“Conscience” in the Bible: insight into abusers and their targets

Scout’s honor, I didn’t start out to make this a blog post about Mark Driscoll. I was thinking about how those with hardened/polluted/jettisoned/seared consciences take advantage of those with sensitive/weak consciences, and I wanted to study conscience in the Bible to understand it all better, and then post about what I had learned.

So I did the Bible study, learned a lot, and then wanted to see what other people were saying about the conscience. In the middle of all that, another former member of Mars Hill Church (which had imploded after the many scandals of the Driscoll debacle) decided to speak publicly about the spiritual abuse she and others endured, and in that interview she mentioned something significant about the conscience (which I’ll get to later).

Mark Driscoll Uncle Sam wants you

Mark Driscoll admonishing his listeners.

That led me down a very intriguing trail, which I have to say, made a study of the conscience a whole lot more compelling. Continue reading

Four ways teaching Christians to embrace “I’m the worst sinner I know” is harming the church

SermonTitleSome background of the teaching

When CJ Mahaney began proclaiming “I’m the worst sinner I know” somewhere around the late 1990s, it certainly wasn’t the first time this teaching had been promoted. But from what I could find, this was when it began to go mainstream.

Mahaney himself claimed it regularly, often even as a way of introducing himself when he would stand up to speak. “I’m CJ Mahaney, and I’m the worst sinner I know.”

But it isn’t only Mahaney who is supposed to be the worst sinner he knows. Each one of us Continue reading

Power over Porn

Not long ago I had the privilege of having a deep conversation with a young man who was attending an excellent local Bible school.

What made this conversation unusual was that this young man began telling me about an addiction to pornography that had gripped him since he was nine. He was one of the oldest children in a large family, so hiding his addiction had been no small feat, but he managed it. Continue reading

What does it mean to “serve the church”?

serveIn a small group my husband and I were visiting, the topic of “serving the church” came up. Tim and I both began thinking about the people the Lord had brought into our lives, listening to their stories, talking to them about the goodness of God, helping them with day-to-day needs, and reaching out to them in the down and dirty places of life.

But discussion in the group took a different direction.  They began talking about Continue reading

Don’t trust your feelings?

In Ephesians 3, Paul prayed that the people he was writing to would know the love of Christ

. . . that surpasses knowledge.

What kind of sense does that make?

The sense comes when you recognize that those two uses of the English word know come from two different Greek words.

The second is the knowing of intellect, like book learning. Paul is saying here that the love of Christ is beyond intellectual grasping.

The first one is the knowing of the senses, the perception, the experience—dare I say it? Continue reading

“You give them something to eat”

Last week I told about how this past January God used Revelation 2 to show me a danger in my heart (very kindly, of course, using the sandwich method of words of commendation both before and after).

There were some other words at the end of that passage, which I had written in my journal, but which I didn’t really think about at the time. When I finally noticed them, they jumped off the page, but that wasn’t until April. . . .

Have you ever noticed in Luke 9 when Jesus’ disciples were all worried about what in the world the crowd of 5000-plus people were going to eat, have you ever paid attention to the odd thing Jesus said to them?

“You give them something to eat.” Continue reading

Greenville Woman Cannot Bear Evil, Leaves Primary Love. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next.

January of 2016 was a time of soul quiet for me. I posted almost nothing on any social media outlet, and I spent a lot of time with the Lord.

One thing He showed me was that this passage from Revelation 2, written to the church of Ephesus, fit me almost exactly:

“I know your works and your labor and your patience

and how you cannot bear them which are evil: [Yes, He’s got that right.] Continue reading