From The Heart Of Pastors

Having lived the majority of my life in the home of pastors, I have seen the need for Pastors to share, as well as others to better understand our hearts and lives. I grew up as a pastor's kid (PK) and after graduating Bible College my husband and I took our first church when I was quite young. Come on in, make yourself comfortable, may the Lord bless and comfort you during this time (and always).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

FACING BULLIES IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

 copyright(c)2015 Daneille Gray Snowden
All Rights Reserved                   
Quotes From Authors J.D. Myrers & Jennifer LeClaire 
 
FACING BULLIES IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

There is an unfortunate "no tell" norm in Christendom that most everyone has dealt with or will and that is the stink of 'being bullied!" Now, most of us can possibly recall when we were children and having faced an individual or two who pushed, shoved, and called us  names (and much more). I know I can say I've been there more times than I choose to remember  myself.
 
Do you remember how it made you feel? Hurt, alone, ugly, afraid, and intimidated to name a few- right?
 
I was a pastor's kid and now have been a pastor's wife (& co-pastor) for 23 years; even though I knew a bit about  Church Bullies when I was young; I can recall the feeling of  'bewilderment' when it first happened to me as an adult. My thoughts were, "How can a Christian say those things and treat another brother or sister in Christ in such a way?"  Hey, I still ask that one even today? The CHRISTLIKE spirit wouldn't ridicule or invert fear into another. Right???
 
No doubt each of us could tell some amusing stories that involve pain, hurt and anger. Many times it involves people leaving the church, including pastors. Now, I know for a fact that there are some pastors who are bullies; being in the home of a pastor my entire life makes me shake my head in shame. I heard someone even today quote this: "Those who inflict pain are usually in pain." Trying to see past this act and seeing the pain is difficult to do; but would help in the long run.
 
Pastors, board members, associates, teachers and so on in history have been the oppressors on God's People. The victims can be the exact same folks as well. I have belonged to a few pastor's wife groups, as well as have friends who are pastors who have been wounded time and time again.  
 
 "Bullies work through tactics like fear, manipulation, sarcasm, coercion, ridicule, cold shoulder, overreacting, blaming, using the Word as a sledgehammer, verbal attacks, gossip and the like." J. LeClaire

Read what author J.D. Myers wrote in;
 I HATE CHURCH BULLIES  [link]
"Church bullies are often people who love to be in charge. They like controlling people. They imagine themselves to be great leaders who are in a unique position to tell others how to live and what to do.
Church bullies almost always like feeling important and knowledgeable, be it about how the church should be run, what God and the Bible say, and how other people should think, live and vote.
Church bullies are very insecure. They think they are smart, buddies with God,
                                                         whose personal lives are out of control.
Occasionally we encounter church bullies who are actually mean, evil people, pretending to be otherwise because they’ve found a place (church) where they can get away with their need to bully other people."
 "A bully has done his job well:  taught that confronting the he/she is akin to punching God in the nose: .."

Jennifer LeClaire  [click] who wrote: RELIGIOUS BULLIES: ANSWERING THE SPIRIT OF RELIGION'S ATTACKS
"Says bullies are: "Condemnation-heaping religious antagonizers who refuse to let someone forget past mistakes.
Religious bullies might run in the “right” circles, dress the “right way” and say the “right” things, but inside they are filthy, full of greed and self-indulgence! (see Matt. 23:15)"


How do we RESPOND to a bully?  Myrers wrote: *"Ignore church bullies."   *"Clearly tell them that their behavior (describe it briefly) is unacceptable and we will not tolerate that behavior."

J. LeClaire also suggests:
- "Seeing the spirit behind the bully. This is widely known as the religious spirit.
-  Pray that they be set free from the influence of this murdering spirit. Don’t get too emotional when a religious bully confronts you—and don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault and you haven’t done anything wrong. Religious bullies have emotional problems of their own, so don’t engage at the emotional level. Clearly, you are a threat to the religious spirit or you wouldn’t be a target."

Do stand up for yourself if the bully does not stop or repent. My husband and I have faced quite a bit of this, (note: when in leadership this will happen). Someone had bullied myself (and others) quite a bit until one day it became quite abusive. I felt the Lord's Hand upholding me to stand up for myself (of which I normally do NOT do). What happened later is not what I would like, but as Jesus did in John 18:23; “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” He stood up for Himself to the hypocrites.  "Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean becoming a doormat. You can stand up to a religious bully without stooping to their level."  [J. LeClaire]
    
If the Christian Bully is no longer able to either fellowship at your church, or be in the same 'circles'; another form of bullying is gossip. Doing this to the point the oppressor absolutely believes the lies as truth, then he or she starts spreading them.

This fact has hurt myself deeply, and so many who have been wounded. Yet, like any trial we face; it's our actions that truly count. Someone told me; "Live as pure, holy and loving (with God's strength) that what they (those who wronged you) say is seen as wrong."

I ask the Lord the simple na├»ve question; "Why does this happen in the Body of Christ?" Quite simply the Lord responded; "Because my people allow this world, it's ways and spirit to take charge of their attitudes and hearts." So sad; but there is HOPE and it's in Christ by surrendering this to Him and vowing to have His Spirit live in and through us; bearing good fruits.



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FOR CHILDREN BEING BULLIED DO READ THIS EXCELLENT ARCITLE:
 What Not To Do When A Child Tells You They Are Being Bullied   by   Trisha Peach