CNLP 440: John Mark Comer on Why We Believe Lies About Freedom, Sex, Truth and Culture, How the Left and the Right Fail, and the Way Forward for the Church

John Mark Comer returns to the podcast to update what’s happening in this cultural moment, why so many people inside and outside the church keep falling for cultural lies about sex, truth, freedom and culture, why the political left and right ultimately fail, and points to the way forward for the church.

Welcome to Episode 440 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s Ask Me Anything About Productivity segment, Carey answers Kody’s question about what productivity looks like in a small church.

Have a question about productivity? Let Carey coach you. Leave your message here!

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Conversation Links

Live No Lies by John Mark Comer

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

This Cultural Moment Podcast

Bridgetown Church

Making Sense of God by Timothy Keller

Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. 

Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay

Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick J. Deneen

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

Destroyer of the gods by Larry W. Hurtado

Dominion by Tom Holland

Evangelism in the Early Church by Michael Green

Water from a Deep Well by Gerald L. Sittser

Talking Back by Evagrius of Pontus

Disinformation definition

Hebbian Theory

CNLP 316: John Mark Comer on Secular Salvation, Post-Christian America and How to Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry from Your Life

CNLP 405: Adam Grant Reinvents Preaching and Apologetics for the 21st Century, Explains How Conspiracy Theories Take Hold, and Shows You How to Get Out of Your Echo Chamber

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

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Insights From John Mark

1. Critique secular culture by biopsying it

When preparing his sermons, John Mark includes three practices. He:

  1. Teaches scripture
  2. Gives people practices to form their heart and body into Christ-like character
  3. Provides cultural commentary

A known voice in cultural influence and impact, John Mark likes to critique culture by “biopsying it,” asking where it comes from, who started that language and where the origins are—of any belief or idea.

His goal is to see what the philosophical underpinnings are behind it by putting it under a microscope in a curious, almost journalistic kind of way. And, he says, what happens is that it starts to expose reality for what it actually is.

2. 5 marks of the early church

John Mark speaks about the division of the Left and Right in North American politics. In Larry Hurtado’s book, Destroyer of the gods, he outlines the 5 features of Christian distinctiveness.

Here’s how John Mark describes the 5 marks:

  1. A very high value of what we would call diversity, equity and inclusion
  2. Value of socioeconomic differences
  3. Sex being between one man and one woman for life until death do us part
  4. The fight against infanticide abortion
  5. Unwillingness to be in the military as a follower of Jesus

The irony around these 5 marks is that the first two sound liberal because they’re talking about race and class. The second two sound conservative because they’re talking about sexuality, gender and abortion. And the last one doesn’t fit either side. Non-violence doesn’t really go with Democrat or Republican, Left or Right. But it’s these 5 things that really don’t exist in any other movement around.

3. Combat spiritual warfare by redirecting your thoughts

Taken from A Monastic Handbook for Combating Demons by Evagrius the Pontus and supported by Hebb’s Law of Neuroplasticity (which proves that we can redirect our thoughts), John Mark provides very practical ways to combat spiritual warfare. You can do this through a simple journaling exercise, therapy or even over coffee with a trusted friend.

Ask yourself:

  • What are the lies that play in my mind? Write them down.
  • What are the deceptive ideas that these thoughts that feel to have an evil will to them, that just keep coming back? Write them out. See if you can do some internal work.
  • What’s the trust structure below them?
  • What’s the fear that’s attached to them, that’s driving me, or the desire that’s disordered that’s driving me?

Then, in prayer, ask God to bring a corresponding scripture to mind, and write it out. Redirect these thoughts by replacing them with the truth that is God’s word.

Quotes from Episode 440

Pastoring is not about coercion and control, it's about example and invitation. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet There is no problem for which the ultimate solution is not discipleship to Jesus. – Dallas Willard Click To Tweet Most pastors underestimate their people's intelligence and overestimate their people's maturity. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet The best way to critique secular culture is to biopsy it. - Philip Rieff Click To Tweet Often our greatest contribution comes out of our deepest pain. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Our strongest desires are often not our deepest desires. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet You can want to do the right thing, but that's totally different than actually having the capacity to do the right thing. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Freedom is the capacity to both want and pursue the good as defined by Jesus. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Cynicism feeds on cynicism. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Sin thrives in hiding. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Even in our moment of moral relativism, all of us get that the meaning of life, at some level, is to become a good person. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet We achieve inner peace when our schedule is aligned with our values. - Stephen Covey Click To Tweet I'm always trying to write myself into a better life. - David Brooks Click To Tweet Every time that the church attempted to use coercion in any political form to mandate obedience to Jesus, it was an utter disaster. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet I don't think that secularism has any metaphysical ground to stand on. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Deconstruction is like a buzzword right now for Millennials. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet And this is really one of the great gifts of late modern democracy, that we don't have to persecute people who disagree with us. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet I want to be a hopeful Christian and a hopeful pastor and a hopeful mind and a hopeful person. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Productivity is even harder when you're in a small organization than a large organization. Click To Tweet Your most important work is also the work that is not done. Click To Tweet

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Next Episode: David Allen

David Allen has taught leaders around the world how to be more productive and find more peace through his Getting Things Done methodology. David covers how to organize your life, declutter your mind and get your brain some rest.

He’s been called one of the world’s most influential thinkers on productivity. Getting Things Done has been published in more than 30 languages. His work has been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and more.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 441.

CNLP 440: John Mark Comer on Why We Believe Lies About Freedom, Sex, Truth and Culture, How the Left and the Right Fail, and the Way Forward for the Church

1 Comment

  1. Jeremy Van Langenberg on September 9, 2021 at 12:42 am

    I am so totally inspired by this. I WILL get the book. So intellectually credible but thanks for finishing with those great insights of how he tries to make this real in life. As a 60’s + pastor I don’t want to waste the future, I want to teach a deep bible and a deep faith. Thanks so much. Jeremy

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