A Prayer for Unity After Ministry-Industry Clashes
We need to pray for the healing of our hearts.

After the sad Twitter meltdowns (by which I mean "communication breakdowns") surrounding today's Nines leadership conference (from which no one seems to have emerged more Christlike), a prayer.

Will you join me? (Comment with an "amen" if you feel like it.)

-Paul

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Jesus prayed that his followers may all be one.

In the power of the Spirit, we join our prayers with his.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

our only Savior, the Prince of Peace:

give us grace seriously to lay to heart

the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions.

Take away all hatred and prejudice,

and whatever else may hinder us

from godly union and concord;

that, as there is but one body and one Spirit,

one hope of our calling,

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

one God and Father of us all,

so we may henceforth be all of one heart and of one soul,

united in one holy bond of peace, of faith and charity,

and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I am the vine and you are the branches.

Abide in me as I abide in you.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.

Abide in me as I abide in you.

No one has greater love than this,

to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Abide in me as I abide in you.

You are my friends if you do what I command you;

love one another as I have loved you.

Abide in me as I abide in you.

Intercessions are offered for the unity of the Church.

Lord of the Church

hear your people's prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Lord Jesus Christ,

who said to your apostles,

'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you':

look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church

and grant it the peace and unity of your kingdom;

where you are alive and reign with the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

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November 12, 2013

Displaying 1–10 of 32 comments

waskommenmag

November 14, 2013  3:31pm

this is the most manipulative response possible. congratulations for taking it to that level.

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Mike C

November 14, 2013  4:37am

Paul F - Yes, I do believe in leadership in the home: the husband and wife. (In a single family, it would be the mom or dad.) It takes mutual love, mutual submission, trust, and a deep believe in the work of God's Spirit. Very sad to me that we somewhere got the idea that unless there is one person as the leader, there is no leadership.

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Karen

November 14, 2013  12:31am

Jennifer, I think you may have meant to address your question to Paul (commenter's names are at the bottom, not the top of their comments–it's a bit confusing). Paul, I, too, look at things a little differently and essentially agree with Jennifer. How about, for instance, Christian husbands and wives (and the members of the local church) take turns serving in their areas of strength and work cooperatively together to come to consensus where decisions affecting the whole body or the family need to be made? There is only one Head–that is Jesus Christ, and His desire is for us all to be one in Him (John 17) and to "submit to one another" out of reverence for Him and to love one another (1 Peter 5:5b, Ephesians 5:21, Romans 12:10). I believe in the role/gift of the presbyter within the Church, but not in clericalism, and I believe the husband is the head of his wife in a Christian marriage as the Scripture teaches. I don't believe this means these spiritual roles or gifts are that of a "leader" in the sense of the bottom line operational definition it is often given by modern conservative Protestants (i.e., where consensus cannot be reached having ultimate decision-making power, where the operative word is "power"). Relationships in the Body of Christ are not properly those of human politics, but of godly love, which, by definition, is completely humble and makes room for the other and where the more mature lead the less mature by example (1 Peter 5:3) and through patient instruction and nurture, not by exercising power and demanding obedience. Lastly, I haven't noticed that complementarian beliefs eliminate strife and power struggles from a marriage! In my observation, strife and power struggles are a result of human weakness, insecurity and sin, not of a particular philosophy of "leadership" in marriage, and those things are remedied only by patience, forgiveness, grace and love (i.e., the constant effort toward humility and mutual submission enjoined upon all believers by the Scriptures). I wouldn't be surprised if false ideas propagated among modern Christians of the meaning and nature of a husband as "head" of his wife actually leads to more strife and power struggles in marriage than egalitarianism. It seems to me egalitarian presuppositions at least prime both husband and wife (and believers in the body) to try to make an effort to mutually cooperate. A philosophical setup that artificially, mechanically, or automatically gives more power to one person than another in the relationship is a real recipe for disaster if either or both members are at all insecure in the love of the other. Strife is only eliminated to the extent that husbands, wives, and believers are looking to please Christ rather than themselves and to edify one another to the glory of God. That can happen regardless of whether a couple is more focussed on the complementary or the equal/mutual aspects of their relationship (because truthfully it seems to me the spiritual oneness of a genuinely Christian marriage incorporates elements of both these philosophies, but actually operates according to neither as a system). It seems to me human relationships don't attain healthy function according to a prior commitment to some philosophical system, but only through the real freedom of love in the Spirit of Christ.

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Ruth C

November 14, 2013  12:17am

Paul: You are making the assumption that a two-person relationship requires a leader, or chaos will ensue. If, in a friendship or a partnership at work, one person insisted on making all of the decisions, it would be considered dysfunctional. Why is this healthy for a marriage? I have never understood this about hierarchical views of marriage.

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Jan

November 14, 2013  12:10am

"A-WOMEN"

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Jennifer Lewis

November 13, 2013  11:31pm

Tim, Jesus wasn't about who should have the power. If He was about power as you describe it, He would have led a revolt and started a war. Instead, He died so that we could have a clean slate and a relationship with God. Ask yourself why are you so concerned about roles. Is it really necessary for you to be in charge of your fully developed, adult wife? There will not be power struggles if everyone is legitimately concerned about the best interests of the family. Further, so what if there are? Do you really expect husbands and wives to be in agreement all of the time? Do you expect to be "right" all of the time? That kind of thinking is completely against what Christ taught, but Satan would love it.

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Paul F

November 13, 2013  8:07pm

Mike C. Do you think that families need a servant leader to make decisions for the best of everyone in the family? The local church family needs delegated leaders to make decisions for the best of the team so does the home also need delegated leadership? If the home needs leadership I would like to understand how you would determine who that leader should be. Should it be the husband or the wife? If men and women have no distinct roles, is the role of leader in the home not something a wife could fill? How does a husband and wife determine who the leader should be? Based on a spiritual resume or some other performance based criteria? The egalitarian doctrine when applied to the home can lead to strife and power struggles since there is no way to determine who the servant leader of the family should be. Just like a church family without delegated leaders could lead to strife and power struggles.

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Tim

November 13, 2013  5:14pm

This is not just a case of women not participating, it's also a matter of "laymen" not participating, most likely. I wonder how many business men were invited. This is not a patriarchy problem, it is a clergyism problem. It is the assumption where spiritual wisdom is just like being a surgeon - you don't want a non-hired and non-certified man cutting you open so you don't want a non-hired non-appointed man telling you what the Bible means. Protestants have moved back to the days of Catholicism. You can have your Bible at home but don't expect to speak about it to the saints when they gather - male or female. What about children? Send them to another room? What about "for as such is the kingdom of heaven"? Every Sunday I hear children speak the word of God and their desire to follow it. It is powerful. So, the problem is broader. Some claim to be a functional neck to funnel truth between the Head and the rest of the members of the body.

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Criss

November 13, 2013  4:55pm

"Women are not silenced in my church as you suggest." Referring to a basic, simple question as a "metldown" just because it came from a woman IS SILENCING WOMEN.

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Mike C

November 13, 2013  2:52pm

Off your high horse, there, Paul F. It's fine for you to disagree, but please put the "your-beef-isn't-with-me-but-with-God" trump card. I believe the Bible as much as you do, and I believe in the full inclusion of women in the ministry of the church.

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