Friday, May 2, 2014

Reading the Bible Can Help You Forgive a Church Bully

Church bullying, I'm convinced, is one of the worst types of abuse because it hits you on a spiritual level. That's because church is supposed to be a refuge from the problems of the world. However, when church bullies rule the roost, your biggest problem becomes your place of worship.

Living through this type of abuse was something I don't wish to repeat. However, I learned a lot and, in the process, hopefully drew closer to God. Through it all, I realized that my salvation, and the salvation of my family members, are not dependent upon anyone but Him. We can still get to Heaven if we follow Him, follow all His commandments and eventually die in a State of Grace, with no mortal sin on our souls. (We're Catholic.) Even though my children were systematically excluded from various youth-related activities, which I felt they needed for their faith formation, I have to still trust in God, because He wants them in Heaven even more than I do. None of this would He have happened if a greater good couldn't be brought from it.

In the midst of the worst of our struggles, I read a lot of Scripture. It was very comforting. It strengthened my belief that God is in control and that bullies will be accountable for their behavior. We need to pray for them and they so desperately need our prayers.

At the same time, for the sake of our own souls, and theirs as well, we need to keep our distance from morally disordered people. Again and again, in different ways, the Word of God reminds us not to walk with evil doers.

The Second Letter to Timothy sums up the bad behavior we are seeing today. Chapter 3, on The Dangers of the Last Days, refers to those weak brethren, "as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Reject them."

In other words, pray for church bullies, but do not associate with them.

These can be very difficult times in the Church, right now. You can almost expect problems, especially if you get involved in parish projects. Just because you're in a place of worship, don't expect help from the pastor or from anyone else.

Adult bullies are sneaky and clever, and, in these times of moral darkness and confusion, they get away with a lot.

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