Monday, February 20, 2012

Why Should I Trust You If I Don't Know You?

Alan Knox takes a stab at debunking the popular idea - yea, even lament - that "this generation" has a problem committing to church and a problem with respect for authority.  He doesn't buy it.  Instead, he simply makes a point that "this generation" has figured out that:

"people are not trustworthy simply because of their position or because they say that they are trustworthy."

While I do think that "this generation" has some problems of its own, I also think Alan has a very good point about trust and commitment.  I think the opposite can be at least as true, in that previous generations maybe had too much trust of authority and committed to church maybe a bit to a fault.  Either way, Alan's post is thought provoking.  And yes, I do trust the authorities that I know much more than those I don't.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Adding The Wartburg Watch

I am adding a new blog to my links.  See The Wartburg Watch.  The Wartburg Watch, to paraphrase their basic description, is a blog authored by two women who are dedicated to the discussion of disturbing trends in the realm of Christendom.  This includes the topics of spiritual abuse within churches, authoritarianism, legalism and other such things.

I occasionally visited TWW upon finding a link there, but the recent news over the church discipline case at Mars Hill prompted me to add TWW to my links (it can be found under my "Notable and of Interest" section).  The authors have personally experienced mistreatment from church leadership and have decided to write about their own experiences as well as the experiences of others.  I would encourage anybody with an interest in such things to check out The Wartburg Watch.

Monday, February 13, 2012

On Authoritarian Church Leadership

Recently the disturbing story about "church discipline" at Mars Hill church broke.  Mark Driscoll was in the spotlight again, and a new conversation about authoritarian church leadership started. (I will provide links in another post) Numerous other people commented and responded with blog posts of their own.  All of this came on the heels of the less popular topic of problems with CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries not long before.

One of the more interesting things to me as I read the story of "Andrew" and how he was treated by his church is that there are many more very similar stories out there about Mars Hill, SGM, and other like-minded churches.  I am no exception to this myself as I have attended my share of what I would call authoritarian churches.  The attitudes and treatment that others have received are similar to what I have experienced, both by myself and others I have known.

In upcoming posts I hope to comment on authoritarian churches, deal with some of the theological issues behind their ideas, and maybe relate my own stories.  I hope also to look at Andrew's story and the reaction to it that comes from all sides.  Authoritarian leadership has been a problem for God's people for ages.  Understanding it is a first step for Christians in dealing with it head on.