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When my wife and I walked into the small darkened theater I saw something that has been as unforgettable to me as the film we were about to see. Scattered and spread out among the many empty seats, a few parents sat with children in a manner that, as I recall, looked more like a visit to a doctor’s office than to a Saturday afternoon cinema.

The film, Bully, a 2011 documentary about bullying in US schools was far more than I expected. Released in theaters on March 30, 2012, the film follows the lives of five children who experienced at bus stops, in school buses, classrooms, locker rooms and bathrooms, the kind of ridicule and assault that held them in daily fear, and, when discovered, broke their parents hearts.  The stories focus on two children who eventually took their own lives, and left their parents with a desperate desire to give their silenced children a voice that will make a difference for others.

Some of the most provocative moments came not only as bullied children were personalized, but as it became apparent that the adult community claimed helplessness in the face of the fact that children can be cruel.

My guess is that the parents and children in that darkened theater around us all had their own story.

Over the last few hours, my mind has gone in many directions. Scattered thoughts have been a reminder that bullying (i.e. aggressive behavior that uses force or coercion to humiliate and exploit the weakness of others) isn’t just an evil of childhood.

We’ve been talking about the story of Job who, in a sense, was bullied not only by a powerful, self-absorbed enemy, but also by friends who ganged up on him in his weakness—to defend their own defective view of God and life.

If that seems like a stretch, there is the Philistine giant Goliath who successfully bullied the armies of Israel until a little boy came against him in the name of his God (1Sam 17).

Israel’s King Ahab and his wife Jezebel used their power and royal wealth to grab the vineyard and destroy the life of a little man named Naboth (1Kings 21).

Then there’s the prophet Nathan who even had to confront “a man after God’s own heart” with a story of a rich man who owned large herds, but who used the pet lamb of a poor man to feed a house guest (2Sam 12:1-14).

You will probably think of other examples that reflect a heartless disregard for others in an effort to prop up ones own sense of entitlement or false pride.

What took me apart as I watched the movie was to see how easy it is to ignore, to rationalize, and even to morally justify the swaggering, posturing, and misuse of power that does so much damage to others—and to those who love them.

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32 Responses to “Bully”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    This is our Memorial Day weekend; we remember our war dead as well as loved ones who have passed on with flags and flowers to adorn their graves.

    As a people we here in the USA rose up against a bully King and tyrannical style of government and because God hates bullies the unimaginable happened and a group of Christian men forged a nation, and not just a nation, but one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

    Defeating the world’s largest standing army with a rag tag group of men who would rather be dead than have their children live in bondage to a tyrant and bully king.

    Such liberty and such dreams will always need to be protected from the bully’s of the earth, and even when they creep in amongst us their time and season is marked and when those who suffer under them have had enough the bully is shown for what he really is a coward.

    There are a great many of issues that have brought our current society to the darkened state it is in, the most prevalent being the absence of God in not only our schools but in every area of our society and especially the home.

    Either a boon or a curse, I have dedicated my life to standing up against the bullies in life, it has caused me to be always in the position of standing up for others and placing me in the forefront of battles that may seem to not be mine, but I have learned in life if you don’t fight for the rights of others soon your own rights are in jeopardy.

    Such a life can seem to be a solitary one and often frustrating, but standing up against bullies is always the right thing to do and doing right has no end. Even when confronted with battling the ultimate bully (evil) it is to be remembered that with God as our ally what or who can stand against us?

    I hope you all have a pleasant holiday weekend, and reflect on those who have gone on before us and their sacrifices for us.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    I have been blessed to sit with the powerful realities of Job’s predicament – which is the predicament of each child of God. We choose hundreds of times a day whether to enter the camp of destruction or to enter the camp of creation. Mart, you wrote:

    “…how easy it is to ignore, to rationalize, and even to morally justify the swaggering, posturing, and misuse of power that does so much damage to others—and to those who love them.”

    My experience this past week has been to view a documentary about a hospital in Jordan where doctors and therapists help children wounded in bombing to make a life out of a hideous reality. Limbs blown off, eyes destroyed by shrapnel, bodies burned and scarred, souls writhing in the dust – all for what? Men seeking control of some parcel of ground? Is it about two regimes slugging it out on a piece of territory? This is bullying gone wild.

    The hospital staff keep suicide watch over these who have lost everybody they loved. After surgery and medical attention, they give therapy of every kind – physical, psychological, spiritual, occupational. It seems to me the staff of this hospital answers the calling that Job’s friends could not answer.


  3. fadingman says:

    I’ve heard some advocate for the bullies, I guess because it’s supposed to help the children prepare for the unfairness in life.

    But such an approach ignores the fact that as man was created in the image of God, man was intended to reflect the character of God.

    God is not a bully. He only appears so to those who don’t understand Him and want to smear His character.

  4. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… I get the sense that even the steadfast strongly held voice for the Lord can be seen by others as a form of bullying. Call it bible-bashing if you will, or being a legalistic opposing voice to the ways of another who feel their way is right for them.
    God searches and knows the heart of every word that is spoken as it preceeds from the mouth it defines what is in the heart.
    We do offend others for the sake of teaching even truth, where mentioning the name God today in certain places and times is now considered as hate speech and forbidden.
    Isn’t holding one’s tongue and surpressing what lingers in one’s heart because somebody, somewhere, will be offended, also a form of bullying us for our God-given faith and beliefs?
    Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be stifled by someone somewhere, in this corrupt and self-seruing generation where another persons rights, are now out-trumping even the Word of God.
    What group of people, or what other power do we give to surpress the overflowing wellspring of life within us, deposited by Almighty God for his purposes today?
    We are all being bullied every day at some level,
    but for those who get to label others do we remain silent. “So Help Us God!”
    Gee.. those were the very words left off a major speech of a past world leader by some bullying force.
    Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God.
    It is in those “missing words” and the lack they present, which now seem so fitting and right to the others who now bully believers today. Gary

  5. poohpity says:

    I do not find anything about our God as bullying. We are left with a choice either believe or don’t. God never forces Himself on anyone which is what a bully does, they try and force their beliefs on another to control.

    I have to say bullying is even found in marriages, governments, parenting, families and of course in different religions. Anything where one person holds the control over another. It can be thought of being in one’s best interest like in marriages where one spouse dominates over the other by feeling their way is the only way or parenting where the parent feels that their way is the only way and folks are never even given a choice or allowed to think for themselves.

    When I was young we moved so much that every town we moved to I was the new kid on the block and talk about vying to be accepted. I found those good ol pot smokers were always willing to have a new friend, lol, if you joined them. I got into many fights defending my brother and myself. I never started them but when you get off the bus to 20 kids standing there, one grabs your books and me pleading with my neighbor for help but was refused the only thing at that time was to just fight. I did not have to throw any blows but with enough defensive actions my opponent found herself on the ground. She then began to threaten me that my pretty little face would be cut into unrecognizable pieces. I was so terrified but as I penned her to the ground I told her that anything she heard was not the truth and let her go. I went home shaking and in tears only to find a few weeks down the line we became friends because I was able but did not hurt her physically in anyway but her pride. But I know all to well what bullying is like.

    I found that those who only “feel” they are weaker give in to those who “feel” they are more powerful. Notice I said feel they are weaker or feel they are powerful but once someone sticks up to someone else they will find it is the bully who is the weakest one. Bullies use fear or bloviate to intimidate but in reality it is really them that are so weak that they need to control but someone who is strong never has anything to prove. That is what I find in our God never has to prove His power to powerful.

  6. petros says:

    One of the companions and accomplices of bullying is peer pressure. It is birthed in childhood and can live on until we reach the end of our days. And sadly, peer pressure, exists in the Church. But unlike Paul’s experience with Peter in Antioch Galatians 2:11-14, peer pressure in the church since then, too often goes unchecked.

    In the last half of my life in Christ, I have been looking to connect with people who are in the process of true and on-going inner change. Pretty much every Christian I’ve ever spent enough time to get to know, will at some point admit that they’d like a deeper more meaningful relationship with our Lord. That means change!

    The community I’ve lived in for the last 7 years is very big on the “Walk to Emmaus” type of retreat. Many Christians I would meet would suggest that I go on one of these walks, billing it as a “life changing experience”. I was no stranger to those comments as when I had lived in another part of the country I had heard that same pitch as friends and even a neighbor encouraged me to take part in one.

    Finally one day I asked a brother who was suggesting that I go on one of these retreats, if they could explain to me how their life had changed or if they would introduce me to one of their close friends or family members would gladly testify as to the change in that person’s life. They were unable to give me clear answers or the certainty that anyone would be able to testify to a significant change in their life.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone on retreats that were more or less, also a kind of spiritual retreat, and my purpose here is not to bash the whole walk to Emmaus movement. Spiritual retreats, in an of themselves are great. But please ditch the pitch! Let’s all just agree that we are commanded to work towards, and that our souls cry out for, the kind of inner change that others would truly notice. In Ephesians 3:14-19, Paul prays and talks about so great a changed understanding of GOD’s love that we would become filled with the fullness of GOD. It sounds like he’s definitely talking about a supernatural change associated with a supernatural understanding and indwelling of GOD’s Spirit and also his Love! Something that we could never pretend to have experienced.

    If we as Christians are moving along this journey of supernatural change, there should be far more testimonies of Christian children standing up to peer pressure and rebuking bullies. But just as a student is not above his teacher, Children are not likely to exhibit this level of courage if their parents or spiritual mentors are not.

  7. poohpity says:

    Yes petros, I agree with you about both spiritual retreats and parents with children.

    I have found that it is not as costly as going on a retreat to a different destination when we have every morning right in our own homes to get closer to God by knowing Him better and spending time with Him. That comes when He sees our hearts desire and motivation. Then He seems to grant that. There also comes a point that we have to understand that this journey is not perfect and our expectations of others is higher than what we have for ourselves. In that place we understand the fullness of grace and mercy.

    Most children seem to have problems when it comes to open communication within the family to express what is happening in school or on the playground. They just do not seem comfortable in sharing and I think that comes from modeling from the parents not being open and sharing with their children.

    I think when we cry out for others to see a spiritual change in us that is giving someone else a little more power than I would like. Sometimes change is slow but steady and some change happens quickly but this journey with God is as you said “work towards” knowing it is never complete until the day we go home to be with the Lord. There are changes in us they just may not be the areas we would want but they are however still there when we abide or live in and for Christ.

  8. foreverblessed says:

    Thinking about bully, and the Holy Spirit, yesterday was Pentecost, the start of the Church, by God giving the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit is not a bully, He is as Jesus is, gentle, humble,
    Matthew 11:27-28
    for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    Should we as christians not be the same? Sometimes, of often we think we know the better way, and push this on fellow christians, and people.
    I am now in a new church, and there idea is, no force, or you could say, no bullying, so when there are no people to help with coffee, then there is no coffee, and if there are no musicians, then there is a music tape. No bullying, being gentle and humble,
    This is also for our fellow countrymen, if they do not want to listen to God’s word, they don’t. Do not push them.
    God wants people to freely follow Him, no pushing, that is not good for a free soul. He rather have them learn the hard way, then being pushed the good way.
    Galatians 4:26 just now I realise,that’s the reason why the Jerusalem from above is free!

  9. poohpity says:

    “Thank You” never seems enough to tell what is in our hearts for the many lives lost while protecting our freedom and the freedoms of peoples we may never know. Freedom seems to always have some major costs, so “Thank You” to all our military families for your sacrifice now and from history past. “Thank you” to Jesus for laying down your life also for our freedom from the consequences of our sin. Help us to protect the freedom of those who are experiencing bullying in our homes and outside of our homes to have the freedom to make choices and to be all that they can be.

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed…Thank you. Thank you for the reality check of where the the church is in being ever gentle, humble, ans always seeking peace.
    Where does the accountability to our own church family fall into that process for you, where a rebuke is needed and where truth is now being avoided?
    Actuall,y if I’m drowning in my own sea of deception about truth, I would not reject a hardly thrown life preserver thrown directly at me, and say, “No thsnks, I’m waiting for a gentle soft one instead!”
    I say throw whatever the Saviour provides even if it is hard and hard to throw, throw it anyway and trust thst some will grasp it and hang on.
    Today while out rowing on the Indian River, a short lived, but quite intense squall came up. It took much more effort to just maintain any direction stability, then actually make any headway, but staying the course and obeying all the rules, and doing what I’m given to do kept me safe and God provided a way to see that effort was rewarded.
    I wonder if the result would have been the same had I just let go or the oars, sat back and said,Let God!
    It is true that we are all not tested the same way, but our faith does grow muchw when we are called to get involved and wee do the hard work also.
    So, we use our hands to do the work He has placed before us, we use out feet to lead us on, where He prepares the way, and we use our words to rent what He places in our hearts. If we just stay in Him who Saves do we see His Blessings.
    Your gentle way is what He has provided for you, and may not be what He has intended for me.
    Just a thought… Gary

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, good for all your efforts, and obeying, and doing what God asks, but you decide that for yourself, you yourself want it.
    You are talking about different things then what I wanted to say.
    You are talking about accountability, when a fellow christian is going on a path of deception as you say, then it is good to be stern in love.
    But even then we need the Holy Spirit to know what exactly we need to say, and what the problem is in the other person, and remembering that we are vulnerable to make mistakes too.
    What you say about the church that truth is being avoided, sounds too general to me.
    About people who are not believers, (many of our fellow countrymen) we cannot force them to accept the laws of God, the way of life Jesus came to preach: to love God above all, to love our neighbours as ourselves, to take care of the poor, the ones that cannot help themselves, to love the ones that hate us, not to pay back evil for evil. We are to do these things ourselves, and be a light.
    And even among christians we are not to force “our” views on others, certain way of seeing things, or certain ways of doing things, like all the tasks in church.

    Even God wants us to do things out of love, not because it is required. It is not of much worth what we do, if it is not done in love. And if we do things in love, it is also done in freedom.

  12. davids says:

    On Saturday I took my 10-year old to the annual memorial ceremony at Henri-Chapelle, one of three large US military burial sites in Belgium. The nearly 8000 graves at this are preserved in dignity to the fallen.

    What struck me was not the US involvement in the ceremony, but the Belgian participation. From the king down to the local town, the wreaths, flags, flyover, and people attested to the warmth that many Belgians still feel for the US for its sacrifice.

    The US did not come here in WWII as a bully, but as a liberator. As Colin Powell said, “We…put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in”.

    In our daily lives, as Christians and as Christian citizens, we should not accept bullying or be party to it.

  13. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY, BTA blogger friends! :-) Hope all is well with you all today. I want to thank all of the US Veterans on this blog site, in this country and those who are serving on distant shores, for their faithful service on behalf of our beloved country. I salute you and I pray God’s continued blessings on your lives!

    Was bullied when I was a little girl, and my older brother would protect and look after me and my younger brother. I remember a couple of kids (about 2 or 3) chasing us home almost everyday after school. My brother was very smart for his age though (he was only 9 or 10 at the time), and he taught us how to keep up with him when we ran away from our tormentors. The relationship and unity that we had then meant so much to me, and it still does. He taught us how to hide in bushes and be really quiet as they ran past us! Lol! I don’t ever remember them catching us! Though my brother did have to fight a boy on the school grounds to protect me one day. I felt so honored to be his sister that day! Also vividly remember being surrounded by a group of bullies when I was in 3rd grade. I was told that I was going to be forced to fight a girl, and if I started winning the fight, others were going to jump in to defend her! I was so afraid of what was going to happen to me, and a Teacher stuck her head out the door and asked what was going on. She told the kids who had formed a circle around me to go home in a very firm voice. I don’t know who that Teacher was, but she was an angel to me that day! Have also witnessed fights between students, and it’s sad to know that that’s still happening now (in the 21st century).

    Love to all…

  14. Regina says:

    Hard rain with thunder and lightning in Texas right now… I love rain, and we so desperately need it. Was very hot, sunny and dry today (90+ degrees).

  15. kingdomkid7 says:

    My daughter was bullied in junior high by a girl in her class who had a juvenile record. This girl scared the other girls in the class,and they all joined in taunting and shunning behaviors against my daughter.The principal did nothing when I complained. Oddly, my daughter never seemed to be afraid of this girl and never kowtowed to her or her group of toadies. Then the girl brought a bullet to school. That really alarmed me, but again, my daughter took it rather calmly. I look back on this and just see God’s grace in it all. The bully was taken out of junior high at the end of the school year, because she had “aged out.”. She was simply too old to be around the younger kids. The girls who had joined in the bully’s name-calling and nastiness became friends of my daughter the next year. I think I learned a lesson from this: Don’t fear bullies. And from the examples set out above, I’m reminded: don’t be one.

  16. BruceC says:


    Thanks so much for your comments about the US servicemen and how the people of Belgium honor their sacrifice. Sadly; there are too many in our own nation today that don’t share those sentiments. Too many who take their sacrifice for granted and never take the time to realize what has been done for their freedom. Just as many in our world take Jesus Christ for granted and never take the time to comprehend what the Son has done for them.

    There is another form of bullying out there also. And that is rejection. Rejecting or ignoring others just because they are different; or not up to par with the rest of the pack. There is a commercial on TV with Cloris Leachman about those who suffer from mental, psychological, and emotional disorders that are all around us. Look at how many of those are treated; even by those that are aware that they have a disorder. I have seen even in a church where a person that acted different than most because of a head injury; was treated unfairly and the terms used to describe them behind their back made my heart break and my stomach wrench; and made my anger rise. So we see that there is the bullying of violence and confrontation and the bullying of rejection.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  17. florida7sun says:

    Hello Mart and BTA friends,

    When I encounter a “bully” I sense the presence of Beelzebub.

    As Paul expresses in Ephesians 6, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

    The influence of Beelzebub is pervasive throughout society. It was interesting to read a quick summary of this deity in Wikipedia. Thomas Kelly Cheyne indicated that the name is suggestive of “Lord of the High Place.”

    And isn’t that how a bully deems his or her lofty position: sovereign of their piece of turf.

    Bullies of all ages are found everywhere. Beelzebub easily controls them by taking control of their mind, body and spirit… the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. They desperately need a heart transplant only the Great Physician can give them.

    Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we have not been given the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

    Yet, even as believers, Beelzebub will try us as Job.

    It is so important to be sober-minded: to be in the Word,in prayer and in fellowship with other believers.

    The full armor of God is needed moment-by-moment throughout the day. Through the Lord’s presence we are assured victory in Christ Jesus and empowered to lovingly reveal the gift of life He offers to all:

    “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3


  18. poohpity says:

    Bruce, I had the honor of leading the Special Needs sunday school at our church and you are so correct in how they were treated. After a while I understood it was because people did not understand their disabilities so it seemed like rejection but it was just ignorance. When people stood up to shake other people hands in the service very, very few came over to shake theirs and it was quite offensive to me so I would take them around and introduce them to others and pretty soon more came to greet them.

    The stories they told me about how children treated them in school was horrible yet they maintained such a positive attitude and never stopped loving those who caused so much harm, I fully believe it was their parents who taught them to have positive responses. I learned so much from them and could see the heart of God in their weaknesses. I should be so lucky.

    I think that is the same with things we do not understand, people tend to shy away when it is just not knowing how to approach someone with visible differences or what we would deem as normal. Sometimes people that push others away are the ones that need so much love and acceptance and figure negative attention is better than no attention at all.

  19. poohpity says:

    God loves bullies too!!!

  20. fadingman says:

    I was bullied somewhat when I was young, although not to a severe degree. I’ve always been a geeky introvert, preferring to find some quiet corner alone with a book – yes, even an encyclopedia volume. (Perhaps I’m slightly autistic.) This kind of behavior tends to attract those of other persuasions.

    I’m sure this has had some affect, negative and positive, on the way I think and act today. No matter: God said it all works out to my good and His glory, so I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

    Bullies exist in many cultures and times. I wonder if Jesus was bullied when he was young?

  21. davids says:

    I am a short man. How short? Think Zacchaeus short. I was always the shortest boy in class.

    Yes, I was bullied, so I understand it quite well. But I also learned about the bully. When I was forced to confront a bully in a “fight” in the 5th grade, his kick dislocated my finger and he crumpled in fear for what he had done.

    My height does not bother me, as I have come to know that God does not look at the outside. Confidence in God gives us the strength to lead and to stand up when others are being intimidated.

    Yes, Pooh, God loves the bullies too!

  22. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Haven’t read all of the comments for this blog topic yet, but I’ve discovered that bullying does start at a very young age. As most of you know, I’m currently working as a Sub-Teacher during the school year, and the other day I was Subbing for a 2nd grade Teacher. Well, it was snack time (close to the end of the day) and I allowed the students to get their snacks (one group at a time) from their backpacks. One student, Emily, had some delicious looking donut balls for her snack and the student next to her, Lori, had some gummy snacks. Lori wanted a donut ball(even I noticed them in a wanting sort of way but knew I couldn’t partake!), so she traded 5-6 gummy snacks for one donut ball. Then she decided that she wanted the berry flavored fruit snack back because that one was her favorite! Emily refused to give it back because she had already eaten her donut ball. So, Lori just grabbed another donut ball and was about to eat it, but Emily jumped up and told me what happened , and, long story short, Lori was sent to the corner for it! I know that’s not a serious bullying incident, but it does bring to mind the history of bullying and how it came about. Thinking of Adam and Eve eating fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. They didn’t realize that their decision would have far-reaching consequences! Bullying is a sin, borne out of the *first sin* that occurred in the Garden. As we know, the root of a *sin nature* is already in a baby at birth. Thinking about the Bible verse that says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it out (I paraphrased).” I agree with the blogger (can’t remember who it was) who said that “bullying” occurs with all age groups, though that’s still hard to swallow sometimes. fadingman, Thinking about your question, “I wonder if Jesus was bullied when he was young?”. Thinking that it’s possible that He may have been bullied, but it’s also doubtful too. If He had been, and his response had been recorded in one of the four gospels, I’m sure we would all agree that it would provide much needed spiritual insight and wisdom regarding how to handle the situation now, in the 21st century. But then that’s true of a lot of sin issues that the world is dealing with now.

    Love to all…

    Hot and sunny in Texas today (91 degrees right now).

  23. Regina says:

    Ooops!! It’s actually afternoon right now! Don’t want to “rush” the day! LOL! :-)

  24. poohpity says:

    It seems that there are many who have a “disregard for others in an effort to prop up ones own sense of entitlement or false pride” or “how easy it is to ignore, to rationalize, and even to morally justify the swaggering, posturing, and misuse of power that does so much damage to others—and to those who love them”. I have comfort in knowing that one day the great equalizer will take over our puny attempts at looking out for those who need to be defended. Look at even countries who posture to be the biggest, the best, the richest, the smartest, most prosperous and control their populations to give a human being recognition rather than God.

    It takes a lot to admit we do not know everything, are not the strongest, the handsomest, prettiest, the sweetest, kindest, and any other thing we feel false pride about or better than another. Mirror psychology has to be the hardest thing to be humbled to. We are just not all that, when it comes down to it. :-)

  25. poohpity says:

    Mart, every morning I get up and hope you have written a new article like you used to do but find nothing. It feels like abandonment. The spirit filled thoughts about whatever you were “thinking” about have left, of which I totally enjoyed over the last years. I understand if you have grown tired and this is no longer a priority for you but know that I miss you and your writing and hope all is well in your life. Change is something we can all count on but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, lol. Anyway I miss reading about your thoughts.

  26. dependent says:

    Unfortunately, as I read your final sentence:
    “see how easy it is to ignore, to rationalize, and even to morally justify the swaggering, posturing, and misuse of power that does so much damage to others—and to those who love them”,
    my thoughts went immediately to the numerous examples of subtle and not-so-subtle bullying that I have witnessed and experienced within churches.

    The modern model of the unaccountable “pastor-as-CEO” seems to have spawned more than a few narcissistic, “my way or the highway” leaders who justify their bullying behavior in the name of pursuing their ‘vision’ for their ministry. When the measure of success mirrors those of our market-driven society, I see more and more pastors acting like driven entrepreneurs rather than humble under-shepherds following and reflecting the nature of Christ.

  27. davids says:

    Dependent, yes, that is an important point.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, that is indeed important. These leaders ask that you lay down your life for them, so that they can lead you very well. You could ask, why does God allow bullying even in His church? I once heard a sermon on David and Saul, it was for the purifying of the soul of David, that he had to undergo the bullying by Saul. When we see how wrong some leaders act, we do a search inside our hearts and see that it is not the good way.
    Looking at the bulling makes you long for the humble heart of a real servant, like Jesus was and is. John 10:11 a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Just the other way round.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Evil takes many forms and has many names, but the base of all the various actions of evil is *evil*.

    Love is never a bully or a murderer, or a thief, love always wants the best for others whom we love.

    If we follow Jesus to the exact position He wants from us then we are to love others more than ourselves.

    The hard part is for me to love my enemies, I admit this. It seems the only way I can begin to not hate my enemies is to understand them and look deeper into their nature and perhaps their past to see what twisted them and what hurt them to make them embrace the evil of their lives instead of Christ’s love.

    When you look into such a past you may find plenty of sadness and abuse even stupidity from some who should have know better.

    The end result being cruelty from people who have been denied love, anger from people who were denied fairness and justice at that time when they needed it the most.

    There is also a surprise that sometimes comes into light when you look back across a person’s life to see what made them the way they are. Some people defy common reasoning and seem to be just born that way.

    And old song said “only love can break a heart, only love can mend it again.” Jesus of Nazareth can mend the most darkened heart and make it new, but it takes an effort on the part of others to love someone enough to pray for them to be freed of the bondage of hatred and anger and the pain that creates the bully’s among us.

    God will often discipline His children whom he loves, and we should follow that example, sometimes we need to use force other times we need to give love for the infractions against us. It is a difficult balance and one that requires wisdom to know when to apply which.

    Ultimately God will separate the good from the bad among people and separate good from evil for what is promised for eternity, this too is our hope, but not for this time or place, it is for that eternal city and existence with Him.

    So for now we are left to deal with the evil that still exists among us, it can not be ignored or encouraged, it must be separated from among us now as best we can do to do so. For if we don’t separate it from our societies, our societies become numb and blind to the results of evil and so a part of us all.


  30. oneg2dblu says:

    Good morning all… many good things being shared here.
    Evil must be identified before it can be captured and held accountable, or brought to justice. The only true foundation we have to show us evil in all its forms is the word of God.
    Any society that lives outside the word of God will be a living evil, and destruction awaits its steady unnoticed decent, where society’s normal becomes so dark that the light is no longer standing in its way.
    Evil today calls itself compassionate, consoling, and always being non-judgmental of another’s personal beliefs and actions, only to label itself in the church today as being ever inclusive.
    Should not even the House of God, or his collective holy temple, be held accountable to his every word?
    Or, does evil reduce it to “anything goes in today’s churches and society,” because we really want to be compassionate, consoling, and inclusive, or we feel we are not being very loving as we are being labeled as bullies?
    I guess the question is, “Who does your labeling for you today, God or society?” Gary

  31. cherielyn says:

    Unfortunately, bullying seems to be the norm when it involves children, partly because of their immaturity. But, how do you address bullying on an adult level?

    My mentally handicapped, 45 yr old son, who now also suffers from early onset dementia (diagnosed in 2009) had to move once again, last November, due to being bullied by 3 adult ‘normal’ women in the previous apartment building he lived in. They didn’t seem to understand that some of the behaviors and traits he was displaying were due to his dementia and handicap and accused him of purposely doing some of the things he did. They were so unmerciful that he contemplated suicide. Building management insisted that he move (though didn’t officially evict him) instead of making the perpetrators move.

    It’s nice to know that in the end he will be given a new and perfectly functioning body and that all of his current problems will be forever erased! Lord, come quickly – perhaps today!

  32. poohpity says:

    It seems ignorance runs with adults as it does with kids and is probably the adults that teach the kids who bully by displaying that behavior them selves. I feel sad for your son and many others who suffer from the results of bullying. People of color have experienced it through out their lifetimes as well. It seems anyone who is different is cast off as being less than and is open to be picked on.

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