STRIVING AND SILENCE
(A Biblical Guide for Managing Attacks/Bullying)
A reader asked me to write a post about this. I have written about being attacked in the comment section of my posts (or bullied – same thing), not often, but it happens. Today my post is about how to manage it when it happens. What shocks me is that these attacks are perpetrated by “professing Believers.” I mean I cannot wrap my mind around it. We should be fighting against the Enemy, NOT EACH OTHER!!!
TO THE ATTACKERS/BULLIES:
2 Timothy 2:23-26 KING JAMES VERSION "23 But foolish and unlearned questions AVOID, KNOWING that they do gender strifes [breeds quarrels]. 24 And the servant of the Lord MUST NOT strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In MEEKNESS instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And THAT THEY MAY RECOVER THEMSELVES OUT OF THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL, WHO ARE TAKEN CAPTIVE BY HIM AT HIS WILL."
Let’s take a close look at what this verse is saying. First of all, we are commanded to AVOID foolish and unlearned questions, not look for opportunities to do so. Why? It breeds debates and quarrels. Our faith consists of believing and practicing WHAT GOD REQUIRES. In verse 24, it is clear this subject is not directed at ministers or leaders but to ALL servants of the Lord. We are commanded NOT TO STRIVE (argue, debate, etc.) but to be gentle to ALL. That goes double for those of you whose comments serve only to stir up a debate or quarrel or to “throw shade at” the author.
Verse 25 commands us to be meek, which means humble, mild, and unpretentious. Most (if not all) those who have ever approached me in a contentious manner are NONE of those. Verse 26 is pivotal here, because if you are one of these people, there is no answer or teaching that will deliver you out of the Devil’s snare. Why? Because you have allowed yourself to be taken CAPTIVE by the Enemy AT HIS WILL. Only YOU can get yourself out of this mess.
Be careful dear brother or sister, for if you do not OBEY this scripture and are COMPELLED to CONVINCE/TRY TO FORCE (argue with) a brother or sister so they will share your “VIEWpoint”, YOU ARE IN SIN. When you willfully, continually sin (and thereby giving yourself back to your old master, Satan/sin), you open spiritual doors that allow demons to “demonize” you, which includes but is not limited to: all kinds of addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual, smoking, etc.), acts born out of compulsion, anxiety, depression, despair, suicidal thoughts, suicide, inability to concentrate, sickness/disease, mental disorders, sleep disorders, attacks on finances, relationship issues (spouse, family, friends), etc. Demonization is not “pretty,” so please repent and stop now.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations [thoughts], and every high thing that exalteth itself AGAINST the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Every thought that pushes you to strive or be contentious with a brother or sister in Christ sets itself up AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD as laid out in scripture. STOP IT. Further, Scripture commands us not to accuse WITHOUT PROOF, meaning if you “think” an a brother/sister, friend/pastor/author meant one thing and you believe it goes against GOD’S WORD, you should always “ask them in meekness” for clarification. The answer may indeed prove that the author’s thought was incomplete, etc. NEVER approach any Christian brother/sister with accusations. We are commanded to do EVERYTHING IN LOVE. So seek clarification by asking first. If you have already made up your mind about a brother/sister’s meaning and intentions (recall that ONLY God can see and discern the heart), then you are AMISS to start with.
FOLLOW GOD’S RULES:
1) Don't argue, debate or be contentious (Note this is #1!!),
2) Always approach in meekness and love (i.e. no name calling, no
throwing shade at the other opposing view, no anger),
3) Ask for clarification, do not accuse, and
4) Always submit Scripture that supports your position.
Matthew 18:15-17 KJV "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."
This Scripture teaches that WE SHOULD NOT conduct a debate or reason with someone in a PUBLIC forum. We are to go to the person we have issue with ALONE . . . not take it public. Whether they started it in a public forum has nothing to do with God’s instruction. Can I get an AMEN?!! Don’t shoot the messenger.
TO THOSE WHO ARE ATTACKED AND/OR BULLIED:
2 Timothy 2:23-26 tells us to AVOID debates and arguments. Those who are contentious are not concerned about you, it’s about controlling others in order to force them to believe like they do. They focus on bullying a brother/sister (most of the time, however, it is a SISTER) to try to humiliate them publicly or to publicly them over to their view, Bible version, which days should or should not be celebrated by Believers, etc. There is scripture on this. Would you like to know it?
Titus 3:9-11 “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are UNPROFITABLE and USELESS. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.”
Once again, we are commanded to AVOID disputes, contentions, etc. about THE LAW. If contending about the law is not important, arguing about anything else is even more UNIMPORTANT (unprofitable and useless). We are commanded to REJECT (yes it is a STRONG word) a divisive person after warning them TWICE. In today’s terms, that would equate to unfriending such a person, blocking them, banning them from your group or leaving a group. Why? Because such a person is WARPED and IS IN SIN, and is SELF-condemned (they currently are serving the “other side”).
I have struggled with this over the past 11 months. I truly did not anticipate that I would be attacked by my brothers and sisters. BOY HOWDY WAS I WRONG!! At first, I thought if I gave them the Truth - God’s Word, they would be elated! Not so much! These kind of people NEVER submit Scripture to back up their position. Know why? Because there “ain’t” any! I used to believe it was my responsibility to “give them an answer.” Here is THAT scripture – let’s take a CLOSER LOOK AT IT.
1 Peter 3:15-16 KJV “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU A REASON FOR THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”
This scripture is talking about giving a reason for our HOPE . . . not striving with a contentious brother/sister by trying to get them to see THE TRUTH. Do you see the difference?
God showed me that they are unable to receive the truth at this point. Only God/the Holy Spirit can do it. Their focus is about being right, not God’s Word. I still struggle sometimes, but I have learned that these “warped” people do not care about the truth of God’s Word.
If you are convicted by the Holy Spirit about having a contentious spirit and/or striving/arguing with/against Christian brothers and sisters (which does not align with God’s Word): follow these steps for RESTORATION:
1) Recognize (admit) the sin;
2) Take responsibility and Repent for the action (to God and others);
3) Renounce the sin as dead works;
4) Remove the stronghold/evil spirit by commanding it leave in Jesus’ Name,
shut the spiritual door that was opened, sealing with the Blood of Jesus; and
5) Resist (DON'T DO IT AGAIN) so the door is not opened again!
Rejoice in your freedom and, from what you have learned, restore others to wholeness. Amen!!
Following my Captain and Striving for His PEACE,