This issue came up again this morning as I checked my email and found an alert to a discussion forum I joined many years ago. I opted into the weekly email updates, so just like clockwork, every Sunday morning I get the "what's new this week" notice from the forum. I almost never read it, I just delete it and get about my email reading. For some reason this morning though, I decided to open the mail and find out what was new on this particular forum. It was doing that, that reminded me of exactly why I never read this forum anymore, and never bother with the weekly updates. Just a whole lotta "I hate this" and "this is evil" and "watch me point fingers at this" sort of stuff. Post after post after post, filled with anger, hatred and bitter accusation against denominations, individuals and/or various assorted fellowships or associations.
The thing is, I do get why people do this. I get that there are all kinds of ungodly things going on under the banner of Christianity. I get that there is much deception out there. I get that the motives (at least for some) for pointing at it are genuine concern. I do get all that. I'm so on board with that I'd be one of the first ones to say thank you and right on brother/sister for sounding the alarm on this one. In fact, I think I probably have said that, or something close to it, in many cases.
What I don't get however, when I read so much of this stuff or spend any amount of time around folks that are like this, is JOY. I just don't get it from them at all. (Just to be clear, I'm not referring to the occaisional criticism of something or someone, I'm strictly referring to the constant critical nature that we've all seen from some sites/blogs. Funny thing is, there are a few people that thought I was exactly like this from what they read at ENo, how's that for a "go figure"?)
Even as I type this, I know I have been just as guilty of this in times past, as anyone else. That grieves me more than anything, that the very thing I see in others that clearly and obviously does not bring glory to God's name, I see in myself. YUCK! I don't want it there.
I don't want it there so much, that I recently (over the last few months) had to go through a lot of my links & programs and remove many things that tend to feed & fuel this in me. I know where my weak spots are, and I know that I'm the only one that can do anything about it, by removing myself from the temptation to get into the mix. I simply had to remove the mix.
One of the more ironic things about all this, is what it does to me physically. I have a tummy condition (IBS, or so they say) and in times of intense stress, it flares up like gangbusters. Over the last year or so it became more and more obvious to me that when I would visit some of these links I mentioned, that the more I read and/or the longer I was there at the sites, the more my stomach began to hurt. At one point I wondered to myself "Carla, just how stupid can you possibly be?". I mean, it was so blatantly obvious what was causing my stomach to hurt, and yet there I was feeding the very pain that leaves me incapacitated and on my knees in prayer for hours at times. Why was I doing this to myself?? I didn't have any reasonable, rational answer. I still don't, other than to say it's just really easy to get caught up into that mindset of thinking you're doing the Christian community at large a huge favor by constantly pointing at all the evil out there.
• Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)• Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Romans 14:19)
"Please pray the Lord will restrain the madness of these men, remove their support, and end their hateful campaign of spewing hatred in the name of Christ."