Reporting Abuse, Political Pyromania, & the Good of Church Discipline
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, when it comes to reading, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Church Resource of the Week
When Are We, As a Church, Mandated to Report Abuse? Brad Hambrick. “When someone talks to you about their experience of abuse they are giving you a high compliment. This kind of disclosure is risky and vulnerable. The level of trust they are investing in you speaks to how much they trust you and value your friendship. Because God loves the oppressed (Psalm 9:9) we must take seriously our call to be both God’s ambassadors and part of his refuge.”
Articles of the Week
We No Longer Want to Win. We Want to Destroy. Michael Gerson. Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings have, perhaps unsurprisingly, become contentious in a hurry. Recent charges of sexual assault against Kavanaugh are dominating the “discussion,” if that term still fits. Because, as Gerson argues, our current political landscape seems less concerned with finding out the truth than it does demolishing the “bad guys” on the other side. Both Kavanaugh’s political defenders and political accusers seem more concerned with lighting their opponents on fire than with winning an argument. That’s not politics as usual; it’s political pyromania.
Eight Reasons Your Excuses for Not Practicing Church Discipline Don’t Work, Paul Alexander. The phrase “church discipline” doesn’t usually evoke feelings of contentment and jollity. Even those Christians who want to follow the biblical pattern tend to be a bit sheepish about it. I mean, kicking someone out of the church feels downright judgy, right? Not so. In fact, what many see in church discipline as unloving, arrogant, or hypocritical, the Apostle Paul saw as loving, humble, and genuine. Let those with ears to hear…
On Giving Criticism as a Christian, David Qaoud. As my dad used to say, critiques are like armpits: Everyone’s got a couple, but they usually stink. (Go ahead and ponder on that for a while.) As Qaoud points out, while criticism is a natural part of life, it can be difficult to navigate. When should we offer criticism? When should we just “overlook an offense”? How can we tell if the problem is actually them and not us? And when we do criticize, how specific should we be? Should we go it alone? You’ve got some great questions; Qaoud has some great answers.
The Unattainable Perfectionism of Millennials, Gene Veith. A few reminders: (1) “Millennial” refers to a demographic that grows older by the day (usually those born between 1981 and 1996 … ish). So “millennial” doesn’t exactly mean “those darn young folks” anymore. (2) Millennials now occupy the largest age demographic in our country, which means that millennial is mainstream. Put differently, if you aren’t a millennial, you are the minority age group that millennials are trying to figure out. And the actual point of this article: (3) Millennials are crushing themselves under the pressure to live—and portray—the perfect life. It’s every bit as exhausting as you’d imagine.
On the Lighter Side
Tortoise vs. Hare. Well, how about that. Now we know.