By Lana Moline
With the onset of a myriad of trends in the church, more people have gravitated to religion as a way to engage in something larger than themselves. Over the last 15 years, there seems to be a larger number of splits within denominations and an even greater influx of individuals to join non-denominational congregations. I even know several people who have chosen to withdraw from organized religions all together. All of this says that every group truly believes that they are in total possession of “the truth.”
Please understand that I encourage everyone to discover and stand firm on conviction because personal truths are important. The conflict that I see arising is when an individual is overwhelmingly impassioned with his or her beliefs that he beats everyone over the head at a moment’s notice. I think that is wrong. I do believe that evangelism for the purpose of introducing a new believer into your fold is great and I’ve purposely left this statement broad because the book I read says “other sheep have I” and with that I’ve learned to stay on my own task so I won’t lose focus. However, when the attempt is to argue, belittle or minimize someone else’s beliefs then that is nothing short of a religious bully.
Here’s the thing. Religious bullying is hypocrisy. Think about it. Every single path of religion, regardless of denomination, is lined with guided principles to wellness, peace, prosperity and so forth; in other words all good things. Each one of us desires heaven on earth and everlasting life. So it baffles me when I hear someone downing another person just because their paths are different. What I’ve found is that if I hold solidly to the truth that I know then my actions and words will line up with that truth.
Attempting to bully someone into saying, doing, believing, worshipping or living in a way that they don’t authentically agree with is incredibly wrong and painful for all parties involved. It seems to me that expressions of love to some extent are the cornerstones of religion and love equals respect. A bully is a bully both in the church and outside of the church. When you see them, call them out – in love of course.
Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.