What has the COVID-19 pandemic said about the American church? Who have we revealed ourselves to be under pressure? I am talking not about the virus itself. I am talking about the social crisis of the pandemic, which brought to light the ongoing experience of racism and injustice by ethnic minorities in this country.Read more
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.
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?”Read more
The past few years have done everything possible to crush the “eternal optimist” in me. Politics. Racial justice. Women in ministry. Sexual abuse in the church.
I’m grateful that I cling to Christ. Yet, in my search for what the Church can do in Kingdom work, I continue to be crushed and disappointed. All we are getting is a continuing “double down” methodolgy. We’re doubling down on Christian nationalism, racism, “complementarianism”, and guarding the leaders rather than believing victims in sexual abuse cases.Read more
I love David French. He pulls no punches. This past week my own (new to me) denomination has been exposed for mishandling sexual abuse claims in a diocese. French highlights that to point out the ongoing problems we have in the American Church.Read more
Twenty years ago the scandal of the Roman Catholic Church in Boston broke wide open with the series of stories of sexual abuse in the Boston Globe. Those revelations rippled through the Catholic Church year after year. I can remember the profound impact it had in the Twin Cities when I pastored there.
Over the past few years that abuse that has gone covered up in other parts of the American Church has slowly been revealed. As it tends to happen, scandals that break “out there” generally start to circle in tighter and tighter until it reaches a circle close to you… or a circle you are in. When it was “out there,” it was easy to look at the speck in someone else’s eye and think it was a log. Now, the log is revealed.Read more
“… evangelism, which will flourish best if the church is giving itself to works of justice (putting things to rights in the community) and works of beauty (highlighting the glory of creation and the glory yet to be revealed): evangelism will always come as a surprise. You mean there is more? There is a new world, and it has already begun, and it works by healing and forgiveness and new starts and fresh energy? Yes, answers the church, and it comes about as people worship the God in whose image they are made, as they follow the Lord who bore their sins and rose from the dead, as they are in dwelt by his Spirit and thereby given new life, a new way of life, a new zest for life.” — NT Wright, Surprised by Hope
Let us, as the Church, find this hope-shaped mission, abandon our dualism of “saving souls”, and truly be about the work of our Lord.
As I work my way through Jesus and John Wayne I am struck by several things.Read more
N.T. Wright poses this question: “What would happen if we were to take seriously our stated belief that Jesus Christ is already the Lord of the world and that at his name, one day, every knee would bow?”Read more