Mark 3:20–22 (NIV): 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “[He is out of his mind].”
22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
When the religious leaders realize they can’t control or stop Jesus, and he has the true authority, all they have left is manipulation.
Those who are in power but without authority can only control by manipulation, fear, or false narratives. Be aware.
Quite probably an apocryphal story, but one I still find relevant in our time:
According to Cornelius a Lapide, Thomas
Aquinas once called on Pope Innocent II when the latter was counting out
a large sum of money. “You see, Thomas,” said the Pope, “the church can
no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” “True, holy father,” was
the reply; “neither can she now say, ‘Rise and walk.’”
Cited by F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts, Revised Edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 77–78. (Found HERE in my meager search)
I am working through a hard passage in Jeremiah related to some writing I’ve called “Living in Babylon.” I’ve avoided getting to deep into this passage because of the direct implications it has on the American Church… and I have no interest whatsoever in being “wacky prophet guy.” But… God has turned me into “wacky prophet guy” and I’m not very happy about it.
Continue reading “No wonder they wanted to shut up Jeremiah”
Leading up to Martin Luther King Day is becoming more of a sacred habit for me. On MLK Day, as well, I will read “Letter from a Birmingham jail” just to kick my weak motivation into a higher gear. This year I was able to add in participating in MLK ceremonies.
And it’s not enough.
Continue reading “Why we need to keep working past #MLKDay”
I’ve spent a full year away from ministry and shifting into a new phase of life. I am still in a steep learning curve, but along the way I am always finding joy.
Continue reading “Reading and listening that is challenging me in this new year”
This year has been spent in a cycle of spiritual rest and exploration. That cycle has taken us some interesting places. The big takeaway is a shift away from what I’ve known my whole life in one movement to step into another movement within the Body of Christ. For those interested, I write at some length about it HERE.
It would be great to have conversations over this for anyone having questions.
The men’s Bible study I am a part of at my church is going through the Gospel of Matthew. We’re just getting started so I was reflecting on Matthew 3 this week. John the Baptist comes along and Matthew identifies him as the one crying out in the wilderness.
As we were discussing this Isaiah passage where Matthew draws from to identify John, I thought about the use of the wilderness throughout Scripture. Continue reading “What the wilderness teaches us”
In Luke 11:29 people ask for yet another sign from Jesus. Too often we are asking for a sign and don’t know what we’re asking in that request. Continue reading “The sign of Jonah”
“I pastored a Southern Baptist church in southern Missouri, and there some people in that church whose whole identity, I think, was tied to a self-righteous image. I discovered quickly I couldn’t change things when folks were determined not to change. In time, though, I realized that all around the church was a sea of dying people. I made friends outside the church and found plenty of people who were receptive to me.” — Dallas Willard in Becoming Dallas Willard by Gary Moon
The past few weeks have been heavy news for the Church. For evangelicals… it’s been Willow Creek and the leadership failure of that megachurch. (Then there are those trying to cling to evangelical as “tribe” but the politics of it right now are a bad mess.)
For the Catholics, it was the grand jury findings in Pennsylvania, then another bombshell this week when Pope Francis himself was accused of hiding information on a pedophile within the Vatican. Continue reading “Is it time to quit the Church?”