Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel

brick in the wall This is the motto of dysfunction. It’s also the motto for a little thing we used to call “sin”.

I was reading today about some significant things happening over at 100 Huntley Street. For those reading from outside of the Christian universe or those Christians reading from outside of the Great White North, 100 Huntley Street is our 700 Club. A little more mom and pop and a little less political – sort of like the rest of Canada – than the U.S. show but otherwise some strong similarities.

A few weeks ago the show changed: new intro, new hosts, no mention of the old hosts (who also happened to be the kidlings of the show’s founder). The silence was deafening.

Then a few terse press releases in “secular” media and slowly news leaks about a Ponzi scheme with U.S. and Canadian players – with 100 Huntley connections. You can read the whole story, as it’s developing over at Bene Diction Blogs On.

What I really want to say about all this is that we’ve become a seriously dysfunctional family, the family of God, in the way we live together. This has been coming for a while. We’ve had some lousy teaching on family life and it’s finally catching up with us.

I remember sitting outside a pastor’s office once and over hearing (yes, I could’ve left) a “closed doors” conversation between the pastor and a departing member of the church. “What will you tell people is the reason you’re leaving?” was the pastor’s question. I listened in shock as the pastor directed the “leaver” to the “appropriate” answer that he expected the person leaving to give if asked.

More than a few times I’ve heard a group I’ve hung around with creatively teach that God wants us to cover for each other. It’s put a little differently than that, but it’s exactly what is being taught. The clear message is that truth is nice but “love” is more important and “blessing” or “anointing” comes when we cover for each other and don’t expose each other. A dysfunctional family is told never to talk, don’t tell our family secrets, remember, momma just fell down some steps. We’re not supposed to get angry – despite Paul’s admonition to be angry but don’t give in to sin. Don’t feel – unless you have happy, docile, obedient feelings.

The thing is that the Canadian Christian media is leaving 100 Huntley Street and its obvious changes alone. This is not a Christian virtue. It’s a Christian vice. We shouldn’t attack each other or slander each other or “shoot our wounded”. But honesty and truth are still Christian virtues. And the power of the Cross is in exposing our “stuff”, not in covering it over, so that we can be set free. Paul didn’t ask Luke to cover up the disagreement he had with Barnabas and in Acts it seems to be pretty “spin free”.

This post isn’t about bashing Crossroads (100 Huntley’s “ministry” brand) or anyone caught up or hurt by this scheme. It’s really just a question I’ve been wondering about how and why we traded the power of speaking the truth in love for the weak power of the flesh that can spin and manage our way and “cover” this for each other?

Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel are unhealthy and though part of our subculture, not the mark of true followers of Jesus.


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
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11 Responses to Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel

  1. Lindsay says:

    Great food for thought Brian. Funny, I caught a bit of 100 Huntley Street today and didn’t recognize the hosts… Interesting.

    I think these disfunctions can apply to many levels of my life. Truth is the ultimate goal, but sometimes we (meaning me) balk from taking the harder road to get there. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Michelle says:

    I’m Canadian and although the name is familiar I’ve never seen 100 Huntley Street to my knowledge. Anyway, It’s a shame the issue isn’t being discussed openly. Perhaps the majority of the Christian media community want to wait for a final verdict before addressing the issue. Perhaps they want to know if the brothers are victims or perps? Does that really matter? Are those who follow and teach about Jesus held to a higher standard? Should they be? I mean, everybody sins. Some people just get caught in bigger sins than others. If some groups of Christians don’t want to acknowledge that good people do stupid things they are commiting sins of omission in my opinion. We don’t need to berate one another, but we do need to address the truth with firm love.

    • brianmpei says:

      I think it’s a sign of the times. If you owe enough, they send you some free money. If you owe a little, even if it’s a lot to you, they’ll come after you for every last penny. In a recent (and well publicized poll) in a survey about torture, Christians in the U.S. were overwhelmingly in favour. We cherry pick our virtues and sanctify our vices.

  3. Ivy says:

    Loved this. Thanks for the courage you show in living honestly.

  4. greggmac says:

    The church has pretty much abandoned honesty to embrace the triumphalist creedo. Honesty cannot exist there because if people ask why everyone can’t shout the victory they lose membership in the club. Benny, Kenny, and BAM BAM (Todd)
    have hordes of adherents because they promise effortless advancements and those who do not simply don’t have enough “faith”. The same silence rang out here after Lakeland proved to be a little less than hyped. All in all it is a little annoying what Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men (You can’t handle the truth) applies to many in the church. I am risking a real rant so I’d best stop now.

  5. Yves says:

    Great post Brian.

  6. Ian says:

    Virtue is developed by practice. Doctrine is not practice, and so though some would have lofty words and a face easy to look at, it is no surprise that there are plenty teaching virtue, or twisting virtue that come short of a devout life. If even I am very honest but give not thought to God in the course of being so, then what should it profit? It should then only be prey to the influence of our culture and the deceit of the Pernicious One and breed twisted needless want for being honest to an end that has not the interest of God in it. So to practice virtue is to have a mind directed to God in all things, else we find ourselves giving over our activities and thoughts to those, ourselves included, to misappropriate or do nothing with.

  7. Sherla says:

    THought I would check out your blog. Food for thougt. THere is power in speaking out the truth. It is so freeing . To often we all place a mask on and never let people see what is inside. It can effect you and those around you.

  8. Suzanne says:

    FINALLY!!! Transparency, honesty, and acceptance is being talked about openly. It’s only when we become willing to surrender and live as in glass houses, to be “seen” in the naked truth. Can we ever begin to heal the dark deep wounds of abuse!!

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