A lengthy response to the insanity continually being unveiled within popular evangelicalism.
1 Timothy 5:19-21
19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 20 Those guilty of sin must be rebuked before all, as a warning to the rest. 21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands WITHOUT PREJUDICE OR FAVORITISM OF ANY KIND.
When will it be sufficient to say, “yes we have enough witnesses, and something needs to be done” in this kangaroo court mockery of real injustice ironically similar to the injustices of Christ’ mockery of a trial, the greatest story in history “the church” continues to tell…………..unhumorously repeating history leading identical mock and rigged siege mentality judgements of those who dare oppose you ?
Or will it ever be sufficient to act, remove or publicly call out these people because deeply vested interest$ are always at $take.
Take for example these two most recent stories. One highlighting the very things many I know in our little corner of Christendom are all too familiar with….. when the crosshairs are turned on you while within “the collective” (Star Trek). As in the real world of statistical information with every story boldly told, it often represents hundreds if not thousands of untold stories of similar experiences hidden behind fear of conflict, normal timidity, lack of interest, understandable public career suicide concerns, intimidation, apathy and or hurled baseless accusations of stigmatized mental health challenges with people who previously were considered as loyal, faithful, committed members. A distracting “diagnosis” given by people much like the Sue, Stephen (btw Stephen Smith it’s been noted YOU – and men like you- should have been the one facing “excommunication” or “church discipline” evidenced by your pride filled self ascribed British “wit” laced with impetuous arrogance and smugness on Facebook and in person over what you minimize as a “casual observation” surrounding a very serious matter brought about by such gospel masquerading hive minds- not a mother of 4, an easy target for you men- while you’re now currently “modelling” beautiful exemplary Christian living with “behind the scenes” leadership and “support” services, where many know you love to shine), David, Fred and Pat’s of the evangelical world. BTW are you all still having your GIANT Bible (literally in a day of devices and ipads) studies in the public market place (an often crowded Starbucks, read Matt 6 at your next one) for all to see in an attempt to make relational evangelistic inroads? That photograph got around and is telling of what I saw for years, I’m fully aware of many of these types of pet projects. So what changed as you turned on people you once “loved” as “Christ” other than many began to question and challenge your motives? And eventually some among you deemed them as mentally ill and or unstable. Even worthy of being institutionalized according to your “professionally” uneducated assessment while from the same mind agreeing through silence with your papal authority the supposed demerits of mental health or psychological studies and therapies….can’t have it both ways people UNLESS those are just merely the basic justifiable weapons of “sinful” countermeasure warfare pulled out when desperately needed to silence, confuse and annihilate your hive detractors. And dare I say all while collecting every penny and support entitled you from government coffers in raising many of our children who, through convenient cognitive dissonance as parents, we agree often can have various kinds of discovered developmental challenges well studied and written about in a “secular” “therapeutic culture that elevates the doctrine of self esteem to an almost secular salvivic status”. A tragic point of view as it relates to children and child development (and I’m no specialist but I know more than I would ever want to about religious indoctrination and addictions) yet pathetically and conveniently misguiding to the uninformed and honest usually young “seeker”.
Yet all this is not enough WITHIN “the collective” gospel hive mind to ever act as instructed in Paul’s letter to Timothy. Not once in 28 years. Yet I have witnessed and been aware of several “excommunications” and or subsequent “church discipline” actions taken against people perpetuated by a “gospel centered” shun mob mentality yet never once do church leaders and their surrogates face the equal consequences of their own numerous hidden corrupt activities.
When will this be enough to end the madness?
Many of these evangelical and or reformed establishment leaders when I was involved had condescending views of well studied psychological and mental health therapies that are still held from their latest online sermons that discount such advances in human understanding and discoveries within mental health that effectively leave their faithful followers with no real remedies to life’s real challenges other than to seek internal “biblical counsel” from the experts in Bible truth, pastors and teachers of the law, in essence themselves- recent “sermon” on “secular” therapies for addiction ie “a dubious message borne from a therapeutic culture that elevates the doctrine of self esteem to an almost secular salvivic status”. Another recipe for deep seated (but necessary for church survival) dependence upon their spiritual insight to provide “true” godly “biblical” counsel to the never ending trials, (frustrated) temptations, and challenges in life thus upholding the illusion of such pastors/ teachers and their counsel being in great demand rather than a people growing and maturing to become independent thinkers with interdependent relationships that are not insular but outwardly empathetic and unafraid as was modelled by Jesus himself. Another typical unquestioned statement “Our faith has too much self reliance and not enough reliance upon Jesus. There is a difference, a world of difference between those two things”, what the hell does such meaningless speech mean to any thinking Christian mind anyways never mind normal thinking people in “the world” you’re supposedly trying to reach? Such ridiculous statements then beg the question who then determines on Jesus’ behalf whether ones faith is relying on Him as prescribed or relying on ones self “too much”? “The church” and its often compromised teachers of the law? And by what means is such ethereal unsubstantiable, subjective, simpleton ideologies measured that often go far beyond the New Testament measures of the “fruits of the spirit” especially if such “fruit” is not favourable or to your liking? Success? Obedience? Financial “generosity” & consistency? “All in” Commitment? Submissiveness? Unquestioning Support? Loyalty? Leadership/ Discipleship aspirations? Agreement? Endorsement? Compliance? Red flags abound..
As with the second link another difficult story, ones I’ve also heard from once vibrant and trusting believers. Leaving these harmful cloistered environments tragically does not have to result in abandoning ones faith yet sadly often does. After all, unfortunately, these life altering disillusioning events often (not always but definitely often) involve people who merely through a series of well orchestrated schemes, “circumstances” and trample opportunities eventually find themselves at the top of the “church leadership” industry heap in clergy positions or coveted and sometimes compelled or baited often naively accepted “Care / Community Group” / Ministry leadership roles supposedly representing God. Thus the wake of disillusionment and destructive abusive patterns that often follow is theirs alone to bear & own not the God they claim to represent who rarely if ever or maybe never puts any of these types of people in those “positions” of “calling”. Nor is there any fact or truth in the fear mongering myth and deception that God will somehow abandon you and your family leaving “the pastoral (papacy) covering” and any resultant “hardships” in life are a direct result of walking away from his church, “a primary means of god’s grace in your life”. All disingenuous and clever drivel(ous) Hogg-wash aka b******t. Because the hardship of life exist in all of humanity whether believers or not just as rain and sun befalls the just or unjust or as gain can come to the unjust or corrupt and conversely great loss can overwhelm the good or upright (yes “good” or “upright” a scandalous posture to the right wing reformed preachers I know) who humbly follow Christ, to the point of despairing of life itself. Yet His love sustains all who sincerely call upon Him and who don’t use His fiercely faithful name, love and character as a means of personal gain or social self promotional notoriety through what often is a shell game within a charade of an enigmatic “calling” through presumptive appropriation.
Heard a sermon recently where a local self assured charismatic pastor insinuated that if the government removed tax exemption status for churches we would simply continue with business as usual with less paperwork. A nice hypothetical scenario that sounds noble to speak of within the hive yet if that ever happened I can assure you that with some of the leaders I knew if another career path was not an option they would become twice the devil they once were (but finally unveiled as such, being they often can’t help themselves). As they would then with punitive audacity attack the “truthful” motives of people who are not giving because they no longer receive tax receipts, to use the same hypothetical license. As I said before, many which inevitably would mean all, churches should be removed from tax exemption status because of all the unregulated toxic nonsense that goes on and in my opinion almost instantaneously (over a few short years) you may clear and or separate the sheep from the wolves and faith from ambition on both sides of that stage using your much coveted pocketbook, bill fold, debit card or cheque book continually in ever increasingly clever ways mined for mammon.
Maybe, just maybe then there will FINALLY be enough witnesses to call these impenitent clergy and their surrounding swarm out as a caution to many and a warning to themselves. And they can finally claim uncompromising “full obedience to this book”, “the scriptures” “the WORD OF gOD” by accepting their role in contributing to the pain and anguish of individuals and tens and sometimes hundreds at a time across this globe often represented by numerous stories like the two highlighted. Not to worry though, no one is holding their breath while praying for this to take place.
Yet for the sake of healthy children and mental health considerations, hopefully fewer and fewer are off to see the Wizards of modern evangelicalism……because the needed witnesses with their stories and proof really are well hidden (managed through clever manipulation & twisting of scripture) if not buried deep within this gospel pudding.
A sweet tasting mixture at first that eventually in many (not all but a growing number) begins to turn very sour after Jesus along with dignity and conscience have departed the apparent “Mess Worth Making”.
And where the tables of application have turned and the now despot, angry, defensive older brother often in (loved) positions of pastoral & church leadership (the still remaining unrepentant disguised prodigal of Luke 15: 11-32) in many cases has taken charge over the hen house, “the church”. With a “welcoming” smile handing out transparent blindfolds with spoonfuls of “here we work hard to do it right”, “sound doctrine” & “submitting to authority” – to name a few – at the door to ensure no longer will his Father give away the inheritance & “god’s resources” he believes is “rightfully” his.
A church where leaders manage out of fear and insecurity, unable to trust in God’s faithfulness and find real work in the real world to do “His work” for which one believes they’re “called” to, is no church at all. Watch and wait as more and more are either spit out or find themselves fighting through and emerging from this mess as the witnesses and proof that was once deeply immersed in this molding evangelical gospel pudding.