-Pastor Melissa Fain-
Last week I was roundly reminded of my humanity.
I have written in this site almost every week, of every month, of every year since July 2012. Sometimes, I've written daily or twice a week. That's so many words. At least a books worth, if not two or three. No one can write that many words without something stupid being said.
A good leader is not the one who stands without fault. Yes, there are faults that should call for immediate and permeant dismissal. Abuse, in all it's forms are usually one of those things. I'm not talking about those kinds of faults. These are simple mistakes. In a world of cancel culture, how simple mistakes are handled in the pulpit set the standard for far more than one specific mistake. It can define a ministry.
What did I do?
On July 17, 2020 I published a review of The Chosen. Someone asked my opinion, so I it seemed appropriate to at least sit down, watch and write what I thought.
You can read it yourself, but if I were to boil it down now: It's an innocent show for people who are already Christian. While I had little issues with how they handled miracles and the multiple accents of the actors, my major issue was Biola hiding their relationships to one another and this movie. More than that, I was sickened when they pulled testimonials of the show from YouTubers and only gave the channel name for the YouTuber who works at Biola. If I'm not able to look up full resources, something is not right.
I failed when, for whatever stupid reason, I confused Andrew and Stephen. There is every reason why this shouldn't have happened.
For one, I spent almost a lifetime in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Their logo is a red Chalice with a white St. Andrew's cross. Amongst ourselves we've joked that we are the "No Drinking" denomination. The cross is always something youth members completely botch when they are trying to redraw. You can kinda look at the logo and see the shadow of Jesus' cross. It's a point of conversation among one another, so you are not in the denomination long before you find out it is St. Andrew's cross.
Secondly, I've written multiple times about Stephen and he did not die on a cross, he was stoned. Paul (at that point known as Saul) was there. I've also written how I believe seeing Stephen stoned was one of the reasons Paul was much more diplomatic in what he said in public. (Think his speech that started with him praising the altar to an "unknown god.")
To say Stephen is Peter's brother (which is what I did) is completely wrong. I’m not upset someone (albeit crudely) brought it to my attention. I’m more upset it remained up on the internet for over half a year. I don’t like being part of misinformation. I will always correct it the moment it is discovered.
How to handle mistakes online.
When this mistake was brought to my attention, I did not raise my defenses. Well, let me walk that back just a little. The way it was brought to my attention raised my defenses completely. I was bristled and ready to fire for a good hour and a half. It was during that time, I made sure I wasn’t sharing anything online.
During that hour and a half I asked myself some important questions:
In the future: Even if I don’t respond, let this be known that I read comments made to Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and Fig Tree’s site. I take them all seriously, and act accordingly. I hope this post helps you feel comfortable bringing future questions to my attention. It might simply be a misunderstanding in how I wrote something. I like to clarify. I want truth, and if it’s truth at my own expense, so be it.