Our Culture

I grew up in a religious culture that was marked by two things.  First was the absolute certainty that they had arrived at truth.  We were assured repeatedly that we had the best grasp of Biblical truth there ever was, and it was a rock we could stand on.

Second, there was deliberate, systemic denial of all real life situations that were outside the approved theological grid.  Those problems were either non-reality, or irrelevant.  Thus, the theology was never at risk of being shown inadequate in real life.

This is the culture of slavery.  Someone decides what is.  Others decide to delegate responsibility for truth to someone else.

My fascination with the “why” question led to an eventual parting of the ways.  I still hold to the truths I learned then, but I have a larger grid – one that I am quite sure is incomplete.

Far more important than what I believe, though, is how my life affects you and your beliefs.

I posted on Facebook what I thought was a fairly innocuous announcement of something we would be doing at our upcoming seminar in Anaheim.  It has stirred up a heated debate among different people who have commented.

I pushed back lightly on a couple of comments but have generally refrained from neatening up the discussion with my pronouncements, even though I think some of the arguments have gotten pretty lame.

My goal is to create a culture where sonship is fostered.  A large part of that involves people assuming responsibility for their own values and ideas.  I have no need of one single mindless follower who worships the ground I walk on.  The idea is utterly offensive to me, and I have wounded some people who wanted a pat on the head for their blind loyalty to me.

Rather, I want highly opinionated people who are willing to express their opinions and field a give and take discussion without it becoming personal.  When someone’s legitimacy is attached to their ideas, then they defend the idea without reason or logic.  When someone is a son, whose legitimacy is settled in their relationship with God, we can have far more robust arguments without leaving people bruised.

WordPress tends to be a bit too orderly for me.  Most of the comments are a minor take off on something I said, or an agreement or validation.  I am not saying that you are all slaves only that the Mercy redemptive gift of this platform tends to draw more muted responses.  Not a criticism, just an observation.

Facebook which is deeply rooted in lawlessness and is built on an Exhorter platform, tends to draw out the scrappy side of people.  Often the kerfuffle gets a little messy, and on occasion I delete a comment and sometimes even an entire thread, but it is a price I am willing to pay to encourage vigorous discussion of ideas in the process of forming them well.

You will notice that after a vigorous difference of opinion, I do not step in and announce the final right answer.  I am much more interested in the process – you owning your own ideas and defending their logic against others’ disagreement – than I am the right conclusion.

We have a culture of growing sons, not clones.

Part of that process involves having some noisy squabbles.

I am up for it.  Sons are a priceless treasure. Blessing Intensity Noble Subject blog

Copyright May 2016 by Arthur Burk

From home

On a whim.


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7 Responses to Our Culture

  1. Pingback: Wayne Jacobsen Rocks, Part 2: Bacon and Eggs, and False Dichotomies – INHERITANCE

  2. Irina Rivera says:

    I took some time to think about this post because it brings up a lot for me. One thing I’ve learned about lately is something called the “intersubjective space” which is a erudite way of saying the space between us that is created by what we personally bring: our words, tone, past, etc.. Because your posts are so insightful I have often jumped in and shared out of excitement that we can discuss these things. Sometimes I remember that you’ve talked about not feeling like you got a lot of appreciation (if my memory serves me). So my replies of “that’s right!” are my way of saying thank you. I am also aware of how much what you’re talking about has helped me.

    I bring a burgeoning sonship – a tentative and sometimes brash independence and ownership. What we co-create can be both energizing but sometimes it’s deflating. This is I think not solely because of me or because of you. So in essence I am becoming more aware that it’s not simply am I a son or how will you (Arthur) take my reply – although these are some of the questions I have. I believe you want and do foster sonship of which I am a beneficiary but your strength and my insecurity (and strength) co-create a feeling like I want to “get it right”. “Blind loyalty” can be a desire for a pat on the head, but I’m not sure that’s always wrong. Sometimes it’s a needed moment in the process of stabilizing my sonship. I think growth ebbs and flows. We are both responsible and there is room for growth – it’s a fluid experience not a static one. No neat bow to tie this up, more of a dialogue I guess though blogs and Facebook unfortunately lack the immediate back-and-forth that face to face encounters offer.

  3. Susan says:

    Not about the argument but about the subject of the argument: I also felt that the AHS teaching was over the top and commented to my husband that Arthur had finally lost it (lol sorry). But I listened to the teachings (both sets) because I pray with some really desperate people and I’m open to adding even kind of weird tools to my toolbox. I challenged the Lord to prove to me if AHS is a reality and He did over and over. So … I see now that the pulpit has taught the cultural party line about spiritual realities in this matter, probably because the church didn’t want to be accused of being superstitious. As in “Ghosts? Only ignorant people believe in them!” Perhaps in our efforts to sell the gospel we conformed rather than transformed.

    • Maggie says:

      My father saw his brother’s ghost on the deck of the ship returning to Australia from the Middle East in 1942 during WW2; he wrote down the time and found out later that his brother had died in the Battle for Singapore at that time. Hearing his story only 2 years before my Dad died ,I always believed that this was a demonic manifestation, but couldn’t quite resolve it in my spirit.Recently I reacted badly to the AHS concept but have heard some of the cds of the AHS series and am willing to change my thinking about “ghosts”….there is still so much deep sadness about the relationship between my “Dad and Dave” even after so many years ; I wonder if my father struggled with his brother’s AHS now …so much deeper is my heavenly Father’s Love than I could have ever thought possible, that He would reveal so much to those who Love Him and Love their neighbour and don’t give up until the torment of lives is healed. Thank you Arthur for caring so much . “Mental Illness” is torment , is such an easy label for those who don’t have it. Thank God so many are being set free in the dark hour!

  4. Janis Leal says:

    Being able to relate to growing up in a religious culture who seemingly worshiped the doctrine and reformer as much as the Lord, I eagerly asked the Lord for a full “buffet style” when He zapped me hugely at age 30. Enjoying and learning much from the various flavors of God’s people since then, I’ve also learned that it seems the more we grow, the more we need to grow, and that “conflict resolution” is not a formula as much as a matter of heart and perspective – as you say, son vs. slave.

    So simple, yet so not. And, as one needing to grow in this sonship (daughtership), who in the process can receive a “forehead harder than the hardest rock” (Ez. 3) and an iron rod for a spine, the “little daughter” in me often too easily wants to just run for the mountains and fellowship with the trees, flowers, and just the Lord instead of people. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly love, and therefore not much of an option for a daughter (son)…. since, in the realm of relationship, when truth and love are each a lip, that makes the sweetest kiss. And one at the expense of the other is just… too much lip, and no sweet kiss. Help, Lord.

  5. Katie Mazza says:

    Thnx Arthur > well said. I needed to read/hear these words this morning:)

  6. Colleen Billen says:

    Thank you for the articulation. I see it as maturing sons who have the ability to examine and weigh any and all the hodge-podge thrown on the table, without emotions, traditions, culture, etc to dictate a response.

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