Hacking our way to clarity

The second half of this Holy Post Podcast has an interview with Philip Yancey. They feature his latest book, which is his memoir. Yancey has been a challenging voice for me for decades. (His interview comes around 49 minutes in.) With our current struggle with terminology like “deconstruction”, Yancey represents the understanding that some form of deconstruction happens in every generation. I think you will love his thoughts on the three things that brought him back to faith.

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Our obsession with “winning”

Decades ago I remember a column or opinion piece written about our obsessions and warped values. At the time it was referring to the way we lift up people who work hard, work long hours, and don’t have time to “take it easy.” The prime example for that article was Dick Cheney (long before he was VP). Cheney had some heart issues (well… that’s just a sentence to get teed up, isn’t it?) and he was praised at the time for going into the doctor to get a stent or two in the morning then getting back to work that afternoon.

No one paused to say, “The man is a workaholic and that’s dangerous.” (Except for the author of the column or opinion piece.)

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Warning to the white American conservative church

This passage leapt into my spirit as the Spirit said, “This is the warning for the self-righteous church in America.”

Matthew 3:7-12

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Lord, give us ears to hear.

Spiritual Abuse

It doesn’t matter the denomination I serve in, spiritual abuse is a possibility. It is being exposed in my current denomination, the ACNA, in a diocese that is different in operation than my own… which is proving to be a bigger problem overall.

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The development of toxic leadership

Scot McKnight, author A Church Called Tov, has a regular column he writes through substack, so this may be behind a paywall. His concern these days revolves around toxic leadership, how churches are blind to it and actually develop it, and how to change church culture to move away from that model when looking for the next leader of their church.

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We have to hold powerful people accountable

The series “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” is a devastating podcast series. It is a hard look into Mark Driscoll and the poisonous culture of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. But it needs to be told. And it needs to be heard.

In my own group, the ACNA, more news comes out about the mishandling of sexual abuse in one of our dioceses.

Why do I keep sharing all this? Sarah Bessey summed it up at the end of Episode 5 in the CT Podcast series: We have to keep the powerful accountable.

One of the old arguments whenever a larger church was criticized was, “But… look at their fruit!”

Maybe the point needs to be: Wait… look at the damage.

We are in trouble. We don’t just need policy changes. We need our hearts broken and set on repentance. It’s time to turn around.

Why repentance still matters

We carry an arrogance with us in American Christianity. “I didn’t have slaves, so how am I responsible for this so-called racism?”

Or, “Our church doesn’t have abuse problems so why are you saying I need to repent? Repent for what? And then what?”

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