Redeeming Aphrodite: The Sword (Part 2)

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Continued from Part 1.

I follow Jesus through the back wall of the temple, marching straight toward where the goddess awaits.

She is there, unsurprised by my presence.  Beautiful, beyond all earthly beauty.  A slight mysterious smile on her lips.  She is wreathed in a flowing gown that enhances rather than conceals her perfect figure.

“Welcome back, Ernie.  Are you here to worship?” she mouths seductively, as her gown fades to transparent.

I smile grimly, pulling a sword from my belt.

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Twelve Steps to Arrow-Proof Your Ministry

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Apologies for the pretentious title, but I wanted to challenge myself to identify and reorganize the lessons we covered in last year’s leadership class into a coherent prescription for facing down “Ministry Killers”. The idea is that each of these “steps” would be a single “life lesson”, but that together they provide the “full armor of God.

What do you think? Did I miss anything important?

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Redeeming Aphrodite: The Temple (Part 1)

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We are standing beside an ancient Greek temple.  It is beautiful, and remarkably tasteful: sensuous without being obscene. We are arguing.  It is an old argument. I have been here many times before.

You just don’t understand, I have to go in.

“Why?”

Look, I know you don’t like the old gods. You say they are corrupt and impotent.  But this one’s different.  I know she’s good.  She has done wonderful things for me in the past.  Yeah, I know I’ve often used her as an idol.  But really, I’m beyond that.  I just want to thank her for the past, and move on.  What’s wrong with that?  Shouldn’t we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s?

“You’re the one who doesn’t understand, Ernie.  I’m not saying you’re wrong — though I’m not saying you’re right.  I’m not even forbidding you from entering.  But…”

But what?

“I won’t go in with you.”

[I pause. Confused yet determined as I am, his simple statement frames it as a stark choice.  I can’t leave him.  Whatever I owe Her, I owe Him more.]

So, what do we do? You do agree she has a claim on me, don’t you?

[Now He’s the one who sighs] “Yes, she does.  I would have spared you from this if I could, but her claim is legitimate. And as you well know, all debts must eventually be paid.”

[squirming] So…

[He looks straight into my eyes] So I will go in, and you can come… with me.

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