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The New Creation


#1

In Divine Conspiracy Dallas Willard referred to our religious institutions as “shame management systems,” and they use our fear and shame about God to manipulate people to better behavior. What are the implications of that in how we end up treating each other? Conversely, if people were set free of their fear and shame in his new creation how would that change the way we relate to each other and how much management would a community of the beloved need?


#2

I perceive your question a duality, as in “shame management systems, their consequences and implications as to how we treat each other”, juxtaposed against “if people were set free of their fear and shame how would that change the way we relate to each other”.

In my opinion, shame management systems are governed by the Evil one and the carnal nature, with truth being the operating paradigm in a vacuum of grace. That would likely result in performance orientation and one-upmanship for a variety of reasons that are as far removed from the nature of God is the east is from the west.

In the truth only (actually half truth /lie based) paradigm one can never measure up, hence the frustration, shame, guilt and usually but sadly not always, the revolving back door, preceded by a ton of bickering, backstabbing, out climbing others on the ladder to impressing the CEO and associates

For people to be set free from their guilt and shame that would require an encounter with grace, ie., Jesus Himself. Which brings us to Jn 1:14, " We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…" JKV as well as well as Jn 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ”.NLT

“How would we relate to each other and how much management would a community of the beloved need”? By giving Jesus the opportunity to seep into us by His Spirit, transforming us progressively into His likeness, we would thus treat others more and more in His likeness. And pretty much approaching zero management !!

“Nuff said”.

Paul from Winnipeg


#3

I don’t think the corporation of “church” would survive without a shame management system of some sort. It is in the DNA of the organization. People seem to have to be manipulated somehow to feed the corporate beast.

That is how I see it. Sad part of it is a lot of people don’t see it. That is why they are so easily managed and manipulated by the powers at be…

Relationships may grow within the corporate structure, but I don’t see how they will ever replace it as long as power hungry humans are steering the ship.

Ruby from Calmar, Alberta North of the 49th…


#4

Just curious as to your journey and how you got to where you are. I concur with all that you’re saying, but am also interested in the dynamics that brought you to those conclusions.

I agree with " but I don’t see how they will ever replace it as long as power hungry humans are steering the ship". I would suggest that many a pastor began with pure motives and intentions.

Sadly they were inevitably influenced to the degree of becoming the corporate CEO, as over time they saw it as their “only” option. I recall David Fredrickson sharing something along those lines in his narrative in the Church Outside the Walls DVD series, see http://cotwvideo.com/ for further info.

Lastly, the IC is not an inanimate entity. It consists of many wonderful people doing what they believe (rightly or otherwise) for the Kingdom of God. In the ancient script the “body of believers” were called the ekklesia, which Paul refers to as “living stones” which over time became chunks of granite holding up a steeple.

I think maybe more emphasis needs to be drawn to that, otherwise the IC does become to many an inanimate beast akin to modern day video culture, essentially evil and existing only for onerous intent. “Nuff said”.

Paul from Winnipeg, on the 50th :evergreen_tree: and with numerous fam in AB


#5

Hi Ruby. We live not far from you…Buck lake area. Are you meeting with Wayne Jacobson on Spruce Grove this weekend? We are unable to attend but would love to meet Wayne and other folks who are “learning to live loved”!


#6

Wow… a sister from my home land… How cool is that! It’s too bad you can’t come to Stony Plain this weekend. Tonight was good. I connected with a couple of good friends that I hadn’t seen for a while and had some good chats with some new faces.

Maybe I can go for a drive some weekend and we can have coffee or something. How is the water in Buck lake? … I am always looking for places closer to my home to drop my brother in law’s boat and do some tubing.

I am finding that I am caught up in the community of this site as much as the conversation over the book. What a treasure!

Cheers from Calmar

Ruby


#7

Hi Paul:

I reread my post and came to the conclusion that maybe I’m not done ranting. I stopped blogging for a time because I found my blog posts were primarily rants. (Much like Rick Mercer). For a time that is healthy, but I am thinking the ranting has to find a resting place sometime. Maybe some memories get brought up and I feel the need to jump in and “rant” for lack of a better word. I was going to use the word… “old wounds”, but wonder sometimes if they are still wounds, maybe scars or just memories of a different time in my life.

Something got opened up tonight as Wayne was sharing about reconciliation. I have seen the “entity” as I call it… suck up someone I love very much, a dear friend I’ve had for over 25 years. The only reason she gave me for ending the relationship is that I don’t “go to church” anymore. No willingness to talk our issues out. Nothing for a year and a half.

I guess it I look at the whole picture, we are both at fault for the breakdown of the relationship. And I okay to own my part in the breakdown. I know how much fear and shame have crept into the mix for both or us.

I guess I am ready for some peace… I’m ready for the next chapter in the story. As I told a friend tonight… I’m not at the end of the story… just stuck somewhere in the middle thinking I’m at the end.

Thanks Paul for sharing.

Ruby from Calmar


#8

Hi Marion!

Wow… a sister from my home land… How cool is that! It’s too bad you can’t come to Stony Plain this weekend. Tonight was good. I connected with a couple of good friends that I hadn’t seen for a while and had some good chats with some new faces.

Maybe I can go for a drive some weekend and we can have coffee or something. How is the water in Buck lake? … I am always looking for places closer to my home to drop my brother in law’s boat and do some tubing.

I am finding that I am caught up in the community of this site as much as the conversation over the book. What a treasure!

Ruby from Calmar… (not that far from Buck Lake!)


#9

You’re welcome Ruby, it’s an honor to dialogue with you.

My experience has been not to rush it or come under another guilt trip layered upon all the previous. It goes without saying that nobody’s perfect. However, if someone takes offence in any way as to your change or enlightenment, that was and is and always will have been their choice, not yours… You are not to blame.

Don’t let guilt and blame follow you like a shadow into your freedom, else they might gradually bring you back into bondage. We all have woundings to some degree but a mature believer chooses to forgive from the heart. In other words, whether reconciliation is ever achieved or not, you can walk in the freedom of knowing that in forgiving God forgives you, I’ll let you check the scripture on that.

I recall a dear friend for whom I had great respect to whom I said some things that were not in line with “let the words of my mouth and he meditation of my heart…”. I felt bad (convicted?) whenever I saw him on FB or even thought of him and the like. I did not get to peace until I leveled with him from the core of my heart, withholding nothing.

There’s are others that I can recall and have no such feelings, reconciliation seems to be a vapor. In fact, attempting to reconcile might be more damaging than doing any good, the gap is so wide. Thankfully, God is at work and change is eminent to anyone seriously seeking the Lord. I depend totally on the Holy Spirit to prompt me in these matters, and by God’s grace I will respond when He calls.

To everything there is a season, and these seasons seldom end suddenly, rather oscillate as they blend for a time, you used the term “in between”? If more ranting is needed, if you just go with it, it will subside in it’s time, which is, as you said, is already happening to some degree.

“Nuff said”.

Paul from Winnipeg, on the 50th :evergreen_tree: and with numerous fam in AB


#10

Hi Wayne, if you are interested in what I consider IMHO a “game changer”, pretty much aligned with what we are doing, you might be interested in “The Revival Hymn”, not a song.

It can be seen at Have You Seen Her?.

The vernacular is a little different from today, but the message is completely parallel.

The bombastic preaching of A.W. Tozer, Ian Paisley, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Duncan Campbell , and T. Austin Sparks is as powerful now as it was then.

Do you see any parallels with this “old time” approach and what we are wrestling with today in our culture and on this blog? There are a couple to troubling “twists” that I really can’t accept. If you get to watching it they’ll jump out at you.

At any rate, trust you find it inspiring, off our track or not.


#11

Glad you are enjoying the weekend! Yes, it would be good to have a visit some day. Buck Lake isn’t a good swimming lake…more a fishing lake. It is kind of weedy and usually has algae! We go to Edmonton quite often so maybe we can grab a cup of coffee with you? Do you work in Calmar?


#12

I read a book where the author talked about the shame management system, and he said that it brings down the hammer of the law and stringent behavioral expectations on other people. People feel like God is hammering them with the law, so they think that they need to hammer other people also, especially if they feel those other people aren’t living up to it as good as they think they should. So it ends up being abusive, from the stand point of both the church leaders, and the church attendees who end up abusing other people also.

It all seems kind of like an addiction to thinking your the most spiritual person in the room because you think that you follow the behavioral expectations, and the list of do’s and don’ts better than most other people (or in other words, arrogance & pride). I know because I used to be that guy… until God opened my eyes to see things differently.

I have noticed that without this shame management system, it seems like people are more kind and easy going with each other.

Also, without fear and shame, people seem more inclined to share their true self, their real ideas, their real concerns, and even their failures. In turn they find love, acceptance, and kindhearted help to overcome problems (if needed) and help to meet real needs, instead of receiving condemnation, rejection, and harsh attitudes.


#13

We do what is modeled for us. So when we are in “the church,” we get the subtle or overt message that you are not enough the way you are…or that you would be more valuable if you were to help in __________ area, or go through ________ leadership class, or get __________ degree and be a professional, which is the highest level of achievement.

So, you then in turn measure people in that community by that same standard. That’s why you can’t get away with saying no easily to classes, bible studies, attendance at meetings etc. When people don’t accept your no or inquire where you have been, it feels like you are being shamed for “straying from the fold.”

I think if we were truly to do away with this system, we would have no need to “manage people” or their behavior. That has never been our mandate or our job.

I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown and her research on shame culture and realizing just how much I have operated out of shame and how much shame has been a part of my church experience to date.

Heather
Parlier, CA


#14

Isn’t it sad that our church institution culture is really not any better at managing shame than the secular world? I will put myself out there by saying in many ways it is much much worse…which is why folks shy away from our institutions. Why would anyone want to go anywhere to feel even worse about themselves?!


#15

When you throw God into the mix, people seem to put up with a lot more shame culture because it feeds into that niggling feeling that grace really is too good to be true and how could it really be free. So we accept the yoke of the “work of the church” as a penance of sorts to prove that we are worth the grace, which we never have had to prove our worthiness for anyway. Ugh…I’m exhausted just typing that out.


#16

When there is a big machine to run: Sunday school programs, childcare, small groups, women’s ministries, men’s ministries, singles, college, home-bound, jail visitation, soup kitchen…etc etc and it is housed in a building that needs rent, salaries, utilities etc…you begin to see how that “working for grace” feeling can be conciously or unconsciously cultivated to keep it all moving. The bigger the machine, the more fuel it needs.


#17

If that isn’t a case for debunking all.of these “accountability groups” we have concocted, I don’t know what is. The implications are manipulation (“you aren’t doing God’s will so in the name of Jesus we are reigning you in”), relationships contingent on the “right” actions, and a performance-comparative environment.

In the latter there would be freedom to love each other where we are with His peace in our hearts knowing that HE is in charge of our souls and the souls of our neighbors and that rather than trying to herd them into a certain decision, we get to walk alongside and support and see where He leads. It allows God to be the God, not us failing at running the universe.


#18

Hi Ruby,
Read your post about the loss of relationship. Very sad, isn’t it? We lost Many friends" when we left the IC. One of them stood up with me at our wedding, & I would have thought we were true BFFs. After we left, not a word. I made some calls, invites, etc… only one of which was answered and the meeting was awkward and never repeated. Makes me wonder if there was ever a 2 way relationship there at all. Other people have shunned us, deliberately turning in another direction when they see us coming. Those who do speak ask right off “where are you going to church?” When we say we don’t, that is usually the end of the conversation. If not, what comes next is Hebrews 10… Cannot Tell you how many times we have been hit over the head with That one. Interestingly, not a single soul has ever asked WHY we left. OK, rant over…
It gets lonely out there when the community that your life is built around shuns you, but there is good news on the horizon! Adda has brought some old friends Back into our lives- I’m talking School friends- and we have some wonderful New friends who like us Just the way we are, and never hit us over the head with Anything. I have found some sense of community in the Lifestream group too, which is an additional blessing Wayne’s books have brought me. We only live on the 45th parallel, but I’m always open for chats. Hang in there. The One who has brought us this far will safely bring us home.


#19

Now that’s a profound question. I am thinking it’s got to do something with the addiction part of this whole thing

Ruby from Calmar, Alberta… north of the 49th. (Canada) .