September 28, 2018 at 6:24 am #49820
hey guys, so I have a situation on my hands and I want to know what you guys all think? The question is: Is it wrong to get angry at someone who bullies someone else? Heres the particular context (however I’m more interested in a general answer) : Theirs a kid at my school here in NZ, a year ten (aka freshman) guy who, for the sake of confidentiality, we will call Taylor. Now Taylor is a Seventh-day Adventist and a total introvert. Really soft-spoken, timid (except when he starts talking about his faith. I’ve tried to talk to him about what he believes and stuff and he has a lot to say! I then attempted to prove my position, which, looking back, probably wasn’t the best and most loving approch, by giving him the “substance belongs to Christ” and what not verses. Anyway, the point is he really cares about what he believes how misguided (in my opinion) it may be.). So he gets general bulling form the whole school (a ‘Christian’ school I might add), people say his belife that we still have to keep the sabbath and all that to be downright stupid. So he gets laughed at and stuff for being passionate about what he believes which just makes me mad in itself! However, in particular, there’s this one groop of kids who’s leader I will name Hunter (for obvious reasons) who really mess with him. I don’t know the whole story as I’m in year 12 (aka I’m a Junior) and I don’t see Taylor all that much but I’ve wittnessed two things that really ticked me off.
1. Hunter and his group of friends were laughing as they tossed Taylors lunch box between them while Taylor chased it. Taylor was visibly distressed and obviously not having fun. I then confronted Hunter a few minutes later as he was sitting with his friends and Taylor (holding Taylors lunch box and appearing to be stealing food I might add!) and asked Taylor if he was ok. Taylor forced a smile and said he was fine but I lingered a few more moments before leaving. I then grabbed one of my buff friends and came back to find the same situation as before and asked the same thing. Taylor smiled again and said he was good. I stood there for a bit cuz he ovously wasnt fine but if someone doesn’t want help what do you do? So I ended up just walking away.
2. the second thing that happened was during morning tea (a sort of ‘snack time’ in NZ) I was leaving my class and noticed Hunter and one of his friends going with Taylor into the guy’s bathroom. Well that set off some alarm bells and went to go check it out. I went in to find Taylor moving toward one of the toilets while Hunter stood by the stall door. I asked what was up (in a simi-intimidating way) To which hunter replied “oh were just doing some obedience training” HE LITERALLY SAID “OBEDIENCE TRAINING!!!” PEOPLE ARE NOT DOGS. I then said thats “a bit sketchy” (Thinking back I like a thousand way cooler phrases go through my head XD) and let Taylor walk out of the stall. Hunter then said “We’ll just do it somewhere else” and everyone left the bathroom. I then talked to a teacher and told him the story and he basically said thanks for letting him know. I then walked back outside to see Taylor sitting on the grass by himself (presumably partaking in his “obedience training”
So ya, I’m not one of those guys that get mad easily but this just triggers me! If they were bulling me, fine. But a weaker kid that’s also a social outcast? NO! NOT OK! I’m quite tempted to dish out some knuckle sandwiches to be totally honest and I want to know if that ok or not? I mean thoughts of Jesus’s righteous anger come to mind so I’m wondering if this fits in that category? Anyway, thanks for your thoughts!
INTJ- trying to grow into real wisdom; James 3:17September 29, 2018 at 10:23 am #49910Skye@skye
Hey @theinconceivable1 !
Wow, this sounds like a situation. I think that probably the best things you can do are (a) keep standing up for Taylor and (b) if things do get bad, tell your teachers/staff/authorities/etc.
I realize that since he’s a couple years younger than you, it might be difficult logistically to make your lives collide. But somehow make them collide – he needs a friend. Even if you disagree about religion, you can still stand up for him, make time for him, and simply be his friend. I know how much of a sacrifice it can be to be friends with a social outcast, as it looks bad on your image and it’s not always fun. But being Taylor’s friend in this time of need is going to be the best witness you could ever be for Christ. Listen to him. That doesn’t require believing everything, but listen to hear his POV and not to debate. It can make a huge impact.
Also, as far as bullying goes, I don’t know the rules exactly, as I wasn’t public schooled, but I think I heard that in some schools at least, teacher’s aren’t allowed to get involved with bullying unless a student reports it to them (that might be completely and totally incorrect, but it rings a bell from somewhere). So if you see something, say something. It sounds cheesy, but it might be required of you if you want to see any real change.
Ultimately, I think it’s fair to say that you have a moral responsibility to stand up for him, which puts a lot of weight on you, I know. But look at verses like Psalm 82:3-4 and James 4:17. Whoever knows what he has to do and doesn’t do it, for him it is sin.
As far as being roused to righteous anger and throwing some punches…. I don’t know. Righteous anger, for sure – it’s right to be upset about injustice like this. Knuckle sandwiches, depends on the context. I don’t have a solid answer on that, except this: don’t throw the first punch, and don’t aggravate Hunter to do so. By all means, stand in between Hunter and Taylor and take the hit – if it should come to that. And if he does hit Taylor, don’t let it happen again – if it should come to that. I don’t know these bullies, but most people don’t like being stood up to. So it could be that you taking action against them will be enough to stop them. Next time they’re initiating Taylor, don’t let them take him. That sort of thing.
This is a really tough situation, and I appreciate that you’re trying to do the right thing in it. To summarize my long (and probably not that helpful) answer
- Be a friend to Taylor, as this is the best witness you can be
- Tell teachers/school authorities what is going on
- When you have done all else, stand
So there’s my answer. I’ll be praying for you and for the whole situation! Keep God at the forefront of it. Everything you do, do it for the glory of God.
https://thingsabove32.wordpress.com/September 29, 2018 at 11:11 am #49925
@theinconceivable1 Hey, so I think some of what skye said can be helpful for your situation, but I want to encourage you to hold back on any knuckle sandwiches. I agree it’s perfectly right to feel angry and frustrated over the human condition, and sin. I understand it must be really painful to have to see this injustice happening right before your eyes, but how did Jesus respond to our injustice? He didn’t punch anyone, he died for them. Try not to feel hateful towards these bullies. I think of the saying “love the sinner, hate the sin.” I would encourage you to show love to both “Taylor” and “Hunter”. Maybe the best thing you can do is pray. Letting the adults know what’s happening is a really good idea too, but in the end God is the only one who can fix our brokenness.
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."September 30, 2018 at 12:48 am #50023
@skye: Alright, well thanks for your prayers. Taylor needs all the help he can get so pray for him more then me. As far as telling the teachers go I’ve already told my Physics teacher and I’m contemplating emailing the principal. I do go to a ‘Christian’ school so the teachers should act (hopefully). Either way I’ll do what i can, maybe I could hang out with him at lunch or something… Like I said, hes a bit of a hard guy to get to know. So ya, thanks for the support and prayers!
@the-fledgling-artist: I agrre with you on the “hate the sin love the sinner bit” (though it is admittedly hard to separate the two) but I’m not so sure about the no fighting part. I mean, Jesus kinda did punch someone, remember the whole selling stuff in the temple thing where Jesus makes a whip and drives the merchants out? I mean he literally wiped people so it seems like punching could easily be justified…
INTJ- trying to grow into real wisdom; James 3:17September 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm #50070
@theinconceivable1 Honestly your remake threw me off quite a bit. I looked through all the gospels to see if there was record of Jesus punching or whipping anyone, and the first three said no such thing at all. John however does mention Jesus making “a scourge of small cords” and upon checking other translations I did find that to be translated in other Bibles as a whip. (Mine is KJV, if you’re wondering.) The verse then says (it’s John 2:14-15 btw) that “he drove them all out of the temple…” Now I can see why you might have heard, or assumed that Jesus whipped people, but for a couple of reasons I disagree. (I apologize if I am coming off as a know it all, or as self righteous, or anything else in like manner. I personally see myself as a “baby christian”. However this is what I think, and I want to share it with you for you, since to my understanding it is truth.) First reason, this just simply goes WAY against how the Bible presents Jesus’ character. Why would the (God) man who preaches to “Love your enemies, and bless those who curse you” go around whipping people? Yes those people in the temple were doing horrid things to that Holy place. But isn’t that what all humans do when we rebel against God? And what did Jesus do for us? He died. Because he loved. And he wants us to live with that same love inside of us. Reason number two, although I know whips have been and (sadly probably still are) miss used to hurt other people, I don’t really think that was their main purpose. I think functionally they were used to herd or drive animals, and they would crack the whips to scare the animals, or lead them. When I read that verse I assume that Jesus used the whip more in this manner, then to attack the people he came to earth to die for.
Apologies for the ramble, and any feelings of pride I have expressed. I love you as my brother in Christ, and I want you to live the best life you can for Jesus. Blessings!
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."October 1, 2018 at 9:57 am #50159
*remark, not remake. Whoops. 😥
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."October 1, 2018 at 11:31 pm #50318
ok first of all… That was extremely polite and kind which threw me off XD. So ya, thank you for that, I actually really appreciate it (maybe I need to take notes!). I actually started writting a bunch of “what about this?” posts but you know what I’m actually going to hold off on those. I have a tendency to do what I call “fireing Biblical bullets” where I shoot a bunch of really hard scriptures your way and see if you can dodge them XD I’m becoming more convinced that could be a bad thing so, dont worry, i’m not going to shoot ; ). Thanks for being super nice and, honestly, that probably impacted me the most. As far as this question, I’m kinda talking about it with this other guy named “wordsmith” where he’s arguing for self-defense and I’m arguing against it so I think that’s inevitably going to reach “should we defend others” eventually. heres the link if you want to see where we are so far:
its starts on the third page! You might be right, IDK we’ll see! so how long have you been a Christian?
INTJ- trying to grow into real wisdom; James 3:17October 2, 2018 at 2:27 pm #50407
@theinconceivable1 Wow you guys have a pretty interesting conversation going on over there! One thing that my dad has said, that has really stuck with me is this. “I would rather die and go to heaven, then defend myself and send someone to hell.” Because if someone is trying to murder you, pretty good chance they aren’t a christian.
Ah, good question. 😀
So, I have grown up in a christian environment my entire life. I “prayed the sinners prayer” when I was very young. (probably around 5 or 6?) However while I am confidant I was sincere in my desire to be a christian, I am also confidant that I didn’t completely understand what that meant. I think most people look back on the day they first asked Jesus to save them as the biggest turning point in their faith, but for me I look back to last January, when I rededicated myself to God. That was huge. Everything is so different now.
What about you? I would love to hear about your salvation experience!
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."October 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm #50477
@the-fledgling-artist: good point, your dad sounds wise! I’m a… weird Christian XD. Like you I grew up in a christian family but I’ve taken my faith seriously for quite a while now… ever since I was like ten, and my faimly moved for the first time (we’ve moved ALOT since, Im in my 5th school and my 7th or so house. However I’ve lived for over a week in like 40 houses in a non-vacation way.) Anyway, I’ve alwase consitered myself a mature christian but a weird one in that I doubt everything! Seriously, I’m certain of very few truths within the Christian faith including very important and big ones like Gods goodness. I alwase thought my natural inclination to question everything was a strength but now I’m unsure… however the upside is, if I am certain of something then I know why. Like I mean I have looked at it from every angle and have some pretty solid reasons for why I believe it. I still belive truths I’m uncertain of but I acknowledge havent looked into them so I only kinda belive them. Gods goodness is a strange one because I’m fairly certain its true but only because the bible says so… not cuz I can see how. anyway thanks for asking! How old are you btw?
INTJ- trying to grow into real wisdom; James 3:17October 3, 2018 at 11:05 am #50545storyjoy@storyjoy
Wow, this made me really sad =( And angry… *I’m totally wanting to go punch that guy with you xD*
I don’t really have any advice, but I (personally) don’t think it’s wrong to hit someone in defense of someone else. Like, if they’re taking his lunch or other obviously bad things, in your situation I would totally gather a few friends and, well, let’s just say the bullies would regret it. *cough cough* Maybe that’s not the best approach… but I wouldn’t say it’s wrong. ;P (I’m homeschooled though so maybe I’m underestimating the situation. I guess it could get bad if the bully/bullies decided to fight back.)
I’ll be praying for this situation!!!!
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by storyjoy.
*cartwheels out*October 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm #50773
@theinconceivable I think it’s perfectly normal to doubt. I would say that’s just human nature. 🙂 I think it’s great that you’ve put to much thought into why you believe what you believe!
In all honesty I find it easy to doubt not only God’s love, but also his existence. I know that is Satan though. As soon as I start digging deep into reading the word, and crying out to God in prayer, I feel him again. I read that he loves me and I can feel it.
When Satan puts thoughts of doubt in my mind it’s usually because I’ve strayed, or drifted a little in my relationship with him. It’s only when I reimmerse myself in him that those doubts are removed, and I can again clearly see how foolish they were.
I’m 18. How about you?
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."October 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm #50774
Oh, pardon me. @theinconceivable1 I got your tag wrong.
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."October 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm #50895
@storyjoy: I know right! there are few things that really trigger me but this is one of them! This is the first legit case of bullying I’ve ever really witnessed as I’ve gone to Christian schools practically my whole life so I dont really know how to handle it… Anyway, my anger has died down now so I think thats a good thing… also, I was reading James the other day and found this: ” for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20 So I guess my anger isn’t righteous : ( Ya, anyway, thanks for the moral support! How old are you BTW and how long have you been a Christian?
@the-fledgling-artist: (XD the tag didnt work either time!) Well, for me, my doubts are more analytical. Like I dont doubt Gods goodness to me, Its quite clear hes very good to me! I mean I’m pretty stubborn and God still hasnt let me go : D. No my doubts are more like “how is good to everyone else” XD I’ve also had some difficulty with “contradictions” in the bible… However, I think your spot on when you say doubt comes when you drift from your relationship with God. Thats the hardest part for me, remembering God is a person, not an idea! Which, I know sounds stupid but its true XD. Anyway I’m 17, and its nice to meet someone older then me XD. Everyone on here seems to be 15! (not that thats bad necessarily… I just like being younger : D)
INTJ- trying to grow into real wisdom; James 3:17October 4, 2018 at 8:16 pm #50896storyjoy@storyjoy
@theinconceivable1 Yeah, I would have a really hard time. Good job controlling yourself so far, because I literally would have gone up and punched him right then and there without thinking about anything xDD
Oh yeah… *repeated facedesks* I should have thought of that, I literally JUST memorized the book of James this summer. xDD
Well, I’m not sure I want to say my exact age on here, but I’m in my early teens 😉 I’ve been a Christian for a little over a year. You? 😀
*cartwheels out*October 5, 2018 at 11:54 am #51013
Oh yeah, I can relate. Being the oldest one around stresses me out. I feel like I’m supposed to be the “adult” of the group and that’s just too much pressure for me.
I’m sorry I don’t really have any answers for you. I wish I was wiser. I guess the only thing you can do is keep searching for answers, learning about God, and keeping your focus on him. Focus is a huge thing for me. Kind of like I said before about when I drift, it’s always because I’m not focused on God. It’s in the seasons that I stay focused, and rooted in him that I experience the most spiritual growth and understanding.
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."
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