046 | Humility, Jesus, and Top-Down Authority in the Church

Welcome to episode 46 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about humility. Humility is an ingredient that’s missing in abusive top-down authority environments where misinformed leaders believe it is their job to manipulate others through the use of punishments and rewards; punishments for failing to comply and rewards for compliance. In top-down authority environments, power flows down while money flows up and those at the top work feverishly to keep that power by convincing those at or near the bottom that they are God’s spokesperson, are “called” by God to a position of authority, and because of their self-proclaimed authority, must be submitted to without question. 

This is a setting void of humility and ripe for all kinds of abuse. As one who came, not to be served but to serve, Jesus washed the disciple’s feet, leaving them an example of how to serve one another. Jesus assumed the posture of a servant in washing the disciple’s feet. But within institutional Christianity, there is more concern for power posturing to guilt others into blind conformity and submission. In speaking of power and top-down authority, Jesus said, “it shall not be so among you” but power-hungry leaders have turned a deaf ear to those words.

After recording this episode, we came across this powerful article dealing with many of the same topics we broach in this episode:

Then the story broke via The Houston Chronicle of 700 victims of Southern Baptist sexual abuse over a 20 year span:

This is the legacy of top-down authority where no top-down authority should exist. The ones deemed weakest are the ones who suffer the most. Join us as we talk about humility and the 21st century church.

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