The Tony Jones Blog at Patheos
Past Webisodes: Webisode 1
Very well done TJ! One thing that kept going through my head while I watched the video… Yes, I was 17 once, and I too stopped going to church for a long time. I too had “a bone to pick” about how I was treated (or perhaps about how the way I thought I was being treated) by the church. I too made the incredible leap and exclaimed that the church was joke, therefore God is a joke as well.
Now as I look back 25 years in the past, I realize that I wasn’t treated poorly at all – I was being taught, and I was being urged to repent. But I was 17! I didn’t like the method, and I certainly didn’t like the message. So, like many my age, I rebelled!
At 17, I would have loved a church that never urged me to repent, never judged me, and never tried to convince me that I had a decision to make, and that the decision was of eternal importance. I’m glad that I did have a church then that loved me enough to be hard on me once in a while and had the conviction and faith that I would eventually learn the truth. I hope that the new kind of Christian maintains some of the tough love that we “moderns” endured many years ago.
Great youtube spot!!!Thanks for being openminded for the masses TONEY!!!!!!!!You rock….
I’ve enjoyed watching the videos of you and Frank. I love the candidness you both shared with each other.
re: brother Arens – a distinction should be made between being taught difficult life lessons (which should be done in humility and with respect, if I read Paul correctly) and being shunned by a community.
Yes there’s a huge distinction here johnohara! – I agree. The question that comes to mind here – has the person been shunned by a community or do they FEEL that they were shunned by a community? When I was 17 and in the midst of receiving the “tough love” treatment, you better believe that I FELT like I was being shunned by a community!I wanted my victimhood! (It is very much in vogue these days to be a victim if you haven’t noticed).
Tony Arens #5
What i hope isn’t in vogue is stepping on those who feel victimized and telling them they should just get over or see above their circumstances.
“That secret ingredient…the Holy Spirit.” That’s awesome.
David – In my case, “just get over it” was something I needed to hear. But for the vast majority of those who feel victimized, heavens no! We have to treat those with gentleness and kindness.
Case-in-point – a friend in my small group tells a story about her drung addiction and depression that she suffered. Her pastor told her it was because of her sin and if she would straighten up, she would get better. What an idiot. However in this case, even in her state, she considered the source, leaned on scripture for the truth, exposed the moron’s statements for what they were, and saw above it. She didn’t blame God, or Christianity, or community. She tested the pathetic teaching that she received against the very character of Jesus found in scripture and came to the conclusion that his view on her condition was WRONG.
My point is that many will take a view, like the view of my friend’s pastor, and construct a conclusion that the criticism is of God or of the church or of the community, and then put on the armor of victimhood.
In response, we often over-swing the pendulum to offset these moronic teachings by over-altering the message to reflect compassion. We sometimes loose a wonderful opportunity to teach. The sword of truth can sometimes be a little sharp, but sometimes people need to hear it – and we as witnesses can present this truth with gentleness and kindness.
Theological Rumble Strips–Awesome. That is a great analogy.
As Maries former youth leader and being well acquainted with her family situation, I can only say that her comments on the video barely scratch the surface of what she endured at the church. The way she was treated since she went from being the star Awana club student to an outcast was one of the key reasons I left that particular church. The fact that I was also involved with Solomons Porch in Mn. and friends with Tony helped me keep my attitude toward that particular church from becoming completely bitter. Marie is slowly coming back to her trust in God and Ben has begun to communicate with me on a regular basis. Pray for us all as you have the chance. Frank
When the pastor, discussion leader or whatever you call him or her hears something that is not correct according to biblical orthodox Christianity does that person correct the incorrect statement/question? Let’s say for instance someone raises their hand sitting on one of those cumfy sofas and says “There’s no hell!” What would be said to that person?
Is there ever a time in your church where the pastor preaches? Where he proclaims the word of God to the people? Or is it always a Q&A format?
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