You aren’t being given the whole bloody truth…REALLY???

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By Kenneth Justice

~ Yesterday I wrote about a friend of mine who was kicked out of his church, “You’re in sin!!!” the leaders at his church pronounced, even though there never was a trial, a meeting, or anything…..just a series of a emails that transpired between my friend and the leaders.

I really appreciate all of the comments yesterday and so did my friend (the dude kicked out of church),

Kenneth, reading your comments yesterday I noticed that some people seemed to believe it impossible for one person to accurately represent the entirety of an account” my friend told me over text message yesterday. He said this because a number of the comments suggested I was only giving ‘one side of the story’ (my friend’s side) and that there are always ‘two sides to every story’.

Publish the emails Kenneth!” said my friend

You see, my friend actually forwarded me ALL of the emails that were written between him and his church leaders, so before I wrote the article I had the opportunity to see both sides to the story…..but I didn’t want to publish the emails because at this point I would prefer to remain out-of-the-picture; I don’t need the headache of these church leaders calling me up and screaming at me and accusing me of bad mouthing their church (not that I’ve never been cussed out by a pastor before; been there done that so to speak).

All this brings me back to the point that my friend made; is it possible for one person to entirely and accurately represent the truth of a particular event or situation? Is it possible to get the REAL jist of a story without hearing from both sides of the situation?

In the NEWS media for the past two weeks the country of Israel is being more or less lambasted by nearly everyone; Israel is being portrayed as a hostile warring country bent on preying upon the ‘innocent’ Palestinians.

BUT….are we really being given both sides to the story? Should we really be passing judgment upon Israel without giving ear to their side to the story?

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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53 replies

  1. what better place for a sinner
    than in church?

    • Have you been to a church lately? That story he told is actually fairly common. Their is a whole theology about church discipline out there now – and if you’re not careful you may be shown the door, publicly shamed, or asked to apologize to your abuser. Seen it all, read the first hand accounts, read the lawsuits, listened to the interviews. I knew a woman who became pregnant out of wedlock. They made her get up in front of the whole church and confess her sin and apologize. She wasn’t allowed to have a church sponsored baby shower. This is why people of my generation are fleeing the church. If you are raped or sexually harassed they all start talking about how important “forgiveness” is, how you have to forgive. Then they ask you to apologize to your abuser for being angry at them – I am not the only one. Church elders hold incredible power and more and more the theology of the church has given them leave to use that power. In a small church I attended during a church service the pastor called out a man he thought was gay and made him leave the church property. These instances I speak of are at different denominations – all evangelical – that is my background. I wouldn’t send my worst enemy to a church, much less a sinner in need of help.

    • “church elders hold incredible power and more ….”

      So true….I wonder if the average church member realizes how much ‘power’ they are giving to the leaders of their church via their silent agreement with how things are done.

    • thanks for your kind insight!
      seemingly church needs
      to be healed.

  2. The teacher part of me is just glad folks question both sides. There’s something comforting in seeing folks not just accept what they read in the media and actually try to look for the other side’s point. This is so important as our media becomes more and more sensationalist.

  3. Thank you for bringing that point up about Israel, I’m getting real tired of all the Israel bashing I hear from people who have no idea why these events are unfolding. Palestine is no innocent victim being unfairly attacked, Israel doesn’t just start firing on other countries for funsies, they’re not war mongers. Yet, only one side of this story, much like many news stories, is being told by the majority of news outlets. It is possible to know both sides to a story but it requires a bit of research and effort. Most people aren’t willing to put in that effort and therefore are quick to judge the messenger if they don’t personally agree with the position of the story.

    • “Most people aren’t willing to put in that effort and therefore are quick to judge the messenger…”

      All I will say is EXACTLY!!! I’m totally in agreement with ya 🙂

  4. Of course we aren’t being given the whole truth. What is the “whole truth” anyway? Even if Americans knew the “whole truth” it would only be the whole truth from our perspective. Media only gives us sound bytes anyway. I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely watch TV news. You’ve got the side that omits and the side that has blonde bimbos. lol Sorry but gawd. It’s gotten really bad.

  5. You totally set us up…in a good way though. 😉 First talking about something pretty simple: one man’s story. And then drawing parallels to something complex: foreign countries who are warring. I think it’s awful the way the media vilifies Israel. Traditionally, the Palestinians have been the aggressors; they’ve done plenty of dirt to the Israelis. Now, I’m not saying that Israel is blameless; both sides have done things that aren’t pretty. But, our news/media here in the states are completely corrupt, biased and not entirely accurate. How many times has it been shown that a news source didn’t confirm facts or completely check the validity of a source before publishing a story? And haven’t we all noticed they like to play the same stories/angles on the spin cycle from east coast to the west coast? I don’t have much faith in the accuracy of our media. Is it possibly to pass judgement on something without knowing both sides? Not really. But facts are more important than feelings or opinions. Regarding your friend incurring the wrath of his church, it doesn’t really matter what the church elders motivation was, because the facts show that they didn’t allow a neutral third party to be involved, and the passed judgement on him without first meeting with him and hearing everything. Facts don’t lie. Man Kenny, I love your blog. 😀 Now it’s time for me to drink my cup of Darjeeling.

  6. Sinners should be taken care of, not thrown out in wild to do more sins.

    • Maybe Just Maybe if we stopped identifying people FIRST as sinners they might actually want to stick around churches. . . . .Don’t you remember what Psalms says – God knew us in the womb – before we were sinners. Can’t we as God lovers see people as anything other than sinners or saved? You make me weep. Every time I talk to christians I weep. Let the poor sinners alone and tend to your own soul as I try to tend to mine with God’s help.

  7. Interestingly enough, one of our TV current affairs programs (60 Minutes) is giving both sides of the Israel/Palestinian conflict tomorrow night – should be interesting.

    • Its such a complex issue the Palestinian/Israeli conflict so if I can set the time aside I would love to watch the 60 minutes episode.

      I recently finished a history book on the India conflict between Churchill and Gandhi and it involved a lot of history regarding WWI and WWII, I was really surprised to find out what a major part of both those wars were Australians! In fact, without Australian troops I’m not sure either of those wars would have ended out as they did.

    • Hey Kenneth! I’m Australian and I always remember the terrifying story my Nan told me about the night Japanese subs entered Sydney Harbour during WWII. In Australia we also have a national day of commemoration for WWI (which is now extended to all wars) called ANZAC day.

      As for the current Gaza media coverage I have found it to be very anti-Israel. I want to keep up with what is going on in the world but I find the news is more about creating shock and outrage than telling the truth. I really hope that both sides can come together as human beings and create peace for their children, I still believe that most of us just want a peaceful life.

      Thanks for a great blog, always enjoy reading 🙂

  8. Really enjoy your blog! I’m tempted to say more…but it would be longer than your article!

  9. The media was very one sided in the beginning. CNN got called on it and has begun (on Friday evening) to attempt to interview people from both sides. I don’t know if that s telling both sides of the story, but at least it seems to be something.

    • I’m not saying that one side is good and one side is bad with regard to the conflict, but it did seem that the media was very one sided there for awhile.

  10. I do think it is important to note that referring to the conflict as a “Palestinian/Israel” conflict is somewhat of an unfair representation in itself. There are not just two sides to most conflicts and this one is no different. Palestine is a divided country and Hamas is not Palestine. And I’m not even sure if Hamas is a single entity. There are violent factions in Palestine, but for the sake of the Palestinian people, many of whom are not firing rockets but are receiving them in the neighborhoods, it is important to recognize that all of Palestine are not violent attackers of Israel. There are no simple answers, and I am not saying Israel is wrong in their response, just that it is too simplistic (and probably inaccurate) to say “Palestine” is the other side.

    • Totally agree. Hamas is not merely one single entity, and they definitely don’t represent all of the Palestinians…. its a shame that they simply won’t go away because if Hamas disappeared, then perhaps there could be a solution that would begin to surface.

  11. The only way that I could conceive of passing judgement with only one side of the argument would be if there was irrefutable documentation. In the case of your friend, he is willing to present documentation. In fairness, I would allow the opposing side to comment on the evidence. But, my personal experience is that some churches lie and even go to the extent of providing false witness on their parishioners, in an effort to discredit them.

    As far as the Israel, Palestine thing…my biggest complaint is there is a lot of accusation about Palestinians using civilians and children as shields, for example missises being sent from hospitals. So far, I have seen no evidence which makes Israel seem cruel. But, in defense of Israel, when they first started the defense conflict, they reported underestimating the rebels and showed underground footage. They also were first to try a cease fire…Gaza refused. So, I do see this one as a difficult one to understand what the actual truth is in that sector of the world.

    By the way, you have broken the sacred rule of never discuss religion and politics…and in one post for that matter! 🙂

  12. You may be interested in the NPR ombudsman’s findings on this perception issue. There are plenty of pro-Israel views out there, and I fully support their right to exist in peace with their neighbors and to defend themselves when attacked. However, it is impossible to ignore the lopsided death toll – hundreds of Palestinian civilians died in a counter attack for rockets that didn’t take a single Israeli life. Now that there is a ground assault, Israeli soldiers are dying as well, and there are people out there calling for even more blood. Where does it end? When Gaza is a burning, empty wasteland of a graveyard? Because that’s the only logical conclusion to what’s happening right now, and it seems me that people are cheering that on. Is one Israeli life worth more than 100 or 200 Palestinian lives? I will save a bunch of people the time and say “But it’s their own fault for not leaving/Hamas using people as human shields/not accepting the reality of Israel!” Would the world in general and Palestine in particulat be a better place without Hamas in it? Abso-freaking-lutely. But with no economy, no freedom of movement, scarce fresh water and zero infrastructure, how exactly are the Palestinians supposed to kick out the organization that provides their only basic services? And where should these “stupid” people who are “sticking around to get slaughtered” supposed to go? Their borders are closed, their homes and schools and hospitals aren’t safe, and it’s not politically expedient for any government in the world to offer them refuge. So they stay, and they die by the dozens, and get blamed for their own massacre because Hamas poked the hornet’s nest. It’s terribly, terribly sad. And yes, it is also terribly, terribly sad that there is suffering going on in Israel as well. NO ONE should have to live what’s happening there. I wish I saw a good solution that’s being overlooked, but there just isn’t one. This battle will end in blood, and the seeds of the next one are already planted, and on and on it goes. And I’m speaking now as someone who once worked for Seeds of Peace and believed in that mission. I still think that’s the right way to build peace, but fear that the seeds of anger and hatred are being planted and nurtured much more right now.

    • Hamas is making life for the Palestinians so much harder 😦 many of your points are well said, ultimately, until Hamas disappears they aren’t doing the Palestinians any favors

  13. Thank you for this post!

  14. I do believe that two sides of a story should always be presented and your friend’s willingness to supply all the emails leads me to think his truth is probably the most real.
    As far as the conflict in The middle East. We know that Israel has a defence net that prevents most missiles from getting through and creating casualties. We know the Palestinians don’t have this. Hamas fire and may kill one or two Israeli’s – terrible. Israel fire and kill a lot more, most of whom are definitely innocent. I agree that Hamas are largely to blame for that because of where they send missiles from. BUT, if Israel stopped firing any missiles in retaliation there are many lives saved and perhaps Egypt and others may be able to use influence to force Hamas to do the same, maybe even the Palestinians themselves could do so.
    Israel of course should still be able to attack any of the Hamas bombers who come through the underground passages while looking for more to blow up.

    • If I published the emails I think people would see that the principles I wrote out in the two articles are fairly well put; the church acted hastily to say the least.

      As far as the Middle East situation goes, if Hamas could somehow go away, I think it would do wonders for bringing peace to the two people groups.

  15. The media has a tendency to stir up controversy and paint images of events that are much more vivid and seem more violent that they might be. I spent some time in Israel and Palestine in 2000 and found both sides to have warm, friendly and kind-hearted people that just wanted to live peacefully and take care of their families.

  16. From someone who has been judged and sentenced on only one side of the story – I tend toward being very skeptical til I hear all there is to hear. I also believe that there is bias in everyone so, as a 3rd person listener, both sides are probably a little biased and the truth is often blurred to varying degrees – I’m guilty of this myself.

  17. For the purpose of this particular blog, I didn’t see it necessary to read or publish the emails nor do I think you should now either. One – it’s not really any of my business or that of your other readers. Two – this blog is about discussing bigger topics even though you provide particular examples. I’ll admit to my biases in that we’re friends so I will tend to assume that you’ll provide an accurate picture, though much of that has come from reading your blog long enough to know that you prefer to express some opinion but without leading others to feel the same. You write in such a way to allow the reader to decide for themselves – at least that’s how it seems to me. I understand why there may have been comments made about presenting the other side but you shouldn’t have to…again this blog isn’t about that. This isn’t an actual news article; it’s about a point of view on certain topics. In other circumstances, yes, two sides should be heard and yes usually the truth is somewhere in the middle. This blog isn’t designed for those types of discussions though. If you had really wanted to involve your readers to that personal of level you would have done so from the beginning. If the bigger topic you want to discuss is Isreal/Palestine then yes…both sides have a story to tell and both should be heard. Again, in that situation, I’m sure the truth is somewhere in the middle, especially after such an incredibly long time spent fighting.

  18. I am 80 years old. Half of my life I lived in the Soviet Union, another half in the USA. I remember that during WW2 Germans bombed cities of other countries without concern about civilians, allies bombed cities of Germany, Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Americans bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I was 7 years old when our Red Cross’ train was bombed and then children and women were killed by bullets from planes.
    In any war civilians are being killed.
    There are more civilians killed this year in wars between shiites, sunnis and kurds, between Syrian troops and rebels than in the recent Israel-Hamas war. Our media is biased and not truthful. Unfortunately, current administration often supports enemies of our country and betrays friends. It should not give millions to Gaza today as they will be used to buy weapons.

  19. Great post Kenneth.
    A subject I’ve decided to leave alone, I already piss enough people off talking about innocuous stuff, let alone this type of emotive horror show.

    By the way, you have an award – http://diaryofaninternetnobody.com/2014/07/26/very-inspiring-blogger-award-the-tenuous-ten/

  20. Now I’m going back to read the other post. It’s imperative to hear both sides of the story. In my opinion.

  21. i can’t understand any reason to kick someone out of a church, other than if they’re a serial killer or something. (Is your friend a serial killer?) But instead of loving your friend as God told us to do and letting God change him if need be, they kicked him out because he didn’t fit.

  22. -Do as you would be done by – such simple advice, but presumably too simple for most people. If we did follow it, the world would be at peace in every sense.

  23. Is it not so that nowadays churches and congregations many times are about power and not about support, love and guidence (or whatever they should be about).

    Sad, very sad and what can I do to change this other than be a true person myself?

  24. Two thoughts here:

    !) I don’t care what the church’s side of the story is, nor do I care if your friend did something super crazy horrible that would cause anyone anywhere to kick him out. A church should welcome a person in sin with open arms, happy that they are entering a place where they might see the error of their ways. Churches are supposed to be that last resort. I grew up hearing stories from my pastor about homeless people, starving people, even people who were known drug addicts, coming to the doors of a church begging for just one night of shelter or one piece of bread. They ALWAYS did what they could to help the person. So, I could care less what the church’s side of the story was. If they kicked him out because he was in sin, they were wrong.

    2) I’m not sure if I see a bias in the news here. I mean, if anything people are still afraid to claim Israel has done any wrong. When I here news of that conflict, it reminds me of Afghanistan or Iraq. It’s another civil war where it’s often hard to see who is the worst or wrong party in the fight.

  25. Considering the corporate-owned media are giving ONLY the Israeli official line on what’s going on in Gaza, and ignoring or outright lying about reports coming in giving the Palestinian perspective, can anyone really complain that Israel isn’t being given its usual deferential treatment?

    If your church is that vindictive that its board would condemn, expel, or otherwise take punitive action against a member simply because he voiced a differing opinion, then it’s not worth remaining a member therein.

  26. Today’s media – all of it – from the social, free-form to the “quantified sourced’ can be nothing but one-sided and/or biased.

    It matters not what the issues, the coverage is the same. Censorship and sensationalism count for more than substance.

    In a world that literally thrives on “click click” – we consider ourselves “informed” – but it’s a technical impossibility.

    Too much happens far too quickly, and all media outlets are in a race to provide the “best, most accurate and *up to date* ” coverage, without any responsibility for providing accurate or rounded stories, back stories and histories.

    We have become our own worst nightmares.

    Just a thought as I sip my morning coffee.

  27. Interesting, I’ve never had anything like that in any congregation you (and your friend) lived through, although, obviously, everyone shoud mature in character to resemble to God…

    Fairly, you cannot call a place like that as a church, since that would decrease the true value of other ones.

    One of my friend (who happened to accomplish a lot and significant in the field of science, and never been so much of a churchgoer, discovering his faith different ways) told me, he never felt the protestants left the catholics (in the late middle-age), rather the catholics abandoned every value and protestants remained…

    Surely, none of these against any denomination or believer, I highly love any and all of them, however it might be a viewpoint, that even the simplicity of Jesus’ teachings can’t come through if fallen people do not change. Yet, even He faced with opposition trying to help curch leaders back on the track…

    You don’t need any institution or organization or anyone’s permission to believe and follow…

  28. I thought this was more of a POV spot. Generally speaking, most of us only have one point of view on a given subject.

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