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Discipleship Bullying

By Aspieguy ~

We hear much about bullying these days and the damage it does to people, especially children. Those of us with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism, often report intense bullying during childhood. Because children with Aspergers often desire friends, the bullying is especially devastating.

Does bullying also occur in adults? Sadly, yes. Does it occur within churches? Again, yes. I certain Christian of my close acquaintance recently posted an article entitled "Discipleship Bullying". In this article I realized just how this man had bullied me, as well as certain others within my former church. I ended my discipling relationship with this person some years ago. I had a sense that I had been bullied, but I didn't know exactly how. The article states eight signs that a person may be a discipleship bully.
  1. You are easily annoyed by the one you are discipling.
  2. You are unable or unwilling to learn from the person you are discipling.
  3. You are unwilling to admit when you are wrong.
  4. You do most of the talking and little listening.
  5. You become personally offended when the person fails to follow your counsel.
  6. You often push your personal preferences rather than biblical principles.
  7. You refuse to make helpful provisions for your disciple.
  8. You fear your disciple may become more godly than you.
In all honesty I don't really understand a discipler relationship. What I was pursuing was friendship, and I thought that I had found it. When I finally realized that I was being treated in church the same way I had been treated as a child, my anger was intense. I simply didn't think that the church people could treat others so shabbily.

I am much smarter now and am more careful how I approach other people, especially Christians. They often aren't what they appear to be. I am not saying they are bad people. They are people who think that they are completely broken creatures that need an invisible god to make them human again.

No person has the right to bully another person. Has anyone here had similar experiences in church?


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