Born Again


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I had a somewhat scattered but entertaining discussion with a born again gentleman. I didn't catch his whole backstory as he was jibbering and jabbering too much. 

After I had gone on to explain that my over all goal was to move to the states and be with my people, possibly starting my life as a saint properly and settling down, he rather condescendingly informed me that I would be '' planting a generation of hellbound seeds ''. 

The discussion ( although random ) was civil enough but I was mildly amused at him thinking he could shake my testimony. He had just been dispensing all manner of flyers and pamphlets about this and that. 

I haven't had a good talk with someone from a random encounter since the Jehovas about  four years ago. 

Anybody else have any tips or stories regarding such people. Normally I'd keep walking but today I had some time to kill and the summer hasn't left us altogether so it was pleasant enough for a stop and talk.  

 

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2 hours ago, NoMiddleName said:

Anybody else have any tips or stories regarding such people. 

Tips for what?  How to spot/avoid them?  How to change their opinions about things?

I haven't been preached to by a born again person in a couple decades.  But I did have an immensely enjoyable 3 hour long conversation with an atheist last month.  Both of us talking 100 miles an hour, totally respectful.  We managed to solve pretty much all of the world's problems in that conversation, but neither of us budged a single inch on our beliefs about God.

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5 hours ago, NoMiddleName said:

I had a somewhat scattered but entertaining discussion with a born again gentleman. I didn't catch his whole backstory as he was jibbering and jabbering too much. 

After I had gone on to explain that my over all goal was to move to the states and be with my people, possibly starting my life as a saint properly and settling down, he rather condescendingly informed me that I would be '' planting a generation of hellbound seeds ''. 

The discussion ( although random ) was civil enough but I was mildly amused at him thinking he could shake my testimony. He had just been dispensing all manner of flyers and pamphlets about this and that. 

I haven't had a good talk with someone from a random encounter since the Jehovas about  four years ago. 

Anybody else have any tips or stories regarding such people. Normally I'd keep walking but today I had some time to kill and the summer hasn't left us altogether so it was pleasant enough for a stop and talk.

I first encountered such people as a new missionary in Philadelphia, waiting for my visa to Italy. This would have been about March of 1983. A middle-aged man stopped me on the street and kindly informed me that I was going to hell if I didn't leave the Mormon cult. He told me the unspeakably awful things people do in the temple. When I told him I had been to the temple and that no such things happened, he responded that I just hadn't been to the right place in the temple, where I would have seen such things.

Although I admit I found it mildly entertaining, I have mostly refused to engage such antiMormons since that time. I don't like laughing at or mocking people for their ignorance, and I like even less having to listen to slander about things I consider sacred without responding. And I do not care to respond to open, unrepentant, hateful ignorance. I realize this is a fault in my personality, but there it is. I try hard not to be the kind of prideful jerk who brags about not suffering fools gladly, but some things are frankly more insufferable than others. For me, antiMormonism and antiChristianity is at or at least near the top of the insufferability curve.

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The simple, if unfortunate, truth of the matter is that many of these individuals are more concerned about being "right" than they are about being correct. 

For one reason or another, they have invested so much of themselves into the belief that they're right & everyone else is wrong that they literally cannot comprehend the prospect of their being incorrect. This leads to a fair bit of cognitive dissonance in which they actively refuse to believe that anything that contradicts how they see the world can actually be true, and more often than not they'll just keep nay-saying rather than step aside of themselves and investigate.

In extreme instances, the strain of maintaining the cognitive dissonance can become so great as to trigger a mental breakdown, especially if they find themselves having come that completely unarmed to a battle of wits. The sad, unfortunate truth is that I've debated more than a few people into full psychotic breaks over the years, as they just couldn't handle it anymore. 

Thus, the best response is to simply keep it cordial. Explain what you personally believe and personally know. Do not escalate. If they seek to escalate, don't be afraid to ask a third party to intervene if you feel that the situation is getting out of hand.

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