If the haters had their way, I wouldn’t be here.
I first encountered severe resistance to ministry as a young, bright-eyed, new convert to the faith. As I sensed my own call into ministry, I found myself in the office of a pastor at the megachurch where I had become a Christian and discerned a call to ministry. What I thought would be a helpful meeting on my journey turned out to be the beginning of a long season of deep spiritual and emotional wounding. Not only did this pastor tell me I didn’t belong at his church, but he tore into my theological views, making all sorts of character accusations about me without even knowing me.
My critics were not found only among the faithful. Even in my workplace, where I made a living as a software developer, my managers were unwilling to make room for my studies. Hearing that I now had classes at a local seminary two evenings each week, they fired me.
Having found myself in the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” camp, I turned to the most popular expression of these convictions at the time: Acts 29. Through his YouTube videos, I had become a disciple of Mark Driscoll. Acts 29 fed my bitter, harsh, critical spirit that I had developed over years of pain and trauma in my personal life. I felt strong, powerful, ready to unleash my Reformed views on the dumb evangelicals and ignorant non-Christians around me.
As it turns out, spiritual movements built on bitterness and pride will crush you by the same.