Jon Pyle Profile picture
Pastor. Pop culture was my first religion. World-class hugger. Sock enthusiast. Retired sports blogger. Jesus, race, leadership, church, technology.
Jon Pyle Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
23 Sep
Oppression ALWAYS has a beneficiary.
There is no such thing as accidental oppression. It doesn’t just materialize out of thin air. Oppression is zero-sum. Some are made to lose so others are able to gain.
This is part of why oppression is so offensive to God. God is infinite and so is His justice. Justice is not zero sum. There is enough for all.
Read 15 tweets
13 Sep
PSA: You can love Jesus, be an incredibly devoted follower and see a counselor or therapist (in fact, you should).

You can bear the fruit of the Spirit in your life and take meds for mental health issues like anxiety and depression. #MentalHealthMatters
One of the most damaging lies perpetuated by the Church is that mental health issues, diagnosed or undiagnosed, come from a lack of faith.
Here’s the thing: prayer and other spiritual disciplines are critical to mental and emotional and spiritual health. But they aren’t the only tools.
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11 Sep
I call this “The Explosive Expert Principle”.

And I’ve seen this principle play out over and over and over again among followers of Jesus.
The name comes from a war story my Dad told me. He was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam as an Explosives Expert. He has some absolutely horrifying stories, but this one is actually a great illustration.
One day I asked him how he became an explosives expert. As a kid, that seemed like a really cool job. He didn’t explain the process, just told the story.
Read 12 tweets
5 Sep
I used to read the Prophets & the Old Testament narratives slightly confused about how faithful people could so quickly and deeply turn to idols.

Watching the American church in 2020... Now I get it.
People that have seen God’s power first-hand, witnessed and experienced His faithful love, can still turn to idols on a dime. Why? I think it’s because idols are easier.
All people are on a trajectory toward pride that must be resisted constantly, lest they fall victim to the original sin. Comfort is the enemy of Christ-likeness.

So... deeply good, kind and devoted people create gods in their own image to worship.
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29 Aug
Watching the Harrison Ford classic #AirForceOne tonight. It’s been a long week. Counting down the moments until I hear a line that’s been seared in my brain since the Summer of ‘97: “GET OFF MY PLANE!!!!!!!!!!!”
If y’all are too young to remember, when Air Force One was being released, they played the trailer roughly every 15 minutes on every network for 6 weeks. And the line “GET OFF MY PLANE!!!!” became immortal.
Every time we went to see it, it was sold out. We went to the movies a lot that Summer (because they were like $5 back then) so it must’ve happened 4-5 times. Also, in case I didn’t mention it... I’m old.
Read 5 tweets
27 Aug
We are conditioned as evangelical/mega church pastors that we “can’t be political”. Or that when we support anything controversial that we’re compromising our ability to reach people for Jesus.

That’s flat out wrong.
The only thing we’re protecting by “not being political” are the oppressive systems. (Systems that we largely benefit from by the way.) Political isn’t bad, it’s necessary, because politics are about people. Jesus was political.
I think we should avoid being partisan. But there is no option where you teach what Jesus said and did without upsetting the powers that be. Grace is radical. Humility is countercultural. Love is provocative.
Read 9 tweets
25 Aug
“Micro-churches” are not a trend. They are the primary avenue of spiritual growth for all followers of Jesus since Peter preached at Pentecost.
Andy Stanley nails it (paraphrased): people grow most in circles, not rows.

Every believer I’ve ever talked to experienced their most significant spiritual growth in the context of intimate community and close relationships. Often facilitated by a mentor/guide.
But here’s where we get it wrong: successful megachurches aren’t some shallow spiritual wasteland. They are just a church of churches. Collections of communities that gather for a type of service once per week.
Read 6 tweets
18 Jul
Just watched #CivilWar. This is a linchpin story in the #MCU. So many good things that payoff later. But, what I saw with absolute clarity was the arc of #BlackPanther and Justice.
In Civil War, T'Challa is driven by vengeance masquerading as justice. He wants to get justice for his father and he thinks killing the culprit (Bucky) would be just. However...
T'Challa comes to realize that revenge isn't justice, as he watches the Avengers tear themselves apart. Revenge is reductive "justice" (which isn't justice, but reciprocity) that leaves everyone worse off. "You took from me, so I take from you" makes everyone LESS.
Read 28 tweets
18 Jul
You know that moment in epic stories where the Elder/Guide dies and their death propels the movement forward because it’s like their courage and wisdom are absorbed into the righteous cause? RIP @repjohnlewis #RIPJohnLewis
John Lewis’ death got to me this morning. Partially because he was an absolute inspiration and partially because I was largely ignorant of the the details of his life. A wonderful example.
Something important when we reflect on these titans of the Civil Rights Movement: these were ordinary men and women who became heroes because of their actions. When we over-mythologize them, they feel inaccessible and unrealistic. But, we CAN be like them.
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14 Jul
Every time I hear the #UnsolvedMysteries theme, I get goosebumps. Not just like “ooohhhh this is scary” but the hair on my arms and legs literally stands on end.
Must be some deep childhood trauma or something. This is atypical. I’m pretty comfortable watching scary or spooky stuff. But this show gets me every time, old or new.
And y’all... I’m a grown man. At this point in my life, I’ve some stuff. But Robert Stack in a trench coach unnerves me.
Read 4 tweets
13 Jul
One of the best pieces of pop culture about conspiracy theories is “The Voyager Conspiracy” from #StarTrekVoyager. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voyag…
This episode really captures a lot of what I’m seeing now. Seven of Nine starts seeing conspiracies everywhere as she processes insane amounts of data and information. One of them is right, but the rest get more absurd with time.
And they all are supported with evidence, they’re just not true. But even the people involved struggled to convince her it wasn’t real.
Read 5 tweets
5 Jul
Peter, Paul and many heroes of the New Testament were arrested for being "outside agitators" and stirring up trouble.
And don't get confused: they did not actually get arrested for their words and sermons, even if that's what the authorities may have said. The Apostles got arrested once they started messing with people's money and challenging the systems of oppression.
The rich and powerful were cool with Jesus' movement until it actually upset the status quo... which is part of the very nature of Jesus' message.
Read 4 tweets
28 Jun
While I’m on my #Enneagram... #WallE is a perfect representation of a 2’s redemptive journey.
He starts as a helper. That’s just how he’s wired. But he always seeks relationships and connection. He fantasizes about love. Loving others and being loved.
Then EVE shows up. He has true feelings for her, but... and this critical for understanding the 2... he tends to her needs in a desperate, almost smothering way because he expects affection in return. He craves it and he tries to earn it by doing good things.
Read 6 tweets
25 Jun
Watched the end of Indiana Jones & #TheLastCrusade last night. It explains A LOT of what I'm seeing among church folks and what they think drinking from Jesus' cup looks like.
If you haven't seen the movie, the bad guy grabs an ostentatious and beautiful chalice, believing that it is the Holy Grail. He wanted to drink from Jesus' cup of glory, not His cup of suffering. And because "he chose poorly", he shrivels up and withers away in puff of smoke.
I see so much of the American church in that. We want the glory without the suffering. We're just like the bad guy in Indiana Jones. We're also just like James, John and Peter... we want to be the greatest, we want to be at the right hand of Christ on a heavenly throne but...
Read 4 tweets
20 Jun
If you’re new to anti-racism, please notice how difficult it is to get people just to say that our lives matter without qualification. Affirm our humanity with equivocation. #BlackLivesMatter
“Matters” is the least you can do and still consider someone a human of equal value. It’s the floor.
And the people who won’t say it aren’t these extremists who exist in the far corners of the internet. They are the people we work with, worship with, so life with and even our own family.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jun
Y’all, taking #PawPatrol too seriously is a pastime for me... nay, a hobby. I’ve been overanalyzing since there were like 8 episodes. And we are totally focusing on the wrong thing.
1) this is absolutely a distraction from the substantive issues. Magnifying radical/ridiculous voices is a sabotage tactic. And it tends to work.
2) if we’re going to “cancel” #PawPatrol, why are we focused on Chase? Keep your eye on the ball, people. Ryder is an unrepentant fascist with unchecked power.
Read 9 tweets
3 Jun
Brands posting about #BlackLivesMatter is important. Not because most will ever do any of the difficult work of dismantling systems of oppression, but because it’s no longer financially viable to be silent.
These statements, while possibly disingenuous and hollow, reflect a turning of the tide in public perception. #BlackLivesMatter is now positioned as socially acceptable and brands can’t afford NOT to post.
Before, brands and people were scared to post #BlackLivesMatter for fear of losing their career or customers. Now it’s the opposite.
Read 7 tweets
2 Jun
The fear and extreme discomfort with black anger I see tells me that most white people have NEVER been in black-centered spaces. Or around black people who trust them enough to share a full range of human emotion.
Black anger is not any more scary than white anger. But most of us have been taught that black anger is to be feared. That’s dangerous for everyone.
If you have been in a black-centered space as a white person, you probably felt extremely uncomfortable and fled as soon as possible.
Read 11 tweets
29 May
Hi friends! I know many of you are struggling with the tension of "I acknowledge racism and inequality and I want justice" but "I don't think rioting is the way". I get that. MLK can help give words to how you feel:
If you don't have time to watch the whole speech (and it's so good), here is what he said: "So I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way. And continue to affirm that there is another way."

But at the same time...
it is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air.
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29 May
I’ve emotionally disconnected from this news cycle because it was too overwhelming. I feel a little selfish but the anguish is too much. #BreonnaTaylor #GeorgeFloyd #AmaudArbery
If it’s overwhelming for me, I can’t imagine what the families are feeling. And the resistance activists and pastors face constantly.
Thankful for good friends who checked on me this week. @robfike @thisisreylo
Read 4 tweets
24 May
Some of the #hottakes I’ve seen from Pastors, religious leaders and other prominent Christians about the pandemic and church re-openings are not just absurd, they’re anti-Jesus.
The term spiritual malpractice comes to mind.
If you think re-opening your Sunday morning worship service and other meetings at your church building is more important than serving your community... you could not be more wrong.
Read 23 tweets