Putting out the Fire

Putting out the Fire

A Story by Bishop R. Joseph Owles

People who are hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean will never be stopped by being calling hateful, bigoted, nasty or mean. It is impossible to stop them or to change them simply by exposing them, or even by trying to make them feel ashamed for being hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean. The remedy is not to make them feel bad about who they are -- they already feel bad about who they are. That is why they are hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean.

Trying to make people who are hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean feel worse about themselves will only make them more hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean. It will only make them justify and rationalize their hate, their bigotry, their nastiness, and their meanness. The most hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean thing I can do to someone who is hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean, is to try and make them feel bad about it because I only make them more of what they already are, and it only increases the level of hatred, bigotry, nastiness, and meanness in the world.

We do not fight fire with fire -- that only ensures the triumph of fire! We fight fire with water -- we smother it and remove the oxygen that gives fire life. We fight hatred, bigotry, meanness, and nastiness with love! We smother them with love, and love removes the oxygen that sustains hatred, bigotries, nastiness and meanness.

The one who is most hateful, bigoted, nasty and mean needs to be loved the most! They need the most love because they are the most afraid and the most in pain. They are prisoners of their fear, but love casts out fear, and perfected love casts out all fear!

This to me is why we are to pray for our enemies. Prayer is not a weapon or a threat -- and I have heard people tell me that they would pray for me and it did sound more like a threat than a promise or a blessing. Prayer is us being intentionally present with God, and in God’s presence, we remember these people, we remember their fear, we remember their pain, and we ask God to remove it from them. We do not do this because we expect to gain anything from it, but simply because we can no longer stand by and see somebody suffer, even if the symptom of their suffering is to try to make us suffer as well.

In my baptism, I was washed with the living water of Christ, whose Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. I was born from above by God in that moment and I became a new creature. Part of our ministry as Christians is to become fire-fighters, fighting the fires of hatred, bigotry, nastiness, and meanness with the living water of Christ’s love that flows through us.

© 2013 Bishop R. Joseph Owles

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I think I'm going to suggest to Konsor that we make you required reading around here. There will be peace in the kingdom again :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

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Added on July 18, 2013
Last Updated on July 18, 2013
Tags: Bible, Jesus Christ, Church, God, heaven, earth, Holy Spirit, Christian, Christianity, teaching, apostles, ministry, kingdom, Catholic, love, justice, Golden Rule, sermon on the mount, hatred, bigotry


Bishop R. Joseph Owles
Bishop R. Joseph Owles

Alloway, NJ

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