Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

The Bully Effect

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 8, 2009


Isaiah 53:8 –¬†By oppression¬†and judgment he was taken away.¬†And who can speak of his descendants?¬†For he was cut off from the land of the living;¬†for the transgression of my people he was stricken.¬†

The classic tale of bullying.  

What is a bully?  It is someone that finds his strength in bringing people down to his level through intimidation. 

First they size you up to make sure they can take you down (judge). Then they bring you down in a humiliating fashion (oppress).¬†They have no real power. They have no real strength – at least the strength to pull themselves up. ¬†They have to tear down everything around them so they don’t feel so small.

Governments do it, bad guys do it and religion does it. Instead of building others up around them, encouraging them in their endeavors, they bridle them and restrain them and if that doesn’t work they intimidate and tear them down.

Government is supposed to be for the people, unless the people get too successful. Then they have to tear them down, tax them into oblivion and create class warfare between the “haves and have nots”.

Religion is only good when taking care of widow and orphans (James 1:27), taking care of their family when in need (1 Tim 5:4) and keeping a tight reign on your tongue (James 1:26).  It is only mentioned 6 times in the Bible. Three of them speak of the Jewish faith and the other three about taking care of people.  

How do we turn it into a weapon? We take religion – faith as it were, and use it to tear people down instead of build them up.

God is on the move. ¬†He is never sitting still, but we tend to be unmovable. The old hymn, “I shall not be moved” becomes our mantra. We hold those hungry for God back instead of taking a leap of “faith” and seeing what God may be up to.

Think about the things Jesus was proposing in his teaching that the religion of the day wasn’t practicing: Love, helping the poor, dying to self, humility, meekness. ¬†This was not the religious way. ¬†He looked at the same Bible and got something completely different. ¬†Why? He saw God in it.

You only overcome the bully effect when you learn to follow Jesus – truly follow Jesus.

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