Christians have a well-deserved reputation as a judgmental group. When you write a Bible blog for Christians you get reminded of this often in reader feedback. I’ve come to learn that anything I share can offend someone.
But as the latest site visitor email reveals, you can also get judged by Christians for what you don’t write. Check this out:
The Bizarre Email
Hello Tim, I am a first time reader of your site. I had come long ago convinced of a “post trib” rapture, as it is known. I am curious, however, as to who have been your mentors. I have not found yet on your site any mention of any Christian brother, or group, which you should have given “honor to whom honor is due”, even with regard to those critical to your conversion. This is not particularly encouraging, even though I agree with most that I have read so far, and also what I have read concerning what you believe.“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” Ecclesiastes 10:1I noticed in your October ’14 speaking engagements that you would have been in Medford, Oregon, the home of the late Jim Mckeever’s Omega Ministries, near where his widow lives now.What’s up?[name withheld]
What an awkward email to read, especially the ending telling me I had visited the town of a dead minister’s widow (when I actually was in Medford, OK not OR). But that’s not the main problem. I cover the main issue with his email in my reply to him.
Thanks for reading and congrats on seeing the truth on the rapture. I assure you that one cannot understand prophecy correctly if they have the rapture in the wrong place.
I have to say, this is the first time after thousands of emails since I started blogging in 1998 that anyone has implied I am suspect just because I don’t talk about my conversion or “mentors” on the site as I “should.” (“Should” being a word loaded with judgment, in case you were unaware.)
If you cannot judge the teaching on my site by its own merit against Scripture like a Berean (Acts 17:11) and need to judge it by me, my history and influences, then my site is probably not for you. My site is for people who evaluate what I have written by Scripture, not for people preoccupied by what is not there.
I say this in love and without any hard feelings or judgment. I wish you well in your Bible study.
Clearly, running a Bible blog is not a job you should undertake if you have a thin skin! You can and will be judged for everything you can imagine and also things you never imagined, as in the case above.
The key is to not take things personally. When you falter in this, ask yourself why a complete stranger was able to get under your skin. Evaluate where you may be weak in faith or love or whatever and pray for help from God. In this way you can become less easily offended with time and act in more perfect love no matter who you are dealing with down the road.
It helps to remember also that most of the time when someone is offensive as above, it’s coming from their own hurts, fears or weaknesses. Hurt people hurt people as my wife is fond of saying. In other words, what some people say about you reveals much more about them than it does yourself.
That being the case, it is entirely appropriate to not just pray for yourself but to pray for the hurts and healing of the person who offended you.
But do me a favor, don’t write back to an offensive person to say “I’m praying for you!” Many Christians have turned that normally positive phrase between friends into a backhanded insult for those they have a conflict with. =)