DAILYKENN.com -- Why did I delete that show from my YouTube channel? Read on for the answer.
Here's a core question: How are we to handle contentious people?
Here's the simple answer: Ignore them.
The Apostle Paul addressed this question. His answer was, "But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife." [source]
Immersing oneself in disputes does nothing more than exasperate, enhance, and enlarge them. Small disagreements often grow into major conflicts; even wars.
Quite frankly I have better things to do — like staring at the wall — than embark in mindless disputes with people I know; let alone those I don't know.
King Solomon addressed this question. His advice was, "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." [source]
Conclusion: Not only are we to ignore questions from infighters; we are to avoid the infighters. Where there is no infighter, the infighting "goeth out."
• TWO KINDS OF QUESTIONS
Questions are asked for one of two reasons: The first is to solicit an answer. The second is to solicit an argument; to start a fire.
Some people thrive on disputes. They are continually attempting to ignite fires with the spark of a simple question. Wise men will heed the advice of Paul and refuse to provide fuel to the fire.
When you answer the questions that are intended to spark arguments, you add fuel to the fire. Notice the inquisitor is never satisfied with your answer. The fire will grow with more questions and further fueled with accusations you feel compelled to answer. Those answers provide even more fuel that increases the fire until it is raging hot.
Think of contentious people as arsonists.
Whatever you say in response and however you say it will be quoted by the arsonist/infighter to add fuel to the fire.
What to do? Refuse to answer the initial question.
• APPLYING THE ADVICE OF PAUL AND SOLMON
During my 12-year tenure as a pastor, infighting was a persistent challenge. I heeded the advice of Paul and refused to answer questions intended to gender strife. This left the inquisitor frustrated but defeated. Often they simply left the congregation, satisfying the advice of King Solomon. The 'firewood' literally went out. Out the door, that is.
Parishioners sometimes advised me to answer the question at hand. This would solve the problem and it would disappear, they explained.
Indeed, the problem would disappear, but infighters are never interested in resolving problems. They only want to cause problems.
Arsonists are not firefighters.
Consequently, they will continue to ask provoking questions and will never be satisfied with answers. However, by heeding the advice of Paul, I discovered the troublemakers were stunted. I could avoid future disputes by keeping the infighter focused on his unanswered question.
• A RECENT EXAMPLE
Fighting is a common feature of social media. Here's the simple solution: Ignore it. If you don't, that spark of controversy can flame into a raging fire. There have been reports of physical altercations, even murder, that began with silly online arguments.
A delightful young woman from South Africa frequently "sprinkles Jesus dust" on Facebook. It can be annoying, but not provocative.
Enter the arsonist/infighter.
Another woman who claims to be a pagan priestess took issue with the South African and responded with toxic and caustic hatred.
I applied King Solomon's advice and deleted the toxic responses only to discover the infighter continued to do what infighter's do: fight.
So I blocked her account.
To my dismay the co-host of my YouTube show invited the infighter to participate on the discussion panel. My response was a simple "No!"
To my further dismay the co-host gave the infighter the code to my stream and, just as we were preparing to launch, she popped up on the screen; sans the video. We could hear her; but not see her.
During the course of the stream the infighter did what infighters do: she disputed ad nauseam with other guests. This is precisely why I had issued to directive to NOT allow her on the stream.
In the subsequent days others she had accosted began to surface describing the infighter in less that flattering terms. Much less. One explained why the infighter refused to use her video camera: A recent photo reveals a less-than-comely visage enhanced by excessive adipose tissue. What's more, I suppose the pagan wished to hide her identity.
The video of the show was deleted.
At that point the infighter did what infighter's do: More fighting; demanding to know why the deletion. E-mails, social media posts, phone calls, and using others as proxies; all asking the same question.
Paul's advice was evoked and no answer was forthcoming.
After the video was posted on another venue, a copyright infringement was submitted. It was removed.
So, you may ask, "Why was the video deleted?"
Sorry. I won't answer. I evoke Paul's advice; think of it as a spiritual 5th amendment.
• NO PLACE TO THE DEVILS
The Apostle Paul also advised, "Neither give place to the devil." [source]
Some suspect that paganism is an expression of demonic activity; that the gods worshiped by our European ancestors were actually demonic spirits. Those who engage in pagan religions today are actually devil worshipers (they deny it) and may be possessed by demons, according to some theologians.
I couldn't help but note that the pagan infighter who appeared on my now-deleted stream has a penchant for attacking Christians. Demonic?
Quite frankly, I'm not on speaking terms with demons. Nor should you be.
Gaslighting occurs when an individual — typically a psychopath — sets out to destroy the reputation of another through gossip, slander, defamation, etc. The term comes from the movie Gaslight in which the villain seeks to destroy the reputation of his mark as a cover to steal her fortune.
Some have already informed me they have contacted with various bits of aspersion.
What to do? Nothing! Sit back and allow events to run their course.
• UNINTENDED BLESSINGS
Contentious individuals also serve a valuable service: They sort out your loyal friends.
True friends will not listen to the toxic gossip of infighters, but will rebuke them. A note of caution: You may be disappointed to discover how few friends you truly have and shocked by those you previously thought were genuine friends.
Think tares and wheat.
There are more benefits.
People blessed with Asperger's Syndrome do not comprehend infighting. This is because they are simply not genetically predisposed to socialize. They find socializing confusing and exhausting.
Infighting is a component of socializing. It occurs wherever people gather. This could be at the workplace, school, church, and so on. Aspies do not know how to socialize. They do not know how to fight. Consequently, Apsies are commonly unemployable because they succumb to social defeat. ('Social defeat' is a clinical term. You may read more about it here.)
How is that a blessing?
The Apostle Paul and King Solomon seemed to have aspies in mind when they penned the remedy for infighting: Ignore it.
That advice contradicts human nature and is seldom heeded. Aspies, on the other hand, heed the advice because they have no choice. Their 'fight' element of their 'fight or flight' response is severely retarded.
• GOING FORWARD
It's difficult to determine how much longer the pagan infighter will continue to make sparks. Rather than answer her (its?) questions, I will sit back, enjoy the fireworks, and discover who my true friends really are.
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