Spirit + Kingdom + Church

Without God’s Spirit, there is nothing we can do that will count for God’s kingdom. Without God’s Spirit, the church simply can’t be the church.

— N. T. Wright

The Right and Painful Side of #MeToo

The changes at Willow Creek have been cataclysmic in the last year. With the resignation of Bill Hybel’s remaining successor and the entirety of Willow Creek’s Elder Board, the #MeToo movement has had a righteous effect upon evangelical Christianity, and that it is a good thing. Now to be clear, Bill Hybel has not been found guilty in a court of law. The preponderance of people testifying to being victims and the seeming overwhelming testimony in support of their character puts all the weight on the side of guilty.

The question is, now what?

In many circles (Christian and secular) chide (to put it nicely) Mike Pence regarding his “Rule” regarding women, along with Billy Graham. There is a reasonable claim that the rule hurts both women and men. The concern of most of those make that claim is on two primary levels: a very negative perception of humanity (though justified) and the barriers that the rule puts between men and women in the workplace (especially churches, but everywhere).

I’m not convinced that we are in the ideal place where accountability is the only thing necessary. Do all pastors (this being the real focus of my thoughts) have glass offices (or should we call them fish bowls) from here on out? In the office, or the church, we should be okay.* At least, that is what we are told. Yes, pastors and leaders should not have delusions of power and control, but in the sad state of fallen humankind, it will happen.

However, we watch things unfold in other circles, careless trust is as dangerous as the (understandable) fear of being denied opportunities of individual mentoring and conversation (let alone counseling).

I don’t have an answer. I just know that there are two “sides”, but I don’t think they have a similar idea for mitigation.

*Yet, all we need to look at the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant churches and our schools regarding child abuse to see that it really isn’t that simple or clean.

Beautiful Transparency

There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.

—Brennan Manning