“Is it I, Lord?”

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?”

Matthew 26:20-22

I’ve been listening, and am nearly few through the Christianity Today podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. It’s a head scratcher, not always easy to listen to, keep listening to, or get through. But well done, and one begins to see the value of doing so, I think. For me, it’s a reminder of how having a stage can be dangerous and go to the head, so that the leader grasps for and holds on to power. I also think of the need for accountability for all, including those at the top, and the importance of proper submission, being willing to submit.

The podcast tells of a quite gifted (though I never was interested in any of his messages or books, and didn’t connect with any of that both because of the theology, as well as the tone in which it was presented) pastor, and truthfully I have a hard time using that word for this man, but one who got the movement of Mars Hill in Seattle started, really Mars Hill being his in his mind it seems, instead of the Lord’s. It is a head shaker, as you go through the account well documented of one who seems a narcissist through and through. At the same time it is remarkable how God did seem to use what was going on there to bless many. But even more quickly than its exponential rise, it came to a crashing end.

While I could hardly believe my ears both from the leader and other leaders talking about their time there, I found myself beginning to squirm a bit. I was wondering to myself, how much of that is in me. What I was hearing was perhaps helpful in the sense of making it clear what I and others don’t want to be. But it was also like a picture, which might become a mirror. Did I recognize myself, even a little bit of me in any of it? Maybe not much at all the way the leader was, but wanting to know.

So I found myself wondering, a good place to pray and ask the Lord, “Is it I?” And maybe that’s where the Lord wants me to be for a time, so that he can more and more sift out what is not like him, opposite really, opposed to him. Something helpful for myself, which I continue to reflect on from listening to the podcast. In and through Jesus.

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