other demension to the whole Jesus/other Christians/seperate entity thing that we are just not able to figure out. Probably, reality is that it is some combination of the two.

Glad to hear you are enjoying your freshman year so much.

Inheritor of Heaven said...

I tend to go with the statement that the Christian's support is Christ's support. Though if no Christians are there to provide support then the Lord himself will do it.