You chose wrongly, my brother.
Your Two-Word answer should have been, "A sister."
|Photo credit to Grace Church|
I understand that maybe you answered impulsively, and that now, hopefully, you are regretting it.
I found your email address online, and I wanted to contact you directly. You are my brother in Jesus, and I think of you as someone who loves God and who loves his Words.
For us who have the honor of saturating ourselves in God's Words, though, our responsibilities are higher. A God-soaked life should radiate out of us into a love-saturated lifestyle, and a deep humility.
When you derisively, dismissively, and dishonoringly said, "Go Home," in a word-association game about Beth Moore, you chose wrongly. Whatever your disagreements are theologically with another person, they do not lead to dishonoring, contempt-filled language. She is a sister in Jesus with whom you will spend eternity, across God's table.
At a ceremony honoring your fifty years as preaching pastor at a church called Grace, you displayed none. I am saddened, my brother, that this occasion that should have been marked with joy for you and your members is now framed in sad shame for the rest of us.
When Todd Friel set you up for this derisive comment, he embarrassed himself, and other Jesus-followers, and he shamed his title as a shepherd-pastor. When Phil Johnson called her narcissistic and claimed her teachings were self-focused, he was dishonoring to another brother or sister in Jesus, as well as incorrect.
You know that our God calls us to go directly to our brother or sister if we have a disagreement with them, not to name-call or attack them publicly.
When nervous or complicit laughter broke out across your auditorium at the sight of three pastors dishonoring a fellow Jesus-follower, we shamed the name of Jesus. At a conference called Truth Matters, you did not honor the One Called Truth. Truth is a person, who calls us to live and walk in his Ways. Behind a website called "Grace to You," we have tripped and fallen and are not offering grace there this week.
Half of your constituents are women. Strong capable women, called Ezer Warrior Helpers by their God, the name he calls himself often in the Bible, meaning warrior, ally, comrade. Many other wise people have already answered back against your claims on women this week, though, here, here, and here.
That is not the aim of my letter to you, though. My brother, you chose wrongly. Your Two-Word answer should have been "a sister."
Please speak up in humble gentle apology to the watching world. Our God watches. The world watches. Our words matter. Our attitudes lay naked, exposed, and our words carry power. As family in Jesus, we can always agree or disagree with each other, but our model is to do it in honoring, respectful ways, and to their faces.
I'm clicking "send" to this email to you, and Todd, and Phil, and praying hard.
a sister in this God-family around the world