Here's the thing:

Cultures and communities that can't recognize a self-serving person will struggle to recognize a sacrificial one.
Insofar as a space gives opportunity after opportunity to those who lack virtue, it cannot give those same opportunities to people who are pursuing virtue.
Bad work will come at the cost of good. When the wrong people are given the spotlight, people doing good, faithful work will be overlooked, undervalued, & unheard.
Why? Because the metrics for evaluating goodness & recognizing evil are skewed. This is why predatory, self-serving people can continue in certain spaces. Unfortunately, this also means that goodness will not be seen for what it is or rewarded.
The net result is that good people living lives of faithfulness will have to fight against the current and can often become discouraged as they see "the wicked prosper."
Obviously, in a sin-cursed earth, virtue and goodness will always be swimming upstream. But those of us who claim the name of Christ, dare not allow or enable such cultures.
One small way to fight back is to recognize & honor those who are living lives of faithful, sacrificial goodness. We must cultivate our imaginations so we can rightly see what is standing in front of us.
We must look--not to platform or position or personality--but to acts of love, good work, obedience, & boots-on-the-ground faithfulness. We must learn to recognize lived virtue. Not just the claim to virtue.

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More from @sometimesalight

20 Mar
True Story: When my kids were in early years, we utilized social safety network to allow me to stay home with them.
We used medical & food benefits to supplement a miniscule ministry salary & it was *just* enough to ensure that I could be with them.
Ironically, we made this choice in large part b/c we'd had years of teaching in the conservative church about the value of women staying at home.
Read 10 tweets
11 Mar
Having made hard choices to leave ministries over the years, I have so many thoughts right now. I know many of you are asking Qs about your own church contexts.

One thing I've learned is that faithfulness isn't just about place. It's about obeying the call of God.
When he says, "Go" & you better go. When he says, "Stay" & you better stay.
The Scripture is full of examples of God calling people to leave broken spaces & calling them to remain in broken spaces. There are models for faithfully fulfilling both callings. The key is responding to GOD, not simply your context.
Read 14 tweets
10 Mar
An interesting idea in @AJWTheology's latest blog: American cultural power is reflected in our ability to make ourselves & our issues the plumb line for global conversations.
IOW, the unique shape of US culture wars gets exported. It's not that other countries don't have similar issues (e.g. racial inequity) but that the shape of US racism becomes dominant metric for evaluating justice work in other places.
The risk of this is that other forms of racism & injustice might be overlooked insofar as they don't align with US-centric definitions. But the point is larger than this
Read 8 tweets
9 Mar
All I have to say is that Beth Moore is a much kinder, wiser person than I am. When I find that people or structures are at odds with me, my first instinct is to make them suffer my presence.
Can I get a witness, @n_d_anderson? 🤣
True confession: Half of my ability to persevere in difficult relationships & ministry placements is pure spite.
Read 6 tweets
9 Mar
A few quibbles, but this is helpful grid to understanding how different facets of (conservative) evangelicalism respond to cultural challenges. Still, it's essential to recognize that each is a *response.* What would it look like for the church to lead in cultural formation?
Obviously, this includes rightly assessing

1) where we are
2) where we need to be and
3) ethical ways to get there.

But I wonder if the biggest cultural challenge evangelicals face is simply a failure of imagination.
A significant part of the division we face is b/c the questions themselves are unresolvable w/in modern, contemporary paradigms. We are at an impasse, a dead end, not simply b/c we don't understand each other but b/c our resources & imagination are limited.
Read 13 tweets
4 Mar
Rt. 40 runs thru my home county in PA & is called the National Road b/c by some definitions, it's the oldest highway in the US, built to facilitate trade & travel w/ the frontier. About 30 minutes from my parents' home, it runs thru a small mountain community called Farmington.
Today, on one side of Rt. 40, you will find New Meadow Run, a community of the Bruderhof, an intentional Christian community of shared work, fellowship, life, & faith.
Opposite New Meadow Run, immediately on the other side of the road, you will find Nemicolan Woodlands, an uber-lux "playground" of the rich that includes hotels, a spa, casino, golf course, & polo fields.
Read 5 tweets

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