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SUBTLE DIVISION | Too Real S01E05

Romans 16:17-18 (ESV)

Final Instructions and Greetings

17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 (ESV)

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Titus 3:9-11 (ESV)

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Luke 11:17 (ESV)

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.

  • More than One Vision :: Do you have a secret folder?
  • Underground Bitterness :: Are there talks that need to be had while the issue is still small?  Is there any foolish thought you need to apologies for?  Where do you go to “side-chatter”? 
  • Constant Comparison :: Do you get jealous when someone else is celebrated?  Do you often feel like you are performing better than someone else, or someone isn’t performing according to your expectations?  Who do you need to talk to about this?
  • Personal Distance :: Is there a hidden issue/sin that lie to you and causes shame?  Do you feel alienated?
  • Different “Rulers” :: Do we all measure the “win” the same way?  Is there respect for your leader and those around?  Is there a way to work on your respect towards them?  

TIPS:

  • Know the difference difference between division and tension
  • Safe space = one on ones
  • Not filling in the gap with negative assumption = make a vow: I will talk to you and not about you.
  • Lead them don’t control them

THE DANGERS OF BEING SAFE | Too Real S01E04

QUOTE: “You can’t have intimacy without safety.”

  1. Some people need you to share your struggles, but some will struggle with your sharing.
    • “Religion loves you at your best.”
  2. Some people will stand with you when you’re vulnerable, but some will hold it against you.
    • Sometimes people need to validate themselves with a villain.”
    • Don’t amplify the negative. Stop taking advice from miserable people.
  3. Some people will feel safe enough to be challenged, but some will feel like you are challenging their safety.
    • “Make me feel better but don’t dare help me be better.”
    • There is no accountability without authenticity.

FAITH DECONSTRUCTION | Too Real S01E03

“People are very afraid of what looks like deconstruction.”

DEFINITION FOR THIS PODCAST: “A season where doubt leads you to start questioning your faith all the way down to the foundation of it.”
“You go back to the first 1,300 years of Christianity, and faith is defined as a combination of knowing and not knowing…. Now with that out of the picture, and people getting the impression that they have a right to perfect certitude and perfect clarity and perfect order every step of the way, you’ve basically destroyed the biblical idea of faith to begin with.”

Principles that can guide our conversation:

  • ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE PERFECT THEOLOGY INSTANTLY HAS BAD THEOLOGY.  SOUND DOESN’T MEAN PERFECT
  • Deconstruction Is Not Destruction (The Prodigal Son)
  • Language is important, but language fails us

TO THE PERSON WHO IS NOT IN A SEASON OF DECONSTRUCTION:

  • Deconstruction is full of grief* (“You’re just hurt and you need to get over it.”)
  • You have to care but you don’t have to control
    • If you are really concerned: You can’t shame anyone to truly change.***
    • “I would have appreciated INSECURE Christians being SECURE in their faith if it is SOLID. It is the job of rooted believers to not rect and defend their faith, but to live it and hold it as an inner conviction, that is far more attractive than fighting and demanding people see it your way.”
  • “Personal conversations work better than preaching condemnation.”  Isn’t that how Jesus did it most of the time?
    • Listen, share/validate the struggle***
  • Be aware of the fragile parts of your faith (What are you afraid of?)
    • Spiritual maturity ALWAYS takes us through dark nights, wilderness, questions, doubt, etc.
    • Maybe they are MORE DEVOTES TO THEIR FAITH than you are bc they are consumed with figuring it out.  They don’t want it to be inherited.
    • Anger is fear, and we sometimes use our pride as a defense.  WE GET SMUG IN OUR BELIEFS*  DON’T BE A JERK.
  • Celebrate “Wonder”/Questions lead to knowledge, so do you really want to be a part of a culture where that’s not embraced
    • “How come the dinosaurs aren’t in my bible?”
    • “How are Jesus and God mixed together?”
    • “How do I know Holy Spirit is real if I can’t see him Dad?”
  • Ask yourself: Have you arrived?  
    • “If you know it all, then there’s nothing you can learn here.” ~J.R.
    • “If I can’t explain it without churchy language, then I really don’t understand the truth.”  ~E.M. 
    • I want my language to serve as many people as possible!  Isn’t that what the Holy Spirit really wants to do (Acts).
    • There’s a space we ALL live in… sometimes we just don’t have the language for it (MARK 9).  

THE BELONG, BELIEVE, BEHAVE DILEMMA
EVENTS/THOUGHTS THAT STARTED THE JOURNEY:

  • Politics
  • Coming out gay
  • Being a woman in ministry
  • Blatant racism
  • 5 months pregnant and delivering a baby that had no heartbeat
  • Controlling leaders in the church
  • Meeting good people who think differently
  • Losing my mother
  • Watching the church treat people outside of faith badly
  • America’s version of Christianity
  • White supremacy in the church

HOW HAS THE CHURCH TREATED YOU?

  • Ignored their hard questions
  • With grace and faith*
  • Poorly
  • Had to be selective with who to share

HOW COULD WE HELP:

  • Prioritize justice not just when it’s trendy
  • Community
  • Explore all sides and the middle WITH people
  • Being seen and acknowledged
  • Conversations
  • Resourcing

TO THE PERSON WHO IS IN A SEASON OF DECONSTRUCTION:

  • They don’t know your grief and some of them are scared
  • Keep looking at Jesus.  
    • Define what are the majors and minors for you
  • The truth is that they don’t have the right to dismiss your pain, but don’t let your pain dismiss the truth.  
    • TRY your best not fit God into your experiences, but let your experiences reside in God.
    •  Confirmation Bias vs. Scientific Process
    • THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY.  “We can’t judge people on the decisions they made when we don’t know the options they had.”  STARTING LINES ARE DIFFERENT/WOKE*
    • Don’t fight fire with fire. 
  • Study the difference between doubt and denial
    • The truth doesn’t need my approval.
  • Learn to find peace with “Mystery”
    • This is a spiritual journey!

“YES” AND “NO” PEOPLE | Too Real S01E02

Principle #1: Vision leaks.
Principle #2: People are the reason it leaks.

Problems with a Culture of Yes People

  • Culture of insecurity and need for leadership approval
  • Creativity belongs to the leader
  • “Thinkers” are penalized
  • Leader goes unchecked
  • Put preferences over principles
  • “Emotional security is the measurement of performance.”

Problems with a Culture of No People

  • They become the “Humble” Police
  • The status quo is over creativity
  • Find their identity in being “tough & tight”
  • Prefer “making sure” over taking risk
  • “Dreamers” are penalized

Solution: Visionary People

  • Their “yes” or “no” is always accompanied with vision!
  • They are not afraid of work. They own their “Yes.”
  • Their “no” isn’t based on “we can’t” but more about “we shouldn’t”
  • They don’t have to be liked to lead
  • They want to know more about the problem. They ask questions.
  • Not afraid of being repetitive reminders of the vision.

The Art of the Merger Pt. 2

People: Know your audience. I use to teach public speaking, and one of the most significant principles is to know your audience. “The best disciples haven’t been reached yet.” I am personally not interested in fishing in the aquarium. Meaning, I am not motivated by reaching people who are already Christians MORE than those who have no reference to a relationship with Christ.

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The Art of the Merger Pt. 1

This series of posts is the story of how God used this rough around the edges yet experienced bald headed pastor to lead the healing the “over-churched.” Unfortunately, people get hurt by the church and more specifically get hurt by pastors. Pastors are imperfect people just like everyone else, so it’s bound to happen. This type of brokeness at times can cause a church to decline and enter into a state of emergency in regards to its existence.

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