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Church

Abuse, Christianity, Church

5 Things Churches Get Wrong About Mental Illness

I have a number of religious and exvangelical friends who have expressed concern about the way that their church discusses mental illness*. Let’s take this recent tweet posted in August from Desiring God, a highly regarded ministry with international acclaim, as an example: Firstly, this implies that people facing depression aren’t already faithful. Secondly, if these six “quick and easy” steps work in a matter of hours, it’s not depression, it’s…

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Christianity, Church

When You’re No Longer “Equally Yoked”

“Don’t marry someone unless you’re equally yoked.” This is something we were frequently reminded of during our later years of youth group and into Bible Study, largely thanks to 2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? Essentially, don’t marry someone (or even bother dating) unless you’re at the same spiritual level- that…

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Christianity, Church

The Problem With Testimonies

A man jumps onto stage to share his testimony. He’s wearing mocha-coloured chinos and a white t-shirt, the outline of his muscular body evident in the fall of the shadow on stage. He pushes the hair from his forehead with his fingers and clears his throat. Outside the church building, he’d be sexy. Inside the church, he’s angelic. “I grew up in a Christian home,” he begins. “… When I…

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Christianity, Church

I Brought More People To Church Once I Left

When I was an evangelical Christian, I don’t think I ever successfully brought someone to church. I mean sure, I had plenty of conversations about God, I had plenty of conversations with those who were ‘straying’, but I never had the guts to invite someone unacquainted with church lore. This was less about the strength of my faith and more about a fear of thrusting a religion onto someone enough…

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Abuse, Christianity, Church

How Does Power Work In Evangelical Churches?

The issue of male violence has been recently re-ignited as a result of the #metoo movement, with the related #churchtoo response also gathering momentum. Social media has blazed with commentary from those affected by abusive relationships within evangelical and fundamentalist churches all over the world, taking to #exvangelical and #emptythepews on Twitter to voice their pain and rage at abusive church practices. Last year I published a book into the…

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Christianity, Church

Let Me Sit On The Fence With Jesus

“You can’t sit on the fence with Jesus” I say to a Year 8 girl with blonde plaits. It’s 2014 and we’re lying on a patch of grass overlooking the ocean. The bell is about to ring for dinner at the youth camp I’m leading on. “You’re either on the field or you’re off it. There’s no middle ground. Either Jesus died for your sins and is the God of…

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