Snippets from the interweb (25th July 2021)

How to love your (imperfect) pastors

‘How should Christians respond to their pastors? Respect them. Esteem them. Love them. To that end, consider three pitfalls to avoid as we relate to our pastors, so that we are able to show proper respect as we esteem them very highly in love.’

Gentle confrontation

‘Too many Christians are scared to say something. They don’t want to get their hands dirty. They don’t want to ruin a relationship. They don’t want to do the hard work of church discipline or help a brother or sister overcome an addiction. Or they don’t want to even do the work of keeping a brother or sister accountable. Too many Christians are cowardly when it comes to the vital task of confrontation.’

Is it really about the weak and strong?

This is a really helpful article on applying Romans 14-15 to current discussions on what to do now COVID-19 restrictions have largely lifted: ‘Both the teaching of Romans 14-15 and the concepts of ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ have been drawn into the current discussions about church life after the lifting of restrictions. Carefully applied, I think the former can be helpful, but I wonder if the latter is unhelpful. In most of the discussions I have heard, the clear implication is that those who are inclined to maintain some level of restrictions are the weak and those who want to move quickly back to a pre-pandemic norm are the strong. I am not sure that this is a helpful or fair use of the concept.’

Church membership: why bother?

Seems a fair question to which this is a fair answer.

When mission turns toxic

Eddie Arthur: ‘Much of the voluntourism industry is driven by the desires of the volunteers to have an experience and to feel good, rather than by what is actually needed in the communities that they are purporting to serve. Ultimately, this is at best unhelpful to the local communities and at worst, positively harmful. There is little evidence that short-term volunteers contribute positively to the development of the places that they visit. My concern, is that we in the Christian mission industry can fall into this self same trap in a number of ways.’

The ‘it’s just a movie’ mistake

I made some assumptions about this based on the title and assumed I would hate it. Actually, the post is nothing like what I assumed it would be about and makes some really interesting and insightful points on film and culture.

From the archive: Don’t do their homework for them

‘We often don’t want to let people struggle with the text or work out exactly how they will share the gospel in that particular scenario. We often want to jump in, take over and do it for them. After all, we know how to do it and it will be quicker and easier for everyone. The problem with this approach is that people very rarely learn to do anything for themselves.’