Nov 12, 2020
Trigger warning (and kiddo
warning): As the episode title suggests, I am going to be talking
about some hard topics and sharing some vulnerable
It’s time to acknowledge the
elephant in the room
- It feels dismissive to do a podcast
on dating this week.
- I am committed to being honest with
you and have hard conversations. I’m committed to moving towards
that thing that is uncomfortable because I honestly think it’s what
we all long for.
- I might say it wrong, I may peel back
in hindsight, I may be misunderstood, you may disagree. My hope is
that this gets you talking, processing, and thinking
- Also caveat: we’re all humans, we all
mess up. We all need redemption.
Here’s what’s going
- Evangelical leaders are being exposed
at a rapid rate for their moral failures. This year, we have:
- Liberty University President Jerry
Falwell Jr. exposed.
- Pastor John Gray exposed for being
unfaithful to his wife.
- Christian Comedian John Crist exposed
for sex addiction.
- Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz (my
former pastor) was fired for “leadership issues, breaches of
trust, and moral failures”. The day after the news was made
public, Carl released a statement on Instagram admitting to
cheating on his wife. Since then, at least one woman has come
forward claiming a 5-month relationship with Carl that ended just
- So this is where we are… I am sad. I
am hurting. I am angry. I am tired of seeing pastor after male
pastor lack integrity and accountability. The fallout of this
behavior is deeper and wider than even we can comprehend.
- The most overlooked people in these
scenarios are those who have been hurt, betrayed, abused, by the
- Jesus always took care of the
o With all these
men’s public confession… let’s be clear that all of these men got
CAUGHT and THEN confessed. There is an outpouring of praise: “What
a good man. Your ministry has blessed me so much.”
- Dismissal of pain. We’re allowed to
be angry. Gaslighting and spiritual manipulation.
- Misunderstanding of biblical
To the hurting and betrayed: I acknowledge
- Wives and children: humiliation,
betrayal, breach of trust
- Those who worked with and led with
who feel blindsided
- To those who worked for and served
- To those who attended their
- To the people of color who feel
heartbroken because Carl has been such a voice in the racial
justice conversation and Black Lives Matter movement.
- I ACKNOWLEDGE YOU. I acknowledge your
pain. What happened was wrong, and I’m so sorry you are going
The fallout and heartache is deep and wide
- You are allowed to grieve
- You are allowed to be angry
- You are allowed to process
- No one has the right to tell you how
you should feel or when you should be “over” this.
Do we have such low view of
- Whispering between the lines of all
this public praise for a confession is another
message: boys will be boys
- When will we stop believe the lies
that sexual integrity is harder for men than it is for women
o The crushing
pressure of my sexual purity and the sexual integrity of men is on
my shoulders is wrong. It was never ours to carry, and men it’s
time you take ownership.
- Men just as much made in the image of
God as women are.
- Women are just as much sexual beings
as men are.
- I call BS on the whole thing. Do you
really have such low view of men that we think them incapable of
learning how to control their urges and impulses?
- I don’t accept this behavior and I’m
mad not because I think poorly of men, but because I view highly of
- You are a reflection of the image of
God, just as women are. It’s time to hold yourself to a higher
- It’s time to do the work, get
accountability for real.
- Oppression stops not when the
oppressed takes a stand, but when the oppressor repents and turns
o One of the most
upsetting things was that it was men in the comments praising the
fallen pastor and I saw one lonely woman who said “No. Not okay”.
Men, why are you leaving this up to us?”
- Men, I love you. Be better.
Church, we have to do better
- When we allow this behavior to go on
in our church walls, the church no longer is a safe place for the
disadvantaged, for the oppressed, for the ostracized, the abused,
but a sanctuary for the religious elite, privileged, and those who
are abusing their power.
- Jesus hated abuse of power. We see
Jesus flipping over tables in the temple and yelling at the
religious elite, “You brood of vipers.” Why? The house of God
became a place where those in power abused their power and took
advantage of the weak. Do I believe in forgiveness? Do I believe in
restoration? Of course. But this behavior should make us angry and
spur us to action on behalf of those being taken advantage of. Why?
Because this behavior makes Jesus angry.
- My plea to the church: we have to do
- The church is supposed to be a
witness to the world. A reflection of Jesus us— the Jesus who has
transformed our lives. Yet, is the church as it stands today a
witness to world beckoning hope, acceptance, unconditional love,
mercy, and grace? We are a house divided. We are a mockery of what
it means to reflect the God image to a world longing for
Pause to look
- I’m not above or below having a lapse
in judgement or a moral failure. No one is.
- We become who we are through tiny
decisions that we do or do not make every single day. Every
thought, action, posture of the heart, compromise big or small
leads us on a path towards life or destruction. Who are you
- I have been quick to anger, quickly
offended, sharp tongues, and I want to apologize for that. I have
been blind to my judgmental spirit because I have felt right. It
has felt justifiable.
“Being a Christian can be
confusing. Our faith is unique among the world’s religions in its
central teaching of grace, yet it’s known as a religion of works.
Christianity is supposed to be defined by love, yet Christians are
viewed as judgmental hypocrites. Our faith proclaims forgiveness of
sin, yet we are often remembered for our self-righteous behavior.
One research group studying evangelical Christians revealed these
public perceptions: “Evangelicals were called illiterate, greedy,
psychos, racist, stupid, narrow-minded, bigots, idiots, fanatics,
nut cases, screaming loons, delusional, simpletons, pompous,
morons, cruel, nitwits, and freaks, and that’s just a partial
list…some people don’t have any idea what Evangelicals actually are
or what they believe—they just know that can’t stand Evangelicals.”
…I have struggled with the gap between what I say and how I live. I
have struggled profoundly to integrate my faith into my personal
life. Have you felt this tension?” —Jon Tyson,
The Burden is Light
I am no better
- I am one wrong decision away from
- Who am I? Who do I want to be? Who
has access to my life?
- Do I have the courage to be known in
the moment and not just after a crisis or when I’m found out?
- I reached out to several pastor and
mentors and friends this week and said, “Hey, I don’t want this to
be me. Will you walk with me? I want to be known.”
- Who are you becoming?
I want to speak peace and hope over
you, me, us. Hope does not put us to shame. Jesus’ heart is to make
all things new. Jesus makes us new, makes the church new, comforts
us, brings us peace. Restore only what you can restore.
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