Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bullying in the Church

Susan Burns writes,

"Bully: a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker." [The New Oxford American Dictionary]

I loathe bullies. Absolutely loathe them. I have run across them many times in my lifetime. Mostly in the church. And I know many of you have too.

In Christendom, we have pastor/elder bullies. I have heard many horror stories about those guys and have witnessed bullying in church meetings and at presbyteries. And in all the times I have watched this occur, I do not recall one instance where the bully was called down and held accountable for his obnoxious treatment of a brother or sister believer. In fact, these bullies continue to serve as a pastors and elders and continue to bask in the warm regard and respect of fellow elders. Now the church bullies I know have behaved this way for years. Bullying is their pattern of behavior. If the Biblical standard for eldership were upheld by their congregations, these guys would be tossed out of the sheep pen and forced to look for employment outside the church. Just to remind you, that standard is (among other things) "not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker…just, holy, temperate" (Titus 1:7, 8). Yet, these oppressors continue to preach, teach and, in some cases, publish, and speak at our conferences.


The real problem with Christian bullies, however, is the Christian men who aren't bullies, but who allow this treatment to continue. In almost every case of bullying I know about, Christian men have been present or were aware of what was going on. And did nothing. That has got to change. As anyone who has confronted a bully knows, they are huge cowards and just showing a little fang will send them running under Mommy's skirts. . . . So, through the years, I have wondered why Christian men don't take on the bullies, confront them, and tell them this is not acceptable behavior in the kingdom of God.

You can read the rest here.

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