No Better Than Anyone Else

Our two recent podcasts on the Culture of Control inspired a host of listener feedback. Wayne goes back through some of the letters and blog postings to see more subtle ways control is often exercised, and how our need to feel in control makes us prime targets for those who want to control our lives, even with the most altruistic of motives. Those who think themselves better than the people around them will use whatever power they have at their disposal to make others do what they think best and results in the abuse of power we see in government as well as religion. Only those who are willing to risk what it means to trust Jesus as their only security will find themselves free from the control of others and be able to live in the world as a blessing to others, neither using them for our gain or seeking control over them.

Podcast Links:
Previous Podcast on Right-Handed v. Left-Handed Power
NY Times Article on Celebrating Inequality
Wayne's Blog on Learning Not To Be A Jerk
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  1. This is one of the “best” podcasts I’ve heard so far – really spoke to my heart as I could relate to it all. Thanks again, Father, for this journey you’ve led me to!

  2. Wayne,

    What a wealth of material you’ve shared in this podcast. I especially liked your characterization of the celebrity culture in our time. I definitely see it in the sports world. We forgive our elite athletes for transgressions such as the use of performance-enhancing drugs or the practice of serial infidelity, as long as they continue to be wlidly successful. As long as they continue to provide us entertainment, they can pretty much do what they want. It is none of our business.

    If we dare call them out, suddenly the culture, who has no regard for God, gets biblical and invokes Matthew 7:1 (Do not judge lest you be judged), or Matthew 7:5 (You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye). How ironic. I would say, what about Exodus 20:2-3?

  3. excellent, at so many levels! i’ve enjoyed the last three podcasts. they have motivated our family to some great conversations and considerations!

    we are seeing a little of our past, our present journeys, and to whom we are traveling.

  4. by the way…. my wife and i just listened to the linked podcast “right-handed v. left-handed power”. i have noticed within the last few podcasts that the topic of children and “church involvement” continues to come up. i’ve struggled with letting go of the structure (for my children) and wanted to ask wayne:

    How did your children cope with the change from a religious community into a life of simply living loved?
    Did your children lose their “friends”?
    How did they adapt to less structure & routine?
    Did your family have any times of gathering together for “churchy” things? That is, bible study or prayer?
    How did/do you encourage them in their journey?
    As adults, are they involved with institutional gatherings?

    well, the linked podcast really helped me with some of these questions. if you have similar concerns about your children and their relationship with Father, take a few moments and listen to wayne and brad’s conversation.

  5. I agree with all that is said but want to add another very subtle way that control is exercised, at least I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I am talking about HONOR. It is the flip side of shame and maybe even a precursor, at least for me. I remember being “humbly” proud of being recognized for something I had done or said. I think this is how i attached the performance standards to my heart as a substitute for the love and acceptance from Abba, and those standards later became the source of shame for me when I failed. I think JUDGMENT of myself or others is also a way I attached performance standards to my heart…and shame for failure in the same way. I wasn’t able to shake the shame until I repented of receiving honor from the wrong place. Honor from the pulpit is rather enticing, usually followed up by lots of comments from fellow sheep about how wonderful, spiritual, humble, giving etc. you are! I remember the story in the Jake book about the Sunday School perfect attendance pin! That’s why I wouldn’t take my kids into that if I had it to do over. And I wouldn’t use honor for the things I did while raising my children either.
    When I think about this, it helps me sort out how some people can be in exactly the same setting and become enslaved to the standard and others don’t seem touched by it at all. For the sake of my freedom, I needed to own up to my part in the enslaving process. Nobody forced me into it. I was looking for and thirsting for honor much more than control, i think. Maybe it’s a feminine thing?
    My hero in rejecting enslaving honor is Jesus in so many of his early encounters with the Pharisees. I think a subtle offer of honor was even a part of Eve’s temptation in the beginning.
    What could possibly more honoring than the choice of me by my Abba? When I drink deep of the honor of that thought, I am so much less susceptible to accepting shiny, sparkly chains.

  6. What these messages do for me is cause me to be more confident (and courageous) that not allowing myself to be controlled is a wise choice. And this choice leads me to a precious openness to Father God and seeing that His way FOR ME is what I am free to seek, find, live in and move freely in. There are some chains laying on the floor not attached to me anymore and without that weight I am embarking on a magnificent adventure and relationship wit the Father, His Don and His spirit within me.
    I have to admit that it seems like there is still some trauma in me from letting myself be chained in so many ways and it has to do with the fear of being alone on this journey. And then He shows me how deeply and thoroughly He is my companion and Who I really need. It is not easy for ME to see that He is enough but I am going and growing that way.

  7. Susan, your words resonated very deeply w/ me. The “strokes” or honour we receive from ppl has also been very seductively reassuring to me as well. Carol also connected this with knowing that Jesus’ “well done” can come to be enough. Although the fruit of walking that out is very good, it’s the process of having those things we think we need stripped away that hurts.

  8. Lets face it folks. There is no god. Dreams suck. And I have wasted 23 years of marrihge and trying to be a minister because I supposedly called by a fictious god who gave a sh**.

  9. Wow, Jonathan! Way to take the honesty up a few notches! Speaking of things Jesus can honor, I think this is one of them. Very sorry for your pain. Many here have shared it. My fictitious god was a monster disappointment too.

  10. Hi DeWayne

    I’m obviously not Wayne and I don’t know if he’s replied to you personally. I’d love to chat about some of your questions – I also went and listened to the link and am going to listen to the one before that – ‘wink, wink and other traditions’ which must have set the stage for that chat.

    We left the system 7 months ago and the system is still leaving us. We’ve got 4 kids between 8yrs and 7 months. We’re putting some things together on the web to share things that have helped us and are blogging to communicate what we’re learning. It’s intentionally not having a jab at the ‘church’ system but rather looking at how to live in the revelation of God as Father and how we’re transitioning into that. We’re learning how to be tech savvy never mind write something in a readable format so excuse the roughness if you look at it.

    If you’d like to chat, ask Wayne to send my email address to you and we can work it from there.

    Grace to you

  11. I am greatly ashamed of what I wrote above I apologize for my anger as you can tell I’m in a dark place right now. I know there is a god and he will see me through

  12. Jonathan Bloomfield
    Why are you ashamed? You were being honest, that takes a lot of courage!
    It’s so hard to be honest about what we are feeling. Right now I’m falling back into my patterns of copping, which is numbing my emotions.

    Here is a new blog post by Wayne. Talking about it’s okay to be angry with God.


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