Misunderstandings & Miscommunications

We’ve all had them, especially if you are on social media like Facebook. Some more than others. We don’t always know why, but if you’re like me, you may question if you are the common denominator. Hopefully not…

Tragedies and life

From the time I was younger, I was a talker. I believe a lot of it had to do with the tragic death of my little brother (we were close), and the subsequent grief of my parents. I had good parents. My mom taught us to be self-sufficient, to read, to work, to love the underdog, to care for others. She took us to the library often, to the park, to feed the ducks stale multi-day old bread. We bought bread from the day-old bakery. We shopped at SAS fabric store, the goodwill, and other such places to make the budget stretch. They brought us to every church event, we went on Sunday morning and evening, Wednesday nights, Vacation Bible school, and every extra picnic that was available. We went to family camp and sometimes regular camp if we could do some odd jobs to earn money. So all in all I had a great upbringing as a child, I was just lonely because of the loss of my brother, which in turn had me having a lot of conversations out in the backyard with Jesus (and my dog Hoby). No misunderstandings or miscommunications with Him.

My father was an entrepreneur and an inventor, my mother an artist who worked hard to bring in extra funds. Some of his inventions were great sources of humiliation to me. One was a ‘gas saver’. I can’t explain how it worked exactly, but I remember he had this metal square tank, welded onto the back of the car, and it supposedly recycled gasoline fumes. I recall one day on the way to my Christian High School, the car stalled. He had to prime the carburetor with some sort of spray, and the engine caught fire. He whipped off his blue leisure suit jacket and began to frantically beat the greasy engine to snuff out the flames. Of course, some of my classmates saw him in action, and that was one of the stories (of many), that framed how others viewed me. In the process, how I viewed them began to also change. Unfortunately, that transferred to my increasing distrust of Christians as a group (later the church ladies). I can’t say I experienced miscommunications, more like just a miss.

I remember spending the night at a friend’s house in high school, and one of the teachers at that Christian school was talking to her mother about another matter over the phone. Once she found out I was there, she told the mother I was a ‘corrupting influence’. How devastating that was to me, as my friend told me she was no longer allowed to be around me. And I never did know why that teacher had done that. I was not ‘invited back’ twice (without a parent and principal’s conference). My stance at the school against a couple of the teacher’s daughters probably didn’t help. Both argued you could lose your salvation, and I was equally (if not more adamant) against what they were saying. And I probably spoke in the flesh as I responded, but my understanding of grace was right back then — you can’t lose what’s eternal, and He won’t lose us (John 10:28-29).

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24

Suffering

I won’t say all that I suffered was me just in sheer innocence. I was a prankster, a jokester, and had fun with my friends — and even alone I thought up mischief. I remember being excused at church to use the restroom. Walking there, an exterior closet caught my attention, the urge to knock on it and run happened when I heard the murmur of voices behind it. I won’t go into the story, but I repeated it, because the run down the stairs and hiding in the restroom standing on the toilet seat was just plain fun for a second or third grader. A couple of weeks later one of the church leaders called me in to read me the riot act. I got in plenty of trouble that I did deserve.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 1 Pet 4:15-16

Growing up and getting divorced from a man (who liked to date while married), was another mark on how I was seen in the sight of other Christians. No one in my family had divorced, and of course, it had to be me. As a single mom, I decided I would never marry again. I turned down many offers of dates, but there was just one that was very persistent. He was the goalie on the opposite soccer team in the adult league I played in. I was to marry him in 3 months, have seven more children (that the doctors said I could not have), and then face him being diagnosed with a devastating prognosis, at the time of our last one’s birth. By then, my sound Bible teaching had been messed up by many Pharisees. I had been attending another Bible church, but they vacillated with Purpose Drivel (Rick Warren), to Thomas Kempis, Brennan Manning, to Calvinist teachings — all over the board. Asking the pastor about it got me sent to the assistant pastor, and when he didn’t like what I had to say about what Warren had said in his book, he gave me the purpose driven boot (“if you don’t like it, you can always leave”). This saddened me greatly, and rejection was to be a common occurrence when exposing false teachings. I have been asked not to come back to Bible studies too, and lost those I fellowshipped with, all because of this. I told the Lord I could not do this, I was not cut out for it, but somehow, I just could not stay silent. Because of this there were be many misunderstandings, many miscommunications, and some outright became my Facebook Enemy.

 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Gal 4:16

Supposed Church hopping

I tried other churches, because I wanted my kids to grow up abiding in Him, and wanted my husband to have comfort and fellowship. Sadly, we were never successful at finding that home. Some accused us of ‘church-hopping’. Even so, we began to grow again at home with no church by being in His Word and prayer. (I am not recommending to not attend church, just that no church is better than a lordship church).

I also began fellowshipping online (before the days of FB), with a Christian group that I found on a Health and wellness site. All was good for a little while, until one of the leaders of the group took issue with me. I never ‘quite’ knew why, I just knew once again I wasn’t fitting in and her group of followers were completely ignoring direct comments. I asked her (on the sidelines) a few times why she would not speak or answer me in the group, she would not respond. The last times she simply said ‘let it go’. Another instance where I never was able to clear up what had happened. I believe it had to do with her recommendation of Spurgeon, whether it was a misunderstanding or we miscommunicated, I’ll never know because she did not allow a conversation when I asked.

This should not be the way we deal with things, dear friends. It may be hard to have these conversations, but we need to for the sake of unity in His body. Good came out of this now, some from those days are still friends <3

I could tell you much more, but this is an attempt to be a brief overview of my life up until the time I joined FB. That same friend (who was no longer to hang around with me), invited me to join (and other alumni of the school). She is no longer a friend sadly, as she decided to unfriend me over her decision to become a pastor. I voiced what I felt the Bible teaches on this in a group. I voiced it ahead of knowing she was becoming ordained, and one in the group used it as a way to place a wedge before we could even speak together. I still would have had to share the truth, not in unkindness, but in truth. It’s God’s Word, His truth, not mine — and many guarded it for us, contending earnestly for the faith once delivered, and not allowing in leaven. How can we do any less?

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3

Close Encounters

I have had hundreds of those types of encounters. Some misunderstandings that have been able to get cleared up, praise God. Others, let me know that they could tell I ‘had a spirit of arrogance’, or ‘they could see me’ (still not sure what that means). Another announced to a group that 1 John 2:19 applied to me (antichrist), when I had to leave due to their teachings. A KJVO pastor told me to ‘blow it out your nose Jezebel’ (for daring to tell a friend that Gail Riplinger was not one to get information from). That friend blocked me (instead of the railer). One recently blocked me, and told another person it was because I was ‘divisive’ (something he’d not shared with me). Another blocked me for a post I shared by Pastor Charlie Bing (regarding voter fraud in so many of the countries he’d been in). It was quite well written and touching, so a surprise to see her come so unglued over it. Never even got to talk to her, as I was not there. She argued with others on my page, questioned their Christianity and then blocked me. One man (who I still see his name mentioned, reminded me), blocked me for letting him know the post he was sharing was universalist, and the man was using the term ‘Namaste’. He falsely accused me to someone else later of ‘using every name in the book’ on him, (when she asked why he had blocked me). Cursing just isn’t something that I learned or use. I don’t judge those who may struggle with their background but it just wasn’t me, and certainly wasn’t true. But that didn’t stop this man from lying.

Quite often, people take me to task in private email. Not about something that has gone on between me or them, but the stories they have heard from another in gossip. They take it upon themselves to correct me for a story (that may not ever have happened). A sweet pastor (whom I still love) was angry with me for tagging him (so he could answer himself in person in a group). Others brought into the light him sharing a venue with a group who were teaching a false gospel. I agreed with them, but felt he should answer himself. Instead, he unfriended me, and chastened me. I knew he didn’t understand it wasn’t me personally calling him out, and although I tried to clear it up, it didn’t quite happen yet to this day. He is still a brother in Christ, still makes me sad. I hope it will get cleared up, but if not, One day…

Facebook

Facebook (as many of you know by now), is a breeding ground for a multitude of misunderstandings. Some quickly become enemies. Others may be because people may make a decision based on the gossip or one-sided story of another — this is probably not a good decision to be hasty in judging another.

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. Pr 18:13

This could probably also refer to mistakes any of us have made by answering before actually understanding what someone has posted or what they are saying. It’s why it’s probably a good thing to ask first, or read thoroughly probably before answering. I’m sure I will make that mistake again, although I hope not to.

Some have experienced this odd situation I am about to share. I remember coming upon a conversation on someone’s page, and it was about me. Although I was not named, I saw a few of my friends jump to this ‘poor woman’s’ defense. (She was quite capable of raking someone over the coals, and yet appear quite sweet later 😊). I can say this now, not in unkindness, actually in some humor in remembering. I watched as she related a story quite unlike what had happened. She opined on how she had been mistreated (according to her), and it had been ‘horrible’ and so forth. I knew that the Lord knew the truth of the matter, but back then, it stuck in my craw. Once it came out that it was me, who she had unfriended, I had people contact me to give me advice about ‘making things right’. What these people were quite unaware of, is that this woman was pretending to believe in a grace-based gospel, all the while she was private messaging young ones in Christ with a false gospel, and making them fear they were unsaved. There was more to the story, but it came out, as those things often do. The fear drove them to seek help (praise God). Unfortunately, one young man was so shook up, he left the group, left FB, said he turned from Christianity, it was ‘too hard’. I pray that he has since figured out the truth. He was one of the ones that was instrumental in outing this person’s false doctrine and her way of spreading it.

There has been those who are lawkeepers, others who work to keep their salvation, yet others that work to get it or prove it. There are the Calvinists, the Arminians, The Catholics, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons. I’ve had discussions with kind and not so kind in each one of these and more. But the common denominator, is they depend on works, even if they deny it and say they believe in grace. God help them see.

Divisions in the body

Others have had a close friend (or family member), divide from them over doctrine — usually your grace-based one. This is so hard. We can only do our best to answer them with sound speech that hopefully cannot be condemned, and keep them in prayer. I know it grieves our hearts. 

Some of you have some of your own stories like this and maybe more, I have many more I could share, but I don’t have stories like Jesus does. My stories are not new to others in the world, and others suffer far worse than I could imagine. And I know that the ones I suffered from, (that I didn’t contribute to), I can rejoice about. Here is the thing I try to remind myself of, when I am upset or hurt. What can we do to make it better out there? What can we personally do a little better with His help? After all, we each will face Him. We can convince others, or even ourselves that we are in the right, and we are the wronged party — but in the end, could we have done anything different?

Also on the other hand, I had a very hard time not beating myself up each time. Don’t do the same. Ask the Lord to show you in His Word (and be willing to hear) if there is anything you need to change. Ask Him to rebuke the enemy on your behalf if it is the enemy. And leave it to Him and trust Him, He will do it.

I don’t want to ever contribute to a misunderstanding that causes separation in His body. I hope you are not one who has been offended by me unknowingly. I ask questions, I stand firm on doctrine, and maybe how I appear is not how I want someone to see me. I just want iron to sharpen iron, but I don’t ever want to hurt anyone or purposely offend unless it is in Christ. I do want to cut off the opportunity of those false teachers though (2 Cor 11:12-15).

It’s not about me (or any of us) being right. Hopefully it’s about us doing right in His sight, making the right decisions moment by moment. If we suffer, prayerfully it is because we’re His — not because our feet are swift to mischief (as I recall in my past).

The Clear Gospel

In these last days it’s so important to keep His gospel clear from all encumbrances, it is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18). Speaking carefully with His Word so we don’t confuse anyone accidentally by men’s phrases. Granting grace when someone is struggling, we don’t walk in their shoes. May we ask vs. assuming something they may or may not be thinking. Some things to pray about.

May we not be a party to gossip regarding private matters, or things not in the public eye.

May we be brave in saying no to the person who brings it.

May we strive to be meek, to be peacemakers (not UN peacekeepers).

May we be merciful with those who have wronged us, quick to forgive.

May we be a friend to the friendless, and if we need encouragement, may we instead step out to encourage another. Asking Him to be our strength in our weakness.

May we always hold the truth of His Word in the highest esteem. It is truth that keeps us bound in unity, truth spoken in love. Love can never rejoice in wrong doing (or false doctrine).

May we be slow to anger, a better listener, and slower to take offense.

May we try to be about our Father’s business, doing what we do as unto Him.

May we be gentle — our end goal should be to recover others from error, and in so doing we should also be patient, apt to teach, and careful in the way we present things.

And friends, if you think I’m not being gentle with someone, then maybe ask me about it vs. assuming something terrible about me. Sometimes I have dealt with this person for years, and know things you are unaware of. And they might need a rebuke (the last thing I naturally want to do). Sometimes I may need to mark and avoid a false teacher who has made himself known. And that means making their name public. At least grant me (or others) the grace of asking, and not just withdrawing calling me divisive. I am human, I can make plenty of mistakes. I want to be refined, but sometimes I’m simply being obedient to His Word in my decisions.

May we all put ourselves (as best we can), in the shoes of others, and remember that Christ loved them and gave His life for them. I am preaching to myself, so if this doesn’t speak to you, God bless you. I know I need the constant reminders.

His Grace

And finally, it is His grace that teaches us how to live, how to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It is not legalism that will bring us into righteous living in this world, so point others to Christ (the Vine) and His Word. Don’t beat them up. His Word is how we are washed, cleansed, sanctified, presented without spot or blemish (Eph 5:26-27; Jn 17:17). Choose the good part (Lk 10:38-42).

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt 5:16

 

4 Responses to “Misunderstandings & Miscommunications

  • Madeline Lybarger
    6 months ago

    Its called the “gift of decernment”.Not easy to
    be a Watchman on the Wall.It comes with
    persecution but God knows your heart and
    thats what counts in the end.

    • Living as a believer comes with persecution, even if we don’t recognize it. But, I completely agree, it’s only what God thinks that matters in the end. Thanks for commenting Madeline.

  • Violet Thompson
    5 months ago

    Loved reading this as I had some similarities bible study teacher eventually became a pastor an I told her the truth from Gods word she didn’t call me back I’ve exposed false teachers and false teaching but most of the body of Christ don’t want to know I give them scripture an verse an they are not interested for instance o tell them that a third of baptist preachers are in the Masonic lodge Billy Graham was a 33 degree Mason and they can’t see anything wrong with that an loads of other errors an I keep telling myself I’m not going to say anymore but I always bring up satanic activity in the body of Christ an false teachings I am 75 yrs old and never thought I would see all the stuff that is coming to pass please pray for me as my family are not born again and don’t talk to me in any way shape or form but I have to realize we are living in the last days God richly bless you in Kesus name.

    • Violet, thank you for commenting. I’m sorry your Bible study teacher didn’t call you back.

      Scripture is the best way to test the spirits and prove all things. That is a noble thing to search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. People don’t want to hear anything about their beloved icons, but we really have to look at their gospel. Billy Graham had a false gospel, and we must say something publicly. Paul confronted Peter publicly, so do they think we should do anything less. Maybe you could send them a gospel booklet in the mail Violet. Tell them you love them even if they’re upset with you. May the Lord bless you too, and comfort you from His Word (Romans 15:4).

      Here is the gospel booklet, you can print it out too.

      https://faithconnector.s3.amazonaws.com/northlandchurch/downloads/how_to_be_sure_you_are_going_to_heaven_with_cover.pdf

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