Bullies and grace.
I cannot stand bullies. There are all kinds, but today, I want to address those who use verbal and psychological manipulation to coerce their will on others.
I encountered a whopper last week.
I get Facebook friend requests every week. Most of us do. I'm starting to get picky about them, simply because for some people, I'm simply a number for their platform base. For others, it's because I may have said something interesting and they think we might click.
I definitely send friend requests, but I don't take that experience lightly. Nor do I freak out if someone ignores it.
We can't be friends, real or on Facebook, with everyone.
Anyway, I received a request last week, and I had never heard of this person, but we had 60 or so friends in common, and they were upstanding writer types who had non-whacked-out theology.
Yes, I've accepted friend requests from people who don't share my beliefs, because umm, we're friends anyway.
People. if ALL of your friends share your exact beliefs, then you have a serious problem being a good friend. Please, ponder that.
So, I accepted this request. And literally within an hour, got a private message about a fundraiser.
Social media faux pas #1.
I ignored it, because holy cow, how inappropriate.
Then then next day, or maybe two days later?
I got another message. "Are you able to make a donation?"
No engaging me in conversation of any sort.
No "I see we both know Writer Person, isn't she awesome?"
So, I went to this person's page and saw stuff that made my skin crawl.
A HEAP of hellfire and damnation preaching.
Condemnation on every other post. Lots of "You are going straight to hell and will burn for eternity!!" interspersed with "Jesus loves you!".
Well, umm, no thanks.
so, I did some more looking and wanted to hurl.
People, the world is not a kind place, there are crushed hearts everywhere. Jesus never once took a sad and lonely person and held them up for seething rebuke! He took the hurting and loved them. He took a stone and looked at the crowd ready to kill a woman caught in adultery and said "He who is without sin may throw the first stone."
Think about this: HE was The Prince of Heaven!
HE held a rock in His hand!
HE did nothing with it!!!
Do NOT condemn the broken for being broken!!!
And what did this person put on their wall?
"Any sin in your life Is ALWAYS deliberately done. JESUS did NOT die for your sins so that you can be forgiven once and be saved forever. That is the lie from GODs enemy."
Umm, bad grammar aside, the theology here is atrocious.
Any sin is deliberately done? So, umm, is that active or passive? Is that with or without a fully functioning knowledge of the entire Bible? You know, for a 5 year old who steals a cookie?
This, my friends, is spiritual bullying, in an epic way. Horrible, terrible, guilt-inducing bullying of the weary and even the un-weary.
I asked a few trusted friends what they thought. One said "she's shouting into an echo chamber." No kidding!!
No one listens to anything once they've been slapped in the face. They tend to run away, far far away.
Another said this "Kind sir, if Jesus did not die for my sins so that I could be saved forever, pray tell, why exactly did he hang up there on the cross, bleeding out until his last breath . . .?"
Jesus never forced His love on anyone. Not on modern humans. Not on people on the beach in Galilee, not any of the 5000 He fed, or those He healed.
Remember those lepers in Luke 17?
Only ONE came back to thank Him. Did the other 9 do anything? No. They asked for His healing, got it and then never even bothered to thank Him. And yet, there is no indication that He UNhealed them for their ingratitude.
Nor did Jesus force His love on anyone converted at knife or gunpoint by an invading army.
Sacrifices given in love are gifts.
Anything 'given' in coercion is actually stolen.
Screeching at people to accept Christ's sacrifice is like wrapping them in barbed wire and condemning them for not feeling His love.
Be someone in whom people see something so special, that they cannot contain their curiosity about why joy seems to radiate from you.