guest blog: the doctrine of hate

>> May 3, 2009

by Michelle Wegner
I woke up this morning bleary eyed, stiff, cranky, but trying to put on a smile for my tired and cranky girls before school. While they were munching their cereal I snuck a peak at my email. For the second Tuesday in a row, there was a notice that yet another blogger had ripped my husband apart on his site.

Blogging has unfortunately become the handy “Christian Weapon of Choice.” Never in history has it been easier, faster, or handier to whip up your angry thoughts and make them instantly viral in seconds. Your words are instant, global, and permanent. When I was at Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. briefing last May, he briefly addressed the issue of hate bloggers. He said he used to ignore it…they’d go away. But, they don’t go away. Their hate and anger builds and builds on these sites claiming all sorts of Bible and Doctrine to support their case in dismantling the leadership they literally seek to destroy. Engaging these bloggers may actually be the thing to do. He said that you need to correct their information and move on. Make a stand for yourself, and then don’t continue the conversation.

Our church and its leadership have borne the brunt of many (and I mean many) an angry blogger. There are men and women whose sole mission is to pick apart the words my husband and the other staff at GCC say piece by piece to discredit them and their message. Rob has been compared to Hitler… (Yeah, really), called a heretic, a pagan, one of the leaders of “Granger Community Circus.” Pretty unbelievable stuff.

The guy that compared Rob to Hitler really got to me. Really. I’ve been to Auschwitz and seen the horrific aftermath of one of the cruelest leaders of our century. I don’t think my husband who comes home happy and singing, ready to wrestle the kids, do the dishes, or play Polly Pockets has anything whatsoever to do with that kind of evil. In fact, every fiber of his being is wired to oppose evil and fight for whatever is good, noble, excellent, or praiseworthy.

I engaged that guy in conversation. I needed to. I let it sit in me for way too long, and my own rage just built and built. Engaging this guy was most likely pointless as far as getting him to change his mind goes. That wasn’t my goal. My point was to shed light on what damage his words had on our family. Our girls were at the age where they started to understand Google-ing their mom and dad’s name, and sure enough, guess what article they pulled up? I wanted that man to know that his words harmed my children. He didn’t care. He said “the lies and deceit your children hear at your church every week is a thousand times worse than anything they would ever read on my site.”

Whatever dude.

So, what did I do this morning?

I didn’t click the link. I deleted the email.

What do you do when the hate-talkers start their talking? Here are some things we have done that you might try:

  • Ignore them…don’t click the link
  • Engage them in a simple conversation
  • Defend your position, and then walk away. They don’t want to change, but you do have the right to set the record straight and defend yourself
  • Take a deep breath
  • Take it to Jesus
  • Let it go
Good luck with that last point. The letting it go part is what’s worst for me. Criticism eats at my soul. I wish it wouldn’t. I wish I could let it roll off my back like my husband does. What helps you let it go? Ideas?

5 comments:

Deanna May 5, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

We went through a horrible season of attacks that tore at my soul. I wanted to lash out.... I wanted to strike back (both with words AND actions!).... however, as my hubby and I sought the Lord together, the words from The Word continued to permeate our hearts.... "God is our defender.... God is our defender" and we felt like God led us straight to Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Easy?! Absolutely not.... Freeing?! Absolutely. There are still days that are difficult.... when I hear a new rumor, blah, blah, blah. And yes, there are days when we have felt led to confront the attacks head on. However, knowing that God IS our defender, as we lay aside our pride and trust Him to be just, makes all the difference....

Anonymous,  May 5, 2009 at 10:16 PM  

how can your relationship with God not be effected when it's HIS people that are responsible for so much of your pain?

SKA May 6, 2009 at 7:53 AM  

I've asked myself that question many times, often in varying shades of agony and desperation. The answer I keep coming back to is that I just have to keep my focus on Jesus, and constantly remind myself that his people are imperfect.

The church isn't where saints gather, it's the place for people who desire to be changed from their nasty selves. And some just take longer to realize what needs changing than others!

michellewegner May 6, 2009 at 9:00 AM  

I completely agree. The older I get, the more I realize that almost every single person I know will disapoint me at one time or another. It's humanity.

We're all imperfect with a slightly evil bent.

I am so sorry you are having a hard time in your relationship with God because of mean people.

My heart truly aches for you.

Anonymous,  October 26, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

My husband and I are going through a time such as this. I have found it difficult to know how to best come alongside of my husband. He is being torn apart by a group of men and yet he continues to serve and has stayed on his knees to know what would God have him to do for our church and for our family. It makes me ache to see what they are doing in the name of Christ to a man who has no agenda but the kingdom. I know that judgement is not ours and I know that God will work all these things for his good I am not sure how to deal with the ache.

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