On-Line Stupidity – Part Two

We are looking at on-line stupidity or the art of being an on-line jerk. So far we have seen:

1> Move from arguing the substance of a disagreement to attacking the person with whom you disagree.

2> Assume what other people think and believe rather than asking them directly.3> Write things to or about your fellow believers in Christ that you would never have the gall to say to their faces.

4> Don’t read a blog post or an article or comment carefully.

5> Write something online when you are angry or your feelings have just been hurt.

Let’s go on from there…

6> Presume to know what another person is thinking and assume you know the motives behind their words and actions.

Put yourself in the seat that only God Almighty occupies and impugn their intentions. Judging a person’s motives comes across in what is said. For example: “You said that because…” Another one would be: “You are trying to manipulate me when you said that.” Or another example: You are trying to control me…”

You are judging the motives and thus the heart of another person.

7> Engage in “drive-by” character assassination by posting a comment on other people’s blogs that smears the reputation of another child of God.

Don’t post your real name and your real email address when you leave the flaming comment. And hope that the blogger is sloppy enough to not notice the comment so they don’t delete it immediately. 

Interesting point: Every comment on a blog has an identifiable IP address. So, it is not that difficult to identify the person.

8> If someone gives you a response, ignore their response and repeat your points over again.

Have the attitude, “Don’t confuse me with the facts,” and disregard what they say. Just keep pushing the same points over and over again, hoping that they will eventually agree with you.

This also holds true in any recent face-to-face argument you have had.

9> With forethought and deliberation, completely misrepresent what another person has said or written, then play the victim.

For instance, accuse someone of attacking others when they have attacked no one. Accuse them of holding to beliefs and ideas that they don’t hold to. Play on the fact that some Christians will believe whatever you write instead of going to the source to verify if what you are saying is accurate or not. While this is the height of fleshly activity, it is fitting for the one who is perfecting the art of being an online jerk.

10> Forget what your Lord taught you.

Defy your spiritual instincts and grieve the Holy Spirit of God by treating other people (especially those you don’t like) in a way that you would never want to be treated yourself. Post things online to and about others that you would never want posted to and about you or your loved ones. In other words, claim you believe Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:12, but disobey them without wincing.

Matthew 7:12a “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…

Just a closing thought: The world is carefully watching how we Christians treat one another online. Keep this in mind the next time you sit in front of a computer and type something. 

On-Line Stupidity – Part One

I do a lot of on-line work. I write teachings that are posted as full-text and downloadable documents as well as audio recordings. I write, on average, five blogs a week that are available to everyone and can be subscribed to by email. I write articles for the web and for my ministry’s web page. I read a lot that is on-line and even subscribe to podcasts and other Christian and non-Christian blogs. 

As a result I see a lot of downright stupid things. Things that are written that are simply from another planet or even another solar system. I read and watch comments that Christians make about other Christians and Christian leaders. It is always open season on Christian leaders or, for that matter, anyone who is doing something for the Kingdom. Every worker has their critics. 

But, the most amazing thing is how quickly a person can come across as a total jerk. That is not a negative word or a cuss word but is a descriptive one. Jerk: Slang – “a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person.”

Here are some sure-fire ways to be perfect the art of being a jerk online:

1> Move from arguing the substance of a disagreement to attacking the person with whom you disagree.

I learned something the other day. This is called an ‘ad hominem’ argument. This is where you attack the messenger when you disagree with their message. People often do this when they know they can’t win the argument (if there was even one to win).

2> Assume what other people think and believe rather than asking them directly.

And state your assumption about what they think and believe, as though it were gospel fact, to others. And you do this without asking the person whose name you are dropping directly about what he or she believes or thinks. I am always stunned when Christians do this. Talking with others about a person’s writing or comment (and naming them publicly) without first checking with the person to see if what you think is actually their stand on the issue. 

3> Write things to or about your fellow believers in Christ that you would never have the gall to say to their faces.

This is simply playing the part of a gutless wonder and a spineless coward.

4> Don’t read a blog post or an article or comment carefully.

Instead read “into it,” jump to conclusions, then go off or go snarky on the blogger or commenter. To be more specific, never ask clarifying questions about something you just read (such as, “Maybe I’m not understanding you correctly, but are you saying xyz?” Or …. “If what you are saying is true, what is your response to abc?”) Nope! Just lay into the person after you have ‘read into’ their post or comment. Ask no questions in a gracious manner, only make statements and accusations.

5> Write something online when you are angry or your feelings have just been hurt.

Give no time to bring it to the Lord. Stone that angel who is telling you to wait because you are not in the Spirit. Instead, let your emotions control your reaction and then write them out for the whole word to see or read. 

More tomorrow…

 

QUESTIONS FROM A BIBLE SCHOOL STUDENT ON LEADERSHIP

1. What is the greatest leadership challenge you face in your current role?

Introducing the Church that Jesus is building based on apostles and prophets to churches that man has built based on pastors and the pastoral model of simply being inner focused and caring for the sheep and ignoring the lost.

2. What is the easiest group for you lead and why?

Churches and networks that recognize the importance of and openly welcome the ministry of an apostle and are hungry to adjust their corporate life to fit the biblical model of the church as set out in Pauls writings and the Book of Acts.

3. What is the most difficult group for you to lead and why?

Those who are ministering regularly but are totally out of touch with the culture and society that they say they want to reach for Jesus. These are the ones who do not work to understand the way young people are thinking and their world perspective and simply minister out of their own out of touch cocoon isolated from reality.

4. Do you have a mentor? What have you learned from him about leadership?

Yes I do. I have learned more of what not to do as a leader as I have walked with him in his own local situation and as he has travelled with me overseas.

5. Are you mentoring someone else? What is the the most important thing you have tried to communicate to him or her about leadership?

I mentor a substantial number of young people in various countries and cultures. The most important thing I communicate with all of them is that their leadership rises or falls according to their character. Thus they need to focus on and work on their character.

6. What is the greatest leadership success and what did you learn from it?

To be faithful to what God has called me to be and then to do with Him and not to be controlled by peoples expectations, demands, or needs.

7. What is your greatest failure as a leader and what did you learn from it?

I failed to recognize a power struggle that arose within the staff of my local church and, as a result, I lost a key staff member and about half of the members of my church. I learned to be in better touch with those on my team – both on a personal and professional level and not be afraid to make the hard decisions such as firing a team member who does not share the vision.

8. How does your own relationship with God factor in to your ability to lead effectively?

The foundation of everything I do with the Holy Spirit is my personal relationship with God found only in and through Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross for me. When the relationship is current and strong I am an effective and grace-filled leader. So, my relationship with Jesus is my focus and not the ministry.

9. What is your greatest tool in leadership? What are your strengths a leader?

Listening to what is really being said is my greatest tool in leadership. Along with listening I have learned how to accept people for who they are and where they are at and never to judge, criticize, or reject a person simply because they believe differently than I do or live a lifestyle that I think is not right or appropriate.

10. What is the difference between popularity and being a true leader?

You can be powerful as a leader walking in the anointing of the call on your life or you can be popular. Powerful or popular – you cant be both at the same time.

11. What is the role of silence in your leadership model? How do you use silence to lead effectively?

Silence comes from having a deep assurance of Gods love and a confidence that He has called me to do what I am doing. And, silence allows me to really listen with the heart and thus lead more effectively.

12. How would you say your personality has affected your leadership ability in positive and negative aspects?

I am an extreme introvert and it has had some negative effects in my ministry over the years. It can come across as distant and uncaring. So, I have had to work to “get over myself” and be much more extroverted than I am comfortable with at times so I can relate properly with others and so that they will know that I am engaged in the conversation and relationship and that I really do care about them.

Choices

The guy in front of me ordered a decaf grande sugar-free vanilla nonfat latte with extra foam and the milk heated to 140 degrees. Wow! And all I wanted was a coffee. You know, regular coffee in a cup. But then, all of a sudden, I felt totally out of my element. I looked around for a MacDonald’s … but, never mind, they too now have lattes and a wide variety of other coffee choices. It’s a whole new world out there and I realized the day of just a cup of coffee are long gone – just like I watched the passing of the $0.10 a cup – a bottomless cup with continual free refills – go the way of the dinosaurs.

So, I quickly looked at the menu to see all that they offer – (in a coffee shop – a menu) and was instantly gripped with fear as there were so many coffees to chose from – dark roast, light roast, Pike’s Peak, Breakfast blend… And, then there were the sizes to chose from. So, what ever happened to small, medium and large? Then, I could have a shot of this or that added to the coffee… I feel tired just rethinking about it. And, I was tired to start with as I was only half way home and waiting in Toronto for my flight in 5 hours.  Read more

Sermon Day

Every once in a while I get a decently uncluttered day to simply focus on upcoming teachings. Sometimes it is the teaching for the next Sunday, sometimes it is preparation for a future ministry opportunity, and other times it is simply a clear day to read, seek the Lord and ‘fish’ for ideas from the Spirit for upcoming sermons or a summer series… Today is such a day. A real luxury but a needed respite from the pace of the last two weeks in Ohio. And, Sunday is coming.

Often these days disappear with the regular daily activities of ministry or the pressure of deadlines and the demands of people. I am not good at protecting them. However, as my major task is to teach God’s Word it is important to have time away from the regular grind to simply focus on the Word and the voice of the Spirit. I have made a commitment to myself that I will spend more uninterrupted quality time in God’s Word so that His Spirit can bring fresh revelation and that the insights would be fresh and crisp and presented as if spoken directly from the heart of the Father who loves us so much.  Read more

God Is Touching Young Lives

The picture is of the youth in attendance last Sunday night in The River of Life Church in Butler, Ohio. God seriously touched lives and transformed the young people. The topic for the evening was the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues. I taught briefly and they all took notes – then prayed for a release of the power for those already Baptized in the Holy Spirit. They were then instructed on how to get someone Baptized in the Spirit and they then prayed for all those who had yet to receive the encounter. Then, those who had yet to speak in tongues were ministered to by those who do speak in tongues and many had their private prayer language released. Read more

Priorities and Schedules

Well, we are now half way through the first month of 2013. Let me ask you, what has changed? If you are a regular somewhat normal human being – nothing has changed. All of the decisions, resolutions, hopes, and plans made just before or just after the busy Christmas-New Year’s season have come to nothing … and are already forgotten and part of ancient history.

If this is the case in your life then you are back to wishing there were 8 days in every week and hope that if and when God creates that day it would fall between Saturday and Sunday. Like a second Saturday. Read more

An Oak or a Squash

A hurry-up father once approached future U.S. President James A. Garfield while he was still the president of a local college: “Is there any way you can get my son through this institution faster than four years?” he implored. “Time is running short, and the business world is waiting!”

“It all depends on what you want,” Garfield wisely replied. “Squash will take only three months, but if you want an oak, that requires four years.” Read more

Bold Prayers

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God is not offended by your bold prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers are not impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Why? Because they don’t require divine intervention. But ask God to part the Red Sea or make the sun stand still or float an iron axhead, and God is moved to omnipotent action.” Page 13 of The Circle Maker

When I read this just the other day I found myself both agreeing with the author but also convicted by the Holy Spirit. I realized that my prayers have become somewhat routine and are not stretching my faith as they should. This also means I am not listening enough because, if I was and thus praying in His will and according to what He is speaking to be, then I would be praying really bold and radical prayers in agreement with what is on my heavenly Father’s heart for that day. I repented. I am now praying bigger and bolder prayers and doing so with a much greater level of expectation and anticipation.  Read more

My Heart is Your Home

Well, since Friday morning I have been in Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Columbus, and Butler and Waynesburg (the latter three in Ohio) and am now on my back to Butler where I will stay for the rest of the week – in fact, until next Monday when I head back home. While here in Butler this week I will have meetings with various people in a number of villages, towns, and cities that surround this town. I will be constantly moving about each day ministering in a vast variety of locations.

At one time it bothered me that I didn’t seem to have a place to call home. Well, really I had and have a place to call home – it is just that I am not there as often as I would like to be. I didn’t like to travel and preferred to stay home and thus never envisioned that I would be constantly moving about when reaching the age I am now.

Read more