How we think about abuse matters

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Yesterday I shared an update on my correspondence with Premier Christianity about their article claiming that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. We might leave it there except that the article seems to be part of a concerning trend from a pastoral perspective. It was followed by two articles that I find deeply concerning in… Continue reading How we think about abuse matters

Bad theology plus complacent thinking = dangerous pastoral care

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I’ve been writing a little about Biblical counselling recently. I’ve been particularly picking up on some of the dangers with certain strains of it but I do so as someone who believes that properly used, Biblical counselling does have a crucial place. I intend to write a little bit more about this shortly. However, first… Continue reading Bad theology plus complacent thinking = dangerous pastoral care

It may appear to come from your side but it’s not friendly fire

You may be familiar with the term “friendly fire”. It refers to when a military assault on the enemy ends up taking out members of the same side as well as or instead of the enemy positions. This can be caused by those people being in close proximity to the enemy at the time or… Continue reading It may appear to come from your side but it’s not friendly fire

What can I do when falsely accused?

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Sadly, we’ve seen some high profile examples of sin, bullying and abuse or of church leaders failing to handle such situations well.  I’ve written occasionally about these things because I’m concerned to see healthy churches and healthy leadership. However, not every accusation will be true.  Sometimes this is because there has been a genuine misunderstanding… Continue reading What can I do when falsely accused?

Anatomy of an abusive relationship

Last week when talking with Ryan Burton King about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we discussed the response in Russia. Over the past few week’s we’ve seen a lot of examples of bravery from Russians willing to protest, most notably a young Russian TV editor who interrupted a news broadcast holding up a protest sign.  At… Continue reading Anatomy of an abusive relationship

Throwing people under the bus

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In a recent article I mentioned the “Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” podcast.  The Christianity Today series tells the story of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church, Seattle.  Driscoll became well known as a church planter and mega-church leader succeeding in an area regarded as hard to reach. He went on to head up… Continue reading Throwing people under the bus

The solution to toxic culture? – a meal with Jesus

Has there been anything in history comparable to the horrific things reports of abuse, bullying and toxic culture coming from evangelical churches over the past few years? Well, yes there has. Right back in the first century, the mission of the church could have almost been undone by the antics of the Corinthian church. There… Continue reading The solution to toxic culture? – a meal with Jesus

Abuse, bullying and slander – a war of attrition

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When it comes to concerns about abuse and bullying I think we can identify the following types of context Clear examples of coercive, cruel and manipulative behaviour Clear examples of false accusation One off but significant failures The reality that all of us are finite and fallen and consistently get things wrong in terms of… Continue reading Abuse, bullying and slander – a war of attrition

Shepherding and heavy shepherding

Occasionally you hear rumours about a certain type of church. Perhaps you hear that they sit down with the church members and go through their accounts and payslips before telling the members how to tithe, or you hear about the two old ladies who go on a holiday together only to be met with a… Continue reading Shepherding and heavy shepherding

The problem with church lad culture

I’ve not got round to listening to The Rise and fall of Mars Hill podcast. From what I’ve heard, it’s not easy listening.  The podcast tells the story of Mark Driscoll’s rise to prominence as an evangelical leader and subsequent fall from grace.  Driscoll became a bit of a poster boy for the neo-Calvinists and… Continue reading The problem with church lad culture