Paul's Passing Thoughts

Susan Dohse: “Christian Bully” is Not a Cute Oxymoron

Posted in Uncategorized by paulspassingthoughts on August 14, 2012

Don’t you all just love the English language? An oxymoron is a statement that is seemingly self-contradictory. Anti-missile missle, false hope, holy war, turkey ham, white chocolate, jumbo shrinp, oven fried, and harmless sin are a few you may have used or are familiar with. I have invented a new oxymoron:  “Christian bully.”

I am a busy person. But aren’t we all? My weekends are precious to me. I prefer to spend time with the men in my life, my husband and teenage son. When Paul related to me some of the comments said about him, and really us, that were posted on his blog I had to stop what I was doing (trying to make my granddaughter a dress) and reply. You see, as a teacher of 39 plus years I have had the wonderful experience of watching, listening, and dealing with bullies. I dealt with bullies when I taught at Xenia Christian ( born-again bullies, is that another sanctified oxymoron?), when my sons attended Nazarene Christian, as well as when they attended public school. There are even bullies in preschool.

It came to a point while dealing with my son being bullied at his Christian School, turning the other cheek just wasn’t enough, so da mama bear had to call in the big guns, the Xenia Police. Unfortunately, the bullying took on another form, an underground, subversive form; equally as harmful and devasting to my son. So I allowed my son to learn martial arts. It took time, but because I told my son to begin defending himself, and I would defend him to the school, the bullying aimed at him stopped. Why? Because I encouraged him to stand alone on the side of right, and I would defend him as long as he did the right thing.

There are many stories of children being bullied and defending themselves, and being rebuked for it. My son was one of them. The focus was and still is on the second, defensive hit, or push, not the first strike that started it. Teachers, principals, and parents are highlighting the retaliation, not the instigation. This is how schools practice “zero tolerance” by punishing the target and not addressing the problem that made the person think he had to defend himself in the first place. I taught my son that staying neutral when he saw someone being bullied looks like you are siding with the bully. He was able to defend some student friends of his not only by “might” but by speaking out against the bullies loud enough for teachers to hear.

When adults, professing Christian adults, take on being bullies, it is rather disgusting. Especially when the “Christian bullies” use an arena that is designed for the discussing of ideas. This needs to be addressed. Remaining neutral only gives bullies pemission to continue bullying. Will it stop? Probably not. It will rear its ugly head in another form. However, this time I cannot sit back and remain neutral.

I can’t reach through the computer screeen and backfist the bully. (By the way, my sons got me interested in martial arts, and I have earned a blue belt. Not bad for a fat-assed sixty year old woman.) That parenthetical comment is the reason for my post. There are detractors who read our blog and then choose to make the most assinine comments on several kinds of social media. Recently we have been referred to as being “gluttons,” and in regard to me specifically, “stupid ” for marrying Paul. There is no room here to document all that Paul has been called on various social networks and blogs.

These Bullies (our son calls them internet trolls) pobably have never met me, have never seen a full length photograph of me, have never sat down to dine with me, taken me out to dinner, or observed my eating habits. So to accuse me of gluttony is peculiar.

Let me set the record straight. I have struggled with my weight since birth. I was a big baby, (big baby is an oxymoron), and have been through various phases of sizes over the years. I have been a member of weight loss groups such as Weight Watchers, and First Place with varying degrees of success. My doctor encouraged me to continue to eat and make healthy choices, exercise, and be happy with the progress I have made. Paul and I have been on a lifestyle change since we were married 1 year and 7 months ago. The success has been slow but we have each lost weight and are living healthier lives. When I read of my husband and I being called gluttons on various social networks, I become mad. Not just fulll of righteous indignation, but down to earth MAD! The oxymorons, (Christian bullies) and the unkind statements made need to be addressed. I will not remain neutral.

Gluttony is an overemphasis on food, excessive eating and drinking, a serious failure in self-discipline. Not all overweight people are gluttons. I have a relative who is as thin as a  toothpick and can outeat a Sumo wrestler at an all you can eat buffet, but beause she is thin she is never accused of being glutton, although she truly is one. I have been a member of churches where pastors and deacons are morbidly obease and they are not publically addressed as gluttons. I have been to Contemporay Christian concerts where leading band members have a weight issue, and I have viewed internet films of Christian teachers who could stand to take off a few pounds, but, again, I do not hear these detractors communicate disgust for their messages with bully-type statements.

Now, the detractors who accused Paul of being a glutton will probably say that they didn’t call me one as well. Yes, you did. When Paul and I were married we took on a wonderful new relationship referred in Scripture as “one flesh.” The reference is engraved inside of our wedding bands, and our wedding vows reflected the desire to be a three-fold cord as a testimony to our family and friends, many of whom are unbelievers. The smartest thing I did was to marry Paul. He brought peace to a chaotic situation, the love of God’s Word to a spiritually starving home, and leadership to a floundering family. How dare you acccuse me of being mentally numb, or lacking intelligence, or as oxymorons put it, “stupid”, for marrying Paul. It does appear that you are following in the footsteps of the man you hold in high regard, John Calvin. Study his life and message and you will discover a bully that deserves a medal.

Why is it in the arena of ideas people have to resort to insults and name-calling when disagreeing? Perhaps it is because the one slinging insults and using name-calling tactics have no ideas to discuss.

Discuss, even disagree with what we write, but don’t be an oxymoron, “Christian” bully.

Signed,

Susan, who is madly in love with Paul.

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25 Responses

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  1. Jo said, on August 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Nice job, Susan.

  2. lydiasellerofpurple@yahoo.com said, on August 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Well, It seems I have a soul sister. I have been asking for a while now if there is such a thing as a “:Christian bully”. I don’t believe that is true. However, I have come across too many “bullies” in ministry both in person (mostly coming out of SBTS) and on blogs to dismiss the fact bullying is a huge problem in Christendom. Can a Christian be a bully? Well, if we understand scripture we know that believers do not “practice” sin as a lifestyle. But what I have found it that the bullies who are in ministry positions or are their fellow travellors have redefined sin to get away with it and actually try to make it look righteous!

    I stand up to bullies all the time. I am called rebellious, hateful, bitter, mean, unladylike (my favorite) and emotional (my second favorite). One wannabe reformed student told me to “shut my piehole and go tend to my husband as is my role?. But then on this same blog were REformed in ministry saying that Servetus deserved it because he denied the Trinity and Calvin was only carrying out the law of the land.

    What did I do to deserve such vitriol? Ask pointed questions they did not like and give facts about history that they would rather ignore.

    He who defines, wins.(in this case winning as in taking more sheep astray) And when we allow them to redefine sin, we are culpable. Period.

  3. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Jo and Lydia,

    Thanks soooooooo much for these comments. It may encourage Susan to write more, which will make my blog famous!

  4. Julie Anne said, on August 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Susan – I hear you! It is absolutely crazy. I have to tell you that I thought your husband was a bit over the top with all of this neo-calvinist stuff. I couldn’t figure out why he wanted to know about the church/pastor who was suing me for defamation. I didn’t understand about this kind of abuse affecting marriages, either. Just a 1-1/2 wks ago, I had a similar bullying incident. A little different than this. This bullying was done by a veteran bible teacher/blogger from a very popular church and he decided to post the most disgusting kind of gossip imaginable about my 25-yr old daughter. The World is Watching Us This is the kind of gossip that can cause a young girl so much emotional grief that could lead to suicide. Thankfully, my daughter is wise and considered the source, but his behavior sure makes “Christianity” look unpalatable (she was already spiritually abused by our former pastor and hasn’t been back to church in 5 yrs).

    Like you have done here, I highlighted the behavior and exposed it. The nastiness speaks for itself. This is not Christianity, nor is it Christ-like. I don’t want any part of this nonsense. If it is done publicly, it needs to be called out publicly. Go Susan!

  5. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Susan is a family intervention specialist during the day. I am sure she will have plenty to say when she gets home tonight in response to these comments.

  6. Julie Anne said, on August 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Did Susan give you permission to approve these posts, Paul?

  7. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Julie Anne,
    No, I still retain the privilege of chief editor. But to your point, the last time she got a lot of comments on a post she mentioned that she might start her own blog! Yikes!

  8. Julie Anne said, on August 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Boy, that’s scary – - woman blogger. She might get sued.

  9. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    In all seriousness,
    Two points on this post that stick out: Calvin and Luther were serious bullies. That’s just plain unadulterated church history. Look, if you read a lot of the Reformers, blog comments are just eerily similar. Second: ya, skinny gluttons. They are out there, and an apt reminder that people shouldn’t be judged by appearance. Also, this whole weight thing in regard to New Calvinism brings up an interesting subject that I don’t have time to write about. Their concept that gluttony (and every other problem in life) = loving food more than Christ. So, gospel contemplationism is the answer, not any “do’s and dont’s” or “lists” Results? My ex-business partner who lost like 60 pounds through hard work prior to becoming a follower of John Piper, now obese again. So, instead of a biblical balance calling for us to beat our bodies into subjection, EVERYTHING is, either sin, or love of Christ. It’s always a “heart problem” and never a “body problem.” Add that to your list, #122,333,000 ways that Neo-Calvinism ruins people’s lives.

  10. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Julie Anne,

    I don’t think you realize that your case is now precedent. Had you lost, the stake and gallows that New Calvinists are deprived of would have become a court of law. Discernment blogging would have been shut down. And be sure of this: all of those NC hacks that supposedly didn’t agree with the lawsuit would have been singing Chuck’s praises. Let us not forget, their granddaddy RC Sproul sued a blogger. At the 2013 TANC conference, we hope to get some folks that have been researching the covert efforts by NC to get in bed with the government while stating in public that they think it is a bad idea. Baloney.

  11. lydiasellerofpurple@yahoo.com said, on August 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    “Let us not forget, their granddaddy RC Sproul sued a blogger.

    Yeah, this one made USA Today it was such a precedent in blogging back then…! And they “tried” to sue him but could not find him but kept it open just in case they did. The blogger was a donor to Ligoneir and had serious questions about their operations/expenditures which Sproul;s son in law was President and Ligon Duncan’s brother a VP, asked them on a blog using a psuedonym for blogging. And the blogger pointed to Sprouls own teaching on Christians suing each other. Of course, Ligoneir tried to keep this quiet and then lied to their donors when it came out that it was dropped….when it wasn’t. Unfortunately the lawyers did not get the memo and told USA Today, Instapundit and the Orlando Sentinel it was still open as they tried to find the guy!

    Yet Sproul is an icon in those circles. Don’t even get me started on his defrocked son from the Presyterians for tax number fraud and wrongly excommunicating people. But no prob. Daddy gave him speaking gigs and then Doug Wilson who is now Piper’s BFF welcomed Sproul Jr to CREC with open arms.

    Oh and the best part. Everyone thought Sproul was a Presbyterian but when some approached the Presbyterians for “discipline” for Sproul, they found out his church was indepedent! He was untouchable.

  12. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Lydia,

    Ugh, 1. Thanks for being a source for this stuff, it need not be forgotten. 2. Come quickly Lord Jesus. I would give anything to see you split that sky wide open and put an end to this nonsense. But until then Lord, we fight.

  13. Bridget said, on August 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Susan -

    Just read your article. It is so true. I couldn’t believe that people were resorting to such tactics! It makes me wonder if Calvinism has replaced Christianity, or being a disciple of Christ, in some peoples lives! It really boggles my mind.

    I’m still trying to figure out WHY many insist on getting their doctrine from the Reformers (who didn’t reform enough IMO) instead of using Scripture and the life of Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh? Why only go back to the Reformation? Why not farther . . . to the beginning of the Church? Why are people so enamored with the doctrine of the Reformers and then seem to idolize the Reformers? If you say something negative about Calvin you will be attacked as if you are a blasphemer.

  14. Bridget said, on August 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Julie Anne -

    Do you think she could get sued for blogging, or being a woman, or a combination? ;)

  15. trust4himonly said, on August 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Way to go Susan!
    I, myself, am sick of the bullies also. One thing I pray and hope many in the church realize that the bullying may start subtly, but it moves in increasingly when they realize they have got their talons in you and your family. This can start as soon as you sign a covenant in the church- beware! My family almost became members and signed a covenant, but found some doctrinal issues that started me on the road to questioning the church. The church I went to were huge MacArthur, Sproul, Duncan, Ware, and Piper fans- I never fit in and they never would let me fit in to begin with. I guess they knew too much about me and my hubby to know that I had attennas that reached the sky for any kind of false teaching. I was never bullied though at this church to be fair, but more so ignored. I went for two years and they were the worse two years for me spiritually. Amazing now looking back on my experience I can pick up on some things I was told at this church that completely fit the descriptions that Paul was talking about.
    Keep Paul going Susan- he is doing an invaluable service! :)

    Faith

  16. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Lydia, “soul sister”, thank you for your positive comments. I am new to this blog stuff and Paul is coaching me on how to say what I want to say so that my meaning is clear and to the point. Your encouraging remarks push me to try to write more. Susan

  17. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Faith, When a child my heart’s desire what to be involved in full-time service to the Lord I love. Over the course of 36 years events in my personal life pushed that desire to the side. Now that Paul and I are “one flesh” the Lord has given back to me that desire for full time service. Paul is not only my husband, but my pastor as well. Thank you for the supporting comments. Susan

  18. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Julie Anne, Thank you for commenting on my post. Although I am not the polished nor prolific writer that Paul is, I am supportive of his calling–to expose the false teachings creeping into our churches. God’s definition of a creep is II Timothy 3:1-7–we can also say that this is His definition of a bully. We cannot remain neural!!!

  19. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Bridget, In the arena of ideas, truth will always triumph; however, there will be many “martyrs” and wounded soldiers. Christ is our champion and Paul the Apostle reminds us that we are more than conquerors!. Neutrality cannot be our stance. Susan

  20. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Jo, your compliment is appreciated. It encouoages me to try to wite again. Susan

  21. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Jo, oops I misspelled encourages…blame it on the keyboard. HA! Susan

  22. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Paul, love of my life. Thank you for letting me vent on your blog. Your Susan

  23. Julie Anne said, on August 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Susan – You’ll have to pardon my sarcasm and dry humor. I think it’s wonderful for you to blog. I was asked by a NC if I got permission to blog, if my pastor was okay with it, and all kinds of nonsense. Now I bring that kind of craziness into my blog and keep that memory alive! :) Sometimes you just have to joke about things or you could go crazy. You mentioned “creep”, in my lawsuit, “creepy” was one of the words that my pastor said was defamatory. As we neared the court hearing, that word was dismissed from the lawsuit. So now it’s real fun to say: creepy, creepy, creepy – because my former pastor truly was and is creepy, (Im adding the “in my opinion” lest he want to sue me again).

  24. reyjacobs said, on August 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    My take on gluttony; back in ancient times if you wanted a burger you had to kill a cow. Its still that way obviously, somebody has to kill the cow. But now its not you, its the cow-butchering-industry. Ok, well, the cow industry grows so many cows that killing one cow is not seen as a big deal. So if you eat like 50 burgers a day, even that is not gluttony in the ancient sense. It was gluttony back then because there weren’t enough cows to go around, so if you killed on every day, you were a glutton, wasting food. Meat was only eaten at communal events because it was a big deal to kill the cow, so you only had meat maybe once a month (like at the New Moon festival, thinking Jewish here). Ok, so the guy who killed a cow every week, or every day, and always had meat with his meal was a glutton. Today, since we have a whole industry growing an infinite number of cows and killing them for us, gluttony is not even possible anymore. Not in America anyway. Maybe somebody in Pakistan could be a glutton, but not in the land of plenty.

  25. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 26, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Rey Jacobs,

    Hi Rey. Your comments here have some merit, but for the sake of other readers here, I am going to make some things clear:

    1. Comments are not posts that either give credibility or reject credibility.
    2. PPT is not afraid of ideas, but may not post certain comments because this is not a platform for error. However, there is a ministry angle here as well.
    3. This author believes firmly that the Apostle Paul’s writings were inspired as he was born along by the Holy Spirit and that his statements in Scripture represent God’s positions on life and godliness.
    4. The Scriptures are God’s plenary philosophical statement to man concerning life and godlessness, and stand separate and in contention against every thought/religion/philosophy that opposes or contradicts it.


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