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We hear of bullying often on the news. We hear enough stories to realise that these are not by any means all a figment of the imagination and these anecdotes provide evidence that acting as a bully is considered by some as a right and a legitimate means of personal and corporate advancement.
Bullying is neither a sign of intelligence, insight or Godliness. And neither is being a doormat to a bully an evidence of Godliness or being like Jesus.
It is indeed disturbing when bullying behavior appears in the interactions of church boards, committees and school staffs. Not only is bullying an evidence of carnality. It’s the ugly side of capitalism, the carnal side of religion and an evidence of the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Therefore, bullying can never be justified to advance the Kingdom of God.
Open bullying is bovine behaviour. Subtle bullying in the form of gossip, manipulation, politicking and slander as political pressure is an evidence not only of the flesh and the spirit of Baal but of the Jezebel spirit. Such a spirit is the ally of anti-christ and bends it efforts to undo the advance of the Kingdom of Jesus among us. Make no mistake, the Jezebel spirit is a spirit of subversive intent. It disguises itself in ‘causes’ and real and imagined issues of offence. It’s real motivation is ego and its target is people with genuine ability and uncontaminated Godliness.
You may have noticed that any minister across the denominations who evinces an outstanding ability to impart life, without the humbug of tradition and encrustations of religion is very likely to come under criticism and judgement.
The most subtle or unsubtle kind of bullying is ‘gaslighting.’ It’s a form of psychological abuse with a large literature. It’s common in business and just as common in law-based Christian cultures.
Christians do well to hold each other accountable in things like bullying. One of the disciplines of Christian community is found in our ability to urge each other to assess what behaviours are consistent with Jesus and which behaviours are not. A sign of Godliness is humility and the ability to listen.
A very good journalist
passed away some time back. Bullies and perpetrators of injustice can be uncovered by good journalists – most of whom do not espouse faith in God. Yet unbeknown to themselves, some are doing His work and serving His cause of justice. You don’t always have to know God personally in order to serve Him. The delusion of the ‘Christian Bully’ is that he believes he is serving God.
Bullies are an amalgam of Jezebel and Ahab – a cross between witchcraft and sentimental compulsion to possess and manipulate. If you are a friend and a colleague of Jesus you will expose lies, false doctrine parading as truth and spin that seeks to dissipate accountability and the advance of the Kingdom. Don’t persuade yourself you are too gracious to call out spin and lies. That’s just politicking. As a representative of Jesus, you are available for personal sacrifice but not for the sacrifice of grace and truth. Don’t be a person who has persuaded themselves that they are gracious when what distinguishes them is a profound lack of spiritual discernment.
A characteristic of the bully is that he or she bullies those who appear easy targets for intimidation. When they resist and call them out the bully then claims they are the ones being bullied. Bullies resort to ‘I’m offended,’ but their modus operandi is offensive. The real state of the bully is weakness and hypocrisy. You may have noticed that Entitlement often reacts to resistance by impugning the honour of those who have seen through them and uncovered their perfidy. They seldom address the problem that provoked the rejoinder. Iniquity has many faces. The Godly never hide in cowardice.