Every Sunday morning, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission (or that just made us laugh). Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:
On Heresy, Orthodoxy, and Grace
Morgan Guyton masterfully explains heresy in reference to debates within the United Methodist Church:
When I’m unjust to that legitimate truth in attacking a false belief because it makes me feel mightier to do a total takedown of somebody else, I am turning what God could use as a teaching opportunity into an “unprofitable and useless quarrel” that promotes me instead of God and alienates the other person from God. I am being a heretic even if I’m right.
There’s a huge difference between picking fights over doctrine heretically and correcting false beliefs pastorally. As I shared in the opening, our congregations are filled with heterodoxies of varying harm. Everyone is at least slightly heterodox about something; we cannot live in the world without acquiring some level of heterodoxy.
Tim Challies continues his “False Teachers” series by zeroing in on Brian McLaren:
As McLaren’s theology has matured and taken shape over time and through his books, he has stepped forward as a leader in a new and revived form of theological liberalism. This displays itself most clearly in his view of Scripture.
In A New Kind of Christianity he insists that Christians have long been reading the Bible through the distorted lens of a Greco-Roman narrative. This narrative produced many false dualisms, an air of superiority, and a false distinction between those who were “in” and those who were “out.” These three marks of false narrative have so impacted our faith that we can hardly see past them. His book attempts to do that, and to reconstruct the Christian faith as it is meant to be.
Brian McLaren responds to Tim’s accusation:
Of course, when he calls me a false teacher, he is speaking from his vantage point as an articulate, committed, zealous, and sincere Christian fundamentalist. (I mean “fundamentalist” not in a pejorative sense, but in the tradition of J. Gresham Machen, to whom the author refers.) From that vantage point, he speaks the truth as he sees it. Similarly, both Tim Challies and I could be considered false teachers by people of other traditions, since (as far as I know) neither of us are under papal authority established by apostolic succession (Roman Catholic) or the ecclesial authority of bishops recognized by the Orthodox communion, nor do we honor the seventh day appropriately (Seventh Day Adventist), nor do we affirm the “second blessing” and speaking in tongues as the initial physical evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit (Assemblies of God).
On Mother’s Day
Shauna Niequist speaks at Q Ideas on the topic of What My Mother Taught Me: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIzgyW95grc#t=47]
On Nigerian Girls & White Privilege
Kristen Howerton explains Why Girls in Nigeria Should Matter to You:
Make no mistake: if this threat is achieved, these girls are not brides. They are not wives. We should refuse this language because it waters down the violence of being kidnapped and held against your will. They are trafficked children. If they are being forced into sexual relationships through unwanted marriage, they are sex slaves. Their bright futures have been traded for a life of slavery if they are not rescued.
This is a devastating story . . . it’s a nightmare for any parent to imagine this reality. And yet, despite it happening over two weeks ago, there has been very little news coverage of the story. I didn’t even hear about it until April 30th, and that was from a hashtag on twitter. I turned on CNN that evening, hoping to learn more, and watched an entire hour of news coverage without a single mention of this story.
And then she explains why White Privilege Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means:
Being told to check your privilege has nothing to do with apologizing for being white. It has to do with being insensitive to the life experiences of others. “Check your empathy skills” might be a better phrase, but nonetheless, it’s not an attempt to shame someone’s race, but rather to point out that someone is refusing to acknowledge privilege differentials.
On Anabaptism & Colonialism
David Fitch sparks important conversation around the Anabaptist values of submission and subordination:
There are two words which I find immensely important to the leadership of the church and its cultural engagement. Yet these same two words are almost universally despised by the average Western Christian because of the baggage they carry from the history of the church. This makes using them within leadership/cultural engagement discussions very difficult (to say the least). Nonetheless they name extremely important postures for the church from which space can be shaped for the rule of God to break in through Christ. And though I’ve tried to find other words to take their place, nothing captures their essence like the words themselves. So, I propose we reclaim them via two adjectives that I have learned from within the Anabaptist discussion. I’d like to advocate we never use these words without these adjectives. That perhaps in this way we can reclaim these ways as ways of Jesus for the revolutionary.
Scott Emery takes a deeper look at colonizing tendencies in our own lives and relationships:
However, as the above tweet gets at, I’ve been realizing the ease of being blind to my stay at home colonialism.
When I don’t listen
When I bulldoze over
When I believe I know the correct fix for another’s problem
When I assume
When I believe the way I feel is how you should feel
When I play the victim when you are hurt
On Reconciliation & Peacemaking
The Anglican News Service released these two videos of an interview with our own Developmental Team member, Rev. Tory Baucum: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-7LWAo4rYQ] [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwPGK45pups]
Ok, so what did we miss? Add your links in the comments!