Are you so angry at the church you could spit nails?

"Spit Nails" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward Anger is messy. No other post I've ever done has received as much attention as Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What Came First, the Thug or the Theology? It has enjoyed almost 30,000 views and at this point has reached over 750 comments. I'm a firm believer in the fact that if people are given a safe space to express themselves, they will. For many, it takes some time to build up enough courage to risk it because too many times they've been invited to share, only to receive a negative backlash. However, on nakedpastor they've been free to tell their stories, give their opinions, and express their emotions and thoughts unfettered. For the most part it is a civil conversation. There's anger. There's mess. There's discomfort. There's eye-openers. There's demands. There's apologies. There's forgiveness. There's rebuke. There's denial. There's‚ well‚ you get the point. Even though the comments are very emotional, for the most part they are also very intelligent. If you take the time to go through it in it's entirety, it makes a fascinating read. I'd been a pastor for about 30 years. I've blogged on nakedpastor for 9 years. I've hosted our online community The Lasting Supper for 2 years. In every place, I've tried to provide this safe space for people to process their stuff without fear of censor or censure. It's always messy and uncomfortable. It is always confusing and chaotic. But it is always fruitful and therefore temporary. In every case, those who needed to talk...
  • appreciated that they could
  • loved the space
  • were grateful for the process
Those who are accused or who care more about propriety than process...
  • always despised and judged those who were sharing
  • abhorred and belittled the space,
  • avoided and dismissed the process.

In. Every. Case.

The same thing happened on that post. You can see it plain as day. Let me get personal. Say Lisa gets angry with me. She's livid! Justifiably so. And she comes at me with it. What do I do? Do I say, "Ew, I'm uncomfortable! I don't appreciate how your voice sounds! Do you have to do this here? Now? Can we get a neutral mediator? Calm down! Your feelings are too overwhelming for me! I want you to talk to me on my terms! Calm down!" I'll tell you now, if I did anything like that, even remotely, it would send her through the roof! When she's angry because of something I've done, I've lost my right to tell her how to talk to me‚ a right I never had to begin with. I have lost the right to tell her to leash her emotions and her mode of expression‚ a right I never had to begin with. It makes her angrier because it repeats the original offense, which is usually disrespect or disregard. I don't like it when she's angry, but when she can feel and express it naturally, the way she wants, directly, then this is the first step to repair. It's always worked so far. This is why I am passionate about providing similar spaces. People get healed! And sometimes relationships too. That's what ultimately matters. I'm inviting you to join The Lasting Supper. Some have as a result of the Jones/ Driscoll post. Check it out! CLICK HERE --> The Lasting Supper.
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