Author Topic: On Dealing with other People  (Read 2573 times)

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Offline Ebor

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On Dealing with other People
« on: July 10, 2003, 04:30:05 PM »
I have read the Slave's reply in the thread about "Men and the Church". It says in short form what I find I take longer to write. But here it is

Whenever I sit down to post, I remind myself that my words will be read by I don’t know how many people, real people with real feelings.  My broadcast posts could cause a wound that I would know nothing about.  I wait to post, when I’m upset, so that I don’t lash out.  I rewrite and think of how I would feel being on the receiving end.  Would I say things the same way if I were face-to-face with the other person?

“Sticks and stones may break my bonesGǪbut words cut to the soul.”

There are ways to disagree with people that can help or hurt.  Will it be “I do not agree with/believe that becauseGǪ”  or “You are/ Your way is <perjorative/negative> .”  ?

Is it possible that my reading of the other person’s words are coloured by my interpretation and it is not what I think it is in reality?

Are people bringing up other points of view to a question Really holding to that view or are they trying to understand all sides of a problem?  Like figuring out why an opposing view is wrong rather then just declaring it so.

If someone does not believe like me or agree with me or say what I want to hear or questions “why” or  is upset by something I write or say or are the opposite sex or because I have a picture in my mind of what they are that is not related to reality are they Human Beings?  Or are they to be treated as

     Fraki     Auslanders     Goyim     Samaritans     Trolls  Heretics   Not-People

     They don’t have to be treated with courtesy.  

     They don’t have to have Their questions discussed.  Because They are      only here to push their own beliefs.  If They say otherwise, They are lying.

     They have ulterior motives for being here.

     They have no right to ask for courtesy or to protest uncharity.

      They don’t deserve any apology as there is no wrong done to Them when Their ways are put down or misinformation is given about Them or They are all condemned for the deeds of a few.

      Offense taken is Their Problem.  They can’t take a joke. or  They are touchy. or They need to hear the Truth, and Loving Them means They get it with a 2x4 between the eyes.  Because to be courteous waters down the Truth.  

Some of the hardest words in the English Language seem to be “I’m sorry”.  and “I was wrong to do that.”

Why do I come to    To learn, both the good and the ill.  To have interesting discussions with some people.  To occasionally correct or contribute to a post about Anglicans/Episcopalians.   Because sometimes it’s fun.    

This post is choppy but I hope it is not incoherent.  I have edited and erased and changed.  I have tried hard to remember you all as Human Beings, as Real People, and Souls made in the image of God.  I have tried to keep it on an even level without any personal attacks.  I have tried to pray for you while writing.  Sometimes it was hard.


(Edited for punctuation, typos and slight additions for clarity, I hope.)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2003, 06:02:45 PM by Ebor »
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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Offline Linus7

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Re:On Dealing with other People
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2003, 08:03:18 PM »

I am far far far from perfect. I could certainly stand to be more charitable, patient, and a host of other things.

But I also know that I did not call anyone any of the names referred to above.

One way to marginalize and discredit an opponent - especially effective with Christians - is to paint him as a hateful, name-calling Pharisee.

No one wants to be one of those!

I read an article posted on this forum that spoke of the importance of fathers in influencing the future church attendance of their children. Then I came across a response that seemed to me to be the beginning of a defense (once again) of the ordination of women, something which the vast majority of Orthodox Christians (and no, I have not conducted a scientific poll) oppose. It took issue with the article's characterization of parishes with female priests as "single-parent families."

I responded that parishes with female priests are not really like single-parent families, but are more like orphanages or lunatic asylums.

I named no particular persons or denominations. My attack, if it can be so characterized, was directed at the practice of ordaining women to the priesthood. I am strongly opposed to it, so I used a couple of strong similes.

Since the authors of the study upon which the article was based are apparently Anglicans who, like me, oppose the idea of priestesses, one could say I was taking their part.

I aimed offense at no one. Those who might possibly be offended anyway are 1) priestesses themselves; or 2) those who strongly support the ordination of women; or 3) members of churches led by priestesses.

Could I have been more careful about possibly offending such persons?


But would they understand?

Sometimes when we speak softly, no one hears. Over courteous or delicate speech might send the signal that we are having an academic discussion of a subject that we Orthodox treat with detachment.

A stronger statement - which, by the way, contained none of the name-calling condemned above - removes the possibility of such a mistake.

Perhaps those persons I listed above need such a statement to jar them out of the insularity of their opinions. They may be offended, but at least they may come away saying to themselves, "Wow! Those Orthodox are really against that! I wonder why."

I realize at this point I cannot win, especially on this thread. I have already been tarred as uncharitable. Whatever I say, I am a doctrinaire Orthodox Pharisee dealing out hurts with reckless abandon, heedless of the human suffering I leave in my wake.

The Lord will judge.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2003, 08:04:17 PM by Linus7 »
The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
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Offline Anastasios

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Re:On Dealing with other People
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2003, 08:21:20 PM »
Referring back to Edwin's original question: I actually thought it was a good question, to be honest, and didn't read anything into it.  In the context of our Anglican-Orthodox debates I can see how everything has become suspect, but Edwin is a relative newcomer to our forum so I don't think it's fair to lump him in with others straightaway, perceiving his question as part of a larger agenda.

In the end though I ended up agreeing with Linus as that thread went off track anyways with the other comments being made.

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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Ebor

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Re:On Dealing with other People
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2003, 09:55:01 PM »
One may treat people badly without any namecalling.  There needn't be a bad name in an answer at all, it's in how things are said.

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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Offline the slave

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Re:On Dealing with other People
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2003, 05:24:37 AM »
The real problem is that we cannot actually see how our words affect people - the body language is not there.

Whereas we , if we are actually with the people to whom we are talking, and can therefore 'see' their reactions, and can laugh as we use some words. Here we can't 'see' and unfortunately the bare words can hurt where if we saw the way they were being said they would not.

Oh dear this seems somewhat garbled - I'm actually writing it in a hurry as I am about to leave for a weekend trip.

Since I seem to have been responsible for some of this upset - I hope you understand.

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- St. John Maximovitch

Offline CDHealy

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Re:On Dealing with other People
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2003, 11:01:57 AM »
Ebor et al:

Unfortunately, the realities of written communication in the absence of audible and visible context, leads to many times more potential for misunderstanding.  Too, certain words, perfectly legitimate otherwise, have been lent sociopolitical stigma that degrade those words' perfectly acceptable meaning.

Take for example the word "patriarchy."  In today's cultural climate it conjures up images of wife-beating, oppression and bigotry.  But why?  Is it because the word itself refers to that?  No.  It's because those who oppose traditional (small-o) orthodox belief about the Trinity, the priesthood and the home have been successfully in reengineering its meaning.

Christianity is essentially a patriarchal religion.  We believe that the source (arche) of the Godhead has been revealed in Jesus Christ as God the Father (pater).  From the Father the Son is begotten.  From the Father the Spirit proceeds.  From the hypostasis of the Father is the unity of the Godhead.  So, the priesthood becomes an icon of the Godhead.  And relations between husbands and wives reveal the image of the Triune God in whom they were/are created.

So when patriarchy is used in its modern perjorative connotations, those traditional, orthodox Christians (of whatever church affiliation) are right to think their Faith has been challenged.  And they are right to question the challenger.  Nor is it, despite the sensitivity of one's audience, wrong to label such modern attacks on the Faith as heresy or schism.   It is stating the truth.

(In fairness, I could also discuss the degradation of the word "liberal.")

The truth, we are commanded, is to be spoken in love.  The internet does not make for realistic contexts of love.  Disembodied "voices" are not those whom we can embrace.  Further, our American context makes any absolute statements regarding truth out to be personal, vicious attacks  While we may have to reckon with that context, we must also recognize that such thinking ultimately results in censorhip.

In some ways it is an irresolvable dilemma.  Those called heretics and Pharisees, sure don't want to be called that, and given our cultural contexts, even if it is true, respond by challenging the other person's charity.  But truth and charity do mix.  Indeed, they're essentially entwined in Christian discussion.  Sometimes truth hurts.  Sometimes love must cut.

Always we must remember first that we are worse sinners than those with whom we agree.
Clifton D. Healy

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."