The following is a reprint of an article shared by an Episcopal priest — not a Southern Baptist, not a Catholic, not a “Jew”, not a “Tree Hugger”, not the “Liberal Media”, and not a Christian Right-wing thinker. In it, he talks about the life and message of Jesus Christ — as arguably the world’s most revered Narcissistic Abuse Recovery speaker.
We’re lovingly sharing it here for reflection. Reflective Christian thinkers who tend to follow the SILENT UNITY teaching that God is LOVE and love conquers all fear. There’s great wisdom to be found in the religious and spiritually inspired teaching shared here.
Consider the very real and likely possibility that if JESUS CHRIST himself said, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do!” that he was most certainly alluding to dealing with Cluster B issues.
Thank you, writer Scott Gunn, for penning the article titled, “Danger! Why church should come with a warning [label]”. We found the biblical reference to 1 John 4:18 quite inspiring — just wanted to validate that we totally GROK.
Thus, without further ado — Scott Gunn’s “religious abuse” article. Be forewarned — if you were raised by toxic thinkers who were abused and brainwashed by Cluster B clergy, understand that this post might not be up your alley.
For that reason, we’re sharing it here for spiritual truth-seekers — validating that it’s possible to think like a Christian and NOT strive to behave in ways that are pejorative, haughty, or based on the social ethics of dangerous, Machiavellian predators who are power seekers.
Recent attacks in the United States might leave some of us feeling especially afraid. People of faith might be tempted to think of the church as a place to flee, to escape the scary world. But I don’t think this is the right impulse.
Not long ago, I was at St. Bart’s Church in New York City for a meeting, and a few of us wandered through their beautiful church a bit before we started. It so happens that some work is being done on their magnificent pipe organ, and they had put up some caution tape. Danger!
I snapped a photo, and I posted it on social media with this caption: “Spotted at a church today. Every church should require a danger sign, for the Gospel is not meant to be comfortable!” It got a pretty big response. I think people picked up on the fact that it’s not what we expect to see in churches—but, at some level, they understood that the Gospel requires this kind of warning.
You see, the Gospel is dangerous. There’s nothing whatsoever that’s safe about being a disciple of Jesus in this earthly life. There’s a reason Jesus and others in the scriptures are always saying, “Be not afraid!” We are meant to be secure in God’s love for us, but we are also meant to be out in the world sharing God’s love in extravagant, even dangerous, ways.
We are meant to be secure in God’s love for us, but we are also meant to be out in the world sharing God’s love in extravagant, even dangerous, ways.
My friend who serves as a priest in Europe said this the day after a Catholic priest was murdered during mass in his own church, “Today we open wide the doors of our church, because that is what we do.”
She has it right. Christians who serve as missionaries in dangerous places have it right. Congregations who care more about mission than maintenance have it right. Leaders who welcome change instead of clinging to the status quo have it right. Fire and police chaplains who run toward burning buildings have it right.
[Taking] bold [pro-social] risks and brave actions are the stuff of the Gospel.
Safety and comfort [egocentric promotion of entitlement demands and fostering competitive social ethics or personal agendas at the EXPENSE of other human beings] are not.
To be sure, it is understandable that we’d be afraid. I lock my doors at night. I keep a wary eye out when I’m walking alone. I get worried when I watch the news sometimes. But to all these situations, Jesus responds, “Be not afraid.”
The Christian’s place is wherever people need to hear a message of hope and love. Followers of Jesus will reject attempts to peddle fear for its own sake. When churches are beacons of grace and love, rather than comfortable museums, the Gospel is made real.
Bold risks and brave actions are the stuff of the Gospel. Safety and comfort are not.
The Bible says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love” (1 John 4:18). We are humans, so we’ll never manager to reach perfection.
We will always have a bit of fear with us, which is why we need those danger signs. The signs remind us to expect a bit of fear. But we can, if we allow God to work in our lives, be defined by hope and love, not hatred and fear.
The church needs a warning, because just when we might want to linger in safety and shirk our duty, the Gospel demands that we look out to where there is great need.
Be not afraid! It’s easier said than done. But by God’s grace, we can be people in whom love casts out fear.
Scott Gunn is an Episcopal priest and serves as executive director of Forward Movement. He is co-author of Faithful Questions: Exploring the Way with Jesus. You can follow him on Twitter @scottagunn or read his blog at www.sevenwholedays.org.
And YES — our team members represent a wide assortment of fiscal conservatives, gun owners, and social issues crusaders who politically tend to support human rights agendas — not spiritual people prone to making ad hominem attacks on the thoughts or life habits of God LOVING (rather than hate speech promoting or tolerating) “Liberals”.
As if a web page focusing on issues related to NARCISSISTIC ABUSE RECOVERY ISSUES would not be comprised of team members who refuse to abuse others by proxy for the social status gain of mobbing, jumping on a bandwagon to abuse, or to self-promote our personal lives and children over those of other humans?
Think about it, folks.
If you are a REPUBLICAN voter, be clear. The GOP ethics being touted in elections 2016 have NOTHING to do with true conservative or Christian values.
Reagan would never have tolerated hate speech use, let alone in any way have suggested that we build more walls — especially not after dedicating his political career to striving to end the Cold War, not start another, and to physically and metaphorically tear the Berlin Wall down.
We “ain’t [too] skeered” [anymore] to share, to strive to help treat others with moral decency, or to care.
We (collectively, as a team) hope someday our PLANET will be the greatest version of itself that it’s ever been… and that as the shifting sands of time fly by, that some of us leave an indelible, permanent, pro-social mark.
If Christ truly “died for our (collective human) sins”, then for the LOVE OF GOD and all that is decent and holy, why on EARTH would any non-Cluster B thinker ever try to leave or exclude any man, woman, or child from having a right to pursue life, liberty, and HAPPINESS for all?
Ending our Sunday sermon rant on that note.
For more information about what the Bible ACTUALLY says about Narcissism, Narcissistic Abuse, and the greater moral crime of ABUSE ENABLING check out our YouTube channel link to SUNDAY SERMON information. All viewpoints on Narcissistic Abuse recovery or moral injustice are the reflections alone of the speaker — but that in no way means we are unable to listen respectfully for comprehension in order to be able to communicate in a meaningful way while validating HIS subjective perspective and religious tradition.