Pope Francis message to LGBTQ Christians…
How politics poisoned the evangelical church…
Julie Roys has to step down from her own conference…
Alister McGrath answers your questions…
When a pastor falls, what then?
The biggest Jesus campaign ever…
Visiting every church in Berlin…
Three ways you can love those who think differently…
An answer to part of “Jesus and John Wayne”…
More on the Julie Roys controversy…
Inside the fraught effort to create a Christian nationalist internet…
Why is the church failing in the West?
On the whole Julie Roys controversy-Yes, she probably shouldn’t have put all of that stuff in her book; No, she shouldn’t be drawn and quartered about what happened. She isn’t the first person in a youth group (women’s Bible study, a friend’s domestic abuse situation/substance abuse/mental health crisis) to get sucked in and “over-help.” My big takeaway has been that the survivor community is quite unforgiving and vicious in the way they attack those with whom they have a difference of opinion. It’s almost as if “I’ve been abused, therefore it is okay for me to lash out at you because you don’t agree with me.” To me it appears that wallowing in trauma is how you deal with it. And, before anyone throws rotten vegetables at me, I’ve had my own share of trauma in my life in the areas of domestic violence in my family, substance abuse by family members (and raising children of same because I was the only person available), and learning to cope with plenty of negative feelings and fear. I did get help, I’ve learned to help others, and I continue to understand how those events have shaped me, but I learned how to be compassionate instead of condemning. I chose not to live in that space the rest of my life. I wanted to go on to the better life that God had waiting for me.
That whole scenario has bigger implications than have been explored…I may take my life in my hands and write about it.
It has become a tough crowd indeed…
Yes, Julie Roys made a mistake by including some of that information in her book and the manner in which she presented it. Without having intimately read up on all of it, it does seem it could even be considered abusive in some ways.
With that said, Julie has responded to the situation far better than most. Maybe not perfectly, but again, far better than what we have seen from most high-profile Christians. In addition to that, Julie has also done much good work in advocating for and supporting abuse victims.
The old saying is that hurt people hurt people. This is certainly true and we should have empathy and understanding for those hurt people. We should not get caught up in expecting their reactions to be perfectly right when they have been significantly wronged or abused. Yet at some point, there does need to be manner of accountability and constraint. Abuse survivors should not have a license to perpetually lash out at everybody and everything and to try to cancel everyone for whom they get the slightest whiff of possible misbehavior.
I totally agree. It’s unfortunately a characteristic of the culture that we need to feel perpetually offended about everything. I admire Julie for hanging in; I just hope she can stand up under the strain.
That Politico article is right on.
Looks like we are definitely committed to chilling the politics at PP.
That’s great I thought it was a bad idea anyway.
Make that— an impossible aspiration
We’re church people…and we have to discuss what is happening to the church.
How we discuss it and the purpose for which we discuss it is vital.
I care little about actual politics…until it ends up being a boundary marker for the faith.
This isn’t a conservative vs. liberal conversation…for me it comes down to how we define what a church is and what its purpose is.
We have to extricate the sacred from the carnal…
I get it — so expect me to make the relevant links when the boundary markers of identity assault our “in Christ” uniqueness —
Expect me to scream when the public arm reaches into our families claiming for Caesar that which belongs to Christ.
Expect me to call out invasive immorality along with the invasive idolatry. Empire is damnable but so is Jezebel.
History teaches me that the prevailing culture has been the bane of the church from the beginning.
It also teaches me that fighting fire with fire…trying to use secular power to achieve sacred results…is almost always a major failure that leaves the church damaged.
For decades I have stated that the first step to any sort of revival or renewal is cleaning our own stall…which is full of the muck of idolatry, immorality, and gross hypocrisy.
That…would be a full time job for decades as well…
“It also teaches me that fighting fire with fire…trying to use secular power to achieve sacred results…is almost always a major failure that leaves the church damaged.”
Look at Augustine and the Donatists… the Inquisition… the Wars of Religion… the German Church… Kirill and Putin… All looking for the end to justify the means…
There are issues that the Bible speaks to that as a community we could and maybe should speak to….when our communities aren’t rife with the same issues.
Identifying with a national political party compromises us…the church has no boundaries and where one party may be “righteous” on one thing ,it will also be unrighteous in another….and give approval to that unrighteousness to defeat the other party.
Dread spoke well when he noted that the Revelation speaks of two beasts, religion and government…both are untamable and will try to devour the church.
The implication is that a life lived in faith in community has no power to change the surrounding community.
That we must legislate as demonstration isn’t enough.
I think this is deadly in many ways…but I might be wrong.
The change is not achieved by or through political power, but rather by the example of our life in community and our lives as individuals. It is not a legislated morality, it is a lived morality. That was the example and message of the early church.
I agree…but that is a long, slow haul in a microwave world.
It’s also not even on the table as a discussion piece in most places.
Now that we’ve laid out the basis of why we write what we write…I acknowledge that this is the minority report…and it’s only by listening to and truly hearing people like Dread that it can ever be more.
Modeling respect and brotherly love has to begin with me…
BTW, the voice of the church in Revelation is not heard speaking on behalf of the beast of politics/government/economics… that is the voice of a false prophet. The voice of the church is that of the martyrs below the altar. It is not about power (religious or political). It is about love evidenced in self-sacrifice.
I get my symbols confused…but isn’t the woman riding the beast a picture of false religion?
As best as we can tell?
“And what this beast is, though it requires a more careful investigation, yet it is not inconsistent with the true faith to understand it of the ungodly city itself, and the community of unbelievers set in opposition to the faithful people and the city of God. For to this beast belong not only the avowed enemies of the name of Christ and His most glorious city, but also the tares which are to be gathered out of His kingdom, the Church, in the end of the world.”
False religion rides on the the beast of the ungodly city (politics/economics/government)… at least according to Augustine…😎
Thanks…I was close…
I think there are three pictures of antichrist power that must be faced the sea beast seems to be antichrist government the land beast is antichrist religion (false prophet) and it seems to be embodied by first century Israel. The Harlot seems to be the old money sex and power imagery.
So we have intimidation, deception and seduction. I follow William Hendrickson in these images. Obviously they are able to represent many things.
The harlot riding the beast pictures what we are seeing in the strange alliance of the American oligarchs and our corrupt government. The images are unlikely to reference one single moment in history.
Augustine’s early depicting of archetypal images certainly provided a fresh perspective in a rather sparse interpretive milieu.
Clearly the Revelator felt that the saints needed to know — he exhorted endurance and wisdom as the navigational route.
He also encouraged separation…
This reminds me of my current annoyance with clips of people getting close to wild animals on social media…convincing the dunces among us that wild bears and wild cats are “safe”.
The only safe place is as far from the beast as possible…
I also think the voice of the church in the text is heard in a variety of images; the 144,000, the unnumbered multitude, the martyrs, the offspring of the woman, the two witnesses, the measured temple.
There are various images of faithful ones who are not seduced, deceived or intimidated.
But … it requires taking a close look.
It’s a great study…just bought another book on it…
“This beast in addition persuades men to raise up the image of the other, the image of the state. It animates this image and gives it the word. Once more, the great weapon of the second beast is the word. It puts its words in the mouth of the state; by it the state speaks, makes itself known, identified, obeyed. We are then truly before the extraordinary work of the animation of a dead structure, of a sterile organization, of a mechanism of power, which becomes [a] living and vital presence. That which actually fills all these roles exactly is Propaganda. . . . it is an inspired analysis of the situation by John, which distinguishes between the organization of power which is the state, and the animation of this structure by the word of propaganda. On the one side, the sword; on the other, the word. . . . Obedience does not suffice; there must be love and profound adhesion.”
Duane, you quoted one of his books I haven’t gotten to yet.
Well worth it…
The Jesus and John Wayne response from Olson was exactly what we experienced and how we dealt with things. Thanks for it.
Listening to her – her book and reviews of her book brought me to the conclusion that her assessment is a core explanation to the response to evangelicalism. I don’t think she sees it as redeemable.
I thought it was interesting and my experience was the same as Olson’s…until I came to Calvary Chapel.
Then it was completely the fault of women…who were labeled as “Philistines” and were out to take down the man of God.