Friday, October 28, 2011

Put A Bit In It

"Someone who does not trip up in speech has reached perfection and is able to keep the whole body on a tight rein. Once we put a bit in the horse's mouth, to make it do what we want, we have the whole animal under our control..."

As one might understand, in having a presence as a blogger on the Internet, I am subject to various responses, comments and conversations with people all over the world. Some are civil and know the art of discussion. Others are more venomous and have little restraint in their verbiage, often getting off topic and resorting to impugning my character or analyzing my emotional or spiritual health.

Occasionally, I will have an opportunity to have an off-site dialogue by e-mail with a JTO visitor. It was one such dialogue recently that followed this unproductive and divisive pattern:

1. The blogger writes  a discourse disagreeing with something I have written.
2. I write back a gracious response, showing that the disagreement is not actual, but a result of semantics.
3. The blogger pushes back harder, dumping on more disagreements and adding more to the topic, before resolving the first issue.
4. I attempt to cut through the increasingly confusing blogger communication, by asking civil, but direct questions, so as to understand the blogger's true motivation.
5. The blogger reacts strongly at having been questioned and a personal attack ensues.

This "Orthodox" blogger said I need to undergo an exorcism. This, because the blogger took exception to my use of the phrase, "prophets speak when they are inspired by God..."  This blogger did not like the word, inspired, and thought it was too charismatic, protestant, or some other such negative, and the blogger's conclusion is that I have demons. It is a fearful thing to cast such judgement on a brother, and arrogant to usurp the authority of one's own priest in his spiritual life.

"...but nobody can tame the tongue-it is a pest that will not keep still, full of deadly poison. We use it to bless the Lord and Father, but we also use it to curse people who are made in God's image: the blessing and the curse come out of the same mouth. My brothers, this must be wrong..."

"Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? It is not precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you lack it; so you kill. You have ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force." 

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." 

Real wisdom, and that which comes from God, is knowing when to bridle your tongue.