"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King, Jr. link
I returned home from our lake retreat late Saturday night plumb worn out. I plopped in front of my computer and looked at Twitter. Amy Smith (@watchkeep) and Julie Anne Smith (@DefendtheSheep) were discussing that( @brandonsmith85) blocked them even though they did not know him. Feeling a bit left out, I checked and I, too, was blocked! Yay! I am part of a club. So, I started a hashtag #WhoIsBrandonSmith.
What does blocking mean to you? To me it means I said something that annoyed him. So, I decided to learn who "him" is. And boy did we ever discover some fascinating things! Here are some things to consider as you try to understand what in the world is going on out there. Always ask questions.
1. Guess who was behind our being blocked at CBMW?
I have always wanted to know that.
2. He is an editor for Lifeway, Zondervan and the Criswell Journal.
3. He is 29 years old (born 9/1985)
4. He was an Associated Editor for CBMW 2012-2014 and is an editor for Zondervan.
5. He received his BA from Dallas Baptist University in 2012. Which means he went straight from his BA to blocking people on Twitter due to *hateful interaction."Throughout our exchange, he continued to use the word *hate.*
6. Why won't he give examples of his claims that we are hateful, called him an abuser, and said he was ungodly?
Now whenever anyone uses strong language like hate, I begin to wonder. What in the world did all of us say that was hateful? I asked him to give me an example. Don't you think that he should give me an example so that I can apologize if I did so? In fact on this blog we do not make claims that we do not link to. Do you know he never once linked to any proof for his claims? He did not respond to my appeal for evidence. Is this an example of good editing?
7. His communication style could use some tweaking if he does not want to be misunderstood.
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse has been helpful in getting me to see tactics that religious people use to intimidate others. So, when one asks "Why am I being blocked?" It is responded to in a way to make you a problem for asking. "Because you are hateful." When you ask for an example, it is deflected and we are back to the hate question. You are now the problem, not him. Not good.
8. The BFF repeats the same mantra without any proof.
Griffin Gulledge bless his heart, even adds words like *wicked* (I so love that musical), *spewing your misdirected hatred* and then commands us *Enough!* All this without one link.
9. So, what do these guys want to do for a living?
They want to be pastors.
I am a student a Beeson Divinity school, a son, a brother, a friend, a sales associate and a number of other things. Also, I’m training to be a pastor. I’ve been given the privilege to preach to youth groups, churches, para-church organizations, school assemblies and enjoy doing that. Preaching the Bible is my favorite thing to do. I have a passion to see those who are far from God encounter the truth of the gospel and put their trust in Jesus. My greatest hope for those in the church is for them to see the gospel’s relevance for all of life.
He has been the Director of Content and Communications for CityView Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. He is now a pastoral candidate at that church.
10. What kind of a church is CityView Church and how does Brandon reflect that culture?
I am going to answer that question in the next post to immediately follow this one today. I am doing two posts because they can be understood together and as stand alone posts. CityView must think that Brandon is an excellent communicator since they would not have put him in that position. Right?
11. Is this a hit piece?
Not at all. I quoted directly from Brandon. I even had screen shots. I have said nothing about him being hateful, spewing whatever, nor have I commanded him to stop. If he believes that I am hateful and will not tell me why, he should rectify that. Now, if you don't agree with this style of communication, you might not want to attend his church or work for him as an assistant. Or you might love his directness and jump on his bandwagon.
I also want our readers to understand how we discover things on the Internet. I would never have discovered a concerning membership agreement if Brandon Smith had not blocked me.
Take away points on Twitter
- If you speak in public, be prepared to have your thoughts discussed in public.
- If someone uses a pejorative, ask him/her for examples. If they don't give them, then one cannot believe what is being said.
- Expect to have people look into why you have blocked them.
- And if you have blocked them, be aware that they can still read your tweets so long as they are not password protected.
- Expect people to do some research into your affiliations if you go public.
- People will try to figure out why you block them. It could bring uncomfortable questions as I am about to demonstrate
Please add your thoughts to this Twitter exchange. What else do you see that I am missing?