Two days before Christmas I was a bit bored. So much so that I decided to look at chat rooms, which I had never really bothered with before. I went to a Christian chat room on Yahoo at about the time a group of what I will politely call "non-Christians" decided to barge in.
I watched briefly as "crucify_the_christians" and "angrysatan666" and others cursed and insulted Christians, typed obscenities in clever ways to avoid the filters, described what they said were Jesus' sexual preferences, and so forth.
Then "crucify" said Christians are ignorant.
"What makes you think that?" I asked.
He said we are ignorant because God doesn't make sense and the Bible is just a book written by humans.
"You ever read the Bible, Cruz?" I asked.
Sure he had, he said. His parents made him read it, and he really liked the nasty parts in the Old Testament about the God of anger and Hell.
Not recalling anything about Hell in the Old Testament, I asked him where he had seen this.
He didn't know.
"Can you name five books of the Bible, Cruz?"
He couldn't name one.
"You don't know the Bible at all, do you Cruz?"
That, he said, wasn't his point. His point was that Christians need to question the Bible.
Hmmm. So, he had barely a clue about the Bible's contents, but was sure it was wrong and should be questioned.
"I'm lost, Cruz."
"Good," he replied, "That's where you should be. The point," he said, "is that there is no point."
Ah. So I should be at the point where there are pointless points.
We also talked about the existance of God. I asked if he knew any of the arguments for the existance of God.
"How would you reply to the cosmological argument for God, Cruz?"
He didn't know what it was until I explained it.
But that was okay by him. All he wanted, he said, was to make Christians realize that there is no answer, that "the answer is a question."
I tried to point out that he had been making statements of what he believed to be fact, so he was kind of like Christians (and everybody else) in that he believed specific things to be true.
No, he said, that was "just a manner of speaking."
O-kay. So now we have points that don't have points and questions that are answers and facts that are just a manner of speaking. All that and he's sure God doesn't exist and the Bible is wrong although he hadn't a clue about the arguments for and against God and had nothing but the vaguest notions of what is in the Bible.
I offered to pray for him, and he asked me not to. It sounded as if the idea made him a bit nervous.
"Don't waste your breath, it won't help."
"Sorry, Cruz. You hang around Christians long enough and somebody's bound to pray for you."
So I did.
What was interesting about this slam-bang exchange was that I began to like Cruz, and he's been on my mind and I've prayed for him several times since. While I wasn't going to put up with his junior philosopher nonsense, I felt I kind of got to know a lost kid, probably in high school, who would likely be very polite and friendly in person.
Hey Cruz! I'm still praying for you, buddy.