Welcome to episode 11 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about community and accountability. Most of us think community and accountability are two sides of the same coin, or that one (accountability) is necessary for the other (community) to function. Community is the agreed upon goal and we think accountability is the bus that will take us there. But it’s not. That bus is traveling in the opposite direction.
Accountability encourages people to pretend. Community invites us into the Father’s affection where we can feel safe and accepted, fully known and fully loved without any pretense. In an accountability structure, we learn to hide the stuff that’s the real us or that we think will disappoint others and God. We learn how to fake it and which masks to wear to fake people out in every circumstance. In accountability structures, we are focused on getting people to do what they don’t really want to do by way of manipulation and behavior management with corresponding rewards and punishments.
Welcome to episode 10 of The UnSunday Show. We’ve reached double-digits! In this episode I talk about two phrases in scripture that religion has successfully convinced us are spiritual disciplines: dying daily and bearing our cross. Religion has turned these into closely related spiritual disciplines where I need to be killing myself off every day and learning to hold up under the weight of life’s circumstances, or bearing my cross.
But is that what these phrases mean? Are bearing my cross and dying daily spiritual disciplines indicative of spiritual maturity? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 9 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about 1 John 1:9 and the confession of sins. This passage says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The question I address in this episode is does John mean believers should be repeatedly confessing sins in order to experience forgiveness up to that point in time? If so, how do we reconcile 1 John 1:9 with other New Testament passages that teach the once-for-all forgiveness of sins secured on the cross? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 6 of the UnSunday Show! This is a bonus episode, published outside of my normal Thursday posts. If you like what’s going on here, please share it with a friend. In this episode, I talk about formal church membership. Formal church membership is an accountability contract the institution will require you to sign in order to have leverage over you as motivation to keep supporting the institution. That’s not a description you’ll see on any church website, but it cuts to the chase and it’s true. Make no mistake, what you’re signing is an accountability contract designed to keep you in conformity with the institution’s established requirements using rewards for compliance and punishments for failure to comply.
There are usually 3 areas covered in most formal church membership contracts that are there in order to secure conformity to the established rules of the group. They are:
Money and Personal Resources
Power, Authority, and Accountability
The Threat of Excommunication For Failure to Comply
This episode is a re-post of one of my Ekklesia podcasts from about a year and a half ago. I’m reposting it here because it says everything I wanted to say in this episode, so why re-invent the wheel? There are a couple of small things in it that I would reword today, but those aren’t show-stoppers. I also present some foundational thoughts on how we’ve brought Old Covenant imagery into the New Covenant ekklesia (church) and how detrimental that is to both our view of God and the church.
Welcome to episode 3 of the new UnSunday Show! This episode is an episode from my old Ekklesia Podcast that I brought over to share with you.
We hear it all the time and it’s used in so many ways that we don’t think to question it. We assume it’s true because we’ve been told it is for so long. I’m talking about the clergy/laity distinction. Far from being a help, the clergy/laity caste system stands in the way of a church where every believer is a priest. It reduces the priesthood of all believers to a priesthood of a select few “professional” Christians. It creates an “us and them” mentality that adds a new layer of separation within the the assembly and renders most of the church passive while the professional segment of the church assumes more and more power.
I am more convinced more than ever that the clergy/laity distinction and its resulting top-down authority structure is a key enabler of abuse in the church that needs jettisoned.