"What did she ever do to me?"
I don't want to draw attention away from the debates on Just Thinking's post below, but I'd like to point people towards this article (found via Friendly Christian) on remembering that at the heart of all contentious issues are human beings just like us:
I enjoyed the attention I was getting. The newsletter of a local cult awareness expert described me as a ‘heroine of the faith’. I felt like I was doing something worthwhile by warning people about this heretical leader. I hoped she would repent and realize her beliefs were wrong. However she entrenched and sent out newsletters about how she was being persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
Around the beginning of December I made the mistake of thinking about the leader as another human being. I realized “Wow, I am being so mean – what did she ever do to me?” I had taken her workshop some time before this and it actually had some tips in it I found helpful. I also realized that holding up one particular measuring stick against her gave very distorted results – it was unfair. If I was honest, I knew from the workshops that she had great trust in God and great faith in him. He was her loving Father – there was no doubt about that.
Once I realized how mean I was being I couldn’t continue. I took down my Trinity website page and posted an apology to the leader in place of it. I sent her a written apology in the mail. I received a response back from her with a photo of her family. That response meant more to me – and still does – than all the acclaim I received for my stint in the doctrine police.
I don't want to come across as all Kumbaya on you, but one of the things I've learnt through debating both off- and on-line is that a little humility goes a long way...
Now how about a group hug? ;-)