ECT Do not return evil, with evil, but overcome evil with good 1 Peter 3:9 Romans 12:17

Lon

Well-known member
I may have failed. One member took his opportunity to make poor and false claims about me.

It was an opportunity to 'return good for evil.'

We have a few members on TOL who consistently ignore/overcome evil by "addressing the subject, not the person."

I've been reading Romans in my devotions this week and came across Romans 12 several days ago. I prayed for strength, and two days later I was presented with the poor treatment in thread here on TOL.

Having forgotten Romans 12 instead Proverbs 9:8 Proverbs 12:5 and Proverbs 26:4,5 came to mind.

I'm convinced God can/will do His own correction, but we are also called to correct one another.

Having understood this, I neglected 2 Timothy 2:25
Back in the day we promoted the fact that TOL was a place to smack some truth! But that fun strategy seems to have been replaced with merely taking pot shots and following people around on the forum merely to make a quick insult on every post they make. This is ruining the community.

.... TOL is at a crossroad.


4. Or... try and see if we can guide the community in a better direction.

We can no longer allow folks to follow others around the forum mocking them and disrupting their threads.
...
Please folks... TOL needs to be a place where people feel comfortable making a point or exploring ideas. That's the fun part of a community forum. If they feel like they cannot explore ideas without being mocked they will go elsewhere and TOL will end up being 6 or 8 members preaching to their own choir.
I'd appreciate input and advice as well as any other discussion regarding banter on TOL (receiving, giving, or responding).

I'm pretty sure I need the input and I pray this thread helps others who struggle with the same issues on TOL. -Lon
 

Lon

Well-known member
Caustic people

Caustic people

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

So, while I called out the member's behavior, I gave a 'harsh' word in response and the response, though with better intention, likely poured out folly.

I think, at times, I doubt God's word that a gentle answer would actually do anything. There is a member who is incredibly consistent to return evil with 'address the topic, not the man.' I don't believe I've ever seen the fruit of his labor and so think "If I don't tell this guy/gal they are being an unbiblical creep, nobody will."

Is it a matter of faith and trust in God's word that I need to rather rely upon?
 

patrick jane

BANNED
Banned
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

So, while I called out the member's behavior, I gave a 'harsh' word in response and the response, though with better intention, likely poured out folly.

I think, at times, I doubt God's word that a gentle answer would actually do anything. There is a member who is incredibly consistent to return evil with 'address the topic, not the man.' I don't believe I've ever seen the fruit of his labor and so think "If I don't tell this guy/gal they are being an unbiblical creep, nobody will."

Is it a matter of faith and trust in God's word that I need to rather rely upon?
Sometimes a "harsh" word is necessary. I believe being open and up front leads to better results.
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Sometimes a "harsh" word is necessary. I believe being open and up front leads to better results.
Would "get behind me Satan," Matthew 6:19 overturning money tables, John 2:12-17 and Matthew 15:26 be examples of what you mean? Paul opposed Peter "to his face." Galatians 2:11 and Proverbs 27:6 says that the wounds of a friend are faithful, but I'm not always certain 'being a friend' is my best intention, though I pray most often that it is (as I also did in this case). I appreciate your input. Thanks. -Lon
 

nikolai_42

Well-known member
Would "get behind me Satan," Matthew 6:19 overturning money tables, John 2:12-17 and Matthew 15:26 be examples of what you mean? Paul opposed Peter "to his face." Galatians 2:11 and Proverbs 27:6 says that the wounds of a friend are faithful, but I'm not always certain 'being a friend' is my best intention, though I pray most often that it is (as I also did in this case). I appreciate your input. Thanks. -Lon

Personally, I try to take the approach that I cannot know anyone very well online. You can get a good idea about someone, but what you see is somewhat filtered by the fact that posters can easily censor themselves. Sure, there are some that are pretty clearly one thing or another, but most people fall in the middle somewhere. And when there is a real doctrinal issue, I find the best thing to do is leave the truth with them and (if necessary) be on your way. Posters don't have authority over other posters (certainly not in the same way the apostles had authority and a responsibility and the way Jesus had authority over the temple and over Peter....poor Peter). If someone can't interact honestly, then a rebuke isn't likely to make a difference to them (other than egg them on). If someone is open to the truth then instruction is good, but even then it's very easy to pick and choose what you accept and what you reject when you are a semi-anonymous online entity. Ultimately we are responsible to God and those over us in families and in our churches (government as well....but I take that for granted since I don't think we are talking about illegal behavior).

Having said that, as an admin you would have a certain degree of authority that needs to be wielded. In that respect, even-handed, fair and dispassionate administration of the rules seems (again, to me) the best way to approach it. But then I'm not an admin...

Just my nickel's worth....
 

Lon

Well-known member
Could use Mod/Admin attention if they are so inclined

Could use Mod/Admin attention if they are so inclined

If someone can't interact honestly,
...or civilly...


...then a rebuke isn't likely to make a difference to them (other than egg them on). If someone is open to the truth then instruction is good, but even then it's very easy to pick and choose what you accept and what you reject when you are a semi-anonymous online entity. Ultimately we are responsible to God and those over us in families and in our churches (government as well....but I take that for granted since I don't think we are talking about illegal behavior).
Yes, other than calling it out, perhaps. This situation was inappropriate. I really dislike reading what someone I have on ignore says about me, when someone calls it to my attention or quotes the one saying it. It is backstabbing, petty, and small. I'm not sure if 'saying so' ever accomplishes much, but it 'might' curtail the behavior in the future. However, I do have a large concern for anyone who names the name of Christ and I think it worth talking about for a post or two.

Having said that, as an admin you would have a certain degree of authority that needs to be wielded. In that respect, even-handed, fair and dispassionate administration of the rules seems (again, to me) the best way to approach it. But then I'm not an admin...

Just my nickel's worth....
I think this is important. If the behavior is inappropriate, bringing it to a moderator/administrator's attention can allow for appropriately and importantly, spiritually dealing with the problem. At one time, the application of such was one-sided on TOL in favor of members of like denomination. I think even the sentiment still pervades. In retrospect, some of Knight's concern is due to his own policy from years before: We are just seeing the result in this last decade or so, what such fosters (not meaning to shoot Knight, just saying I think he's chagrined with some of what he'd set up, as we cannot have a TOL that is tolerant, and showing favoritism at the same time, it is an inconsistent, in-congruent message).

For me, bringing such problems before moderators and administrators seems the most appropriate address of tension between members. In some ways, it is the lack of moderation between warring members that causes caustic relations and disappearance of members. These are the consequences of policies and actions. It'd be helpful if a few mods and perhaps Knight weighed in here in thread (invitation for mods and Knight from me for their input). In Him -Lon
 

ffreeloader

Well-known member
I may have failed. One member took his opportunity to make poor and false claims about me.

It was an opportunity to 'return good for evil.'

We have a few members on TOL who consistently ignore/overcome evil by "addressing the subject, not the person."

I've been reading Romans in my devotions this week and came across Romans 12 several days ago. I prayed for strength, and two days later I was presented with the poor treatment in thread here on TOL.

Having forgotten Romans 12 instead Proverbs 9:8 Proverbs 12:5 and Proverbs 26:4,5 came to mind.

I'm convinced God can/will do His own correction, but we are also called to correct one another.

Having understood this, I neglected 2 Timothy 2:25

I'd appreciate input and advice as well as any other discussion regarding banter on TOL (receiving, giving, or responding).

I'm pretty sure I need the input and I pray this thread helps others who struggle with the same issues on TOL. -Lon

I think, Lon, as this is an issue that is directly due to human nature that we all struggle with it. I know I do. Well, maybe we don't all struggle with it for some people clearly do not seem to care whether or not they follow the Biblical injunction or not.

I do think we need to hold people accountable, at least those who claim the name of Christian, for that is the basis of Paul's message to the Corinthian church when it was caught up in sexual scandals. But to do that is very hard to do without being harsh ourselves or feeling like we're superior because we are aware of that sin ourselves and try not to indulge in it. Loving the sinner and hating the sin is a very narrow line to walk for it's almost impossible, except through the power of the Holy Spirit and constant reliance on God's power to change us, to accomplish because our own fallen nature is right there to urge us on to get even.

That the Biblical advice is true is beyond question, at least to me. I think Peter, and the verses in Proverbs, are both absolutely true. God said His word would not return unto Him void. And Paul said, in reference to Apollo, that one person plants the seed, another waters it, and yet another person may harvest the results of that planting of the seed. I don't think any one of us questions that Jesus' methods are the best methods. He was the greatest teacher this world has ever seen. He took rude boisterous fishermen and turned them into pretty polished communicators in 3 years time.

If we plant the seed a harvest will come of that planting in God's own time. Just because we can't see the results doesn't mean there aren't any. I need look only at my own life to recognize that there is a lag time between the planting of the seed and the time that seed bears visible fruit. But, I also know how often I kicked around those thoughts and ideas internally before the change became visible to others.

In the forty years since I first met God personally I have learned one really important thing. God's promises, and His commands in the Bible are promises because along with the command comes the power to obey, do not fail. In other words, God and His word are trustworthy. We can rely on them, and we must rely on them, for Jesus told us that it will be done unto us according to our faith. If we look at every miracle Jesus performed the faith of the person coming to Him for help was the underlying factor in each miracle He performed. If they had not believed Him they would not have been healed. The same is true of spiritual healing. If we will consistently trust Him and follow His commands His word will come true in our lives. For me that is true beyond all possibility of doubt.

John said, whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not. I accept that as true, but yet I still have sin in my life. So, I can only say it is the inconsistency of my abiding in Him that allows sin to remain.

Any way, I hope this helps and that it gives you something to sort of chew on and think over.
 

Lon

Well-known member
I think, Lon, as this is an issue that is directly due to human nature that we all struggle with it. I know I do. Well, maybe we don't all struggle with it for some people clearly do not seem to care whether or not they follow the Biblical injunction or not.

I do think we need to hold people accountable, at least those who claim the name of Christian, for that is the basis of Paul's message to the Corinthian church when it was caught up in sexual scandals. But to do that is very hard to do without being harsh ourselves or feeling like we're superior because we are aware of that sin ourselves and try not to indulge in it. Loving the sinner and hating the sin is a very narrow line to walk for it's almost impossible, except through the power of the Holy Spirit and constant reliance on God's power to change us, to accomplish because our own fallen nature is right there to urge us on to get even.

That the Biblical advice is true is beyond question, at least to me. I think Peter, and the verses in Proverbs, are both absolutely true. God said His word would not return unto Him void. And Paul said, in reference to Apollo, that one person plants the seed, another waters it, and yet another person may harvest the results of that planting of the seed. I don't think any one of us questions that Jesus' methods are the best methods. He was the greatest teacher this world has ever seen. He took rude boisterous fishermen and turned them into pretty polished communicators in 3 years time.
Posting scripture to them would be appropriate, for sure. Thank you. It is hard, it does seem that if Mods and Knight took on that burden, it would serve but as with many forums, there is only so much time in the day and I truly appreciate what little time mods can contribute. It is often a thankless job. @ Knight [MENTION=12969]Sherman[/MENTION] and other mods: "Thank you. I appreciate the time that you sacrifice. I know others do too, but being a mod myself on other sites, I'm especially appreciative knowing the sacrifice. Thank you. -Lon"

If we plant the seed a harvest will come of that planting in God's own time. Just because we can't see the results doesn't mean there aren't any. I need look only at my own life to recognize that there is a lag time between the planting of the seed and the time that seed bears visible fruit. But, I also know how often I kicked around those thoughts and ideas internally before the change became visible to others.

In the forty years since I first met God personally I have learned one really important thing. God's promises, and His commands in the Bible are promises because along with the command comes the power to obey, do not fail. In other words, God and His word are trustworthy. We can rely on them, and we must rely on them, for Jesus told us that it will be done unto us according to our faith. If we look at every miracle Jesus performed the faith of the person coming to Him for help was the underlying factor in each miracle He performed. If they had not believed Him they would not have been healed. The same is true of spiritual healing. If we will consistently trust Him and follow His commands His word will come true in our lives. For me that is true beyond all possibility of doubt.

John said, whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not. I accept that as true, but yet I still have sin in my life. So, I can only say it is the inconsistency of my abiding in Him that allows sin to remain.
True on both counts. Until I'm like Him, I will always question how, I in particular, respond to matters like this for concern.

Any way, I hope this helps and that it gives you something to sort of chew on and think over.
I greatly appreciate the input. I can't change the misbehaved Christian, but I can change my own behavior and character to better reflect our Savior. Thank you. -Lon
 

Sherman

Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
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I will weigh in on this. A sharp tongue usually stirs up more sharp responses. The best strategy is to address the argument rather than the the person presenting the argument. Most arguments can be refuted with counter arguments. Getting personal only opens a hornet's nest of problems.
 

Lon

Well-known member
I will weigh in on this. A sharp tongue usually stirs up more sharp responses. The best strategy is to address the argument rather than the the person presenting the argument. Most arguments can be refuted with counter arguments. Getting personal only opens a hornet's nest of problems.
Yes, I've found this to be true. It illustrates "Do not rebuke a fool or he will despise you." It already is started as caustic in the first place so I think you are correct that such is simply banter, by consequence. We don't always have to have retribution or immediate justice.

However, I do have expectations of fellow Christians around me and even if such is seen as harsh, there are times I call that one on the carpet in hope that they themselves will self-examine. I guess I'm saying, especially in this case, that I 'expect' repentance as the response. If not, it is all the more bitter for me, because then they are hurting their own souls at the point of that stubbornness. It just ISN'T good for any believer in Christ to be this way to his/her fellow believers.

I'll use one member who is not here on TOL at the moment for an example: He thinks only those who are OV/MAD are his brothers and sisters. He is quite mistaken in that assumption. His particular caustic behavior is misplaced vim/vinegar and so I forgive him his ignorance. There are others that 'should' know better, when it is pointed out to them, to act appropriately.

I'd simply ask at this point, however: What would best help a mod do his/her job in this kind of situation? Ignore it? Bring it to mod attention? Appreciate you weighing in here. Thank you.
 

Sherman

Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
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In this instance if a member keeps attacking other Christians outside his particular brand of Christianity, calling them names, report it and bring it to the staff's attention. Then let the staff do their job. The results you get will depend on what kind of site it is. Some sites are neutral while others are built around a particular brand of Christianity.

This site is more of a OV/MAD owned site. But still, that does not give any member an excuse to be abusive toward posters that post outside this viewpoint. The owners are considering making this site more generic to draw more members.
 

Nang

TOL Subscriber
I will weigh in on this. A sharp tongue usually stirs up more sharp responses. The best strategy is to address the argument rather than the the person presenting the argument. Most arguments can be refuted with counter arguments. Getting personal only opens a hornet's nest of problems.

Have you shared this view with Clete?
 
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Lon

Well-known member
In this instance if a member keeps attacking other Christians outside his particular brand of Christianity, calling them names, report it and bring it to the staff's attention. Then let the staff do their job. The results you get will depend on what kind of site it is. Some sites are neutral while others are built around a particular brand of Christianity.

This site is more of a OV/MAD owned site. But still, that does not give any member an excuse to be abusive toward posters that post outside this viewpoint. The owners are considering making this site more generic to draw more members.
At this moment in thread, I appreciate prayer on 'being' the better person, not in any snobby tenor, but for one another and Christ. I covet all your prayers as I seek to be like Him. Thank you.
 

Sherman

Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
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Have you shared this view with Clete?

If Clete is being ugly toward others, please point out the problem posts/ thread, and I will have a talk with him. There's no excuse to be ugly toward other believers. If it's the thread I am thinking of it may be one that I have locked.

Members are not allowed to be nasty in theology club either.
 

Aimiel

New member
i appreciate the sentiment, but even Jesus recognized the futility of preaching the Good Word where it was not welcomed
He could do no miracles in Nazareth because of un-belief. It didn't stop Him from preaching. Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented if they heard Him preach. His hometown neighbors just hardened their hearts against Him.
 

ok doser

lifeguard at the cement pond
Good points - I was thinking more of his instructions to the apostles - Matthew 10:14
 
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