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.
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.
And he is the head of the body, the church… (Col. 1:18)
There are little snippets from Colossians and Ephesians that cause my heart to leap out of my love for the Church. They give me life and hope all over again. While I am hard on what I see in the white conservative American Church, it doesn’t mean I don’t love the Body of Christ.
David French takes up the subject of celebrity pastors. It’s not just about the latest notable failing and “fashion pastors.” Or, “hot pastors.” It’s about guarding our hearts and staying humble before the Lord.
Christian celebrities will continue to fall. But they don’t have to fall so often. They don’t have to inflict so much pain. Change will only come when Christian leaders remember a few painful truths. Their hearts are deceitful. They do not deserve their fame. God does not need them. Instead, they need Him. And they need to remember those truths every day of every week of every year until their race is complete.
I began this site “Apprentice2Jesus” years ago in a hunger to learn more about spiritual disciplines in the tradition of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. Dallas has been a major influence in my learning so I used a phrase of his to communicate my desire.
In Italy it is incredibly difficult to go through this time and NOT have the Body of Christ. Ministering in this time is incredibly difficult as well. This picture captivates me and represents that struggle in this time.