Somebody done somebody wrong… again.
Scott McClellan was one of President George W. Bush’s posse that moved with him from Austin to the West Wing. He was a trusted insider but left the White House in 2006 after serving as press secretary to the President. His kiss-and-tell book What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, gives a scathing, one-sided glimpse into the Oval Office. One writer on the Houston Chronicle Commons site called it Scott McClellan And His Thirty Pieces Of Silver.
Meanwhile in the church…
Ed Young, Jr.’s pathetic rant against Church Pirates in a staff meeting ended up on the Monday Morning Insight blog (a great resource for those among us who kinda get off on trying to make the church better). Obviously somebody left Ed’s staff and started a new church (what was that ungrateful, insubordinate Judas thinking?) or it may have happened recently to a pastor friend. This was not Ed’s finest moment, but it made clear the passions that are ignited by betrayal.
Some churches try to insulate themselves by enveloping their operations in a legal cloak of documents. I was on the staff of a very large church that required me to sign a non-compete agreement (if I left for any reason I couldn’t work for any Christian ministry within 50 miles) and a non-disclosure agreement (I couldn’t talk about the church or its leadership for five years after leaving). Feel the love. Obviously they had some betrayal in their past.
Here are some lessons you can use today…
Stop whining. I love Ed Young, Jr. and to hear him whine just made me ill. (Maybe he needs to read Joel’s book about going to his happy place now… or whatever that bestselling good life book is.) Hillary feels like Obama did her wrong, so she whines. Come on, life sucks sometimes, but don’t get stuck there.
PLEASE READ THIS: I know betrayal can happen on many levels, and sometimes it can get extremely personal and distructive — like in the case of adultery. I am NOT suggesting that the victim should “just stop whining and get over it”. Some betrayal is so damaging that it requires huge effort, grace and healing to even begin to move on. To you who have been victimized, you have my sympathy and empathy and I pray God helps you find total healing and a new ability to trust the one who hurt you.
Think before you act. How will your actions or words impact your various audiences? If you have to rationalize something you are about to do, you probably shouldn’t do it; and you definately should not do it as a knee-jerk reaction.
Don’t be secretive. If you are hiding something it usually isn’t a good thing. Scott wrote his book in secret. It was a total shock to his friends and former associates that he was about to drop this bomb. Leaving a church pastoral staff and starting a new church is best done with your Pastor’s blessing or at very least, his knowledge. In relationships, secrets are deadly especially if there is any history of betrayal. Be open and transparent.
Revenge is not a fruit of the Spirit. An eye-for-an-eye will soon leave the combatants hopping limbless like the Black Knight of Monty Python’s Holy Grail fame. [I couldn’t help myself… here’s part of the dialogue for those who don’t have it memorized.]
Black Knight: None shall pass.
Black Knight: None shall pass.
Arthur: I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight, but I must cross this bridge.
Black Knight: Then you shall die.
Arthur: I command you as King of the Britons to stand aside!
Black Knight: I move for no man.
Arthur: So be it!
Arthur cuts off the Black Knight’s left arm.
Arthur: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch.
Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
Black Knight: No, it isn’t.
Arthur: Well, what’s that then?
Black Knight: I’ve had worse.
Arthur: You liar!
Black Knight: Come on you pansy!
Arthur cuts off the Black Knight’s right arm.
Arthur: Victory is mine! We thank thee Lord, that in thy mercy…
And another adversary bites the dust, while we go on to do battle in the name of God.