What It Means to Love One Another (#684)

Wayne's co-author om So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore, joins him for today's podcast and shares some interesting insight that he has been exploring over recent years. He talks about three basic needs that we has humans have—for love, for worth, and for safety, especially when we freel vulnerable. These needs can only be met by God, and when we don't find this in him we will seek to find it in other people. But humanity can't love like he does and when someone doesn't treat us the way we think we deserve, we'll feel threatened, which will lead to fear and eventually to anger. Depending on our personality this anger either goes inward expressing itself in self-abuse, depression, and addiction, or it goes outward leading us to abuse others and seek to control them for our own joy. The good news is we can reverse the realities on this chart, but finding our love, worth, and safety inside a relationship with God and then share that with others.

Podcast Notes:
Dave Coleman's previous podcasts
If You Can Help Us in Kenya

9 Comments

  1. Wayne, my wife and I were latecomers to “The Shack”, 2014, and the after-party, this podcast, 2015, but have been kind of a regular since then. You had this time invited us to submit questions for feedback and discussion. I have 2 related questions. Paul seems to warn us about grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), and quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19)”.

    Neither of these rather explicit passages seem to garner much attention in the Christian “community”. Not nearly as much as the far less explicit doctrine of, H – E – double hockey sticks. Or maybe it is simply like the elders, and the scribes accusing Stephen before the council, and him stating that they always “resist the Holy Spirit”.

    Your thoughts on the seeming absence of these 2 verses in Christian teaching, doctrine or practice?, or just the verses themselves.

  2. Thanks, Perry. We’ll try to get with Dave about these. I have no idea, however, how much these gets covered or doesn’t get coverd in the wider Christian community. I suspect that in some places they are ignored and others get hammered home with a 2 x 4. 🙂

    • Well, since this podcast was with Dave Coleman, and a reference was made to the “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore”, I can think of a couple of places in that book that make me think of both the “grieving” & “quenching of the spirit”.

      The book’s characters, Jake and John meet up in the mall, and Jake rather triumphantly announces to John that he found out that his former friend and boss, the senior pastor of City Center, had been having an affair with a vulnerable and attractive younger divorced woman. “John’s smile quickly faded into pain as sorrow crept across his countenance. As tears pooled in his eyes, I heard him sigh almost in a whisper, ‘Oh, God, forgive us.'” To me, John seemed to be GRIEVED by Jake expressing the unforgiveness that was still buried deep in his heart towards Jim.

      In another place, Jake runs into John in the Hospital Cafeteria, where Jake’s asthmatic daughter has been desperately fighting for her life. John had been encouraging and inviting Jake to trust in a closer relationship with and dependency on our loving Father and now after no longer having a steady job, insurance to pay for his daughter’s hospital stay and most of all, the uncertainty of her survival, he tells John that he would rather be alone. John is leaving and almost out the door when Jake changes his mind and apologizes and sorrowfully asks him to stay. It was as though Jake had almost entirely QUENCHED the flame of the Holy Spirit, and His work & transformation in him, had he forced John to leave the cafeteria that night.

      I can relate to all of this. What is always begun in us by the Spirit, drawing us towards our Father and his Shalom, too often gets derailed as the unbearable yoke of doctrine & dogma and their accompanying wringers of manipulation, shame & guilt, press all of the spirit out of us. All the while, our institutional leaders reassure us that all is well, telling us to GO! and tell the world about our “personal relationship with Jesus”.

  3. Wayne, I did appreciate the discussion and agree with overarching concept. However, when it comes to quantifying depression as unexpressed anger, this is a way to simplistic and very shortsighted. Depression, and mental illness in general is complicated, multifaceted and NOT just a symptom of repressed anger. I am a licensed physician assistant and deal with this almost daily, not just as a provider but on a personal basis as well. On this point only I was disappointed with your expressed viewpoints. Your guest is of a generation that tended to generalize depression this way, but research has shown depression to be so much more. I also believe it may have the effect of trivializing mental illness and shut down listeners from hearing the heart of the message.

    • (From Wayne): After the podcast, I was afraid someone might interpret it this way, and thought we’d follow-up on a second podcast. It was not our intent to suggest ALL depression comes from internalized anger, but to talk about that kind of depression that does. We did not make that clare enough and for that I apologize. As you point out, depression is much more complicated reality with a variety of other causes, many of them physiological. I always encourage people suffering from depression to get professional help, including a physical check-up, to find the best way to address theirs. I regret we weren’t clearer about that on this podcast. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do that.

      • Wayne, Thank you for your acknowledgement. The other aspect of depression is that it has been sold as sin and demon possession from some Christian conservative circles. A very damaging perspective as well.
        I believe sin in general has changed so much of God’s original creation including humans.

  4. Dear brothers and sisters, to me this was a great podcast, especially regarding the question of Philip.

    Yet there is one thing that I really didn’t like about the chart, that behind Love it only says forgiveness. To me, this can still contain the strive to perfection to find true acceptance by Jesus, just using forgiveness as a tool to achieve it. But to me, now, Love ist that Jesus can reach to us through all the dirt and filth, thats the power He achieved on the cross, and accepts us the very way we are including all the false ways of our souls, most of which we don’t even understand being wrong I think. But Jesus is with us and remains with us even while we sin, that’s one of the very important diffences regarding the old covenant, and not enough, then His grace sets in, through which Jesus makes even good things out of our mistakes and sins. This helps me finding true peace in His Love.

    Be blessed
    J.

  5. Hi Wayne

    Dave quoted data about Christian kids being “worse off” than children raised in non-Christian homes. Do you know what study or studies he might be referring to? Interesting info if studies show it to be correct.

    Thank you.

  6. Hi Wayne and Dave, great discussion for so many reasons!
    I was curious about how Dave defined God’s “glory” in that it makes so much sense in light of Colossians 1:27. However, when trying to look it up in Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, lexicons etc. I couldn’t find language similar to what he said about it being, good wanting to be known for who He is, all of what He is etc. Maybe it’s to be implied from the def’s I found? If love any specific references where I could find that info? I really want to share it with some friends and family that would be very receiving of it this way but would like something to substantiate it. Thanks! Terri Lee AZ

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