My reading started with a story about CJ Mahaney taking a leave of absence from his ministry for “various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment and hypocrisy”.
Mahaney’s stepping down leads one to ponder John Piper’s actions a year ago.
Somehow, all of this reading led me back to Mark Driscoll (probably because of his affiliation with Mahaney) who hasn’t been out of the controversy lime-light for very long with his unfortunate comments and crude language.
But I also take seriously the comments of a pastor friend of mine that men also feel under attack. I understand the concerns many have about the absence of men in the church.
And then there are the cries against gossip or attempts to hide the truth about leaders abusing their power or covering up blackmail and the sexual molestation of church members.
The more I read, the more horrified I become. Apparently it’s not safe to be a man or a woman, a pastor or a pew-sitter. We’re all under attack.
And isn’t that kind of the point?
There are a few scant chapters in the Bible where it seems safe to be a human being. After a brief glimpse of a harmonious world, we’re plunged into a narrative of humanity fighting for its life. Women are being ruled over by their husbands and men are eking out a livelihood from an uncooperative world. Family members are murdering or molesting one another. God’s people are sniveling, complaining, and forgetful.
Men and manhood are under attack. So are women and womanhood also under attack. It’s dangerous to be a pastor with its pride-breeding lime lights. It’s dangerous to submit yourself to leadership who will always be far from perfect.
It’s sad that while all of us are in the same situation, we’re turning on each other so spectacularly. We’re like stranded travelers trying to decide who to eat first. Men blame women, women blame men and Satan laughs with glee at our lack of unity and love for each other.
What if the world knew us not for our rants against and attempts to undercut one another, not for the finger pointing, not for the list of pastors who’ve fallen off their pedestals, but for our love for each other?
What might happen then?