Inside Out 279: Why We Eat Our Own

05.15.13 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Why We Eat Our Own - bookGod forgives. This is the hope of Jesus Christ.

But have you noticed that Christians struggle to forgive each other? And the people we have the hardest time forgiving, it seems, are those in leadership.

That’s certainly Michael Cheshire’s observation. In fact, Michael thinks that the poor way we treat each other is actually a reason church attendance in the US is declining. People outside the church see that--even though we proclaim that God forgives sin--when a brother or sister sins--or a leader sins--we aren’t so gracious. In fact, Michael says, to people outside the church, it looks like we “eat our own.”

“Jesus was very clear: someday they’re going to know you’re my disciples not by the way you love me, but by the way you love each other,” Michael says. “And I think the world’s picking up on that.”

Michael’s the founding and senior pastor of The Journey Community Church in Conifer, Colorado and author of the soon-to-be released book “Why We Eat Our Own.” His Leadership Journal article “Going to Hell with Ted Haggard” is an excerpt from that book, and something we talk about in this recorded interview. Join us for this conversation about sin, forgiveness . . . and grace.

“I think there’s … more than I ever would have imagined, people who are saying, ‘We need to get this back in the church.’ And I realized later on it’s because most of us have an understanding that ‘there but by the grace of God go I,’” Michael says. “The only difference between me and Ted is my sins weren’t put on CNN.”

To listen to the conversation, click on the “Listen” or “Download” icon above.

To read the Leadership Journal article “Going to Hell with Ted Haggard,” click here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2012/december-online-only/going-to-hell-with-ted-haggard.html

For more information on Michael Cheshire or the book “Why We Eat Our Own,” go to: MichaelCheshire.com

You can also connect with Michael on twitter: Twitter.com/JourneyMike

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 05.15.13 Neil commented

What few people will admit is the problem that plagues the church today is the clergy/laity system. There is no mistake that the early church of the New Testament is not represented today because we have substituted the power and gifting of the Holy Spirit with traditions and man-made doctrine. The clergy/laity system causes division because this system causes passivity among those who believe they are the laity. This system also puts tremendous pressure on these clergy because their vocation demands performance. If they fail as leaders, they can loose their jobs. This is so contrary to the early church because the elders never carried titles and neither did they require an income. This clergy/laity system compares to that of the Pharisees and not the early church. I say this because these “pastors” wear titles and abide to doctrine that runs contrary to scripture. Combine this with the fact that most churches require pastors having seminary training and you get a system that is not only contrary to scripture it quenches the Holy Spirit as well. Few pastors will agree because their livelihood requires them not to believe that their job is the problem. Yet they will continue to write books on the many problems within this system without seeing that the clergy/laity system IS the problem. This blindfold will not come off easily because if you combine the seminaries, churches and authors within this system you begin to see that it really fuels itself in the process.

on 05.15.13 Pastor Joe Geiser commented

It's called "shooting the wounded" as well - and I've experienced it first-hand just how judgmental Christians can be, especially to those in leadership.

I was charged with a crime I did not commit, I was found guilty of that crime, and it's now under appeal - and I'm now waiting for this to be scheduled. In the meantime, people look and say "do you know what he did?" and "how can he preach when he's got THAT on his record?"

I have a friend who is a minister as well, who has multiple counts of attempted murder on his record. He incurs judgment as well, even though that happened over 20 years ago.

What these people need to realize is that we were called to be a witness, because there's only one just judge, and it ain't them, you or me - it's Christ alone. I like to point to Luke 6:37-38 (and the prosperity preachers only use 38, the sentence starts in 37 - paraphrased, it says Judge and you'll be judged, condemn and you'll be condemned, forgive, and you'll be forgiven, give and it will be given back to you. [All of those] will be pressed down, shaken together and poured into your lap.

This means that if you're judgmental, you'll get that back, poured into your lap. It doesn't matter if you give $5,000.00 to the share-a-thon - if you have a judgmental heart, a condemning heart - God's not going to necessarily bless your giving, because there's judgement and condemnation.

If we all learned to live as Jesus lived - to meet everyone where they are - to love one another, and hold each other up - we'd be a lot better off. I have a wonderful testimony with the year and a half I did in prison -

on 07.17.14 Beware commented

"Pastor" Joseph Geiser is not a pastor, but a con man. Search Unified Judicail System of Pennsylvania by Participant Name, type Criminal, D.O.B. 6/23/59 and you will see a long record. Magisterial records yield even more.

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