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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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.

The church can do better

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.

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A step back from the brink?

This week was a whirlwind of activity with the SBC annual meeting in Nashville and a narrow “win” for the leadership of SBC going to the least offensive candidate. (He is actually a good man and I am familiar with his work in racial justice in the Mobile area.)

It was a tense week watching conspiracy theories and bad information flow into a meeting, and then taking a breath as the SBC decided, for the moment, to not plunge totally into an abyss of at least the appearance of Christian nationalism. Even if it’s a step back from the brink, it’s still clear that a good strong wind could take care of that in quick fashion.

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