I work in ministry.
I work in Christian educational ministry, figuratively ... and, literally ... and I have many responsibilities and roles there.
Those responsibilities, and roles, are expanding every day.
One of the responsibilities I have is re-building and re-formatting an online discussion forum that our ministry has had for many years ... and like all established discussion forums, this one has its longtime regulars.
So along comes this "newbie" out of nowhere ... an unknown GIRL to add insult to injury ... announcing that she will be launching the new forum as soon as the old database is transferred over and all the wrinkles are ironed out.
What a commotion I caused.
The responses to me, and my announcement, were instant ... and full of advice, and gripes, and suggestions, and whatnot ... along with incessant arguing and bickering and jabs among the members ... complaints from some that they don't have a solid facilitator anymore or a wise leader to guide them, and boasts from others that they don't need no guidance from anyone ... and anger that all the strife between them is ruining the fun, and running people off.
I'm not sure what set off this exchange of malignant punches, within the benign thread announcing my new plans, but it became evident this cancerous behavior is a recurrent tradition among the Christian membership core.
My private message inbox, and my email, is full ... of more advice, and confidential FYI's, top-secret inside information, by-the-way rundowns of Who's Who ... what I should do, what I should not do ... and who I should keep my eye on, and who I need to get in my corner ... and criticism for not having a firm grasp of their problems/reality, and just when am I going to fix it!?.
I still remained silent.
After three more day of observing the implosion, I finally spoke up tonight.
I didn't address anyone specifically ... I didn't respond to any direct question or quote.
I simply spoke up.
I am here.
I have been watching, quietly, from the shadows.
I have received some emails asking me if I am aware of the attitudes and sarcasm ...
asking me to intervene, moderate, step in, voice my opinion.
I chose to wait, and watch, for a little while.
Several well-known phrases came to my mind, while I waited and watched, and I am
sure you are all aware of them.
If not, I'll take this opportunity to give you a gristle to chew on, and share them with
you ... along with how I perceive them in regards to what I see here.
First phrase is:
I have no dog in this fight.
And since I do not have a dog in this fight, I am not too concerned with the outcome,
nor will I be affected by the outcome, of the interesting exchanges
I've seen here among you.
I am an administrator here, a brand-new one at that, and I have many
goals and responsibilities that I am striving to obtain and maintain, yes, but
babysitting - hand-holding - judging - refereeing
are not included on my list ... neither is preaching, or teaching.
God does not stifle freewill ... and neither will I.
Second phrase that came to mind is, and I do paraphrase:
Now, in this, I declare unto you, that I praise you not ...
you all come together not for the better, but for the worse
... I hear (and see) that there are divisions among you;
and I partly believe it ... but, alas, I suppose there must be
factions/heresies among you so that they which are approved
may be made evident/manifest.
If you are not familiar with this quote, it can be found in the
11th chapter of I Corinthians.
Division is the natural consequence of human nature.
And, although divisions are wrong, especially in platforms such as this one HERE,
I do believe Good can come from them.
The Holy Spirit has a way of aiming a floodlight upon those who show themselves
approved, without shame, to accurately handle the Word of Truth.
Refer to II Timothy 2:15 if you need verification of this.
How do you show yourself approved? Through diligent striving and studying.
The debates and division that I have had the opportunity to see
... and I gather there is a rich history of debate/division here
...reminds me of the testing process by which the Genuine is revealed.
God does not condone division but, evidently, He allows it to occur ... and so will I.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge
of the Truth.
Yes, we all miss and need an educator, a teacher, and a voice of Spiritual Reason
... and, yes, we wish we had one.
But students all need homework, and labs for practical application of
what we've been taught.
More importantly, at some point, students are required to stand on their own.
Don't take my word for it, read it for yourself in II Timothy 3:7
As you sow, so shall you reap.
I really hope this is self-explanatory.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked ... Galatians 6:7
Ye shall know them by their fruits.
May I humbly suggest we all refresh our memory
upon what the Fruits of the Spirit are?
If you need a reminder of what those Spiritual Fruits are,
you can start in Galatians, Chapter 5, Verse 22.
I am considering posting some of the replies in my comment section ... I don't want to do anything unethical, so I may post them as an "anonymous" comment ... I'm not sure about this yet.