Monday, May 08, 2006

Fight the Power!

I'm reading the latest issue of Youthworker Journal and I'm noticing a theme in there that I've seen come up in some other places as well.

Scot Mcknight (whose blog is truly a 'must read') recently had a post about women in ministry which created quite a bit of discussion in the comment section of that post. Somewhere in the midst of the debate someone made a very astute observation. She said something to the effect of "all this squabbling (about authority and power) seemed to completely miss the point of what it means to be a Christ-like leader and seems more like disciples scrambling to see who could sit at Jesus' right hand."

Getting back to the YW issue...in it Tony Campolo says the following in an interview: "His (Nietzsche's) observations are important because so many evangelicals have given up on servanthood and are hungry to embrace power." In another article, Avarice: An Uncommon Word but a Common Sin, Steve Gerali discusses the issue of church leaders pursuing power, status, higher salaries and so on. He writes, "We covet the luxuries that come with the power and influence of those leaders." (Those leaders being those of very "successful" churches and para-church organizations.)

Then there's Jesus. For Him the road to true power was found in a very backwards, or seemingly backwards, way. As Rob Bell put it, "Weak is the new strong." Jesus came to serve and not to be served. His road to power is through repentance, forgiveness and service. Our power comes from giving power away.

So I noticed these things and have been thinking about them lately. How much of what we think and do is motivated by a striving for power? Perhaps more than we realize...perhaps more than I realize.

4 Comments:

Blogger Rev. Johnny Agurkis said...

Interesting stuff...but also interesting that some of the guys who write that stuff are the same guys who charge $5000+ to come speak for a weekend, with all first class expenses paid!

10:58 AM  
Blogger Len said...

And perhaps those that are being alluded to to striving for power are using a hermeuntic that interprets the Bible to mean what it apparently says about authority and roles of men and women.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Not sure I follow you Len. Care to clarify?

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian---I saw you left a comment on Bart Campolo's blog and followed the link here to your blog. You wondered if it was the same Donna Smyth you remember from Philly '95? You bet it is. And you know who else lives in Cincinnati too? That goofy skinny kid Stephen Grove---except now he's married with a double last name: Stephen JohnsonGrove. That's me!
stephen.johnsongrove@gmail.com

1:19 PM  

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