Let there Be Peace

For He cometh the judge the earth, and the peoples with equity

The first piece of business I met with today over my morning cup of coffee was that some anonymous person had made a disparaging comment about me on someone else’s website.

Very disparaging, actionably libellous. I got trolled.

The editor of that website let me know, let me see the comment, and then removed it. I promised to do the same for him if it should come up. It was all done with discretion and good Christian sense.

This sort of thing happens, as he said, when we start to build a fan/follower base. Someone we crossed in our past, or someone who thinks they know us better than they really do – and stalkers and obsessed persons – can do us some harm, at least to our sense of peace. Because that person remains anonymous, we can’t fight back. It’s guerrilla action.

We can – and do – shrug it off. The criticism leveled at me was marginally true, but twisted and aimed to hurt, plant doubt in those who know me, make me look like a hypocrite and liar. (All of us are hypocrites if we claim to follow Jesus – because we will never do it perfectly in this world.) I’ve been slammed before; it’s not new. I am not devastated or injured. That is not what bothers me the most.

Jesus told us to reconcile with an opponent before we get to judgment. It is better to ask and give forgiveness without mediation. Judgment is a very public process; it keeps people in an adversarial position. Judgment is about rights, not about forgiveness.

But if I do not know who it is who has named me in a grudge, who hides his person behind an internet persona, who gives me no opportunity to listen and to be heard, then we can never agree in fellowship . The only judgment possible will be the Final Judgment, and He who is eternally righteous will be the judge. We cannot give and receive Christian forgiveness if one of the parties refuses to come forward, but slings mud over the fence, and then runs.

I want to be reconciled with anyone I may have offended, and if I am accused I want the opportunity to answer and apologize to the accuser. I cannot demonstrate to an anonymous accuser and critic that I am indeed attempting to walk the narrow path, with God as my helper. I do not deserve this rejection; I want to make amends and reconcile.

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4 thoughts on “Let there Be Peace

  1. I don’t know what this is about, since I’m not on any other Christian websites.

    if you’re taking open questions though, I do have one: what happened with you, Nicholas, and the bishop? Was it related to your marriage? Why did Nicholas leave the active priesthood?

    • I guess a lot of people know that, I’ve probably covered it somewhere, just not here, or recently. Briefly – and so as not to put words in the bishop’s mouth – he did not want Nicholas and I to get into a relationship quickly. He wanted us to wait for at least a year. In the meantime, while he was away, someone cruelly started a rumor about me (that concerned Nicholas) and it divided my parish. (Nicholas was already on a year’s leave for health reasons.) I was forced to resign my parish because of the division; the bishop was unavailable for discussion of it. This was a breech of protocol on my part. Nicholas was unhappy with the politics of the Anglican Church, and went back to his old career until he had the stroke. I am looking to work in the church again, as soon as both the bishop and I are in better health and can find time to discuss it. We have addressed his concerns about our relationship, and I anticipate that this is the right time.

      I’m honoured that you stay with this “Christian” website. I find your comments and questions challenging. I’m pretty sure you are like this with everyone! How does you community take your forthrightness?

      • I figured it was something like that. Congregations can be pretty weird about their clergy having romantic lives.

        If you can believe it, I am not considered unusually forthright (can I just say, mouthy), for a Jewish woman 😉 we’re a very mouthy breed! People are pretty tolerant and think I’m an odd duck, but it’s not because of the ridiculously opinionated nature. Because Orthodox Judaism is fairly citified, projects such as gardening and knitting and extensive home cooking get me dubbed a hippie. The other day someone literally did not believe me when I explained to her how the compost bin worked. Also, none of my kids are in school, which is a highly eccentric choice for my community. I get more grief about that than anything else.

        I read other Christian sites on occasion, but vey rarely comment . . . I can’t help it, this crofting business is engaging. I find myself looking forward to the updates a lot.

      • I honestly laughed out loud – I have come to appreciate the forthrightness, once I figured you weren’t just trolling me. We all need some truth-tellers. I find that Mennonite and Amish women are just as forthright and curious – will ask anything! I don’t know your ethnic background, but if you are Germanic in decent, then you share that with them. There will be more on croftong soon, with the new goats.

        The real issue with the bishop was that I was technically disobedient. I didn’t mean to be – but there are times like that, when you just have to make a decision, and let the chips fall where they may, and pay the consequences. Yes, I was angry at first because it was harsh, but good things have come out of it. As a Christian, I always have hopes of reconciliation with other Christians.

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