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Thread: Slander among the body

  1. #1
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    Slander among the body

    (I have also posted this for the members of Bible Fellowship)


    Recently, I made a few comments in our chat room, that for some bizarre reason, were either innocently misunderstood, or intentionally taken out of context - and that are now being used to slander myself personally, and/or slander the room itself.

    The context of the conversation, was the frustration that so many experience when trying to discuss particular verses or passages, and someone (in chat) inevitably brings up the name of John Calvin, and/or Calvinism - shifting the entire focus of the topic, from the final authority of Scripture, to the false allegation of being a follower of a man.

    I dont have a problem talking about Calvin, I think he was raised up by God for a pivotal role in church history, and was led by God to do exactly what he did. I respect what he did, and often wish we had men like him in our midst today.

    What I DO have a problem with, is the subversive attempts, by those who despise the doctrines of grace, to bait and switch, and cause the entire focus to be lost. Suddenly the Scriptures are no longer the focus at all, the whole room chimes in on their opinion of Calvin, and what he taught, and the Bible is left in the dust.

    THIS, is what I have an issue with. It got to the point yesterday in our room, that I finally came to the mic and told folks that Calvin wasn't the topic, the BIBLE was, and if folks couldn't stay focused on the BIBLE, but wanted to play the bait and switch game, and consistantly bring up Calvin, that they could easily leave and find another place to chat. I fairly warned those present, if they continued to do it, they would be bounced, with no apologies.

    Apparently, some folks present, didn't like what I had to say, and/or only caught part of it, and/or knew exactly what I meant, and decided to spread some slander & rumor, about myself and the room. In part, some of the accusations have been:
    • the name Calvin has been banned from the room
    • the admins are using thought police tactics
    • folks are afraid, so they remain silent
    • 5Solas Bible Fellowship is a laughingstock
    All of these accusations are untrue (and at best, ludicrous). The people who have made these statements, and the ones who agreed with them, have not made any effort to come to me personally, privately, and ask me what I meant, when I made that statement. They have jumped to conclusions, and based on their own faulty understanding, began to spread rumors. I do not know if it has been intentional, with malice in their hearts, just to cause division, or if it has all been an innocent misunderstanding - either way, none of them have come to me privately to discuss it, so it has been impossible for me to explain, any other way than this way.

    I have been told that our room is different, than what alot of folks on PalTalk are used to, in a "Calvinistic" room. I have been told that this also upsets some folks, and has caused some contenscious attitudes. Honestly, there isn't much I can do about any of that. We have the same set of guidelines in place we've had for the last 3 years, and all the admins do their level best, to do a good job of keeping the peace. It's not an easy task, either.

    When I first began to hear about all this, this morning, it hurt me deeply. The more details that surfaced, the more it hurt me personally - which is generally what lies and rumors do to a person. The fact that none of the accusers had the grace to come to me to discuss it, didn't help. I'm not nearly as thick skinned as some folks think I am, and when my best efforts to provide a relaxed, Christ-centered chat room, where folks can find a welcoming place to discuss the doctrines of grace and other Biblical topics, is mocked, laughed at, and made the butt of jokes, it does hurt, no matter how I try to ignore it.

    I'm sure there is a great lesson in this for me, somewhere. Maybe it's to be ALOT more mindful of the way I speak to people. Maybe it's to remind me that jumping to conclusions is never a smart thing to do. I'm not really sure yet, it's still pretty fresh - but I know He'll reveal it to me, when it's time for me to get a grasp on it.

    For those who have been involved in the slander, I would hope that when you read this, you see my heart, and understand what you've done. Not just to me, but to the many who enjoy chatting in our room. Not just to them, but to the body of believers who use PalTalk, and now have this little bug planted in their ear that our room is guilty of these accusations you've put out. You have intentionally, or unintentionally, created a division, without cause.

    For those of you who have heard the accusations, and have seen that they are without merit, and have been supportive, my heart rejoices to have you as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Yes, it's JUST a chat room, but the funny thing about chat rooms is, they have real people who use them, and are either edified, or torn down, in them. Despite this latest attempt to bring division, our goal in 5Solas Bible Fellowship remains as it always has been, from the first day we opened it:

    We believe the web to be a powerful tool, to be used for the glory of the Lord. Billions of people around the world, wake up each day, go about their business, and go to bed at night, either lost, confused, hurt, scared, or lonely.
    Others who DO know the Lord, have been disillusioned with the behaviors, treatment, and teachings within the church, and don't feel at home there anymore.
    We believe the church to be the body of believers, and we believe the church plays a VITAL role, in the growth and development of every believer. We do not seek to replace face to face fellowship, but we do desire to suppliment, for those who wish to fellowship in a more relaxed atmosphere, where the Holy Bible, is the final authority for any question we might have about our lives.
    Further, we will make every effort TO help anyone, seeking a local church, where the Bible is preached, and sound Biblical doctrine is taught.
    We hope you are richly blessed by what you find here.
    to God be the glory...

    Carla Rolfe (aka Christ_Alone)
    "SOLA SCRIPTURA… GRATIA… FIDE… CHRISTUS… DEO GLORIA" Scripture alone, being our final authority, teaches us that salvation is by grace His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

  2. #2
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    Re: Slander among the body

    Carla,

    I feel for you. I am sure that you will know what I am about to say but I find that sometimes I need to be reminded of things I already know - especially when I am hurting. I fear that my feeble efforts may not amount to much but I hope that in some small way at least you may be helped.

    The message of the cross is an "offence" - in coming to see the implications of the doctrines of grace people will take offence. The sinfull heart of man then seeks vengeance for this offence - those who live in darkness hate the light. Remember also that there is an enemy who sows tares amongst the wheat and that Jesus told us to expect persecution but an insult against a Child of God is an attack on Almighty God Himself. God will repay them whoever they are - your calling is to pray for them not knowing the outcome. (Mat 5:44)

    God is sovereign over all and has ordained these events for His purposes and for His glory. It is hard to see this when we hurt but it is still true!

    What if God chooses to use this to enable someone to be changed in some small way from glory into glory, from weakness to strength by the grace of God? What if God chooses to use the prayers of His saints for the enemies on account of the gospel to heap burning coals on their heads FOR HIS GLORY? On the other hand, what if God chooses to use this to bring later conviction of sin and to call a lost sheep home? Will there not then be great rejoicing in heaven?

    What if God should call you to "endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory"? (2 Tim 2:10) and perhaps "After you have suffered for a little while the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you"? (1 Pe.5:10)

    What if God is using this to show you that you are "blessed when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me" and is calling you to "Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Mat 5:11-12). Can you rejoice in your sufferings for the sake of the Elect? (Col 1:24) Can you "in EVERYTHING give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"? (1 Th 5:18)

    Perhaps 1 Peter 4 best sums this up:
    "12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
    13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
    14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
    ...
    16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
    ...
    19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
    Warm regards in Christ Jesus,
    Martin

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    Re: Slander among the body

    (I posted this at Bible Fellowship as well)

    Carla,

    I agree with you 100%. The room always has and always will have its focus on Him and His Word, not on man. And as you said, if some chatters have difficulty with that, there are a plethera of other rooms they can join.

    I'm sorry that you were hurt by all this. I think sometimes people on chat forget that there is a person behind a name on the list and their words and actions can hurt. For some, it is easier to complain, gossip and argue then it is to reach out and care.

    I am filled with gratitude about our room and our mission. I am also so grateful for you - my sister in Christ, my sister in my heart, my friend. And those spreading lies and gossip about you and our room are missing out on an enormous blessing!


    To those spreading the gossip and harsh words,

    Take a moment an pray before your type the next time you are in chat. How have you seen Christ act? Did He spread lies and slander those focusing on His Word and His Father? Think about how your actions affect those around you. Remember that there is a person behind that name and voice. Remember that non believers that are being drawn to Him see your actions. Allow the Lord to use you to bring other to Him. Let them see Christ in your actions, not slander, lies, and harshness with fellow believer.


    I am tired of hearing about men and their words about Scripture. They are fallible. There is One infinitely Perfect and He gave us His Word. Let It convice the hearts of man. Let Him be our focus. And when God and His Word is our focus, everything else falls into place.

    The night Carla mentioned about banning the topic of Calvin and focusing on Scripture is proof of that. When the Word began to be read and discussed, the room deminished. We then took turns reading a Psalm and praising our Lord. What a tremendous blessing that was to all who were there. It was filled with the love of God, His Word and praises to Him. This is what the room is about!!

    Our room has gone through many changes in location, in name and admins over the years and God has seen it through each transition and challenge. He ordained our mission and will remain our focus.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Georgie

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    Re: Slander among the body

    Carla, Put on your breastplate of righteousness! As the others have posted, you are seeing nothing other than the hatred of God and His Christ. We seem to get it stuck in our pea brains that if we are 'nice' people in turn will be nice to us. Not so! When we speak of God, Christ, the Word, the hackles of hatred deep within man will come forth and cut and chop at whomever is available. Time to remember that you are being treated no differently than our Lord and His followers. Sing praises Woman!! He is YOURS and YOU are His!! Hallejulah....What a Saviour. It is not necessarily 'slander' but rather Hatred of Him whom is Truth.
    May His Grace strengthen you.
    Pilgrim

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    Re: Slander among the body

    i used to work at as a customer service rep and was told not to take the attacks by the callers personally since they were really just venting (angry at something else) and you just happen to be the recipient on the other end of the phone. perhaps if there's any consolation that this is what is happening here. they are really just angry at God and do not want a sovereign God who alone sits on the throne and so if they can dismiss it whether by straw men arguments, ad hominem attacks, and red herrings then they will. you just happen to be the one that called "foul!" and so you become the but of the jokes and the brunt of the abuse. that's probably just one of the perks that comes with being an admin or moderator that doesn't mean that you don't call "foul!" because it may hurt but i think it is just a good reminder that people can say all they want but it will not touch you because God knows your true heart. there is really nothing more comforting than just being obedient to God and saying what He lays upon your heart and leaving the results in His hands knowing that all that really matters is that He knows your heart. and if your heart is right before God in all you do, no man can touch that security and comfort. if anything, all of this is a great reminder that we need to be God-pleasers and that He is the center. everything else is just noise. keep up the good work for God carla. He knows your heart and is your rock and hope. may God be with you and comfort you in this difficult time. my prayers go out on your behalf.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

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    Re: Slander among the body

    Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Re: Slander among the body

    I must have missed out on an interesting night. Although it happens time and time again in so called "calvinist" chat rooms. In fact it seems to happen in most rooms when someone is bringing up the doctrine of Grace or Election or God's sovereignty. The discussion is centered around scripture and suddenly someone says something derogatory about John Calvin or Calvinism in general and the focus suddenly leaves the Bible text and moves to personal opinions and on it goes. I have decided that for myself I will no longer refer to myself as a “Calvinist” but a Christian … Isn’t that really what the focus should be in our chat rooms? AMEN and AMEN to that Carla. To start in with the “ists” or the “isms” seems to cloud the issue rather than to clear it up. I am sorry about the personal attacks and this should never be!!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your room and may God continue to bless it.

    Often times words and comments even if meant in jest are hurtful and we should all be on our guard against doing such to each other. I am as guilty as the next guy and this has indeed brought that to my attention ... I would hate to see division and cliques develop and I pray that all concerned parties will be able to come to a clear understanding of what occurred and why.

    May God's Grace abide in us as we proclaim the Gospel ... Jan

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    Re: Slander among the body

    I just wanted to thank everyone who has read this, and either posted their support publicly, or privately. Many have advised me in ways I hadn't thought of myself, and I truly appreciate that, and all the kind words.

    At the same time, I do feel I need to make an apology of sorts. Further details have shown that it was really only 1 person who was behind all this.

    The word that comes to mind this morning, is PERSPECTIVE. While what was done was wrong, and sinful, I must put it in perspective. Sometimes my friends and I joke about folks who tell of accounts of being cut off in traffic, or getting short-changed at the store, and then crying about how they were persecuted. While it may be fairly easy to have our feelings hurt, or be offended, perspective ought to be the rule of thumb - and this advice is directed at myself, before anyone else.

    In perspective, what happened on PT was nothing.

    No one was slaughtered for having the boldness to profess Christ...
    No one's home or children were taken away, as a result of religious discrimination...
    No one was beaten or tortured because they denounced heresy...
    None of the chatters involved are waking up this morning in a surreal nightmare, knowing thier child was kidnapped, murdered, and dumped in a field, like the parents of Carlie Brucia. For those of you who dont know who she is, please read this story here.

    When I read the news this morning, and saw that they found this little girl dead, my heart sunk, and my mind went into "perspective mode". Being a mother of 7, 6 of them girls, this is ONE of my own worst fears, for my children, living in the sinful world we live in. Knowing these fears have gone beyond fear, and become reality for so many other mothers, breaks my heart.

    God has a wonderful way of reminding us, that just when you think YOUR petty little problem is the center of the universe (even if you really didn't think of it that way), that other folks have problems that are their REALITY, beyond your own worst nightmares.

    My heart goes out this morning to the parents, family, and loved ones, of Carlie Brucia. It goes out to the parents, family, and loved ones of the little 7 week old girl named Rebecca, who was born with the conjoined head (and head only) of her siamese twin sister. The head will be surgically removed, and her parents will be saying goodbye to their other baby, who never had a chance of survival.

    There are so many other things going on in the world, and in the church, right this very minute, that put this petty little attack against me, and our chat room, in some serious perspective.

    So thank you for your advice, all of you, and especially the ones who reminded me that God is STILL in control, and that my favorite verse (in my sig file) is still in effect. Sometimes we just need to be reminded, of those things we already knew (thank you Martin).

    In the future (I'm still learning, bear with me), I'll try a little harder to remind myself of this very post.
    "SOLA SCRIPTURA… GRATIA… FIDE… CHRISTUS… DEO GLORIA" Scripture alone, being our final authority, teaches us that salvation is by grace His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

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