Happy Friday! There’s been a bit of virtual dust gathering at Simple Felicity this week, but with good reason. I spent a lot of this week in the company of good friends, having conversations about some things that really matter – and a lot of those conversations had a lot to do with some things that are coming up for Simple Felicity over the next few weeks. (It’s exciting stuff, and I’m kind of dying to tell you, but I think it will be more fun to surprise you next week.) Just be sure to check back next Friday for a bit of news, or sign up for my newsletter to have it sent straight to your inbox!
It’s been another “fun” week on the Internet! This week’s story of note: yet another megachurch scandal, this time surrounding Matt Chandler and The Village Church. I’m happy to say that I see so much more hope in this particular story than I did in what happened with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church. (If you don’t know what happened, do your research before you talk about it, okay?) I’ve done mine – and I really do think there’s hope.
Matt Chandler, as president of the Acts 29 network, was one of the people who signed a letter asking Mark Driscoll to step down from ministry, in response to a lack of repentance on Driscoll’s part for a lot of harm that had been caused by his behaviour. And when Chandler was publicly called out on some similar behaviours, his response was public repentance. Now I’ll grant you – Matthew Paul Turner has a point when he suggests that the letter from the Board of Elders to the church was (at least in part) an attempt at publicity control, and that some of what they apologized for were the absolutely wrong things. But before he decried his initial assessment, Turner also noted that even tho the entire situation was awful, there are some very good things happening now as a result of it.
I’ve seen some conversations going around on a few Facebook walls about all of it this week, and it seems like there are three perspectives sorting themselves out. There’s the “I can’t believe this; all mega-church pastors are corrupt; down with organized religion!” camp and the “I can’t believe this; all this negativity is hurting the church; stop judging each other!” camp. And the third camp is the rest of us, trying to figure out how to say “Yes, but…” to everyone else without offending them.
But here’s the thing: spouting off about the “boys club” and maligning people and their reputations and their churches and their ministries with a judgmental spirit is wrong. Assuming that because close friendships between a group of people exist, there must necessarily be some sort of agreement between them to cover up for and defend each other is wrong. Condemning people for living out their faith and leading their ministries in a way that doesn’t make any sense to you is wrong.
But silence – pretending that a very real abuse of power is not happening when it is, and deliberately refusing to understand why it matters that these issues come to light – is equally wrong.
Telling the truth does not necessarily equate to criticism; having a negative opinion based on facts is not necessarily judgment. Calling out one very real wrong thing does not necessarily equate to discounting the very real right things that are happening, too. We’re told to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of [our] mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIVUK) And sometimes what we really need is to see things as they are.
Right then. Onward.
The year-long birthday celebration is sadly drawing to a close. My friend’s birthday is a few weeks after mine, so I still get the fun next month of choosing a final gift for her – but after a year of celebrating the fact that it wasn’t here yet, my 40th birthday has finally arrived. We’re doing it up right, tho, and running away to our favorite little town in Michigan. There will be good coffee, good food, and good conversation, and with any luck, the forecast that says it will be dreary and rainy and relatively chilly will turn out to be completely inaccurate. A girl can dream…
Oh, hey! Rob Bell has a new podcast, and I finally got around to tuning in last weekend. Oh my goodness. I have heard a lot of podcasts in my lifetime, and Episode 18 is already one of my favorite podcasts ever. Enjoy.
So the sad truth is I was so out of ideas for my last two takes this week, I actually posted on Facebook and asked what people wanted to know. Ginn Strode chimed in first with two ideas, so she wins the last two takes this week. Ginn’s first question: “What’s your favorite ice cream really?”
How to choose, how to choose… No, this one is actually pretty easy. I like a lot of ice cream flavors, but my favorite is Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cup, seconded very closely by Cookies and Cream. (I am also an ice cream snob, and I really don’t like generic versions all that much. I am pretty much a Breyer’s girl.)
Ginn’s second question: “What would you do for shock value?”
Well… I have the best truth for “Two Truths And A Lie” ever. So I’d probably use that. 😉
Also, I have just learned (thanks to that handy link) that there is another version of that game called “Two Truths And A Dream Wish.” I love it. Let’s play that. Tell me two truths and a dream wish in the comments, and I’ll guess which one is your wish. 🙂
And on that note: have a great weekend, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for the inside scoop on what’s coming up at Simple Felicity!
Grace and peace,
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!
Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.
A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.
Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.
What is it about new beginnings that we love so much? Whatever it is, "all things new" are words of hope, and we ne… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
"A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for." —John A. Shedd via @momentumdash
"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't." —Thomas Edison via @momentumdash
So there's that: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." —Leonardo da Vinci via @momentumdash
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." —Helen Keller via @momentumdash
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