Friday, September 4, 2009

You'll Get Burnt At Church

I've been Burnt In Church. Have you? Below you'll find a guest post from Josiah Potter. I didn't ask for his permission to post this. I found his post at Anne Jackson's blog. I didn't ask her permission either. So with that in mind, please quickly read Josiah Potter's guest post below before the authorities ask me to take it off my blog. Yipes! Maybe I'm Burning Josiah and Anne by not asking for permission to post this? You should read this post quick!

Blessed are the Peacemakers

It’s no secret that if you work at a church you will get burnt one day.

I’m talking about a deep wounding that is inflicted from someone you look to as either a mentor, elder or spiritual authority.

My dad got burnt by the church. My wife’s father got burnt by the church. Anne has been burnt by the church. I have recently been burnt by the church and I continue to hear heartbreaking stories from pastors around the nation staggering through the same valley.

When people hear these stories they are blown away. The western church has fallen into a dangerous niche where we elevate certain men and women to sinless standard because they teach from God’s Word on Sunday mornings.

These men and women are filthy sinners just like you and me. They need Jesus just like you and me. They are subject to their own sinful nature yet we place them on a pedestal and then are amazed when they fall from it!

The reactionary trend has been to respond to getting burnt by being angry and afraid. The enemy loves is when we live in fear. If we surrender to those things we ignore direct commands from Jesus Christ.

God revealed to me last Friday that He wants me to be the peacemaker in my ‘burnt situation.’

I don’t want to be the peacemaker. Everything in me and everyone around me tells me not to darken the door of the church. Going and making peace scrapes against everything I’ve been taught about being a man, not backing down and the resistance has been bruising my spirit in the way a street-fighter’s fist collides with the pavement after his opponent dodges the attempted blow.

But God told me to be the peacemaker so I will make peace.

I will go to them this week, ask forgiveness for any wrong I have done against them, tell them I forgive them for the wounds they have inflicted and make peace.

This isn’t a prideful attempt to steal glory or even draw sympathy to myself because of my situation. This is done out of obedience to a Holy God who’s Son taught us to live in peace in a very functional and contagious way.

Romans 12:18
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Mark 9:50
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

I don’t know how my offering of peace will be received. I am trusting God to handle that part. I do know, however, that one day I will stand before Jesus Christ and He will ask me if I made peace with them and I will be able to respond.

Yes. I did.

What is your story?
Were you burnt?
Did you make peace?


  1. I've definitely been 'burnt' and only some 'peace' has been made. Great post, leaving me with a lot to think about...Thanks!

  2. Less important to me than how many times I've felt I've been burnt, or have witnessed the failings of other saints in a leadership position, is the ability to recognize that I also fail others, and that all of us remain human enough to fail each other.

    Forgiveness is not an option. But making peace, and rebuilding relationships, requires the humility of repentance and time to restore trust. We're all in this together as one body, and failure to work toward peace is always to our detriment.

    If it's of interest to you, the piece I posted today is titled "One Body," and ends with this statement:

    We are one body. In working against one another, and in failing to build up other members of Christ's body, we weaken ourselves as well.