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Religious Trauma and the Binding of Isaac

13 Jul

I have featured Julia’s work, and recently came across this on her blog regarding the Sacrifice of Abraham.

“Deceived, tied up, and held at knife-point — all by his own father? Because God said so? Talk about traumatic!” an older lady exclaimed.

Here is the blog post.

I stopped reading the story of Abraham’s sacrifice to my children when they are younger.  My first born was shaking after I read him the story from a Bible story book, and he still asks me if I would ever kill him if God asked me to do it.  There are many stories in the Old Testament for which a young child is not ready to understand from a developmental point of view.

Julia makes the beautiful point that even when “God provides” during or following trauma – it does not cease to be traumatic.  The trauma still affects the individual – often in painful ways.

I have suffered religious trauma.  I am a victim of spiritual abuse, and struggle with something that I call – “Post-Traumatic Church Disorder.”

You can read more about my own story here.

Julia makes a beautiful point when she states,

It’s hard for the hurt and the hope to coexist. But I think that’s what the story of the binding of Isaac, and the story of any religious trauma, has to tell. It’s not an easy story. But it’s a good one.

Julia Powers is a writer and seminary student at Duke University Divinity School, where she is pursuing the M.Div. degree with certificate in Anglican Studies. Her primary professional interests revolve around pastoral care & counseling, spiritual formation, and young adult ministries. For fun, she enjoys blogging (www.juliapowersblog.com), dabbling in iPhone app development (www.emojicheck.com), reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Posts related to Spiritual Trauma:

 

Facebook is seeking Authentic Community

8 Jul

I came across this article, and had to share it.  Facebook is now seeking how to develop community that is real and authentic.  Many churches are attempting to do the same thing – for a different reason.

At Facebook, mere “sharing” is getting old. Finding deeper meaning in online communities is the next big thing.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is no longer satisfied with just connecting the world so that people can pass around baby pictures and live video — or fake news and hate symbols. So the Facebook founder wants to bring more meaning to its nearly 2 billion users by shepherding them into online groups that bring together people with common passions, problems and ambitions.

In this Wednesday, June 21, 2017, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, talks with Facebook group administrators Lola Omolola, left, Erin Schatteman, second from left, and Janet Sanchez during the Facebook Communities Summit, in Chicago, in advance of announcement of a new Facebook initiative designed to spur people to form more meaningful communities with Facebook's groups feature. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Here is the full article.

The article explains how their leadership team is seeking to move Facebook from social sharing into communities where people find genuine community.  Community is powerful.  As humans, we were created to be in community with one another.  The ability to develop a community is so essential, that I present it as one of the basic developmental factors of adulthood. 

Facebook is facing an uphill battle.  While still the largest (by far) of the social media platforms, Facebook is facing decline among today’s adolescents and emerging adults who prefer to use Snapchat or Instagram.  Their decline in popularity is causing them to rethink how to create authentic community.

The main reason for this change is money.  Facebook made $27 billion dollars on advertising last year.  The longer that people stay on Facebook, the more income that they produce.

According to Anita Blanchard, virtual communities “can fill a fundamental need we have for a sense of belonging, much like eating or sleeping.”  The real hurdle is whether virtual communities, can truly provide undivided attention, a warm embrace, or show up when your car won’t start.

If you are looking for a virtual community to join, check out the EA Network – a network of people who desire to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

Related articles:

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder of EA Resources, and the EA Network.  If he can help you minister to the emerging adults in your life, contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

As more people claim to be “spiritual” more than religious, what exactly does that mean?

28 Mar

While in Johnson City, Tennessee, I began a conversation with a shuttle driver named Jeff.  He asked me why I was in town.  I explained I was speaking at a church, and said that he “hoped it was full of the Spirit.” 

I began asking him about his studies.  Jeff shared about his major, and what he wanted to do when he was done with college.  He was more than eager to talk about his life experiences, and how they had shaped him.  He was extremely articulate, and well-read in various philosophies. 

Here is the rest of the article, and what I learned that day.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

Clayton Jennings – Hating on His Haters

21 Mar

Last fall, news broke about the Indiana-based Evangelist Clayton Jennings.  According to reports, Clayton had been involved with several women sexually all while preaching the gospel.  These reports are most clearly reported by Pen and the Pulpit.

After not one but six women came forward with similar stories, you might think that it would slow down this man’s social media empire and speaking schedule, but apparently there is no stopping him.  (Apparently, there is no stopping this lion, or Bentley as he often refers to himself.)

Clayton went on the offense recently against those who have written about him.  He calls them Haters – among other things like wolves and fake Christians, and my favorite a “Honda Civic.”

Clayton Jennings - haters

You can watch his Spoken Word – here.

I wrote about him once – here.  So I guess that means I am one of those “bloggers who can’t do real ministry – living in their mother’s basement.” There is much that I could say about this video, but I think that his work speaks for itself.  Oh, so much that I want to say…

but I will exercise a little self-restraint.

I do not know Clayton.  I am not driven by hate for him.  He clearly has great personal charisma to attract such a following.

I do not truly know his story, his inner motivations, or the current state of his soul.  I will not attribute his work to Satan, for statements of this type when the individual steps into the role of judge are extremely dangerous.  So while avoiding coming to those conclusions, there are some things that Christ-followers should reflect upon.

Some might feel that writing on Clayton’s life is nothing – but gossip – and putting down someone else for no reason.  There are several reasons why this story should be shared.

  • Because of the nature of the sin. This was not one accidental sin or a mistake.  This was a season of life living in full knowledge and complete disregard to his hypocrisy.  He was preying on victims before and after preaching on the stage. 

  • Because of the abuse of spiritual power to force others to do things that were against their beliefs. 

  • Because of the current lack of authority and accountability.  Clayton has removed himself from all authority and his own church community revoked his license to preach (Which although extremely significant in its message, this action only removes his state license to marry people).  While this doesn’t affect his speaking tour, it does speak volumes, about the concerns his home church had about this man. 

  • Because he currently lacks a “ministry” location. He no longer works at a local church.  His support comes from a vast social media empire which is what supports him.  This is why when he was apparently called to close down his social media empire, Clayton refused.  There is too much to lose for him.  The only way to remain connected to these people is through continuing to feed them his brand. 

  • Because his income is based on speaking the gospel.  I don’t believe Clayton has another job, but I assume that he lives off his speaking, ads, donations, and t-shirts.   

  • Because the deceitful mess of the human heart and how repentance and reconciliation requires community, accountability, and time.  Public figures needs time out of the spotlight and away from the stage to truly walk through mistakes, and refocus their lives. 

What is important:

  • To call Christians to question the “Celebrity Pastor” trend.
  • To warn Clayton’s followers (Currently 217k) of his past abuse of spiritual authority. I am not a social media expert, but I am sure steps have been taken to seclude his followers from the news.  Maybe he should truly #telltheworld.
  • To attempt to recapture the authenticity of Christianity.  No matter how popular you are, how eloquent you sound or how pretty you look.  Authentic messengers are so crucial in today’s world.

Here is a up-dated bio.  Enjoy.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd does not currently live in his mother’s basement, but would not judge anyone who does.  He is close to 40, and drives a Nissan Sentra.  He is not concerned about his number of Instagram followers.  He does not make any money from blogging, nor is he concerned about how many “hits” this article will receive.  He is a survivor of spiritual abuse, and has seen how spiritual authority and power can ruin even the most dedicated of Christ followers.

 

 

Fostering Virtual Faith: Is online community real?

14 Mar

As the internet has become more apart of our lives, discussions have been around for years about the possibility of a virtual church.  Here is an article that speaks about a truly virtual church, and how it desires to reach out to Millennials.

The Rev. Sion Gough Hughes, pastor of a Protestant church in Melbourne, Australia, was surfing the web a couple years ago when he happened on a Facebook page that challenged his understanding of his calling. 

Continue reading

Building Your Men’s Ministry Leadership Team

7 Mar

Group of men - churchI came across this article this past week, and wanted to pass it along to my readers who serve regularly in Men’s Ministry.

So you’re a men’s ministry leader in your church, and you’re wondering about ways to help the ministry move forward. Consider this fact: One of the keys to a successful, growing ministry is a quality leadership team. It isn’t enough to have just one man who can see where God is going and can help a group of men get there. You need other men serving alongside the leader. Where will you find the men to make up your ministry leadership team? They are probably right under your nose…

Here is the rest of the article by Lifeway.

 

Adulting: Runner-up “International Word of the Year”

19 Jan
All the words from Flickr via Wylio

2013 Grahamm Campbell, Flickr| CC-BY-SA| via Wylio

Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary names an international word of the year.  This title is awarded based upon the word’s use during the past year, and how it reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year.”

This year’s title went to post-truth (read what this means).

One of the shortlisted words (considered, but not chosen) was…

adulting nouninformal

The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.

The Urban dictionary defines it as the process of doing grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. (Source)

Various hashtags on the subject are also used including:

This word is often associated with the struggle of millennials to grow up.  Books and blogs have exploded on helping them overcome their apparent delayed development.  Here at More Than A Beard, we believe it is important for young adults to know that manhood goes beyond facial hair.

EA Resources teaches three developmental tasks which equip individuals to successfully transition to adulthood – which we call the E-VACuation Plan.

Here are three links that overview these three main developmental tasks.

David - Prof 2If I can help equip your parents and adolescents as children transition into adulthood, please contact me at gdavid@earesources.org.

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