This passage leapt into my spirit as the Spirit said, “This is the warning for the self-righteous church in America.”
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.”
I am working my way through the Christianity Today podcast series: “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.” As this podcast unpacks the undoing of Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll, we still see the same things playing out in real time… like we just can’t learn anything from examples that have gone before.
This is a longer podcast interview, but it is succinct in how my theology and life ethic has been forming. The easy dismissal by white evangelicals of Critical Race Theory, the lack of listening, the lack of critical thinking… all of it. Thabyite Anyabwile puts into concise language where my formation has taken me these past few years.
There is no doubt so many expressions of the American Church have caused a lot of pain and turmoil. Through the ages, the Body of Christ has struggled with the humanity of the institution called the Church.
The “megachurch” culture keeps tripping over itself… and we keep ignoring it. Katelyn Beaty is bold enough to point out the latest issue:
He also swam in waters that reward form over substance. Today’s sexualized, glossy version of the megachurch pastor is calculated to replace the stereotype of a frumpy pastor in pleated khakis and a combover. With skinny jeans, tattoos and tight abs, the hot pastor is commissioned to bring souls to Jesus by mimicking the temptations of social media thirst traps. But if you embody that culture, you risk becoming it. Hotness is as hotness does.