When Haters Hate (Which Is Always)

322-1221364961vgdGWhen I first talked to my mom about starting a blog (or two or three), she warned me about comments. I had lots of helpful stuff to share, I was a good writer… all that sweet mom stuff. But she also warned me that I, as a Christian, would be a target. People would immediately try to attack me without hearing me out. That was okay with me- it still is. As my brother so eloquently says it, “Haters gonna hate.”

What I didn’t count on was how many “haters” would actually read my blog.

You would not believe some of the comments and feedback I have received, even if I’m talking about something that has nothing to do with Christianity. People have called me a second-rate storyteller, a hater of women (not even joking), an indoctrinated homeschooler, a tyrant, and- my favorite- Robin Hood with merry men. I have even seen people creating false identities and leaving scathing comments on Son of Ren… without reading the book first.

How can we answer such outrageous claims? Sure, I laugh about them now, but it’s harder to see clearly when hearing such comments for the first time. My mind is blown at some of the things people come up with, but I still have to answer them in a way that reflects God’s grace and truth. So today I’m making a list of things I want to remember when giving an answer for the hope that is within me.

In the world we will have trouble.

God said so, therefore it’s going to happen. That’s the thing about God’s predictions; they always come true. Jesus explained in Matthew 10:16 and John 15:18 that if people hated Him, they will most certainly hate us who represent Him. No way around it.

Persecution is a blessing.

Another one of God’s predictions is that persecution grows us. It’s the funniest thing about nonbelievers; even when they think they’re doing great, mocking and persecuting and killing us for being representatives of Christ, the true church ends up growing all the more stronger. (China is a good example.) Why does this happen? Because, under persecution, Christians have to think about what we believe and decide what is really worth fighting for.

Maybe the person is right about some things.

I always say to my siblings when teaching them about logic, “The first step to winning an argument is to be right.” When I receive a comment that presents a claim, no matter how rude or illogical, I want to look for the truth in it. Of course I am not a legalistic do-good-er who hits people with Bibles, but could it be that my theological terms are confusing or offensive to the unchurched reader? Looking for the nuggets of truth can make me a better storyteller, debater, or even friend.

Ask the right questions.

Honestly, when someone flames me, it’s usually not because they think my storytelling is going to melt children’s brains, or because they believe that Tauriel’s love story contributed to The Hobbit trilogy in some way. Meanness is significant of a deeper problem. The troll who calls me a second-rate storyteller might have been horrified at a Christian twaddle book years ago and now thinks that all Christian writers are artless idiots. The Tauriel-fan may be angry at Christians because her grade-school teacher told her that the Bible condemns women.

Now, of course those things don’t make a whit of sense, but people are not entirely rational creatures- least of all without God’s truth. Satan’s traps run deep. There is always an underlying problem, and I can find out what it is by asking the right questions. What do they mean by such extraordinary claims? Can they explain why they think that? What if there was a different answer?

It’s an opportunity to represent Christ.

This one is hard. When God wanted Him to stay silent, Christ did not open His mouth to defend Himself. It didn’t matter that the people were bringing false accusations; Christ would only say that He is the Son of God, and no more.

Maybe it’s time to try a different tack. People come and demand that I explain why I hate Muslims or am homophobic or don’t take responsibility for my own actions. We could easily explain that these claims are wrong, but most of the time, the people who ask these questions have already heard all the answers. They’re spoiling for a fight. When I meet people who are only interested in listening to themselves talk, I won’t be the one to knock the chip off their shoulder. My actions (or books or blog posts) can speak for themselves, and through us people will see something- or Someone- better.

Even the worst troll can change.

This one really blows my mind, but I’ve actually met commenters who were very rude and attacked me personally, but when I replied graciously with the truth, they came back and apologized. Since then, we’ve come to a few agreements and realized just how many ideas we have in common.

Imagine that the zealous, Christ-hating Saul lived in our day and could interact with Christians online. What do you think he’d be like? Open-minded, polite, and conversational? More like rude, obscene, and illogical! And yet God changed Saul’s heart, turning him into the world-changing Apostle Paul.

You see, Saul was not unlike many “trolls” and “haters” today; he believed what he believed, and he was willing to do anything to make sure no one disagreed with him. That didn’t stop God from using honest Christians like Ananias to show Saul the truth. I want to be Ananias- the one who fears God, who can change the heart. I want to be the one God uses to show Himself to unbelievers.

Haters gonna hate, so of course God is going to use it for good, and I want Him to use me in His plan.

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25 thoughts on “When Haters Hate (Which Is Always)

  1. I’m so sorry that this has happened to you, Hannah! Keep reflecting Christ’s light and standing strong in faith. And thank you for being willing to share what you’ve learned. This was an encouraging article. ❤

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  2. Thank you for encouraging me, too! I’m glad you gleaned something helpful from my outrageous stories. 🙂

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  3. Always keep your faith in God and be honest and true. You may even change the hearts of the “haters”.Love and hugs to all of you!!

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  4. I gotta say, I think that’s the best book advice you’ve ever given! 😉 Kidding; But honestly you’re so right! Don’t let the world dim your light, Hannah! God’s got bigger plans and He’s probably using those haters to strengthen you, and us readers through you! If you had never gotten anything but polite encouraging comments you probably wouldn’t have written this post! Thanks for always writing such great posts! ❤

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    • Well, thanks- probably not the best storytelling tip, though. 😉 Yes, that’s another thing: nice comments are lovely and make writing worth the effort, but mean comments give me more to write.

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  5. So true! You do not deserve that criticism, and that is great advice you have there. As an extremely sensitive person, it is great to hear such things from others. 🙂

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    • I’m happy this helped you. And, you know, it’s good to be sensitive. More things matter than fickle humans’ opinions. 🙂

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  6. My problem is some Christians assume they are more moral than I am, as a non-Christian, on basic morality. I think it’s fine if you don’t agree with (or want to associate with — correct me if I’m wrong), atheists, gays, Muslims, etc. and I do.

    But when you presume that as a non-Christian, I don’t understand that murder, stealing, lying is wrong because I don’t have Christ in my life (nor desire to)… that’s where I draw the line. We don’t have to agree on everything morally — the basics that facilitate human decency and an overall functioning society, yes — I despise when Christians assume these things of me, as a non-Chrisian. Not saying you do this, just food for thought. 🙂

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    • Hi, Jacob. Sorry it took me this long to reply; your comment went to spam for some reason. :/ For the record, your comment was quite polite, and I’m not calling you a “hater” or a troll. 🙂 However, your ideas are a little mixed up, so maybe I can try to help you out.

      First, I don’t really know where you get these ideas that I don’t associate with people who disagree with me or that I believe morality is impossible without the Bible. In fact, I have stated the contrary in multiple other blog posts- but I realize that maybe you haven’t read those yet, so I apologize if you misunderstood. Can you point out what confused you?

      And I’d like to point out something to you, if I may. You said- and I quote- “when you presume.” Not if, but when: when I make rude assumptions about non-Christians. As I explained, this is a unfounded assumption. So, you are in essence doing the very thing to me that you think I am doing to you, even if you do not realize it. Maybe that’s something to consider?

      Finally, for the idea that Christians think they are more moral than other people… that may be true of a very few in the church, but it’s a far cry from real Christianity. True Christians know the very opposite: that we are totally depraved, without hope of meeting God’s perfect standard of morality. Sure, we can still act like nice moral people, but ultimately our do-gooding won’t erase the problem of sin nature. This is why the Bible says directly to Christians: “And you were dead in your trespasses… but God made us alive together with Christ.” It’s all Christ’s work. We will certainly try to live in ways that honor Him, but ultimately, none of our morality makes any difference because we will never live up to God’s standard on our own.

      Hopefully this mini-essay (sorry for the length!) helps you understand Christians a little more…

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      • So sorry my comments are going to spam. Would it help for me to stop commenting while you try and resolve the issue?

        Unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to many blog posts yet. I was specifically referring to a post where you discussed Frodo and Sam shipping, although I admittedly made assumptions about atheists and Muslims, those were moreso intended as examples, not true, direct statements about you (I realize I wasn’t clear on that. Sorry!).

        Here’s 2 excerpts from the post I’m talking about:

        “But this lack of circumspection isn’t limited to the stage of politics. No, fellow writers, we have officially seen the downfall of platonism in fiction. Allow me to prove it. I just did a quick Bing search for keywords “frodo and sam,” and six out of fourteen links had to do with whether their friendship was more than a friendship.

        Six out of fourteen.”

        “I may make jokes about how I’m afraid that people will ship my characters, but that is true to some extent. I am honestly nervous about any of my books becoming popular because I don’t want to think about the day when readers insist that the relationship between Elkay and Ramilon was anything but platonic. I never intended it to be more than a friendship, but some people will always try to twist my words. And that is not fair.”

        As for my own comment, ‘when you presume’ was a very poor choice of wording, admittedly. I meant ‘some Christians.’ My apologies!!

        I’ll definitely answer your questions about morality my next comment (I need more space :-)).

        I’m not sure what’s triggering the spam filter, because your mother’s blog wasn’t triggered with my last comment on hers. Maybe that was a fluke? I hope this goes goes through.

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        • Hey, guess what? This one got through! Like you said, I think maybe your phone was confusing the spam-checker.

          Oh, okay. I recognize the post you’re talking about. That’s not at all what I meant, and I apologize for being unclear! I’d like to direct you to the final statement in that post:

          “We all should be able to say what we like without readers twisting our words. Read what the author wrote, not what you want to hear. And if no author has yet written what you want to read… then just write it yourself.”

          That doesn’t mean that I don’t associate with people who disagree with me; it means that I’m calling everyone out who has taken what an author wrote and twisted it to their agenda. That’s just intellectual theft. I welcome debate so long as no one is stealing words to mean something the author didn’t intend. Does that help?

          No worries about the wording of your comment; thanks for clearing it up. I have mixed-up wording sometimes too- as you probably noticed. 🙂 Yeah, the comments section really doesn’t leave one a lot of space, but I’m looking forward to hearing your opinion. By the way, I’m really glad that you’re here asking questions, challenging answers, and engaging in dialogue. Most non-Christian readers on my blogs just write nasty comments and leave, and it’s refreshing to see someone who wants to have a good discussion.

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  7. Pingback: When Haters Hate (Recommended Reading) - My Blessed Home

  8. Not sure whether to post this here or on A Heart Devoted, but seeing as it was specifically you who asked about morality, I’ll post it here…

    Note: This is going to be an oversimplification; morality is a complex topic.

    From your earlier reply, I take that you believe conscience/morality is God-given? I believe it’s possible transcendent forces exist, but if they do, they are completely unrelated to morality.

    I believe there are 2 types of morals: innate morals and learned morals. Neither is “better” than the other, just different.

    Innate morals are universal morals that are found in all people, across all cultures (with the exception of psychopaths). People who have mental illnesses also have these morals. But just as someone can’t walk properly with a broken leg, I wouldn’t expect someone to think clearly if their brain was sick.

    Innate morals include not killing, not lying, not stealing, not cheating — all that you’ve mentioned.

    Learned morals are things you develop through outside sources. I’ll use abortion as an example.

    -From my spiritual perspective: If souls exist, they are not “created”, they’ve always been and they cannot be killed, only bodies can be killed. If souls don’t exist, then we are our bodies only. A fetus is not a body separate from its mother, therefore I don’t consider it to be a human being.

    -Some Christians believe we are human beings from conception. Therefore they consider abortion to be murder.

    So, the dilemma is: We both firmly agree murder is wrong, right? But we can’t agree what “murder” is in this case.

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    • That’s a quite helpful summary. If you’ll allow me a brief semantics digression, I think we do agree on what murder is: ending the life of a human being. That’s our common ground. It seems that our main disagreement is on the definition of a human being. You say that souls have no starting or ending points, that fetuses do not yet have souls, and that the mother therefore has total control over the fetus. I say that God created the soul and assigned it to a specific body which will be resurrected on the Judgement Day, and that life, along with all its inalienable rights, begins at conception. So I’d say, like the morality discussion, our disagreement about abortion goes back to our disagreement on where life comes from.

      And I’d like to talk a bit about abortion, if we can. I admit that I’m have trouble understanding your distinction between fetuses and autonomous babies, so let me ask the big question: when does life begin? At the beginning of the third trimester? when the baby exits his/her mother’s womb? when the umbilical cord is cut? I’ve heard a lot of debate on this, but now I want to hear just one person’s thoughts.

      Also, if you’d prefer longer discussions, you can email me through my contact page: https://hannahakrynicki.wordpress.com/about/press-biography/. I love to talk for paragraphs about these things, but the comments section is kind of a bother for deep conversations. 🙂

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  9. That’s a good question! My immediate response was to say, the beginning of human life starts at birth. But that didn’t feel quite right. So I gave it some more thought. I realise now that the human being vs. not human being argument isn’t really the moral I hold, just a facet of it.

    Let me explain: I concede that fetuses are humans, but I disagree that they’re equal in rights to pregnant women. If you’ll let me to change my stance on why I’m pro-choice, I can give you a meaningful answer.

    I’m pro-choice because a pregnant woman is capable of consent, while a fetus is not. A pregnant woman can consent to keep or end her pregnancy. A fetus can neither consent to being born nor aborted. Therefore, the pregnant woman must make decisions on behalf of the fetus.
    This includes self-care, prenatal care, and abortion (in my opinion).

    I’d liken abortion to withdrawing life support on a comatose child. The comatose child cannot consent, but I wouldn’t consider it murder by any means.

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    • Okay, good explanation. So you’d say that abortion is a matter of taking responsibility for someone else when they can’t, like the guardians of a person on life support. Have I got it right? (Of course you can change your opinion- why hold onto something you don’t believe any more? 🙂 )

      Now, if it was true that unborn babies cannot make choices for themselves and that they would be better off dead than living, I would agree that of course a mother has a right, even a responsibility, to make the right choice for her son or daughter. However, I’ve been doing a lot of research on this lately, and I’m realizing now more than ever that most of the mainstream ideas about abortion are not in line with science. Even the most liberal abortion doctors are admitting that their first assumptions were fatally wrong. Can I send you some things that will help you understand the science of abortion?

      I hope you don’t mind that we got a little off-topic, but let’s face it- this is truly a matter of life and death.
      Just so you know, if you feel like this conversation is hurting more than helping, just let me know and I’ll drop the subject.

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      • I too turn to science for answers to biological questions (for lack of a better term), among other things.

        However, I consider my particular stance more philosophical than scientific. (I can understand if you don’t see it that way). I’m aware abortion isn’t as politically correct as withdrawing life support. I know how it works. I know it can have negative effects on the mother. But I sincerely don’t think those negatives effects should outweigh the right to choose. Pro-choice isn’t all about abortion — you can choose life too, if you want! 🙂 Frankly, I don’t see it as a “matter of life and death”, but I respect your passion for what you believe is right.

        If you’ve got a link explaining how fetuses can make choices for themselves, I’ll give it a read!

        If not, we can agree to disagree. 🙂

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        • Well, I don’t know where you’re from, but in the US, pro-life is anything but politically correct. 😦 I had trouble selecting the links; there were so many to choose from! But here are two videos that represent the overwhelming evidence that a preborn baby has all the same rights as his or her mom, and you can search for more info online if you like.

          http://www.wnd.com/2009/11/115476/
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuJJowJikdk (just don’t get turned off at his aggressive tone)

          “You can choose life, too, if you want!”- but by that reasoning, mass murderers should also have the ability to choose life or death for their victims. Yes, it’s a choice- everything is a choice- but that doesn’t mean every option is a good one.

          I understand that you’re not ready to have this conversation right now, so I’ll leave you with one question to think about: What if you were wrong?

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  10. You are so encouraging! I love the verses that you used! Keep being a light! Growing up in a big family and being homeschooled can have its hard times, I know from experience, but I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for all that I have learned from growing up in a big family. I am truly grateful to my parents for all that they have taught me and for teaching me about Jesus from a young age. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 🙂 You are loved!

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    • Thanks, Breanna. You said it pretty well: growing up in a large Christian, homeshool family has such unique challenges that other people wouldn’t even consider, but standing up for those values is worth it. 🙂

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  11. I don’t know if you’re still checking here; I didn’t get a chance to read/respond to your comment until now. Sorry!

    It’s not that I’m “not ready” to have that conversation. It’s that you think abortion is murder, I don’t think it is. Neither of us will be swayed, so discussion is futile. But I’ll continue because I’ve got some more thoughts cropping up:

    By politically correct, I meant that in polite conversation, it would be offensive to discuss how abortion is carried out. I know I mis-worded that.

    You can choose life, too, if you want!”- but by that reasoning, mass murderers should also have the ability to choose life or death for their victims.

    That’s not what I’m saying, though. A pregnant woman loses autonomy over her body for 9 months. A murderer uses their body to autonomously kill another person. The situations aren’t comparable.

    If you want to compare abortion to murder, then the pregnant woman would be an accomplice and the ‘murderer’ is the doctor who performed the abortion. You realize the pregnant woman didn’t actually ‘kill’ the fetus, right? She helped the doctor to, if your view is believed. (I still wouldn’t agree with you, but the argument would be in line with the law as I know it to be).

    I haven’t watched the Youtube video yet, so I’ll just react to the article/video for now:
    It was nothing I hadn’t heard before (although you wouldn’t know that; otherwise it was a good pick). Interestingly, some people in a coma’s minds’ are conscious, but they are paralysed and cannot interact with others. And so you could argue the same case for people in a coma, however we don’t call withdrawing life support murder. Why not?

    Do you mean wrong that fetuses have unequal rights? Wrong that they can’t make choices for themselves? (Am I just overthinking the question? ;)) If I’m wrong, then we’d have to come up with artificial uterus’s or use surrogates, and a way to remove the fetus from the mother safely. Pregnant woman deserve autonomy over their own bodies. This is an issue you haven’t addressed yet.

    I’ll turn the question on you: What if you were wrong?

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