My Response to Negative Personal Internet Material
People have different beliefs regarding God and spiritual things. Those differences lead many people to express animosity, hatred and conflict towards others, especially those who have different beliefs. This is wrong and those who perpetrate it are those who still have fear and pride as significant forces governing their soul. This is very unfortunate, but it does not have to be that way - there is a better way to handle belief differences. tim spiess
The better way is to have a reasoned discussion to try and work through differences without fear or animosity or bitterness or other such things driving the conversation. To do so requires both parties to give the other party the benefit of the doubt, and this requires maturity, being secure in one's own beliefs, and some measure of compassion for others. tim spiess
The wrong way is to personally attack someone, meaning saying things that impugn their character or person, making false statements about them or about what they believe, and generally expressing the desire that they need to change their beliefs or behavior or else God will hate them or reject them. This is what I call the religious way that accounts for the millions of religiously-based conflicts and hatred events that happen on this earth each day. tim spiess
It is one thing to speak out against behavior, teachings or beliefs that you think are wrong in light of some standard - moral or spiritual - that demonstrates the error, inconsistencies or contradictions you see. It is quite another to personnally call out and attack, judge or condemn a person due to their beliefs. The former is acceptable according to Jesus of Nazareth, and he did so. The latter is condemned by him and he did not do that. tim spiess
Anyone who claims some affiliation with Jesus of Nazareth breaks the following teachings of his if they personally attack another person, especially if the target of their attack also claims some affiliation with Jesus of Nazareth: tim spiess
"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you."
"Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy."
"Love one another; love your neighbor; love your enemy."
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye', and behold, the log is in your own eye?"
"You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing', shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool', shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell".
"An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, 'Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great'. John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us'. But Jesus said to him, 'Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you."tim spiess
Any personal attack, whether spoken or written, will break these commands, directives and teachings of Jesus.
If I do not want to have bad, hurtful or negative things said about me, then I should not do so towards others.tim spiess
If someone is trying to do Jesus' work and they are not against me, I should consider them for me. And even if they are against me, then "love your enemies" would apply.tim spiess
Please note I have no such personal attacks on my web site. I have some strong things to say about beliefs and general religious practices, but I DO NOT attack or condemn persons/individuals on the internet (or in person or in other writings for that matter).
Many bible people will ignore those teachings of Jesus and instead quote Paul or some other fellow, thus nullifying the true Word of God (Jesus) with their traditions. It is easy to point the finger at others. It is much harder to do what Jesus says and look hard at ourselves in the mirror first, and then respond in a manner in which we would like to be responded to, which manner "is the law and the prophets". Ironically, religious people who have the bible as their standard instead of Jesus of Nazareth; and who ignore Jesus such as when they judge and condemn disciples like myself; and who quote the bible to justify their fear and hatred - only proves the point of my web site! : ) Please see http://www.jesusfamilies.org/hot_topics/lost.htm tim spiess
Some who are offended at my understanding of the bible, God and His will - or those who did not get what they wanted from me during some personal contact or encounter - sadly have no problem personally attacking me by posting their accusations on the internet and breaking Jesus' teachings in the process. When I am aware of these postings, I will contact the person (if I can find them) and ask them to please take those postings down due to the teachings I quote above of Jesus. If they do not take them down, I might post a response, which is just that, a response, not a counter attack or condemnation. Those with eyes to see will be able to easily discern the difference between a counter-attack and a reasoned rebuttal dealing with beliefs, not individuals.tim spiess
The impersonal nature of writing or the internet emboldens many to do and say things that they may not normally do. If we cannot stand in front of a person and talk face to face with them to say what we are going to say, it might be a good idea to not say it at all - perhaps the lack of courage causing us to not talk in a personal manner is our conscience speaking to us?
You are more than welcomed to personally contact me to discuss material you find about me in order to get my perspective, and better yet, to try and get to know me before making a judgement. I'd enjoy having you come by personally to discuss anything you'd like. tim spiess
I can certainly use help if you'd like to provide it. When you run across someone saying (or posting) bad things about me, please feel free to contact the author and remind them of Jesus' teachings in this article. His peace to you : )
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