One way to describe spiritual formation—or growing in likeness to Jesus—would be: whenever God reveals something about ourselves or the world that we can never *unsee* & it changes us permanently.

A quick thread/example: the economy of power.

Many of us have encountered persons/systems that weaponize power in part by keeping its structures invisible—until God exposed it & “brought me out into a spacious place” (Ps. 118:19) to unravel & heal from cords that suffocated/diminished us et al.

Someone may experience the darkness that undergirds so much power in our world & become hopeless or doggedly cynical. God has a way of tending to our wounds *and* ushering the kingdom by forming in us the character to steward power more justly in the systems we inhabit.

Spiritual maturity insists on naming the economy of power in every system to preserve the integrity of relationships; whereas power hidden (& exploited) deforms character & eventually sears the voice of the Spirit, who will not govern in concert with deceit.


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More from @a_ryanramsey

2 Oct 20
Not surprisingly, I’ve observed a disproportionate number of women (leaders & otherwise) speaking publicly in solidarity with the victims of Ravi’s abuses. Some men too, but there remains a lot of silence from men who defended Ravi’s character & “integrity” throughout. (thread) +
I think about the ways that loyalty, admiration, & bias steer our consciences. In the case of Ravi et al, it’s important to notice when a prominent supporter’s conscience compels them reflexively to doubt a victim’s story & “erase” their testimony from their own moral purview. +
This is not a seared conscience, but a conscience invested in loyalty to false convictions that will not allow another reality to be considered. +
Read 11 tweets
9 Sep 20
The vocation of pastor/elder is both sacred & tragically rife w/ duplicity. A shepherd today can rejoice that lots of good pastors/churches do exist, but he or she should never bemoan the reality that people rightly speak out about churches that inflict profound harm. (thread) +
A shepherd attuned to the world ought to be the *most* hospitable person a wounded sheep encounters. Any leader who says to another by their words, actions, or neglect, “please leave your ‘baggage’ at the door,” is not qualified to pastor, however much they may be admired. +
Instead of bemoaning criticism, pastors are to be first to stand in solidarity w/ saints who’ve been abused in any form. Otherwise he or she imagines an idyllic world where abuse doesn’t exist, pain is more palatable & easily managed, never disruptive to ‘normal’ ministry. +
Read 10 tweets
3 Sep 20
The enemy co-opts people unwittingly—who have aligned with Jesus—as evil’s coagents. Sometimes people who belonged to us become so entangled with darkness that we mustn’t trivialize the spirits at work by offering our fellowship. +
Loving our enemies who claim Christ might mean rebuking them publicly for unrepentant sin if they are in power (1 Tim. 5:20).

Loving our enemies who assent to faith might mean naming the truth (1 Cor. 13:6) of their behavior as a mercy to them and everyone else. +
Loving our enemies might mean releasing them from among us (1 Cor. 5:12) when their syncretistic religion is a lethal leaven in the body of Christ.

We can’t reduce this high call to niceties, nor can we welcome heartily the prince of this world to dinner tables and dialogue.
Read 4 tweets
28 Aug 20
Websites for churches & faith orgs. provide information & impressions. They often center around a vision, leader(s), stated beliefs, & summary of org’s history & key ministries.

But it’s the often unstated philosophy & culture that dictates health. Many implications..
Should what is most important about a church (its integrity) be reflected as such on a website?

I get the limitations. I get the functional needs. But that’s also the rub—the message many websites send is, “focus on our functions & beliefs; presume our character.”
I don’t believe presumption of integrity is adequate (or good) today. Even on a website.

Is there a way to empower newcomers by saying, “we don’t want you to presume we have integrity; we want you to hold us to fact that’s your responsibility”?
Read 4 tweets
27 Aug 20
The father of lies is delighted by the chaos & violence that prevails in a society addicted to “proximal” truth. >>
When Pilate retorted to Jesus, “what is truth?” he revealed the enemy’s weapon of mass destruction: to nurture arenas where people bear false witness to injustice & mutilate reality for political spectacle.
The privilege of hell is to see the body of Jesus in the bodies of the disenfranchised...and shrug. Only demons can coerce the heart of a man to say from his (or her) distanced perch, “my complicity is my right!”
Read 6 tweets
25 Aug 20
As unavoidable as denominations may be throughout history, one the inherent dangers of any ‘institutionalized’ Christian tradition or network is their tendency to produce constituents rather than persons shaped by Jesus. (thread) >>
Our political-consumer market says, “cast your vision, polish your brand, find your people!” That 1-2-3 model is adopted in faith settings across the spectrum. In 🇺🇸we’re used to being ‘algorithmed’ into loyalists and it’s not news that this happens in the church.
Capitalism learned long ago to leverage our deep & basic human need for belonging in order to maximize profits. Is appealing to belonging (as a church) wrong? Of course not, but too often it’s a bait-and-switch to baptize something other than community.
Read 9 tweets

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