Couple of points on that last series of posts:
> Most Christians who are regulars on this board are at least willing to listen to the other side, even if they disagree. Case in point is Adam (ARG220). I bring a quasi-scientific viewpoint to my dealings with the world: I believe in God based on (subjective) evidence sufficient to me. At present I have more evidence for the existence of God than for that of the Sombrero Galaxy. I am aware that my subjective evidence is not sufficient to convince someone else of the point, and I’m not trying to do so. I am not interested in denying the evidence of nature on the basis of my interpretation of a Book that matters to me but may not to most everyone else. I am interested in integrating what I learn of nature and humanity into a world-view that does include God (and the Sombrero Galaxy).
A Christian feels compelled to “lead others to the Lord” for several reasons: (1) he has made a commitment to accept as Lord someone who gave instructions to all his followers to do so. (I realize how close that comes to “I was just following orders” but I’m not done yet.) (2) he has found a satisfaction and joy in his Christian life that he out of common humanity wants to have others have opportunity to feel as well. (3) On the view of most Christians, those who deny God are metaphorically walking towards a cliff that they cannot see or have blinded themselves not to see, and they feel compelled to at least warn the others that there is indeed a cliff there, and here is the Way down it safely.
Now, total disclosure: I do not think I have all the answers about this. The God I believe I know would not have dreamed up ichneumon wasps and their fun way of reproducing, nor would he have let Jeffrey Dahmer do his thing. I feel it is my job to be a good Christian before you as a way of witnessing to what a Christian can be. I do not believe that any Bible-pounding or assertions of what God demands you do are going to do the slightest bit of good. But if my lucidly (I hope) presenting my world view punctures a rationalization that bolsters your atheism, then I’ve done some good towards what I’m expected to do. (Comment from a wise Christian: “Agnosticism is reasonable. Atheism is an act of faith.”)
At the same time, when I see Christians behaving unchristianly towards others, it’s also my task to call them up short, and if possible mediate. And while I’m at it, I’m also a fan of trivia generally and the stuff the Straight Dope deals with in particular, and I’m having a great time exchanging ideas with like-minded people (like-minded=trivia freaks).
I do not care to “troll” except when I’m really interested in hearing both sides of a question (as I did in posting the Second Coming and forgiveness of sins questions on this board). I learned a lot about the Jewish view from the latter…shalom, Akiva!
If I am in any way in violation of what you expect me to be, given these conditions, then let me know. I know the difference between a fact, a theory, a hypothesis, an opinion, and a belief, and I try to express each as what it is.