Bullying has received a lot of press coverage lately. And rightly so. My heart aches for the children who are taunted, tormented, and abused by bullies. Bullies are heartless, insensitive, and cruel. They lack the love, care, compassion, and acceptance that they—their own selves—crave, seek, and long after.

Several victims of bullying have taken their lives. For them, it was the only way they knew to end the shame, suffering, and misery of a tormented existence. For some, if not many, of us it’s a tragic testament to our indifference and unwillingness to be proactive and do much much more to prevent bullying from continuing to happen without check, intervention, correction, or punishment.

I’m a Christian minister and I think a lot about things Christian, churchy, biblical, or spiritual. I was doing a blog on Christian liberty when the Lord likened a lot of what goes on in the church to bullying. We set all kinds of rules, laws, and expectations on one another. We exert pressure on others to be as we are, do as we do, and live as we live. And when people have the sense and courage not to bow before us or give in to our demands or control, we intimidate them, slander them, make fun of them, make them look bad, threaten them, punish them, alienate them, unfriend them, pray against them, wish evil on them, invoke curses on them, and pray God’s punishment on them. We discipline them out of the church for no real, valid, or biblical reason. We do it just because we have the power to do it. To punish them. For standing up to us.

Does this not sound like bullying? Christian bullying. ‘Cept there’s nothing Christian about it. There’s nothing christlike, loving, or scriptural about the abominable attitudes, thoughts, actions, and conduct that we display towards people who don’t care to be pressured into joining a fraternity of bible bullies.

So you hate the bullying that goes on in our neighborhoods and schools? The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, look and see if a bully’s staring you in the face. Bullying goes on in the church and it’s high time we fess up to it, hate it, and cut it out before the Lord seriously smacks us and teaches us a lesson in manners that we’ll not soon forget.