Friday, 24 October 2014

A Tale of Two Standards

Ok, I tried.

I really did!

But how can anyone stay silent when such injustice is perpetrated - celebrated even - in the 'church'?

Of course, you've probably guessed by now who I'm talking about.

A certain pastor who resigned his position rather than face the consequences of his actions. Who couldn't "man up" enough to actually face the mountain of bloody bodies under his bus. Who just parked in the middle of the road and walked away...

…and turned up next, being lauded and applauded at a 'pastors' conference!

And there is call after call for us to feel sorry for this man and treat him gently

like this:
I want to honor a great apostle a great man of God. He is a trendsetter, pioneer and my prayer goes out to Him. I cannot imagine what He is going through right now but one thing i know that truly hurts is friendly fire.
Morris introduced Driscoll, who was sitting in the front row of the audience, reminding attendees that "not everything you read on the Internet is true" and encouraging them to "restore [Driscoll] with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves, lest we are also tempted." He then asked Driscoll to say a few words. As Driscoll approached the mic, the audience gave him a standing ovation.
The institutional church seems to side with those in power. It circles the wagons and shoots at anyone who questions this ethos. We must protect our own!

I just can't help wondering if it's because of a secret fear, "It might be me next!"

But God help those who've been run over by the MD bus, or any other, if they ask for justice.

They are bitter, unforgiving, ungodly, unrighteous, slanderous, gossiping, lacking grace, angry, bigoted, self-righteous…

I think you get the picture.

And yet…

it was Jesus himself who championed the "least of these". The downtrodden, the vulnerable, the powerless, the sinners, the outcasts.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Brother Love

In my post entitled Toxic Church I shared how stressed and anxious I had been at the thought of attending my mother's funeral because of my brother and sister-in-law's shunning of me.

My SIL quite pointedly maintained this position, turning sharply away from me at the funeral. She even told another person that I was the one refusing to talk to her. I considered confronting her over this lie, but there are only so many times you can beg someone to deal with issues between you.

However, my brother did approach me later at the wake, and gave me a quick hug. I felt wary and confused, but inwardly hopeful. I asked him if this meant we were now talking. When he tried to assure me that we'd "always been talking", I told him that this hadn't felt like the reality I'd experienced.

But I really wanted him to know how much I'd valued his overture of friendship, so I said to him as we leaving, "If we are talking, can we have coffee together?" He responded positively, so I asked him to call me to set a date.

I came away hopeful that at least he and I might be able to restore relationship. Sadly, I've heard nothing from him in the weeks since.

As much as I want to see a different outcome, I know I can't control him or make him want to have relationship with me. So I choose to set him free.

I just hope that somewhere, deep down inside he knows this truth:

Friday, 17 October 2014

Is "Bless You" a New Four-Letter Word?

I was responding to a comment on a blog post the other day and I wanted to convey my goodwill by speaking blessing to the other person. I wrote it down, but found myself hesitating over publishing it. I pondered my reluctance for a minute or two until I realised what the issue was.

You see, too many times I've seen self-professed christians writing acrimonious comments to one another and then sign off their vicious verbal attack with the words, "Bless you, brother/sister."

It's as if you can speak any vitriol you like as long as you slip in a christian cliche at the end which somehow sanctifies the whole.

Or not!

In the same way that other words or phrases have come to convey something quite different from their original meaning, how long will it be before "Bless you" becomes a swear word?