Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Toxic Misotheists, Being Alpha, and the Bible - Part 2

As planned, here is the conclusion from Part 1. Harmful people in our lives can feel like we are in an emotional and spiritual whirlpool with our vitality draining away.

Not Apologizing or Explaining

This is a difficult area for me in several areas. Gibbs makes not apologizing his Rule #9, and he picked it up from John Wayne in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness". Related to that is explaining yourself. In fact, the two can often be combined in pitiful displays of poltroonery. File under "Never say never".

Many atheists exhibit dangerous traits of narcissistic sociopaths. Includes superior knowledge, and condemnation of people they choose to hate. We can resist their harmful effects
Credit: Flickr / Dave Stokes (CC BY 2.0)
One problem is when people offer apologies. Those sound like excuses most of the time, especially when they're strung together like in this humorous example:

When we "own it", we are less likely to seem weak. It can also take the wind out of the sails of a detractor. F'rinstance, a different supervisor was armed for bear, ready to give me a deserved chastisement. I reckon he was expecting a string of excuses, but he seemed to sag a bit when I said, "I screwed up". When other people force apologies out of us (especially when we are not guilty of something), we are devalued and they get ego boosts.

When being direct and limit our words, we're also less tempted to embellish the truth or even lie outright. Or babble.

There are definitely times when apologies are necessary and helpful, don't be disunderstanding me. Gibbs broke Rule #9 when it was needed, and they guy being advised in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon also apologized. They are necessary in relationships, and Christians must confess our sins to God — and sometimes to other believers. The people making secular material that I have used do not know the dynamic of Christians helping each other grow in the Lord.

"Why do you use Western slang, Cowboy Bob?"

That would be a fair question that's probably not trying to put me on the defensive. (Toxic people, especially atheists, constantly seek to do that.) I may as well tell you that cowboy lingo, imaginary conversation partners, humor, and other things are devices to keep an article from being drier than an Arizona dust devil. It also helps readers know that there's a person behind the keyboard and not an automaton. I can inject a bit of personality into posts and articles. Of course, this one is very personal, but I'm doing those things anyway. Unapologetically.

Over-explaining can be a serious problem. Not only do we waste time, but we can seem — and even become — weaker. It is tempting because we want people to like us and not judge us in a negative way. As I indicated, acknowledging a mistake and moving on can be the best action. Also, concise answers are often better received, and it is more difficult for a toxie to put us on the defensive. They don't know and respect us, and quite often, we are always guilty in their eyes. Those kinds of people are not invested in our lives, and many don't know or respect us as persons.

Besides, overexplaining also can confuse a situation. Those who have watched NCIS may have noticed that Gibbs is a man of few words; he's not a babbler.

Jesus had some comments about words. When he discussed the swearing of oaths, he added, "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no", and not to go beyond that (Matt. 5:37). He also said that we will have to account for our words. He was not advising brusqueness or rejecting conversation, but we must learn to shun babbling.

It is difficult for me to strike a balance because not only do I want to avoid being harshly judged by others, but I teach through writing. Being properly understood is important, so explanations are in order. (Like you're reading right now.) For the most part, it is the author's responsibility to make things understandable. The hard part is volunteering unnecessary explanations in my daily life.

Toxic Atheists

Let's face it, those with Atheism Spectrum Disorder are exceptionally toxic — especially those on the internet. Rational unbelievers might say, "I don't believe the way you do, but if it makes you happy, great". There was a time when that may have been the case, but atheists are becoming more militant nowadays and seek to dehumanize Christians — especially biblical creationists. Mayhaps it could be classified as narcissistic atheopathy.

I didn't notice any of my resources use the term "control freaks", but that term accurately describes many of those toxic people. Those of us involved in apologetics have noticed that professing atheists (they really do know that God is real, Rom. 1:18-24) exhibit traits of narcissistic sociopaths. They try to put us on the defensive, often succeeding when we follow their distractions, and become enraged when we try to keep them on topic. They want to play their games and make up their own rules as they go along.

Atheists are threatened not only by the gospel of Jesus Christ, but despise biblical creationists. Why? One main reason is that we emphasize the importance of recent creation and the authority of God's Word. There's no room for their naturalistic and incoherent epistemology. Many of us have observed that their modus operandi is to change the subject and attack. Again, they seek to put us on the defensive, often with logical fallacies and unwarranted conclusions.

Some are so antagonistic that a person is challenged on practically every statement to "prove it", which greatly hinders intelligent conversation. This is something to which I have kowtowed, spending hours on supporting links when writing articles because someone may challenge me. I have to break out of that. It's a nice day here today. I won't prove that. Deal with it, hippies.

One guy taunts atheopaths by pointing out their hypocrisy, then teases them more. They are not beta males, they are "karens" and even "epsilon males" (see Brave New World.) I don't advise that, but it does show that they cannot take jokes or receive true observations about them.

There are times when we must delay our responses from hostile, loaded questions and from attacks. While some may be sincere and we can help remove roadblocks from their unbelief, they would rather express opinions (Prov. 18:2 ESV). There comes a time when we must remember Matthew 7:6 and 10:14. In fact, since they are desperate for attention, ignoring them can seem like torment. We do not need to get into tit-for-tat responses and let them drag us down to their levels.

If you study on it, since they know that God is real and Christians offer the truth, they are coming at us from a place of hatred (John 15:18-25, 2 Tim. 3:12) and fear. (Have you ever noticed that petty people  seek to bring down those they perceive as better than them? If you're attacked, you're a threat.) The internet is a cesspool of hatred for God, and is conducive to anonymity and fake names. Other Admins and I have banned people from The Question Evolution Project only to have them continue to rail against us using duplicate accounts — often with fake names. I say again that many are desperate for attention.

As Christians, we can pray for people and our situations. It is also important to encourage one another, and not only those who are in the big-name ministries. Our job is to sanctify Christ as Lord and be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us (1 Peter 3:15). That is what many of us are trying to do, and also to help build up Christians who are serious about their walk with Christ.

Some Resources

What follows are some of the videos that taught me some things. I am not endorsing any of those channels or even any of the videos in their entirety. None of them are from a Christian perspective. A good deal of this comes from selfishness and self-autonomy, such as, "Nobody knows what's best for you except you". Not hardly! God knows best, you savvy that?

Videos with "bulldog" and "alpha male secrets" in their channel names often have profanity. ("I hate to curse on my channel", then freely curses in most of his videos that I've seen.) It's been a while and I've viewed quite a few, so I may have labeled some with profanity warnings that didn't need it.

I'll list what I consider the most helpful videos first,  but use discernment. Most are less than thirty minutes. Also, I think all of them have something to sell, but I advise against buying those things when we have the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and wise believers we can consult.

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