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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Manipulation in the Church and on the Forum

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Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

Online!
 Manipulation in the Church and on the Forum

A bit provocative I know, but it's an issue I want to raise and I see it as a big problem in the church generally and we are seeing it quite regularly here on the forum.

What I am talking about is when ever a questionable subject comes up for discussion like the current 'head covering' one there is a putting down of one side of the discussion by the other by manipulative means. This takes the form of suggesting that there is only one true position that is valid and any other understanding that disagrees is rebellion, unspiritual, flesh, stumbling weaker vessels, etc, etc... That is manipulation and tries to shut down any other voice. We have seen this in regard to many subjects, such as alcohol, pre-millennialism, politics, sabbath keeping and of course head covering, which are obviously subjects of difference in the body of Christ (so we are not talking about foundation essentials here).

Surely in the body of Christ (and particularly a public forum) we should be able to discuss such things openly without putting down the other person in order to shut them down by such manipulation? However the sad truth is that so many churches are stuck in their particular doctrinal trench and will not entertain for a minute hearing an alternative point or considering that they may not have it all right. Only in openness to express our understanding will we all grow.

This is an open forum and if folk post on here questions or thoughts they should expect (even welcome) a variety of opinions and response. Otherwise why post here? Just keep your views to yourself and those who agree with you. Do we think we will change people to our point of view, if so we are probably naïve. It very rarely happens on such a platform as this.

The sad issue for me is not around the actual subject, but the lack of openness to hear the other person's understanding and reasoning.


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Dave

 2016/11/23 6:14Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37005
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re: Manipulation in the Church and on the Forum

Quote:
This is an open forum and if folk post on here questions or thoughts they should expect (even welcome) a variety of opinions and response. Otherwise why post here? Just keep your views to yourself and those who agree with you. Do we think we will change people to our point of view, if so we are probably naïve. It very rarely happens on such a platform as this.

The sad issue for me is not around the actual subject, but the lack of openness to hear the other person's understanding and reasoning.




Brother,

I agree that part of the problem is that there is at times an unwillingness to learn and possibly take something good from the other position, if both sides did this then both would end closer together. I have no problem as a moderator to see people discussing both sides of the issue, belief, but to do it in grace and understanding of the other party.

We should discuss things in a way that tries not to dis-fellowship or make the other feel bad but gives some thoughts for the other to consider, to chew on and in the end only God can change any of our minds on any issue.

As a moderator what we are standing against is people speaking very hard against one's belief instead of simply and humbly showing what they believe in the opposite scripturally. In the end we have to accept each other as brethren.

Another thing as a moderator that we do not allow is a continually posting of a theological theme as an agenda. This type of forceful posting in the end paints everything the same color and tries and forces others to believe a position or make them very bad to not believe it.

As a moderator we do post certain themes for seasons on SermonIndex that we believe the Holy Spirit leads us to for saints to "consider" but in no way do we want to dogmattically "force" believers on a certain issue. The issue of coming persecution and Matthew 24 is one theme that we have posted quite a few times that has been a theme out of many we have posted for a season.


For instance there was a disagreement on Preterism on the forums and in the end no matter what a sister or brother believes about the end times in most cases I can still have felllowship as believers with them. Sister Zsuzsanna was asked to leave the forums recently and she wrote this wonderful note that shows true christian fellowship and the desire for unity though we can disagree on a theological point (she asked for me to share this publicly):

---

Dear brother Greg, I am saddened that we were not able to work out our differences. The Lord is dealing with me in the last two days as I listened to these two sermons: The Way Up by Jim Cymbala, and Our Great Need For Church Elders by Zac Poonen. In one of my last posts I asked "am I operating in the flesh and am I in disobedience to God?" I know now that I was. There was a ruthlessness in my dealings and an urge to "expose" things. I totally lacked patience. Not like my brother who was meek and patient. I did not allow God to work on people's heart, I wanted to handle things just like I did in my other thread couple month ago when brothergary said "..this is not the way we fight our fights..", but I later repented.
1Peter 4:8
"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
I apologize to the forum that they had to endure yet an other drama, and that they had to put up with my pride again.
Greg, I love you with all my heart, and I am grateful for your ministry.
If you feel it's fitting share this letter with the forum, since the harm was done in public.
Sincerely ,
Zsuzsanna

---



May we especially be tender and appreciate the journey of others in areas of simple obedience and encourage even the weaker in their zeal to obey the Lord.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/11/23 6:37Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1964


 Re: Manipulation in the Church and on the Forum




Are all teachers?

We know what God's answer to that question is.

If all are not teachers, then many are taking it upon themselves to try and be so.

But, just as if my hand were to attempt to do what my foot does, or my ear to try and do what my nose does, my body would be a mess.

But the merry-go-round is not stopping!

And all the children are rushing to get on board. The seats are all occupied, so the children are screaming and shoving.

Teaching is a gift! It is also a calling.

Go to now!

 2016/11/23 7:25Profile
StirItUp
Member



Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re:

I hear you Savannah, and as always, you have put it across in a very entertaining manner :)

I do feel, though, that sharing and discussing on a forum like this does not require a specific gifting necessarily, except for the imperative gift of the Holy Spirit.

"For you ALL have an anointing from the Holy One and know all things"

" Overseers should be able to teach"

"...by now you should all be teachers..."


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William

 2016/11/23 7:40Profile









 Apology

Quote:This is an open forum and if folk post on here questions or thoughts they should expect (even welcome) a variety of opinions and response. Otherwise why post here? Just keep your views to yourself and those who agree with you. Do we think we will change people to our point of view, if so we are probably naïve. It very rarely happens on such a platform as this.

The sad issue for me is not around the actual subject, but the lack of openness to hear the other person's understanding and reasoning.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please forgive me for the head covering question. I won't bring up anything else, it may be wise just to watch and learn from a distance, being quiet. I am sensitive by nature and some answers come across harsh, even if they were not meant to be. I ask for prayer that Jesus will give me thicker skin to bear up under stronger words, that sound harsh, or sarcastic.

I feel quite responsible for the contention, and Im so very sorry. Im not sorry for the convictions the Lord puts on my heart, but Im sorry that this has caused strife. I sincerely love you all in Jesus and never want this to happen again.

with much love in Christ,
s

 2016/11/23 9:38
MrBillPro
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3206
Texas

 Re:

Brother Dave, My approach here is to just read the threads I feel lead to read, I stay miles away from those that I don't understand, or that are not beneficial to my daily walk with the Lord. I use to come here and get involved in most all the threads, even the ones that did not minister to me, on some of these threads I felt like a 1st grader reading the instructions on how to build a space ship. When you are totally lead by God, he will not bring you even close to the things he knows you have not matured enough to understand, or, are not beneficial to your "now" daily walk with him. I personally think a lot of threads here, are started by some to puff up, their knowledge of the word, who cares how much of the word anyone knows, question is, how well do you know God?

My attitude is, if you're really called by "God" to teach, I don't think he is going to have you try and do your teaching among 10 or so other teachers as we seem to have here.If you're really called to teach, get out from behind the keyboard and get out yonder in the world and teach some of the folks that have never heard of God, or the ones that want to know his word better. Get away from Google and the computer, pick up your sword and get out there and preach from the word of God, without Google you might even discover that you really don't know everything, and that you might even be teachable. :-)


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Mr. Bill

 2016/11/23 9:43Profile
MrBillPro
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3206
Texas

 Re: Apology

Quote:
sherri2...I feel quite responsible for the contention, and Im so very sorry. Im not sorry for the convictions the Lord puts on my heart, but Im sorry that this has caused strife. I sincerely love you all in Jesus and never want this to happen again.


O sherri, trust me, you have caused no strife, there has been on going strife here, "although some may disagree" for years. Most anytime two humans disagree, it will always cause some strife, although it may be temporary. I have personally witnessed some that have had to voluntarily leave over the strife, and some that had no choice. My message here is, please don't take it personal, you have come to a wonderful place here, but you will grow more by just reading than participating in some of these hard to understand threads. If you go back and do a little research, most of the same folks participate or start 80% of the threads here, that should tell you something. :-)


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Mr. Bill

 2016/11/23 9:59Profile
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

Online!
 Re: Sherri2

Dear Sister, You don't need forgiveness on this as Bill has said you have not caused any of the strife(and believe me this was small compared to others). I think you expressed yourself very well and fairly. The strife comes from those who want to dictate to others about being wrong. You certainly did not do that.

Please do not think anything I wrote was directed to you. When a topic starts and others post opinions and then these are responded to as well as general points to the wider church. That was certainly my intent and I think others as well.

Online forums (even Christian ones) can get quite heated at times and what is typed in one spirit can easily be received as coming from another spirit.

There are just certain topics that are 'hot potatoes' and this happens to be one of them.

As an aside, I occasionally post on a vegetable growing forum for advise, help etc. You never see any contention or real strife there! However vegetable growing doctrines are not comparable with the doctrines of God!:) Which I guess is why we rightly can all get so much more passionate about matters of eternity.

Be Blessed.


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Dave

 2016/11/23 10:37Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1700


 Re: Manipulation in the Church and on the Forum

Quote:
This is an open forum and if folk post on here questions or thoughts they should expect (even welcome) a variety of opinions and response. Otherwise why post here? Just keep your views to yourself and those who agree with you. Do we think we will change people to our point of view, if so we are probably naïve. It very rarely happens on such a platform as this.



I do not believe a christian forum with moderators who have authority is similar to any other open forum. This is were the problem lies. In the fundamental understanding of this forum. If the moderators does not want me to post on some subject, I will immediately obey. If I find them unjust then I will quit but not sit and rebel against them like it is done in any public forum. The same applies to a Church as well, never sit in a church trying to rebel against authority.

I think the important point to note is, teachability, which I feel is lacking in most of the posters. Most posters here do not come with a teachable spirit. They come here to put their own agenda and thoughts above others. For example in the head covering discussions, I have posted my opinion and am done with it, I am willing to answer any sinciere question raised on my views with scripture as authority. But mocking questions like how much should a women cover etc have no place in a Godly forum. I do not believe anyone with spirit of Christ will ask such mocking question. Lets think logically, even the asker knows it is a mocking question. It is not a question raised with an expectation of answer. What kind of answer will be acceptable?

Herod asked many mocking questions to Jesus and Jesus responded none of them. So the best answer to such Herodians is not answering them.


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Sreeram

 2016/11/23 10:48Profile
MrBillPro
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3206
Texas

 Re:

Dave and Sreeram, two wonderful posts! they really Blessed me, thank you!


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Mr. Bill

 2016/11/23 10:55Profile





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