In my ministry it’s fairly easy to fly under the radar. I rarely get ‘trolled’ and am more likely to be ignored.
The only form of trolling I seem to get is from the ‘healing ninjas’ who want me ‘fixed’ or ‘healed’ and from those wanting to correct my theology.
For all this I am grateful!
So, yesterday was a shock.
If you didn’t see my social media posts, I’ll give a brief description of what happened:
Sometimes I randomly check how the stats on either of my websites are going. This one had an unusually high number of referrals from ‘Reddit’.
I don’t use Reddit, and I hadn’t done any social media posting from here for a while, so naturally – I was curious! It’s good to know where my stuff is being shared and how it’s being used.
I went to Reddit and searched for ‘Pondering Platypus’.
I found out that yesterday was ‘Platypus Pondering Day’, and some people had come across my site because they had done a search on that. My site was shared by ‘Atheists of Reddit’. What they and their ‘commenters’ said about me and the site (someone they don’t know) was horrible, and I was stunned.
As I said on my own social media – they are completely entitled to their opinion – but apparently I am not.
One accusation was that I was indoctrinating vulnerable kids.
Let’s just look at that one…..
I don’t indoctrinate, I don’t force kids into religion. Forced faith is no faith at all – I’ve seen that in action and hate it.
On some occasions I’ve put obstacles in the way just so I know a child has properly thought it through – being a Christian can often be really difficult, and not a decision to make on a whim.
We all have free will to accept Jesus’ invitation to follow Him – we should never put pressure on a fellow human being to do so.
I am aware of how easy it is to influence vulnerable children. I know it could be easy to abuse or over-reach my power, and in the process hurt them in the name of faith. I’ve had that done to me, it was horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. (This is why I’m accountable to a number of people)
I was drawn by the irresistible grace of God not people pushing me to do so.
The inference in that thread (along with random name calling) was that this is all I do…..
I do a LOT more.
In the last week I have advised organisations who feed the hungry, regardless of what faith they follow or if they choose not to – they just feed them.
I’ve also done some advisory work with a debt counselling charity who also work with anyone who needs help – regardless of their beliefs – or none.
There have been others too – all of them wanting to know how they can better serve those with additional needs and disabilities in their local communities.
I campaign on issues that deny disabled children their right to live, to access education and to live freely in this world without fear…..regardless of faith or no faith.
I campaign to give equal access to activities and hobbies.
I make sure that churches who provide toddler groups, soup kitchens and more can provide good access whilst doing it.
This is not indoctrination – this is caring.
Churches also need to be accessible if people choose to go to them – this is part of my ‘ministry’ too.
I happen to think churches can sometimes be bad in faith formation for children with additional needs who are in the church – if we don’t teach well, how can a child think it through for themselves? This is not brainwashing or indoctrination. It’s creating a place where people feel they can belong, ask questions and be accepted.
Along with this I also campaign on equality when it comes to disabled people being able to serve and work in the church. The same rules apply whether in the church or outside….I just happen to advise churches and faith organisations on how to do this well.
I could tackle a lot more that was said – but I’d rather not ponder those comments any more.
If you are reading this because you have come from the Reddit thread – look bigger, look wider. A lot of the work I and others do is benefitting people who have no faith, all in the name of loving our fellow human beings.
You have a right to your opinion and I would defend your right to say it. But please – give me the same courtesy.