A Ritual for Congregational Confession [Anderson Campbell]


Confession has gotten a bad rap. In our strengths-driven, success-oriented, put-on-a-good-face, USAmerican culture, we don’t like to deal with our shortcomings, our failings, our sins. We deny, we equivocate, we rationalize, anything we can think of to avoid having to deal with the ways we’ve failed to love God, to love others, and love ourselves. We sweep those things far under the rug, out of sight, out of mind, where they fester and gnaw at our insides.In confession, we are asked to con … [Read more...]

Whiteness on Display: JD Greear and the Southern Baptist Convention on Homosexuality and Slavery [Brandon Wrencher]


This is not about homosexuality. It's about the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Bible offends every generation in different ways. Preaching against homosexuality in our day is about as popular as preaching against racism and slavery in Charleston, South Carolina in 1861. And I'm sure the politically correct people back then said ‘you know what? You're just creating a lot of waves that are unnecessary...just preach the gospel!’This is the commentary of mega-church pastor of The Summit, JD Gree … [Read more...]

Likes, Followers, and Friends: Finding Adolescent Self-Worth in Spite of Social Media, Pt. 1 [Mandy Meisenheimer]


It was the beginning of a new and exciting decade. I had the bangs. I had the vest and jean skirt. I knew the Running Man and the Roger Rabbit. But I left the seventh grade dance feeling worthless. I came back home and collapsed on the couch in tears. Nobody I liked wanted to slow dance with me, so I must be detestable.  As my eyes filled with tears behind my plastic pink glasses, my mother reached for a large heavy book from our bookshelf. She sat close to me, opened the thick cover, and began … [Read more...]

Church: Chile in the Borscht [Jim Kast-Keat]


I grew up in the church. Literally. My earliest memories are being pushed up and down the long hallway in the church basement in my dad's office chair. It's rare for me to recall a Sunday when I wasn't in church, first sitting beside my mom, later my friends, and eventually working in a church as a pastor. It's in my blood. It's on my skin. And as I continue to grow, evolve, and develop, so do the church communities I find myself in. Me and the church; we've grown up together. And I don't see … [Read more...]

Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Threat of Incarnational Living [Scott Emery]


If you were to ask me, “Who is the most influential Christian in American history?” Martin Luther King, Jr. probably wouldn’t immediately come to mind. In the world I come out of, the likes of a Billy Graham would be the answer to that question because he “saved souls.”As a Christian American who happens to be white (and I ordered them in that way on purpose) and grew up in a middle class suburban family and Christian church, I am embarrassed to say I am not as familiar with MLK, Jr. as I sho … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Brandon Chase


The idolatry of Salvation has a trickle down effect towards misappropriating a crucial spiritual tenet - that is, of the nature of Heaven and The Kingdom. When we view life through a Salvation lens – we see things and read Scripture with a focus on getting ourselves, and then others, to Heaven. We read the Bible and see words about proclaiming Jesus as Lord, following Jesus, taking up your cross, eternal reward, inheriting the Kingdom, life in the Spirit, faithful living, and on and on and often … [Read more...]

Notes on a Hashtag: #IStandWithSGMVictims


Friday, on the heels of the Nate Morales conviction and the confession to covering up child sexual abuse at Covenant Life Church by former pastor Grant Layman, I started a hashtag on Twitter.I've never started a hashtag with any real intention behind it, and I've generally been wary of "hashtag activism." But this story is so important to me. I have been closely involved in homeschool-movement and neo-Calvinist churches with abusive cultures, and I'm passionate about shining light on that … [Read more...]

Some Questions for Organizations Close to the SGM Case


[<a href="//storify.com/zhoag/some-questions-for-organizations-istandwithsgmvict" target="_blank">View the story "Some Questions for Organizations / #IStandWithSGMVictims" on Storify</a>] … [Read more...]

The Gospel Coalition Connection to SGM Victim Advocacy


[<a href="//storify.com/zhoag/standing-behind-istandwithsgmvictims" target="_blank">View the story "The @TGC Connection to #IStandWithSGMVictims" on Storify</a>] … [Read more...]

Brad Sargent: My “Slate of Eight” Restitution Suggestions for SGM & CLC

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This is a guest post from an expert in the area of responding to abuse/unhealth within organizations/institutions, Brad Sargent. As the #IStandWithSGMVictims tag trended on Twitter yesterday in the wake of the Nate Morales conviction, Brad offered needed, concrete insights. He expands on those insights in this post.In the Morales trial, witness Grant Layman (former pastor of CLC) was questioned under oath and stated the following, according to the on-the-scene account of Brent … [Read more...]