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The Nacle's favorite less-active, Ned Flanders, wants people to stop proselyting, because trying to spead the gospel is such a total waste of time (especially since the only people who are interested are fringer nutters eager to be plugged into a ready-to-order social network), and you could be driking hot chocolate, watching TV, or doing something else totally self-indulgent. I mean, who gives a crap about their neighbor, right? Sowing seeds? BAH!

So, um, Ned, as the parable goes, some of the seeds fell among fertile soil and grew and produced seed, an hundred fold. Had nobody sowed those seeds, including the ones that fell among the infertile soil, then not even the ones that produced an hundred fold would have been planted.

9 comments

NFlanders said... @ January 30, 2006 at 1:15 PM

All is right in the world: I'm back on the Snarker's radar!

My point, Snarky, is that not only do very few people actually convert, but I just don't see very many benefits from changing.

Love ya, Snarky.

Sarebear said... @ January 30, 2006 at 2:32 PM

I actually found the stuff about it being mostly for people without a social network to get one, insulting.

Course, I don't have a social network.

And I'm mentally ill.

And probably on the "fringes" of society.

Wonder why the JW's haven't knocked on my door, apparently I'm ripe!

Thanks, Ned. (I hope you take my little bit of offense at your post as, well, not about YOU, but just well I'm one of "those" people who is always being condescended to and patronized and stuff. Marginalized, even more than I already am. Don't do it, thanks.)

C Jones said... @ January 30, 2006 at 3:46 PM

Ned Flanders, I'm sure you are a nice guy and everything, but from my perspective, you couldn't be more wrong on this one. Sorry!

NFlanders said... @ January 30, 2006 at 4:32 PM

Yikes! Sorry, Sarebear. I always enjoy your comments, but even if I didn't, I still wouldn't want to offend you!

I apologize. I believe the offensive part was my gross generalizations about converts, right? (I just want to make sure I understand.)

I really wasn't trying to say that these people are less desirable to have in church. Jesus spent all of his time hanging out with the social outcasts of his time. If anything, I think God loves people on the fringe more, because of all their hardships. The parable of the 99 sheep comes to mind.

I believe these converts are just as important as a rich family who are pillars in the community. My only point was that rich people who belong to block associations and country clubs rarely change religions. More humble people convert much more frequently. This is neither good nor bad, just a fact of life. I certainly never meant to imply that proselyting was a waste of time because we are only getting low-quality converts. All people are high-quality in the eyes of God.

I hope this clears up any confustion. Sorry again, Sarebear.

Sarebear said... @ January 30, 2006 at 7:00 PM

Thank you, Ned. I am flattered that you enjoy my comments, it cheers me up to know that I write things of interest or that at least express myself in ways that are pleasant to read!

Yes, it was the overgeneralizations, but not just that people with few social resources being apt to convert, or having the possible (or as you seemed to be saying, probable) benefit of gaining a social network, by converting, but that people with little to no social network, would convert with that as a main or major idea/benefit in mind. As though people like myself, are just looking out for our emotional/social needs, and not our spiritual ones, when they convert. Do you see what I'm saying?

I'm also not sure that people with little to no social network, are social outcasts. Sometimes we try as hard and appropriately and as often as we can, and there just isn't anyone with room in their life, or inclination, for making and being a friend. I keep trying, but it seems as though if one hasn't a network of friends by their mid-20's, one seems to be out of luck . . . ugh. I'll keep trying though, even though I keep biting the bitter dust of rejection.

Um, anyway, lol, although I do like the parable of the 99 sheep, and such, people with little to no social network aren't that way necessarily because they've chosen to be.

I really appreciate what you say here, and hope that my elucidating my feelings and thoughts about what you've said, comes across as me trying to be helpful, and not hurtful or mean. I really don't want to do or be that, at all. I didn't feel that you intended anything like that, either.

Thank you so much for emailing me as well. It meant alot to me that my feelings were important enough to someone that they would do that.

Thank you.

Sarebear said... @ January 30, 2006 at 7:03 PM

Although, I must add, just because I know that people with little to no social resources, don't always have just or mostly their own emotional/social needs in mind when changing religions, it doesn't mean they never do, either, or that perhaps it may even subconsciously affect such decisions.

Heck, the fellowship of the church (or the supposed fellowship) is one of the selling points . . . so that makes sense, to me. Just to clarify that I don't completely or always object to that, as long as it isn't just a blanket "always" thing. 8^D

Thanks again for the stimulating discussion.

NFlanders said... @ January 30, 2006 at 7:41 PM

Thank you, Sarebear, for clarifying. I expressed myself very poorly; I think most people convert with solely spiritual benefits in mind, and are very sincere in their belief.

I also agree that people without social networks aren't "social outcasts." I have a very limited social network, mostly consisting of family members and the bloggernacle. I simply don't have any other ways of connecting socially with people at this time.

As for the Sheep Parable, people often take that to imply the one sheep has sinned in wandering off. That is one way to interpret it, but I think one could also interpret it differently. The one sheep could have been separated from the flock for any number of reasons, regardless of intention. Perhaps the 99 left him! At any rate, I think it shows that God cares about all his children, and doesn't just try to do what's best for the majority.

Thanks for your understanding.

Sarebear said... @ January 30, 2006 at 9:13 PM

Thank you for understanding me, seeking my thoughts, and for your kindness and thoughts.

Snarkimus Prime said... @ January 31, 2006 at 7:50 AM

Thanks for clearning that up, Ned.

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