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Anonymous,I agree with you that no pastor has all the awsrens. I don’t think anywhere in my posts on this subject I have implied that they do or should. And I agree with you that too many people probably let the warning signs slide. You are not the first to write to me (most privately) saying that they knew there were problems, but nobody ever expected Brian to kill DeeDee.That’s understandable. And, as you imply, that’s part of the problem.When the Church (the whole Church, not necessarily your church) takes seriously Christ’s call to discipleship and the need for true spiritual transformation I think a few things happen that diminish the risk for this kind of thing.For one, if Brian Golden had been truly spiritual transformed, it’s unlikely this would have happened. His behavior reveals a lack of transformation. Second, if the people around Brian Golden were truly heeding Christ’s call to discipleship, Brian would have been in a transparent mentoring relationship with other men who would have called him into accountability. And even without a mentoring relationship, since we are called to help others who are in sin, I imagine there should’ve been some sort of confrontation about Brian’s and DeeDee’s so-called spats. Dialog would have ensued, and perhaps some confession of sin.Now, I’m not accusing SSAG, its staff, or any of its members of not being true disciples of Christ. That’s not my point. However, what happened at SSAG is a reflection of the culture of the entire North American church. There is not enough transparency between believers. There is not enough mentoring and discipleship. There is not enough spiritual transformation. There is not enough confession of sins. That’s as likely true for SSAG as it is for my home church and anybody’s home church who reads this blog.For further evidence of my claims, just check out sociologist George Barna’s website at barna.org and follow his polls of North American Christians. The state of morality and spiritual transformation in the NA church is shockingly negative.We need to return to biblical discipleship. And, by the way, I include myself in that imperative.Regards,Rich
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