Anyone who has not gone on journeys of powerlessness will invariably abuse power.
A good friend sent me a recent devotional from Richard Rohr, thinking I would love it! I did! In fact I share it with Brad on tomorrow’s podcast at The God Journey, but I wanted to highlight some of it here and give you a chance to read it before. I love the whole thing and how most ancient initiation rites led men into feelings of powerlessness so that he would not abuse that power, especially in male-dominated societies.
He goes on (emphases mine):
Jesus clearly taught the twelve disciples about surrender, the necessity of suffering, humility, servant leadership, and nonviolence. They resisted him every time, and so he finally had to make the journey himself and tell them, “Follow me!” But Christians have preferred to hear something Jesus never said: “Worship me.” Worship of Jesus is rather harmless and risk-free; following Jesus changes everything.
… I have often thought that this “non-preaching” of the Gospel was like a secret social contract between clergy and laity, as we shake hands across the sanctuary. We agree not to tell you anything that would make you uncomfortable, and you will keep coming to our services. It is a nice deal, because once the Gospel is preached, I doubt if the churches would be filled. Rather, we might be out on the streets living the message. The discernment and the call to a life of service, to a life that gives itself away instead of simply protecting and procuring for itself in the name of Jesus, is what church should be about. Right now, so much church is the clergy teaching the people how to be co-dependent with them. It becomes job security instead of true spiritual empowerment. Remember, anyone—male or female—who has not gone on journeys of powerlessness will invariably abuse power.
You can read the whole thing here. Maybe you’ll love it too. It may be more difficult for women to read, especially those that have been harmed by the abuse of power in our male-entrenched cultures, but the message is so powerful for all of us.
Jesus’ Invitation: Follow Me
By Richard Rohr • Tuesday, October 18, 2016