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93 CHIWETEL EJIOFOR | CHVRCHES | COIN | IRA GLASS CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD | PASSION | FR ANKIE COSMOS BETH MOORE | RICH WILKERSON JR. | CARL LENTZ F A I T H , C U LT U R E & I N T E N T I O N A L L I V I N G

Aubrey Plaza One of TV’s most unique personalities has found herself at the center of culture’s mental health moment.

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CONTENTS

T H E M A G A Z I N E O N FA I T H , C U LT U R E & INTENTIONAL LIVING

MAY-JUNE 2018 // ISSUE 93

May-June 2018, Issue 93 The official publication of the Pawnee City Council

Publisher & CEO | CAMERON STRANG Brand Director | JESSE CAREY Managing Editor | ANDRE HENRY Contributing Editor | TYLER HUCKABEE

Features

Production Editor | KATHY PIERRE Senior Writer | TYLER DASWICK Editorial Coordinator | LESLEY CREWS

Aubrey Plaza

60

p.60

Contributing Writers: Joseph Riggs Creative Director | JOHN DAVID HARRIS Director of Web Development | DANIEL MARIN

She’s one of the most memorable comedic actors in Hollywood, but Plaza has ambitions beyond the deadpan roles.

Director of Visual Media | JOHN BUTLER Audio Producer | CHANDLER STRANG Contributing Photographers: Joe Gonzales, Danny Clinch, Micaiah Carter, Pamela Littky, ABC/Craig Sjodin, Jabari Jacobs, Calligrafist Photography, Brian Bowen Smith/

4 0 // CHARL AMAGNE THA GOD

AUGUST, Die Yung, Donslens, Maclay Heriot

One of hip-hop’s most important radio hosts is on a higher wavelength.

Director of Business Development | AME LYNN FUHLBRUCK Account Manager | HEATHER VOORHEES Account Manager | FELICHIA WRIGHT

4 4 // THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

Marketing Director | CALVIN CEARLEY

Drug overdose killed more Americans under 50 than anything else last year.

Circulation and Traffic Manager | CAROLINE COLE Brand Experience Coordinator | MORGAN HICKEY Studio Manager | MARK JACKSON

5 0 // FR ANKIE COSMOS

76

The buzz artist is impossible to classify, but she’s learned to embrace elusiveness.

Operations Manager | JESSICA COLLINS Project Manager | BRIDGET DOMBKOSKI Finance Director | MICHAEL BOWLES

5 2 // UNDERSTANDING THE ENNEAGRAM What’s behind this ancient Christian mystic personality assessment?

5 8 // COIN Don’t dismiss this pop-rock act as kid stuff. These guys can put on a show.

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: www.RELEVANTmagazine.com/advertise

Chiwetel Ejiofor p . 76

Why traveling could be an essential part of understanding the Lord.

The actor stars in Ira Glass’ Netflix film Come Sunday, about the true story of Tulsa pastor Carlton Pearson’s denial of hell and dismissal from the Church as a heretic.

7 0 // PASSION

8 2 // DIVIDED WE S TAND

6 6 // TRAVEL: THE LOST PILGRIMAGE

The influential worship group took some real risks with their new project.

Some Christian leaders are finally starting to speak out, and they’re risking it all.

7 2 // HOW TO REVIVE YOUR CAREER

8 6 // RICH WILKERSON

In a rut? Our panel of experts will help you know if it’s time for a change.

Why he wants you to break out of your spiritual bubble.

RELEVANT MEDIA GROUP 55 W. Church St., Suite 211, Orlando, FL 32801 RELEVANTmediagroup.com TO SUBSCRIBE RELEVANTmagazine.com/subscribe Rates: 1 year (6 issues) U.S. $26.99, Canada $36.99, International $45.99 SUBSCRIBER SERVICES WEB: RELEVANTmagazine.com/subservices Phone: 866-402-4746 EMAIL: support@relevantmagazine.com BULK DISCOUNTS: 866-402-4746 RETAIL DISTRIBUTION Michael Vitetta, Curtis Circulation Company mvitetta@curtiscirc.com

1 6 // FIRS T WORD

8 8 // RELE VANT SELECT S Our favorite new artists, and the books,

1 8 // CURRENT Snoop Dogg, drought in Somaliland, brand-new dating data, the best cities for millennials,

music and movies you should be adding to your collection this month.

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bikes of the future, health-conscious and

9 6 // L AS T WORD

justice-conscious food trends, deleting

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez explores whether

Facebook and much more.

all our connectivity is good for us.

MAY-JUNE

Issue #93 May/June 2018 (ISSN: 1543-317X). RELEVANT is published

Send address changes to RELEVANT Magazine, P.O. Box 531147,

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Orlando, FL 32853.

2018


AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD 03

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BESTSELLING BOOK!

IGNOR ANCE IS BLISS—EXCEPT IN SELF-AWARENESS. Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile share their Enneagram wisdom and help you grow in knowledge of yourself, compassion for others, and love for God. Witty and filled with stories, this unique approach gives you a peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types, taking you further into who you really are and leading you into spiritual discovery.

“I’m so thrilled that this book exists. The Enneagram has absolutely changed my understanding of how to love the people in my life, deepened the quality of my marriage, and given me a vision for the person God designed me to be. This book makes the Enneagram easy to understand, with helpful stories, humor, warmth, and clear language. I’ll need a case, at least.” — S H A U N A N I E Q U I S T , author of Present Over Perfect

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PARTING WORDS TO THE CHURCH ON RACE “John Perkins reminds us of a hope far below the skin. Under our skindeep differences lies a weighty commonality: we are one blood.” jon foreman

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FIRST WORD a letter from the publisher

has a plan and purpose for each of us. That’s why Christians should be holistically pro-life. We should be

What Will We Stand For? In an era of unprecedented political and cultural tension, how will this generation respond?

THE DAYS OF BEING ABLE TO

known as the leading advocates for

SAY, “I’M NOT

life and human dignity. We can’t

POLITICAL”

tolerate misogyny, bigotry and preventable loss of life anymore. The days of being able to say,

AND SIT ON THE SIDELINES

“I’m not political” and sit on the

ARE OVER.

sidelines are over. Silence is now

SILENCE IS NOW

endorsement. Jesus’ example clearly shows that

ENDORSEMENT.

we are called to actively pursue peace, speak up for the voiceless and serve others over ourselves. We should care about child trafficking. We should care about racial injustice. We should care about abortion. We should care

IN

April, Christian author and activist Shane

about gun violence. We should care

Claiborne sent Liberty University President

about inequality. We should care

Jerry Falwell Jr. a letter. It was an invitation

about preventable climate change.

to pray.

We should stand up for the poor, the

Falwell, famously, is one of the evangelical leaders outspoken in their support of President

marginalized, the immigrant. Christian political engagement

Donald Trump. Claiborne is a renowned pacifist and critic of

has, for decades, been aligned with

the current administration.

one party. But for Christians—

The invitation was innocent enough. A group of Christian

regardless of party—issues of life

leaders were holding revival meetings in Lynchburg,

and human dignity should be non-

Virginia, where Liberty is based. The focus of the event was

partisan and non-negotiable. No

primarily to warn against rising Christian nationalism and

matter how we feel about economic

to call the Church to repent and focus back on Jesus.

policy or other political issues, we

Claiborne invited Falwell to join him and other leaders for a prayer service with students at the university. Falwell’s reply was a terse letter notifying Claiborne that if he came on campus, he would be arrested. The exchange perfectly encapsulated the divide happening in the Church right now. On one side, there are Christians who passionately support the current administration. Their support, at its

should use our voices to advocate for the issues Jesus would be about. Jesus lived humbly and stood up to political power and religious hypocrisy and continually reached out to the marginalized. I don’t know, we probably should, too.

core, is rooted in the desire for conservative judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court and for religious liberty to be protected. On the other side, there are Christians who are deeply troubled by what’s happening in America today, and the Church’s role in it. (On page 82, we talk to some of the leaders who are starting to speak out.) The Church is at a crossroads, and status quo isn’t good enough anymore. But how can this generation engage the public sphere as an expression of their faith? How will it be different? What will we stand for?

C A MER ON S T R A NG

I believe we are all created in the image of God, and He

MAY-JUNE

Publisher & CEO

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CURRENT A B I M O N T H LY L O O K A T F A I T H , L I F E A N D C U LT U R E

Is Evangelism a Thing of the Past? New reports suggest that evangelicals, of all people, are growing less interested in evangelism.

A

recent study

About half of those

churches either downplay

from Barna

surveyed had no idea

or just ignore evangelism

is turning

what it is, while a quarter

altogether. George Barna

heads in

said they’d heard of it, but

responded to the report,

the Church.

weren’t sure of its exact

saying fewer churches

According to it, 83 percent

meaning. A deeper dive

than ever “emphasize

of American churchgoers

shows that this lack of

and equip people for

don’t really know what

knowledge around The

evangelism these days, and

“The Great Commission” is.

Great Commission actually

the results are obvious and

increases among younger

undeniable.”

(It’s a foundational principle drawn from Matthew 28:19-20, where

generations. Possibly related, in 2017,

None of this is definitive proof that evangelism

Jesus tells His disciples to

the American Culture &

is ending, but the signs

“go therefore into all the

Faith Institute released

do seem to be pointing

world and make disciples

a study saying that an

toward a marked decrease

of all nations.”)

increasing number of

in its focus.

MAY-JUNE

018

CHURCHGOERS: HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE GREAT COMMISSION?

25% Yes, but I can’t recall the exact meaning. 17% Yes, and it means ...

51% No

6% I’m not sure.

2018


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02/12

CURRENT

An 8-Year Drought in Somaliland Is the Most Unreported Humanitarian Crisis The disaster is costing countless lives and shows no signs of getting better.

Two and a half decades ago, Somaliland

doesn’t reach them. And with the Trump

declared its independence from Somalia.

administration’s proposed cuts to U.S. foreign

And though it now operates as its own

aid, the little assistance reaching the people

country, with its own government and

in Somaliland could have dried up.

currency, the international community

Somaliland’s foreign minister estimates

does not recognize it. But more than 3.5

that 80 percent of the country’s livestock has

million residents there are suffering the

died as a result of the lack of rain—which

consequences of a devastating drought

many experts attribute to climate change—

and famine, and the region’s unique status

and the ensuing death of the plants that are

may be contributing to a rapidly unfolding

their food source. The people are landlocked

humanitarian crisis.

in an unstable region, and there are no roads

Because the region is unrecognized,

or infrastructure to easily reach them. The

the international aid that typically assists

crisis is dire, with millions of lives hanging

nations facing these kinds of disasters

in the balance.

Michael B. Jordan and Hollywood’s Inclusion Rider Movement DURING THIS YEAR’S

Academy Awards, Frances McDormand ended her acceptance speech for best actress with two words: “inclusion rider.” It’s something stars can include in their contracts guaranteeing a certain amount of diversity, like a crew being at least 50 percent women and 30 percent racially diverse. Michael B. Jordan was the first to announce that his studio, Outlier Society Productions, would be using inclusion riders on all projects moving forward. “It’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward,” he said. Jordan was then joined by the likes of Brie Larson, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and director Paul Feig.

MISC.

MAY-JUNE

Coca-Cola announced it will

Most of McDonald’s stateside

After being convicted of security

debut its first-ever alcoholic

locations will begin using fresh

fraud, Martin Shkreli was forced to

drink in Japan. It’ll be 3 to 8

beef in their burgers. Can they

relinquish the $2 million Wu-Tang

percent alcohol and basically

keep the beef fresh on Twitter,

Clan album in his possession. Three

amount to a vodka-Coke.

though? Wendy’s is killing them.

words to the judge: Release the Wu!

020

2018


BEYOND the SWIPE The tools you need to successfully navigate mobile dating culture


03/12

CURRENT

THE HOT LIST Bimonthly Cultural Power Rankings

Is Healthier Food More Than Just a Fad? Fast Food Is Betting on It

G E N Z ACT I V I S M [Hottest]

March 24 saw over 800 March for Our Lives events nationwide. These kids aren’t going away. W H O L E 30 [Hotter]

Have you heard of it? Oh, it changed our life, you’ll love it. LETITIA WRIGHT [Hot]

Is there a movie she’s not going to be in?

SINCE PEOPLE ARE WANTING

Taco Bell vowed to cut down

Phoria is supposed to have

healthier fast food options,

on their artificial ingredients,

fewer calories, fat and sugar

especially for kids, McDonald’s

and now they’ve got a low(er)-

than the regular Ben & Jerry’s

recently announced a plan

calorie menu to boot.

pint.

for all Happy Meals to be 600

In that same vein, Ben &

When it comes to eating

FAC E B O O K

calories or less. That means

Jerry’s announced a new line

healthy, America is bound and

[Cold]

no more cheeseburgers and

of ice cream that’s supposed

determined to have its cake,

chocolate milk on the Happy

to be healthier for you but not

eat it too and maintain a low-

Meal menu.

taste like the fake ice cream

cal diet all at the same time.

  They’re not alone. Last year,

we all know and hate. Moo-

Good luck with that, everyone.

You can only sell off people’s private data so many times before everyone stops forgiving you. N YC S U BWAYS [Colder]

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo got a “C” from New Yorkers on his handling of public transportation. Stand

A New Study Suggests Secondhand Stress Is Real

clear of the closing doors, gov. RU S S I A N B OTS [Coldest]

Twitter is finally cracking down. It was horrible while it lasted.

MAY-JUNE

STRESS MIGHT BE CONTAGIOUS , recent research is suggesting. According to a study from the

University of Calgary, health care workers have reported that some partners to soldiers with PTSD also show signs of PTSD even though they’ve never served in the military. Looking into how transferred stress affects the brain, experiments suggest that some animals give off a chemical signal when stress-related neurons in the brain are triggered and others may be able to “detect” that biological response. So, basically, stop freaking out. You’re scaring your co-workers.

022

2018


Learn locally. Think globally. Act strategically. Learn the perspective, gain the skills and experience it first-hand.

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04/12

CURRENT

When their Tinder pic is a group shot.

Shia LaBeouf Says He (SortOf) Saw God in a Co-Star WHATEVER ELSE YOU SAY

about Shia LaBeouf, never let it be said he isn’t open to correction. He told Esquire about getting called on the carpet by his Peanut Butter Falcon co-star Zachary Gottsagen. LaBeouf had gotten arrested and Gottsagen, an actor with Down syndrome, leveled with him. “You’re already famous,” LaBeouf recalls Gottsagen telling him. “This is my chance. And you’re ruining it.” Gottsagen would go on to ask LaBeouf whether or not he believed in God. “I don’t believe in God,” LaBeouf told the magazine. “But did I see God? Did I hear God? Through Zack, yeah.”

[ T H AT ’S A L O T O F S W I P I N G]

Millennials Spend 10 Hours a Week on Dating Apps Turns out millennials may not have short attention spans after all, at least when looking for love.

A NEW STUDY that surveyed 5,000 18- to 30-year-olds found that millennials are spending

around 10 hours a week trying to find love on online dating apps. “What?” you say. “Why aren’t they just going outside trying to interact with an actual person instead of looking online?” Because all the other available people are also in their own home, spending 10 hours a week on their own dating apps. Get with the program.

TINDER Yes, the reigning champ of the online love game remains the most popular spot for love, or at least a nice date, or, failing that, a good story.

BUMBLE Newer to the game but known for being the feminist dating app: Women have to start the conversation with their male matches.

OKCUPID Sort of the OG of the dating app game and also the one with the most science and research behind its algorithm of romance.

MISC.

MAY-JUNE

In March, Ohio resident Bruce Wayne

ABC’s reboot of the hit ’90s sitcom

We’re assuming this will count as a

ate his 500th meal at Chipotle in 500

Roseanne drew a stunning 18 million

long-distance call: Vodafone and Audi

days, breaking the world record for

viewers for its season debut. That’s a

are creating a mobile network on the

most consecutive Chipotle days by

10 percent increase over the original

moon by 2019 to support their own

over 10 weeks. That’s a lot of guac.

show’s series finale 21 years ago.

private lunar mission.

024

2018


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05/12

CURRENT

The Snoop Dogg Gospel Album Everyone Always Knew Was Inevitable Has Finally Arrived Snoop wears more hats in a day than most people do in a lifetime. His latest is turning heads.

”I’M JUST A NOBODY trying to tell everybody

The album mixes soul, blues and R&B—

about Somebody who can save anybody,”

along with Snoop’s bars—to create a gospel

raps Snoop Dogg on his 32-song gospel

experience that stays true to the genre’s

album, Bible of Love. Snoop has been

roots while still carving a unique place for

many things in his career—West Coast

itself. “It’s always been on my heart,” Snoop

wunderkind, media mogul, marijuana legalization enthusiast, peewee football coach, reality show star and, briefly, “Snoop Lion”—but evangelist is a

said about recording a gospel album. “I just never got around to it because I always be doing ‘gangsta’ business

new one. Even more surprising

or doing this or doing

is how easily Snoop takes to

that. I just felt like it’s

the role, evidently as a tribute

been on my heart too

to his mother, and how good

long. I need to do it

the music is, even by his

now.”

high standards.

Amazon Tops the “Dirty Dozen” List EACH YEAR the National

Center on Sexual Exploitation publishes a list known as The Dirty Dozen: big companies it considers to be “facilitators of sexual exploitation.” For selling items that “normalize the ... sexual commodification of women,” Amazon was at the top of the 2018 list, throwing new focus on how few ethical concerns have been considered by Amazon and its ilk.

MISC.

MAY-JUNE

NASA is developing a spacecraft

The last male northern white

A news-broadcasting android

designed to collide with an

rhino, Sudan, died at age 45 in

named Erica Aoi is now delivering

Earth-bound asteroid in 2035 and

March. The only hope to save the

the daily news in Japan. “She” uses

prevent the apocalypse. It’s not

species is using IVF to impregnate

an artificial speech system and even

Armageddon II; this is real.

the two remaining females.

held her own press conference.

026

2018


ACCURATE. READABLE. SHARABLE.

Learn more at CSBible.com. 027

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06/12

CURRENT

[G E T Y O U R M O V E O N ]

RELEVANT’s 7 Best Cities for Millennials We factored in all the key aspects—culture, affordability, jobs and spiritual life. Pack up the Subaru.

eciding on your next move is

D

a huge life decision, which is why we culled every ounce of expertise we could find to

help you out. After reading these two pages, you won’t need to hem and haw about your transition. Why? Math. We factored in things like affordability, housing options, jobs, church density, cool culture and even coffee and pizza quality. You know, all the things

BEST SOCIAL SCENE:

that should factor into your city decision.

Memphis, TN

Forget your advisers, mentors and family members’ opinions. Here are the top cities

Looking for people like you? Memphis placed top five in both church density and millennial population. Meaning you’ll meet people quickly. Plus, work will come easy (a 2017 Glassdoor study cited more than 40,000 job openings in Memphis) and you’ll have some cash at the ready (median base salary: $41K). Hit up a great live music venue, and get some solid barbecue.

for millennials in 2018:

FACTORS CONSIDERED:

AFFORDABILITY:

MILLENNIAL POPULATION:

MUSIC-SCENE DIVERSITY:

CHURCH DENSITY:

We know how much you hustle.

Build your squad.

It’s all about the bangers.

Online sermons are for scrubs.

MAY-JUNE

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2018


TRENDIEST:

Seattle, WA Flat cities are so passe. Seattle has a top-10 concentration of RELEVANT readership in the country, the nation’s best coffee scene (duh), the secondhighest church density nationwide (surprising) and a top-three music scene to boot. You want to have a good time, walk everywhere and only sacrifice a tiny bit of affordability? Buy some solid shoes. You live in Seattle now.

RADDEST SPIRITUAL LIFE:

FOR THE IMPULSIVE:

Indianapolis, IN

Pittsburgh, PA

Stuck in a rut with your faith? Now’s the time to upend everything and head to Indy. No city in America has more churches per capita, and Indianapolis also has one of the highest densities of RELEVANT readers in the U.S. So even when you’re trying out your 43rd church in as many weeks, you’ll always have something to talk about with the other members of the congregation.

If you make major life decisions by closing your eyes and pointing to a map, try to skew your finger toward the Northeast. For a totally fresh start, Pittsburgh is your spot. The city has more than 95,000 job openings and a median salary of—count ’em—44,000 bones. Plus, it had a top-10 increase in millennial population over the first half of this decade and comes with a solid music and coffee scene.

UNEXPECTED COFFEE HAVEN:

New Orleans, LA If your Starbucks order is longer than your typical grocery list, make your way to New Orleans. Coming in second in our overall coffee rankings, then fifth in millennial population (a significant 8.5 percent increase in millennials from 2010 to 2015). All those young people are drinking coffee, man. Strike up a conversation by the in-house jazz combo’s CD stand.

BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET:

Austin, TX Austin is one of America’s more affordable cities, but that doesn’t mean the social scene is dry. The college town also placed in the top 10 for coffee, young people and music, (SXSW— and all the live performances that come with it—comes to Austin every spring), plus it locked in the No. 15 spot for the nation’s best pizza. Grab some garlic knots from Home Slice, or go bougie and order the clam-bacon pizza pie at Salvation.

MOST RELEVANT:

Columbus, OH This is our all-around pick. Columbus is one of the most affordable and job applicant-friendly cities in the nation right now, and it has tons of RELEVANT readers, of course. Best part: It’s one of the easiest cities nationwide for finding a church, coming in at No. 6 in our research. Columbus has everything you need.

JOBS/HOUSING AVAILABILITY:

COFFEE QUALITY:

PIZZA QUALITY:

LOCAL RELEVANT READERSHIP:

The bacon isn’t going to bring itself home.

Obviously.

Obviously, Part II.

Always reppin’.

029

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


08/12

CURRENT

MISC.

In March, Ford recalled 1.4 million Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZ vehicles The perfect way to one-up your vinyl snob friend.

after discovering that their steering wheels might come clean off while driving. Ford said this would lead to an “increased risk of crash.” Astute.

The Future of Transportation Is Already Here THERE WAS A TIME WHEN IT WAS EN VOGUE to think

alternative ways for us to get around when fossil fuels

that the biggest advances in transportation would be

are gone. Any notable reduction in the level of carbon

how fast or cool it would be (flying cars), but the real

emissions generated by travel would be a huge deal,

innovations have been in their renewable sources of

and a few companies in particular are taking the

energy, as companies race against the clock to find

challenge to heart.

Jelly Belly published the winner of America’s Favorite Jelly Bean Flavor. It was buttered popcorn. That’s almost as gross as

BIKESHARE Uber has cracked the bikeshare code in San Francisco, utilizing their rideshare app to help users find a bike for rent, wherever they are, whenever they want it.

SELF-DRIVING

FLYING CARS Could it be? It could, maybe even by 2020 in some American cities. Uber is looking at making the holy grail of personal transportation a reality. (Though they sure do look like helicopters.)

CARS They’re coming sooner than you think, and your grandkids will have a hard time understanding what you mean by the words, “Drive a car.”

last year’s winner: black licorice.

Take a look at your cable package.

The New World of Crisis Hotlines The way we talk has changed. So has the way we ask for help.

MAY-JUNE

CRISIS HOTLINES HAVE EVOLVED to

reach anyone in need— even if that means getting help by text message.   Crisis Text Line is a new, free service that’s available 24/7 and lets people in a crisis text

with a trained volunteer crisis counselor to help you through it.   A crisis does not have to mean suicide or suicidal thoughts. The website refers to a crisis as “any painful emotion for which you need support.”

030

To use the service, you just text “HOME” to 741741. Someone will respond within about five minutes and you’re free to talk back and forth with them until you both agree that you’re OK.

The Church of Scientology has a new 24/7 network on DirecTV, airing programs like Meet a Scientologist, Voices for Humanity and L. Ron Hubbard: In His Own Voice. Can we have parental controls on that?

2018


SCHOOL OF MINISTRY SERVE IN SAN FRANCISCO LIVE IN COMMUNITY ANSWER YOUR CALLING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

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09/12

CURRENT

China Is Cracking Down on Bible Sales CHINA APPEARS TO BE

undergoing a significant shift in its regulation of religious

Is Katy Perry Having a Spiritual Awakening?

freedom: In early April, Chinese social media users noticed Bibles disappearing from online booksellers. A white paper circulated by Chinese authorities said religious communities in

WHEN KATY PERRY first started

Idol, a performance by a worship

the country should “actively

her career, she went by Katy

leader named Shannon O’Hara

explore the religious thought

Hudson and was a Christian pop

literally brought Perry to tears.

which accords with China’s

star (she even dated the lead

Afterward, she called O’Hara “a

national circumstances.”

singer of Relient K). And after a

secret spiritual ninja.”

career that’s gone, uh, a different

The Chinese government says the country has about

direction, some are wondering if

streamed for fans (you read that

38 million Christians, while

she may be returning to her roots.

right), Perry revealed, “I know

non-government estimates

that God has His hand on me, and

put the number closer to 100

Instagram image of a tattoo she

I know sometimes I go through

million. Some social media

got that said “Jesus” with the

things and they’re just too intense

users speculated the Bibles

caption “my brokenness + God’s

and I can’t handle them, and then

that have been yanked from

Divinity = my wholeness.”

He swoops in and He shows me

booksellers will soon be

that it’s His grace that brings me

replaced by a new, “state-

through it.”

sponsored” version.

Perry recently posted an

And while serving as a judge on the current season of American

Your Time Has Come: Netflix Is Hiring BingeWatchers MAY-JUNE

And in a therapy session

WHEN YOU WERE little, what did you want to be when you grew up? A police officer? A ballerina? A fire truck? Well, that was only because you were little. Now you’re old enough to know all you really want to do is watch Netflix all day and believe it or not, you can. All you have to do is get hired by the streaming giant, which is hiring professional binge-watchers to catalog and rate its offerings. Netflix itself stresses that you need to be knowledgeable about TV and movies to qualify for the job, which basically makes it sound like you just need to have watched Netflix and, hey, who hasn’t? This, frankly, puts all our previous dream jobs to shame.

032

2018


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RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


10/12

CURRENT

So, Joyce Meyer Is All About Christians Getting Tats TELEVANGELIST and author Joyce

Meyer surprised followers when she recently announced that she wanted to get a tattoo, just to make legalistic Christians mad. In a recent sermon, she explained how Old Testament Scriptures often referenced to forbid tattoos are actually taken out of context, and that the Bible says that God Himself actually has tattoos.

Is Giving Back the New Profit? ACTIVISM HAS BLED INTO every aspect of our culture. It

informs the movies we pay to see, the food we pay to eat

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show May Cost $1 Billion The budget goes ever on and on. WHEN AMAZON shelled out $250

million for the rights to make a TV series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy series, it was clear they were willing to invest heavily into the show. But now it’s been revealed that Amazon’s Lord of the Rings might be the most expensive show ever made. The planned five seasons will likely cost more than $1 billion to make.

MAY-JUNE

and which brands receive our loyalty. Our money reflects our values more than ever, and in recent years, more companies have started giving us reasons to feel good about our investment. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. CHOBANI

In February, yogurt company Chobani ran an installation in New York City that donated a case of yogurt to No Kid Hungry for every person who came by. They also are committed to refugee-focused hiring practices.

2. EVERLANE

4. WARBY PARKER

Everlane audits all its clothing factories for fair wages. They publicize their cost breakdowns, too.

The coolest name in affordable eyewear is also the most charitable, donating glasses to kids in need.

3. DAVE’S

5. LOCOL

KILLER BREAD

L.A.-based burger chain Locol opens healthconscious and affordable fast-casual restaurants in underserved communities.

It’s 100 percent organic, and their Second Chance policy makes a point to hire ex-cons.

034

2018


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035

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11/12

CURRENT

MISC.

How Do Other Countries Regulate Their Guns? Thanks to the valiant

The Second Amendment isn’t the only gun law in the world. Here’s how a few other nations handle firearms.

efforts of local governments and conservationists, the population of the giant panda rose 17 percent from 2004 to 2014. The species is no longer endangered, being downgraded to “vulnerable.”

A man was out late partying in West Virginia when he

here are a lot of opinions out there on American guns, a horrifying trend of mass shootings that seems to have no end in sight, and just what can be done to stem the tide of gun violence

T

in America. There’s no one reason why the U.S. has a uniquely astronomic level of gun violence compared to other developed nations, but it is interesting to compare America’s gun laws (confusing as they may be from state-to-state) with gun laws around the world.

called an Uber to take him home. Very responsible, except his home was in New Jersey. The ride cost him $1,600, and he actually paid up.

SPAIN

AUSTRALIA

THE UNITED

CANADA

SINGAPORE

The U.S.’ northern neighbor classifies various firearms as either “restricted,” “not restricted” or “prohibited.” Handguns are usually prohibited while shotguns, for example, are not.

Very likely the strictest gun laws in the world: Citizens can be imprisoned for owning a gun, and using a firearm to commit a crime is punishable by death.

KINGDOM Some of the toughest gun laws in Europe, Spain considers gun ownership to be a privilege, not a right, and limits it mostly to people who need them for work and few for self-protection.

Often cited by gun control proponents, Australia tightened its gun control laws in the wake of the 1996 Port Author Massacre. Wouldbe gun owners must take a safety class and face a waiting period of 28 days.

Citizens in the U.K. are not allowed to have handguns, but those who meet some stringent criteria are allowed to petition local police for a firearm.

Apple has teased their plans to release some new iPhone models in 2018, including what will reportedly be the biggest iPhone ever. There will also be a gold-colored iPhone, according to Bloomberg, but will sales increase if you have to heft the thing with two hands?

MAY-JUNE

036

2018


037

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


12/12

CURRENT

[ T H E C H E AT S H E E T ]

How to Completely Delete Your Facebook Account It could be to kick an addiction or guard your data, but here are the steps to clear it for good.

MAYBE YOU’VE BEEN COMPROMISED. Maybe

1. BACK YOURSELF UP

2. WIPE IT CLEAN

you’re afraid you’ll be compromised. Or maybe

If you want to save those pictures

Time to purge. You could just

you’re just tired of Aunt Wendy’s political rants.

from Spain or those questionable

deactivate your account, but that

There are compelling reasons to delete your

videos you made with your college

doesn’t clear your data, so to run

Facebook, the least of which isn’t the sharing of

friends, hit “Settings” and navigate

a full-on deletion, go to the Delete

87 million accounts worth of data to the political

to “General.” You’ll see an option to

My Account page at facebook.com/

consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Here’s

“Download a copy of your Facebook

help/delete_account. Read the terms

how to ensure you’re safe from data breaches

data.” Clicking that will give you a

(the short of it: Facebook doesn’t

and your family.

copy of everything you’ve uploaded.

guarantee that things you shared with other people won’t still be viewable because they can’t control what other people do with your data), then hit the blue “delete” button. 3. KNOW WHAT SURVIVES

It can take up to 90 days for Facebook to delete all your pictures, videos and posts. What’s more, the comments and replies and interactions you make with other people’s posts and accounts are never going away. Small bonus: You can still use Messenger if you’re so inclined—the app doesn’t require a Facebook account. 4. REAP THE BENEFITS

SELF magazine reported in 2017 that excessive Facebook use is linked to things like social isolation, loneliness and depression. Other experts tie it to anxiety. What does that mean for you? Less FOMO, less comparing yourself to others and more emphasis on person-to-person interactions. Plus, less of Aunt Wendy commenting about how Stanley Kubrick helped the White House fake the moon landing on your brunch selfie. A definite win.

MAY-JUNE

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2018


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RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


MAY-JUNE

040

2018


Charlamagne tha God hosts the most influential hip-hop radio show in the country, but The Breakfast Club’s go-to guy goes to someone else.

IT

was time for Lenard

in the passenger seat. They peel out of the neighbor-

McKelvey to pay his debt.

hood, and the boy who would grow up to become

Long before he became one of

Charlamagne tha God survives another night.

the most popular radio hosts in

“That anxiety saved me in a bunch of different sit-

the country, McKelvey sold crack

uations,” Charlamagne says. “Being overly paranoid,

on the streets of Moncks Corner,

overly cautious, that was God. He gave me the where-

South Carolina. But on this night, he had drugs to sell

withal to help me execute the situation. Kicking

and no buyers. Time was running out.

somebody’s door in has nothing to do with God—He

His creditor offered up a deal: If McKelvey helped him with a home invasion, he’d wipe the slate clean,

lets you make your own choices—but if you survive, He’ll find you if you ask Him.”

but there was a problem: McKelvey had such bad GODSEND

anxiety, he knew he wouldn’t kick in a door. “I moved a bit differently than everybody else,” he

For four hours every morning, Charlamagne tha

says. “I went to jail a few times, but I didn’t get stung

God and his co-hosts on New York City’s The Break-

like some other people. There were certain things I

fast Club hop on the airwaves and interview huge

wasn’t going to do morally.”

music stars and confess their secrets to over 50 na-

Morals or not, McKelvey was trapped, and hours

tional markets. Billed as “the world’s most dangerous

later, he found himself driving the prospective get-

morning show,” The Breakfast Club—featuring DJ

away car on an empty Moncks Corner street, inching

Envy and Angela Yee alongside Charlamagne—has

closer and closer to the marked house he was sup-

spawned memes, trolls and debate thanks to its un-

posed to rob.

filtered approach to every topic under the sun, from

McKelvey searched—prayed—for a reason to bail.

politics and hip-hop to pop culture and faith. Pastors

“I’m begging to see one set of headlights,” he says.

like Carl Lentz and John Gray sit in the same chair as

“If I can get one set of headlights in the distance be-

Diddy, Ava DuVernay and Tiffany Haddish. He’s hip-

hind us, I’m good.”

hop’s “go-to guy,” Charlamagne, but the show ruffles

But it’s the best-case scenario for a robbery, and the worst-case scenario for the young drug dealer be-

some feathers. People love to hate The Breakfast Club, which means they love to hate Charlamagne, too.

hind the wheel. All the lights are out on the street,

“I love getting up every morning and being the first

and they’re the only car on the road. McKelvey drives

voice a lot of people hear, but I know everybody’s

as slowly as he can.

not going to agree with me,” Charlamagne says. “I’m

“I peek in the rearview mirror, and way off in the distance, I see one set of lights.”

fine with that. My therapist told me I have to release the expectations of people. Whenever I’m bothered

It’s the cops! McKelvey yelps out a warning and

about something, it comes from what I expect other

steps on it. His creditor, high and paranoid, ducks

people to be doing. All the expectations you need to

041

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


have are with yourself.”

never stops firing back.

Charlamagne a lesson he’d preach from

Charlamagne writes at length about

“People don’t expect mistakes any-

that day on: If you want to change your

his formula for success in his best-sell-

more,” he says. “Everyone’s trying to

circumstances, you have to be willing

ing book Black Privilege: Opportuni-

keep up with this manufactured illu-

to work for that change—no one will do

ty Comes to Those Who Create It. In a

sion of themselves instead of being the

it for you.

world of filtered, politically correct

real them. I’m comfortable knowing

“Oftentimes, we don’t realize that

opinions, filtered social media pictures

who I really am, and I’m not afraid to

destiny is a matter of choice,” he says.

and filtered projections of ourselves,

learn. Life is a process, so part of that

“That’s the process of life. I don’t know

Charlamagne is entirely unfiltered. The

struggle may be some growing pains.”

who told people you go right from

host is not afraid to be wrong, and he’s not afraid to be vulnerable.

Charlamagne tha God has seen plenty of those.

one to 10. You have to go through two [through] nine, and when you get that

In conversation, Charlamagne brings

blessing, you have to know exactly

up his therapist, criminal background,

THE ROAD TO BREAKFAST

what to do with it. I believe in my God.

faith and family history without the

Though Lenard McKelvey dodged the

When I make poor choices, I turn to

slightest provocation—but that hones-

law on the night of the home invasion,

God to help me through that.”

ty has a dangerous side. Guests have

he was arrested multiple times in Mon-

Charlamagne grew up on what he

walked out on his confrontational in-

cks Corner. His crimes ranged from as-

calls a “foundation of spirituality.” His

terview style (most famously Birdman

sault to drug possession.

grandmother was a Baptist, his mother

in 2016, shouting, “Put some respec’ on

After his third trip to jail—a 41-day

was a Jehovah’s Witness and his father

my name”), and Charlamagne’s bold

stint when he was a teenager—Char-

is a convert to Islam from the Jehovah’s

diatribes often land him in hot water.

lamagne started taking night school

Witnesses.

His “Donkey of the Day” segment has

classes and found an internship with a

Charlamagne is an avid Bible read-

targeted the president, “Kanye Kar-

local radio station. He was hooked. He

er himself. He quotes Scripture often

dashian” and football star Odell Beck-

built a good relationship with one of

in conversation (“Romans 8:31: ‘If

ham Jr., among countless others.

the programmers and began scrapping

God is for us, who can be against us?’

for air time. In 2005, he secured his first

I believe in a mighty God. That’s who I

full-time hosting gig in New Jersey.

submit my will to every day.”), and he

Charlamagne’s attitude makes some public backlash inevitable, but he stays afloat. Even when he’s taking shots, he

The

long-awaited

success

taught

often appears alongside church lead-

Charlamagne is heard every morning in more than 50 major markets.

MAY-JUNE

042

2018


ers both on and off The Breakfast Club.

internal philoso-

This past winter, he worked with Eleva-

phy is softer than

tion Church pastor Steven Furtick on a

the interrogation

documentary about race, purpose and

tactics he brings

faith. (They went to high school togeth-

to the show.

er but weren’t friends.)

“I’m not a gate-

Whenever someone brings acclaim

keeper,” he says.

to The Breakfast Club—its populari-

“If you’re look-

ty, its influence, its pervasiveness—

ing

Charlamagne has a reflexive answer:

like that, you’re

“Praise be to God.” Maybe it wasn’t

thinking way too

Charlamagne doing all the work on his

highly of your-

road to fame.

self. I’m a fan. I

Charlamagne is caught up in another

at

yourself

“Romans 8:31, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ I believe in a mighty God. That’s who I submit my will to every day.”

have a sense of

book right now besides the Bible: Rob-

discovery

in Stern’s The Gaslight Effect. It’s about

day, and that allows me to care about

“I have a lot of people coming to me

how the negative perceptions of others

people’s stories. I don’t feel like I have

when they have problems and when

can infect your thinking until you begin

any power, I just have a platform. The

they’re going through things,” he says.

to interpret their viewpoints as truth.

Breakfast Club is not my show. That’s

“I’m the go-to guy for a lot of people,

our show. It’s for everybody.”

but who does the go-to guy go to?”

Charlamagne describes it like look-

every

ing in the mirror and seeing a distort-

The Breakfast Club has one of the

The go-to guy goes to his therapist.

ed reflection of yourself—a legitimate

most inclusive guest lineups on radio.

When he feels the world gaslighting

mental health struggle—and it’s some-

Late comedian and civil rights activist

him and forcing a delusion in front of

thing he battles to this day in therapy.

Dick Gregory sat in the same chair as

his eyes, he looks in the mirror and ac-

“As a man, there’s a lot of things I

world-famous superstar Kendrick La-

knowledges his mistakes. That empow-

haven’t dealt with,” he says. “For a lot

mar, and Kendrick Lamar sat in the

ers him to have confidence.

of my life, I was self-medicating with

same chair as social activist and trans-

weed and alcohol, thinking I don’t have

gender actress Janet Mock.

time to deal with this right now, but

The go-to guy goes to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He hopes for

Mock’s interview in particular was

a world where people are judged on

controversial. Some accused The Break-

their character. That empowers him to

Charlamagne details a list of issues

fast Club of insensitive lines of ques-

search for empathy.

that could fill entire books: sexual

tioning, and when a later guest made

The go-to guy goes to God. He owns

abuse, rape culture, misogyny, fear.

transphobic jokes against Mock, the

his past and owns his sins, but he of-

“That was all normalized for me, but

show was criticized for going along

fers praise for every blessing. He says

none of it was normal,” he says. “I’ve

with the humor. Charlamagne has re-

whenever he steps outside and takes

unlearned a lot of that. The Bible says

nounced the offensive rhetoric that ma-

in the sky, the vastness of the world, it

when you were a child, you thought

terialized around Mock’s appearance,

humbles him. That empowers him to

like a child, but when you’re a man, you

but the incident did some damage.

be content, and if you’re not with that,

act like a man, you think like a man.”

Now, it’s another opportunity to learn.

Charlamagne tha God doesn’t care.

certain things bug you out.”

“If you can’t look back on your life

“You should be comfortable know-

THE MAGNE THING

and see where you made mistakes,

ing the truth about yourself,” he says.

The Breakfast Club has become one of

something’s wrong,” he says. “I don’t

“You can’t grow if you’re being delu-

the most important tentpoles of hip-

know anything about Janet Mock’s

sional. If others never believe the truth

hop culture, and that makes Charla-

world, so why not have a conversation

about me, I’m good. That’s how I move.

magne one of the most important peo-

with her? She’s a human being like ev-

I don’t have beef with nobody but the

ple in hip-hop culture.

erybody else.”

devil.”

For a young artist to land a Break-

Now, Charlamagne finds himself in

fast Club interview is like a rock band

a position where he can lift others up

earning a spot on the Ed Sullivan Show.

and place them alongside him on that

It might be seen as a do-or-die, make-

platform, but that’s a complicated space

or-break moment, but Charlamagne’s

to navigate in 2018.

043

T YLER DASWICK is RELEVANT’s senior writer. He’s on Twitter @TylerDaswick.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


The No. 1 killer of Americans under 50 is sitting in your medicine cabinet. BY JESSE CAREY


IF

YOU DROVE by the county coroner’s

many Christians, this is more than simply an emergency.

office recently in Canton, Ohio, you

This is a pro-life issue.

may have noticed a large trailer parked out front with the words

A MASSIVE SCOPE

“Disaster Response” plastered be-

For two decades, Dr. Thomas Andrew served as the chief

side the Ohio Department of Health

medical examiner of New Hampshire. He understands

logo. Officially, it’s called a “cold storage mass casualty

firsthand just how bad the crisis has become. New Hamp-

trailer.” It was brought in because the morgue was over-

shire has more deaths per capita from synthetic opioids

capacity, and the city needed a place to put the dead bod-

like fentanyl than other state in the country.

ies that continued to pour in.

“When I started in New Hampshire, it would have been

Down the road in Akron, the state’s department of

’97, this was a state that had roughly 30 to 40 drug deaths

health had to send another one of their refrigerated

a year,” he explains. “And it reached the point in the early

trucks to the local morgue, where they too found them-

2000s, about 2004, 2005, where drug deaths passed 100 a

selves overcapacity this summer. In the area around Day-

year and then 150 a year.”

ton, the coroners have been forced to ask hospitals and

Jim Quigley is the executive director of Freedom Farm

even funeral homes to store bodies longer because they

Ministries in North Carolina, a Christian rehab facility

were simply filling up too fast.

that takes a spiritual approach to helping men get clean.

Though it’s been particularly hard-hit, Ohio isn’t alone

He’s observed a change, too.

in having to deal with the crisis of death caused by opioid

“Most [of ] our men coming here are coming here with

addiction and overdoses. The use of prescription drugs

opioids being their drug of choice,” he explains. “Anybody

is becoming so widespread that according to the Centers

who was involved in the prescription pain medication

for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama, Arkansas,

stuff that started 15 years ago, we all saw the writings

Tennessee and Mississippi reported more opioid prescrip-

on the walls, that it was going to transition to heroin like

tions than they have residents.

it’s doing right now, as they clamp down on the prescrip-

Last year, stats concerning the opioid epidemic crossed a grim new line: Overdoses—mostly on opioids—are now

tions—like they have been and continue to do—all that does is basically open the market up for heroin.”

the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. And the crisis is only getting worse.

In those earlier years, Andrew saw the storm on the horizon, and he began to speak out.

In 1999, fewer than 17,000 Americans died from a drug

“We tried to get the attention of policy-makers and oth-

overdose. Last year, more than 66,000 people in America

er folks to kind of alert them to this unfolding problem,

were killed. For comparison, in 2016, 37,000 Americans

but it really didn’t gain any traction, I think for a lot of

died in car accidents.

reasons,” he explains, looking back. “For one thing, there

Almost as many Americans died because of a drug

was this stigma about substance abuse. They would al-

overdose in 2016 alone as the number of Americans killed

ways default to, ‘Well, this is not really our problem. This

in the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars combined.

is those people.’ And we’re waving our hands and jump-

Last fall, the White House declared the drug epidemic

ing up and down and saying, ‘Those people are we! They

“a public health emergency.” But as the number of over-

are us! They’re our neighbors, they’re our friends.’ And it

doses continue to rise—dramatically—every year, for

just didn’t gain any traction with them.”

045

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


Total deaths from car

crazy stuff.”

accidents in the U.S. in 2015

63,632

are and then return to their

Earlier this year, Sen.

doctors seeking more.

Claire McCaskill released

However, as Andrew ex-

the findings of a report

plains, “They ended up be-

that

found

five

ing dismissed, if you will,

pharmaceutical

by their providers, who may

companies paid millions

have had a hand in getting

to patient groups to sup-

them addicted in the first

port “amplified messag-

place, ironically.”

major

that

es favorable to increased

37,757

opioid use.”

Once it was clear that patients had developed de-

A 2017 investigation

pendencies on drugs their

into lobbying efforts by

doctors had recommended,

“Big Pharma” conducted

doctors cut them off.

by The Washington Post

Now,

addict-

ed to powerful drugs, many

from drug

that the companies spent

had few other places to turn.

overdose in

more than $106 million

Without a prescription, they

to lobby Congress in an

had to turn to the internet or

effort to pass more fa-

the streets.

the U.S. in 2016

vorable drug laws.

From there, a sad and

Andrew observed a very

In other words, drug-

dangerous cycle has played

dangerous trend taking hold:

makers, who make massive

out in cities, suburbs and ru-

Doctors—who were having

profits off of prescription

ral communities across the

new drugs pushed to them

painkillers,

worked

country. People have turned

by

pharma-

hard to make them so prev-

to dangerous sources to ful-

companies—began

alent. As a result, powerful

fill their desire for another

prescribing extremely pow-

and addictive opioid drugs

opioid fix.

erful and addictive opioid

are no longer just the product

But instead of prescrip-

painkillers to patients with

of shady drug dealers; they

tion pills, they often receive

almost reckless abandon.

profit-driven

ceutical

have

are being prescribed by doc-

the

“Physicians were sort of

tors and can be found in the

heroin and, more recently,

the dupes in this process,”

medicine cabinets in millions

synthetic fentanyl—a drug

he

of homes around the world.

15

explains.

“They

were

convinced by what was ped-

MAY-JUNE

physically

and 60 Minutes found

Total deaths

even-more

times

dangerous

more

powerful

than morphine. And because

aled to them—and by ‘them,’

A DANGEROUS CYCLE

these drugs are often mixed

I

was

The initial easy access to

in

passed off as peer-reviewed

these kinds of drugs had

people

research. We really were

dark long-term consequenc-

don’t take the time to calcu-

misled. And this led to opi-

es. People would be pre-

late proper doses—the re-

ates being prescribed much,

scribed

like

sults are often fatal, especial-

much more frequently and

Oxycontin and Percocet, af-

ly when fentanyl is involved.

freely than they ever had in

ter an injury or surgical pro-

As Andrew explains, it is

the past. People having like

cedure. Patients would then

the most insidious develop-

a tooth removed and ending

often develop addictions and

ment yet in the opioid crisis:

up with a 30-day supply of

dependencies to them be-

“It—because of its potency—

Percocet. I mean, crazy stuff,

cause of how powerful they

is killing so many more peo-

mean

‘us’—what

046

a

painkiller,

unreliable who

doses—and abuse

them

2018


ple so much more rapidly than the prescription drugs or even the heroin did.”

sue,” Andrew warns. However,

the

crack-

downs have already begun.

The Drugs at the Center of the Crisis

In March, Attorney General A PRO-LIFE CAUSE

Jeff Sessions said the federal

In contemporary America,

government would support

One of the most complicated elements of the crisis is that

the term “pro-life” is gen-

a series of lawsuits filed by

there are so many kinds of opioids available to addicts—

erally associated with an

states against drug manufac-

anti-abortion

movement.

turers. The states are seek-

And when it comes to views

ing financial reimbursement

about abortion, Christians

for the ballooning costs of

in America overwhelming-

helping addicted people.

ly believe that Roe v. Wade

And this spring, President

should be overturned. Ac-

Trump unveiled a plan to

cording to Pew Research

fight the crisis. His stated

Center, across most major

goal is to cut the number

denominations,

Christians

of prescription written for

think abortion should be il-

opioid painkillers by a third

legal in almost all cases (for

over the

example, 71 percent within

years (though he has re-

the Assemblies of God,

mained vague on the logis-

66

percent within the South-

tics of the plan). The president also called

percent within the Church

for more money to support

of God).

large public health efforts

With opposition to abor-

and treatment programs for

tion often playing out in

those who are already strug-

voting

candidates—at

gling with drug addictions.

least in part—based on their

The new federal budget ear-

reproductive stances, and ef-

marks nearly $5 billion to

forts to fight abortion often

combat the crisis.

playing out in courtrooms

However, a key part of

and legislation, the pro-life

his plan has drawn concern

movement has taken on a

from some pro-life advo-

distinctly political direction.

cates: He wants to execute

But as the death toll in the

drug dealers.

opioid epidemic quickly ris-

At a speech in New Hamp-

es to staggering new heights,

shire, he said: “If we don’t

experts say that fighting it

get tough on the drug deal-

is much more complicated

ers, we are wasting our time.

than simply passing legisla-

And that toughness includes

tion. This is partly why the

the death penalty.”

opioid crisis is such a com-

The move has drawn criti-

plicated problem, even for

cism from justice advocates,

pro-life advocates.

including the traditionally

“Draconian

crackdowns

are not going to solve the is-

prevalent opioids at the center of the crisis.

OXYCODONE Often prescribed by doctors and mixed with a painkiller like acetaminophen under brands names like Percocet, oxycodone can serve as a sort of gateway into opioid abuse.

course of three

ern Baptist Convention, 77

for

many prescribed by doctors. Here’s a look at some of the

conservative

group,

Pris-

FENTANYL Many times stronger than drugs like heroin, this synthetic opioid can offer extremely effective treatment for chronic pain sufferers but is also deadly if taken improperly.

HEROIN Used as a recreational drug, heroin is often cheaper than pharmaceutical drugs, but is extremely addictive and frequently lethal because it can be cut with other substances by illicit drug dealers.

DIAMORPHINE Chemically, diamorphine is essentially heroin, however, it is prescribed by doctors, can be administered in controlled doses at hospitals and is used to treat extreme pain.

on Fellowship, founded by

047

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


former Nixon adviser and

nuanced approach.

at least reverse that partic-

devout Christian, the late

“No complex social prob-

ular trend,” he says. “Even

Chuck Colson. In a press con-

lem has one solution,” he

if we start re-educating our

ference, the group’s current

says. “Unless you’re a ham-

student physicians right to-

president, James Ackerman,

mer. If you’re a hammer,

day, right now, that fix, if you

told The Christian Post the

then everything is a nail.

will, is going to take 20, 25

president’s plan to kill drug

And you’re going to arrest

years to take effect.”

dealers “doesn’t make any

everybody

incarcerate

Because of that, no single

sense to me at all, to be per-

everybody, and after a while,

piece of legislation or po-

fectly frank.” Dr. Andrew

there’s nobody even here

litical movement can assist

Kolodny, co-director of the

to sweep the floor, so that’s

this pro-life cause. One that

Opioid Policy Research Col-

probably not the approach

he, and so many others, are

laborative at Brandeis Uni-

to use, exclusively, anyway.”

encouraging churches to get

or

versity, said execution would

He believes ending this

do nothing to truly combat

crisis is going to take time.

the issue.

It’s going to take changing

A DIFFERENT PATH

the way the medical world

This past fall, Andrew made

thinks about treating pain.

the decision to step away

The problem with only seeking legal and legislative

involved with.

avenues, according to An-

He says that much hinges

from his role as the chief

drew, is that it is simply too

on today’s millennial doctors

medical examiner and en-

narrow. Though he says that

and medical students, and

rolled in seminary. He still

some new legislation—like,

them changing society’s rela-

wants to fight the opioid

for instance, a monitoring

tionships with opioids.

crisis, but now, he’s entering

program for prescriptions—

“We didn’t get into this

into the ministry, where he

could be helpful, real change

problem in a year or two; it’s

can help communities and

will come through a more

going to take a generation to

young people spiritually—

LETHAL DOSES One of the reasons why these kinds of drugs are so dangerous is because potency levels differ wildly, often leading to unintentional overdoses.

30

3

HEROIN

FENTANYL

A lethal dose of streetpurchased heroin is generally around 30 milligrams.

MAY-JUNE

Just 3 milligrams of medically available fentanyl is enough to kill an adult.

048

2018


while also addressing the

For him, the solution to

your friend’s body with re-

this problem starts on the

spect, those kinds of things ...

“As I was pondering re-

individual level, not just the

are lessons that are learned

tirement, I thought, ‘Gee, I’ve

legislative one. Part of ad-

and remembered for a life-

still got some gas in the tank

dressing

time,” he says.

here,’” he explains, saying he

understanding how to ad-

really wanted to find a way

dress

personally—and

reaches so deeply into com-

to “still be able to address the

what responsibility you may

munities, ultimately, he says,

public health issue of sub-

play, even if you’re not the

churches must also play a

public health crisis.

it

addiction

means

And

because

addiction

stance abuse.” Because a real end to the crisis could still be decades away, Andrew decided to address some of the underlying causes of addiction, instead of just correcting misinformation about the drugs people become addicted to. He hopes more churches will use this method because ulti-

“ P E O P L E H AV I N G A T O O T H R E M O V E D A N D E N D I N G U P W I T H A 3 0 - D AY S U P P LY O F P E R C O C E T . . . C R A Z Y S T U F F, C R A Z Y S T U F F.” – D R . T H O M A S A N D R E W

mately, it is the real solution. “Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be among you.’ Well,

one using drugs.

major role. Laws and advo-

the addicted will always be

“You really need to under-

cacy aren’t enough. A multi-

among you, too,” he explains.

stand what enabling means,”

faceted approach to service

It’s a similar approach that

he says. “If you’re financially

must be undertaken if the

Quigley employs at Freedom

or in some way contributing

Church is truly going to be

Farm Ministries. There, re-

to that person being allowed

successful in advancing this

covering addicts are taught

to live that lifestyle, you need

pro-life cause.

spiritual principles, biblical

to stop. That is the tough love

“It’s a matter of what

truths about human nature

stuff … You make sure you

you’re doing in the commu-

and God’s grace and learn

constantly

communicate

nity to demonstrate that you

life skills that can keep them

how much you love them;

are a community of faith and

on the path of sobriety.

how much you’re praying for

that you care and you take

them, how much you want to

the admonition to love your

see them succeed.”

neighbor seriously,” he says.

It also means helping family members and other people within church communi-

Andrew now works with

“So whether it’s labeled

ties to understand the right

young people to try and

as an opiate outreach or a

way to confront and help

teach them principles that

homeless outreach or a men-

their loved ones dealing with

he hopes will one day end

tal health outreach or an out-

addiction—even if it feels

the trend.

reach to the hungry hardly

uncomfortable.

“I do believe that if you

matters … What matters is

“You need to confront it,”

can instill values, even if

that there’s outreach. You’re

he explains. “Do not let this

they’re not explicitly reli-

engaging the community in

continue with your knowl-

gious values, per se, but in-

ways that sitting in church

edge of it—we’re command-

still values about honoring

once a week can’t possibly

ed to do things like that.”

life, treating your body and

do.”

049

JESSE CAREY is the brand director at RELEVANT. You can find him on Twitter @jessecarey.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


FRANKIE

Greta Kline— aka Frankie Cosmos—thinks communication is “impossible.” So how did she and her band get so good at it? BY J O S E P H R I G G S

MAY-JUNE

G

COSMOS

RETA KLINE

think everything is crossing so many

DOESN’T

genres and everybody kind of knows

UNDERSTAND

about so many different styles of music

GENRES. Both

that there’s no way to only be influenced

personally and as

by one genre.”

the frontwoman for

  Frankie Cosmos is most certainly

her band, Frankie

not influenced by one genre. The

Cosmos, she has a hard time finding

band’s most recent album, Vessel, is a

which box their music fits into. “I kind

kaleidoscope of sparkly pop melodies

of feel like I would accept whatever

with a muscular, substantive spine.

label gets thrown at us,” she says. “Some

Kline has a knack for communicating

people really only listen to one genre of

the difficult-to-communicate through

music, so it’s good for those people to be

her lyrics, capturing ephemeral

like, ‘Oh, I’m looking for more indie-rock

emotions through simple turns of

to listen to or something.’ But I also

phrase. That doesn’t make their music

050

2018


just so impossible. It’s just this

no holds barred. It just means that

constant striving. I’m definitely

with Frankie Cosmos, it’s a song. I’m

never going to achieve getting

not just getting on stage and talking

across my true self to anyone,

about it. I’m not in therapy.”

but I can keep trying.”

  Her band’s escalating popularity means she’s quickly becoming a

COSMOS AWARENESS

person of note; one with fans who

Kline was born in New York

have a certain idea of what she’s

City, the daughter of Kevin

supposed to be like. “My friend who’s

Kline and Phoebe Cates. She

also a musician described it as feeling

was home-schooled for most

like people have decided who you are

of high school and made a

before they’ve even met you,” she says.

few small appearances in

“So you end up invisible to them.”

movies like The Squid and the Whale, but music is what

A NEW VESSEL

really grabbed her attention. In

These themes appear on Vessel,

2011, she started performing

which Kline says is really about “your

under the pseudonym Frankie

relationship to your body and feeling

Cosmos, which still serves as a

disconnected” from it. That sense of

sort of alter ego in addition to

disconnectedness is a timeless human

being her band’s name.

feeling, but she sees how social media

  “I feel like Greta Kline is

has exacerbated it.

someone who’s not comfortable

  “I hate the idea that people think

on stage and Frankie Cosmos

that’s you,” she says of social media

is a nice veil to get behind,”

accounts like Facebook profiles.

she says. “I write songs but I

“And that they know you from it. It’s

also have a diary, and that’s

scary because it’s just not the person.

L to R: Luke Pyenson,

something that I would

Someone’s social media profile is not

Lauren Martin, Alex

never get on stage and read

them.”

from. The songs are like, yes,

  Kline knows knowing someone via

there’s a diary aspect to them,

their social media is impossible, but

but they’re also my art. It’s

she’s not convinced knowing anyone

definitely very separate from

at all is really possible. That sounds

me purely just writing down

depressing but to hear her tell it, this

my feelings or journaling or

conviction has actually opened her up

whatever.”

to try to explore the one identity she’s

Bailey, Greta Kline

any easier to label. It just means the

  She talks about this a lot: the gulf

confident in: her own.

music is so good you don’t really care

between who she is and who she

  “We can’t really understand each

what genre it is.

presents as. It’s not hard to get the

other. That’s just the nature of life and

  “I’m fascinated by the whole idea

impression that Frankie Cosmos and

it’s kind of a cool thing to realize that

of trying to write songs and trying

Greta Kline aren’t so much two people

because it frees you. You can be like,

to communicate something, because

as they are two sides of the same

‘Well, I can’t think about this in terms

ultimately every word has a different

person—a convenient demarcation

of communicating it to someone else.

meaning to every person,” she says.

of personality that provides some

I just have to be able to maybe try and

“Just based on your whole life and

structure to her unique existence.

communicate it to myself.’”

your whole experience of words

  “On the other hand, there are times

  Whoever that may be.

or music, and of everything. It’s

when I feel extremely raw,” she says.

the same reason why one person

“That’s what I’m sharing in Frankie

can call something pop punk and

Cosmos, and it’s totally scary. That’s not

one person can call it indie-rock or

to say that I’m withholding anything

whatever. I think communication is

emotionally because there’s honestly

051

JOSEPH RIGGS is a writer and editor living in Cincinnati, Ohio.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


BY T Y L E R H U C K A B E E

MAY-JUNE

052

2018


The Enneagram is giving millennials a healthier way to understand themselves. But do they understand it?

A

group of half a dozen peo-

isn’t in the Bible. You know, there’s lots

question of what it actually has become

ple sit in a circle on big Ikea

of things that aren’t in the Bible but are

today is nearly as inscrutable. Ask 100

chairs, drinking coffee from

still helpful.

devotees of the Enneagram what it

hip, branded mugs while a

“If they take the time to hear how

is and you’ll get 100 answers, most of

group leader reads from a

we use it from a biblical perspective

them bespotted with vague language

workbook. Everyone is keen-

they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, this makes sense.

and words that don’t seem to mean

ly interested, jotting down copious

There’s no problem there,’” she contin-

much of anything, and several defi-

notes on worksheet paper. One guy

ues. “It’s when they have misconcep-

nitions contradicting one another so

even brought a computer.

tions that they get all freaked out.”

violently you wonder if these people

We’re at a church in Nashville and

McCord used to deal with this sort

are talking about the same thing. It’s a

from a distance, this looks like some

of skepticism a lot more than she does

personality test. A path to wholeness. A

sort of self-help group, which is apt

now. Over the past few years, she says,

way to process your trauma.

enough. This is an Enneagram class,

the Enneagram’s reputation for chang-

one of several the church offers, and

ing lives has preceded it.

Perhaps that is a strength of the Enneagram. The fact that it can be so

the people are here to help themselves

The Enneagram isn’t a new phe-

many different things to so many dif-

in the most foundational way someone

nomenon. Depending on who you ask,

ferent people. But if the Enneagram’s

can—by understanding themselves.

its earliest iterations were either in

multitudinous uses have helped it be-

“My husband and I come from a

the 1950s or the 1910s, though there

come all things to all people, it’s also in

probably more traditional, Gospel-cen-

are some experts who say versions

danger of trivializing it and diminish-

tered perspective and that’s why we’ve

of it can be found in the writings of

ing its full potential. Ironically enough,

spent the last 15 years bringing what

fourth-century Christian mystics (and

a system designed to help people un-

we know of the Enneagram into that

there are some who trace its roots all

derstand themselves is in danger of be-

sector,” says Beth McCord.

the way back to ancient Egypt). But it

ing misunderstood.

McCord runs Your Enneagram Coach,

is a phenomenon, and it has gained a

a website designed to walk people

fresh popularity in recent years, partic-

through the basics of the Enneagram

ularly among Christian circles, thanks

and get some coaching on their own

to hearty endorsements from people

type in particular. She says that the

like Richard Rohr and Elizabeth Wage-

Hannah Paasch is a Phoenix, Arizona,

Enneagram is spiritually “neutral,” but

le, though their interpretation is occa-

resident who says she was introduced

has significant appeal for Christians—if

sionally chuffed at by students of other

to the Enneagram by “an otherwise

they can get over their initial fear of it.

Enneagram traditions.

extremely boring ex-friend” and it

“They’ll say well that’s not in the Bi-

And if the question of the Ennea-

promptly changed her life. Or more ac-

ble,” she says. “Well, the Myers-Briggs

gram’s origins is a bit murky, then the

curately, changed how she saw her life.

053

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


TYPING GAMES

“I was instantly drawn to it because it

contemporary Western traditions, large-

seemed to illuminate for me patterns of

ly thanks to the work of Riso and Hud-

behavior that I had seen both in myself

son, these types are each given a name.

and in others,” she says. She read Don

“Sevens,” for example, might be known

First thing’s first: Don’t use this to

Richard Riso and Russ Hudson’s Person-

as “enthusiasts,” or “3s” as “achievers.”

figure out your Enneagram type. You

ality Types—one of the key contempo-

These nine numbers can each have

rary academic treatises on the Ennea-

several different “wings”—elements of

gram which devotees refer to in hushed,

one of the other numbers, usually imme-

respectful tones—and got hooked.

diately adjacent, that are incorporated

really need a coach for that. Instead, just consider this a brief overview of the Enneagram of Personality, to whet your appetite for the real thing.

“I spent the next 10 years really read-

into their own type—shifting some of its

ing everything that I could about it,”

specifics. So, for example, if you’re a 6 (a

TYPE 1

Paasch says. Eventually, she felt comfort-

“loyalist”), you’ll probably either have a

able enough with the material to start

5 or a 7 wing. In these understandings,

The well-organized, perfectionist type, imbued with a rigid moral code. They maintain high ethical standards for themselves and others, often to the point of being hypercritical of mistakes.

creating some of her own. She’s even

all sixes have baseline “loyalist” charac-

working on a book, out next year, to help

teristics, but your wing will change how

introduce the Enneagram to a new gen-

those traits play out in your life, conflicts

eration: Millenneagram.

and relationships.

“It went from being kind of a silly ob-

If you’re confused by the numbers,

session of mine to something where I had

you’re not alone. But know this: If some-

done such a large amount of research on

one explains the Enneagram to you in a

interpersonal relationships for so long

way that seems simple, you can be sure

TYPE 2

that I started doing all of the Millen-

that they are not explaining it correctly.

Type 2s are empathetic and caring people who love others and love to be loved by others, sometimes falling into being people pleasers. They offer their friendship unselfishly and unconditionally.

neagram stuff and making up question-

That’s the caution offered by Chris-

naires to find more about how people

topher L. Heuertz, author of The Sacred

tick and understanding the different

Enneagram and 20-year student of its

numbers and whatnot,” she says. “So I’ve

ways. He strongly cautions against what

gone in deep.”

he perceives as a gross oversimplifica-

TYPE 3 High achieving, charming and confident, 3s are the sort of people who tend to light up a room. They’re natural leaders, but can be overly concerned with their own image and self-worth.

She says she’s excited to see the Ennea-

tion of the Enneagram which renders it

gram experiencing a boom season, but

little more than a narcissistic party trick,

she’s nervous too.

about as substantive as a BuzzFeed quiz.

“I am frustrated by the amount of

“With the Enneagram of Personality,

people who just want to throw their My-

when someone first comes across it, they

ers-Briggs [type] and their astrology sign

hear it and they love it, because they’re

and their Enneagram number on their

like, ‘Oh my god, that’s true, I’m totally

Twitter bio and go,” she says. “Some peo-

like that,’” Heuertz says. “And it’s fun-

ple, I can tell, are really genuinely engag-

ny and endearing, and you can see this

ing with the material, and some people

in your partner or your friends or your

are like, ‘I’m a 2 and 4 with a side of 8!’

community. But the real challenge right

And I’m like, no, none of that makes any

now is to resist the reductionism of re-

sense at all.”

ducing characters to quirks, to labels and

If you’re at all familiar with the Ennea-

TYPE 4 Type 4s are often creatives. They’re sensitive, inspired, Bohemian types who are able to be honest and self aware, but they can sometimes struggle to be vulnerable with others.

MAY-JUNE

to personality.”

gram, it’s probably via numbers like this,

By way of explanation, Heuertz talks

or “Enneatypes,” as the Enneagrammers

about the mystic origins of what we now

themselves will call them. “Enneagons,”

know as the Enneagram, which began

if you want to get technical. There are

with Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian teacher

nine numbers, each associated with a

who received the wisdom of the Ennea-

different “archetype” of person. In many

gram in a dream.

054

2018


“He went into sort of a seven-day di-

explains. “And, you know this, the map

vine coma,” Heuertz explains. “It was

isn’t the journey. The map informs the

essentially a hallucinogenic prayer. And

journey. So if the Enneagram is a sacred

he said that during these seven days, this

map of our soul, if it’s a compassionate

angel came to him and exposed to Ichazo

sketch of possibilities of who we can be-

108 different, what he then called En-

come, then what it actually helps us do is

neagons. So this angel comes and gives

excavate our essence.”

him 108 Enneagons, or now what we call

TYPE 5 Sometimes called “the investigator,” this type of person is curious, alert and attentive to detail. They’re born problem solvers who can at times get a little too stuck in their own heads.

Enneagrams. And really just one of those 108 is the Enneagram of personality.” Whether or not you track with the idea of Ichazo having a divine revelation that

Personality tests like the Myers-Briggs

led to the Enneagram of Personality, the

or Gallup’s Strengthfinders focus on

verifiable parts of this story actually do

what you are. The Enneagram of Per-

check out. Ichazo would go on to found

sonality does this too, but it’s also inter-

the Arica Institute, where the Enneagram

ested in what you could become—both

was taught as one part of a much more

for better and worse. Like any map, you

holistic system called the Protoanalysis,

not only see where you are, but you see

which posited that it was a comprehen-

where specific turns will take you—and

sive understanding of the fully enlight-

you can be better prepared to determine

ened human being.

your destination and know what to do if

Much to Ichazo’s consternation, one

you get lost along the way.

of his students, a Chilean-born psychia-

Paasch puts it another way: “I would

trist named Claudio Naranjo, applied the

say that the Enneagram is a tool for illu-

mystical qualities of the Enneagram to a

minating the ego-fixations and mind ruts

psychological model more palatable for

that one has created in order to integrate

Western audiences. The Enneagram of

as a human being.”

Personality, as we understand it today, was born.

“People have grown up with a lot of unsolved trauma, a lot of coping mech-

This is complex, but it’s important to

anisms, a lot of unhealthy cultural and

understanding why the modern idle chit-

social expectations,” she continues. “And

chat over your Enneagram personality

all of that has been piled on from a very

type is a bit simplistic.

young age, so being able to speak and act

“It is helpful,” Heuertz admits. “It is

out of our truest self is often something

clear that the Enneagram does sort of

that we aren’t conscious of not accessing.

expose repeating patterns in human

“I think being able to understand

character structure archetypes that are

where you are and what your particular

sort of observable. But I think if you

mind ruts are—the kind of patterns of

don’t really understand the essence of

behavior, harmful or benign, that make

what’s behind it, you’re just fueling your

their way through your life—you can

own narcissism and you’re weaponizing

consciously ask, Is this something I want

something. You might be super interest-

to keep doing? And if not, How can I re-

ing at a dinner party, but that’s not the

wire my thoughts and behavior to accom-

point, you know?”

plish the goals that I want?”

Well, then. What is the point?

This, according to Paasch, is part of

“I usually try to say that [the Enneagram]

the appeal to people raised in a Christian

is a sacred map of our soul,” Heuertz

context, where destructive theology is all

055

TYPE 6 Loyal friends who thrive on championing those they care about, 6s are responsible and industrious, hate lacking guidance, and are driven by a desire to feel secure and supported by people around them.

TYPE 7 Fun-loving party animals who love variety, 7s are impatient and impulsive, but also playful and optimistic. They can easily exhaust themselves, but at their best they put their boundless energy to good use.

TYPE 8 Eights are assertive and controlling, prone to a domineering attitude, but also capable of rallying and inspiring others. They long to be in charge of their environments and struggle with vulnerability.

TYPE 9 Easy-going and peaceable, 9s hate conflict and do everything they can to personally avoid it and stomp it out whenever they see it. They are driven by a longing for personal and relational calm.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


“The Enneagram affords spiritual folks a way to grow in the ways that they want to, but maybe more practically.” Hannah Paasch

your sins, took them away and then He imputed onto you His righteousness which allows us to freely see our

too often unthinkingly communicated

weaknesses without self-condemnation,

and integrated, leading to unexplored

shame and fear. And to then experience

dysfunction.

the true love, forgiveness, joy and satis-

“I think for me, and as a progressive

faction that we have in Christ, that is re-

person of faith, words like sanctifica-

ally where the transformation comes in

tion were thrown around so much as a

to say, I’m no longer this. I’m beloved, for-

kid and I didn’t know what that meant,”

given, cherished and free. That’s the work

Paasch says. “Obviously, there are fruits

I do with my coaching, to get people to

of the Spirit, but what did that mean for

move from this to what they really are

me? How do I acquire those things? How

over here.”

do I grow in compassion and kindness when I just am the way I am?

RELEVANT RECOMMENDS Here are a few books to help you dive more deeply into the Enneagram.

MAY-JUNE

Modern American Christians are famously wary of any wisdom that comes

“The concept of sanctification always

from beyond their own tradition, and no-

felt very nebulous to me, and I think the

body would have been surprised if they

Enneagram affords spiritual folks a way

turned their collective nose up at some of

to grow in the ways that they want to, but

the Enneagram’s spirituality (the symbol

maybe more practically. I mean, without

of the Enneagram of Personality—a cir-

just actually ‘praying and hoping’ and

cle with lines connecting at nine various

crossing your fingers that you become a

points—is the sort of thing that would

better person.”

give Pat Robertson hives).

McCord agrees. “[The Enneagram] is

But the work of Rohr—a Franciscan

the tool to help bring transformation.

friar whose books have achieved some

The Gospel is the transformation. And so

ecunmenical popularity—has been to

by helping us understand, for your type

marry the Enneagram to a more tradi-

specifically, what are your hang-ups and

tional Christian framework. In 1995, he

pitfalls, what happens as a human is we

published The Enneagram: A Christian

go, ‘I’m so terrible I’m so horrible, look

Perspective with Andreas Ebert, which

at me.’ I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s why Christ

beyond just harmonizing Enneagram

came.’ He came and took care of all of

wisdom with Scripture, also traced the

THE ROAD BACK TO YOU

THE SACRED ENNEAGRAM

IAN CRON & SUZANNE STABILE

CHRISTOPHER HEUERTZ

A recent addition to the Enneagram “must-read” list, this ‘Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery’ is an easy, witty read on the Enneagram with lots of practical wisdom and easy ways to apply it to your own life. A solid primer.

This thoughtful, contemplative book digs past the hype and narcissistic personality tests to get to the heart of what the Enneagram really is, and why its reputation has endured for such a long time.

056

2018


Enneagram back much further than the

with you to walk you through the Ennea-

20th century, all the way to the Desert

gram, get to know you a little and give

Fathers: Christian mystics like Evagrius

you some expert opinions on what your

Ponticus, who identified “eight deadly

type might be.

thoughts” and one overarching thought

Educate yourself as much as possible

over them all, that do seem to loosely cor-

by reading whole books—not just the

respond with the modern Enneagram’s

chapter you think applies to your specif-

nine points and—more saliently—to the

ic type. Beware flashy, bite-sized versions

idea of the Enneagram being less of a

of the Enneagram, which can be like Bi-

personality test and more of a means of

ble verses—encouraging on their own,

discovering your own identity and what

but easily misconstrued when devoid of

that means for your spiritual journey.

context. And remember that the Ennea-

“One of my teachers was Russ Hud-

gram has been around for a long time

son,” says Heuertz. “And Russ would

and has a lot of streams. Take care about

sometimes say things like this: The En-

which one you’re swimming in.

neagram is less about nine types of peo-

That’s a lesson Oscar Ichazo, the one

ple and more about nine paths to God.

most commonly credited as the prin-

And I think that if we saw it that way we

ciple father of the modern Enneagram

would really approach it differently.”

of Personality learned the hard way in 1992, when he tried to sue for copyright infringement of another book about the Enneagram, saying the author was using his own ideas.

Almost everyone interviewed for this ar-

The U.S. Court of Appeals denied

ticle cautioned against free, simple tests

Ichazo his copyright injunction for a le-

that promise to help you “Find Your En-

gally interesting reason: The Enneagram

neagram Type” (Heuertz said they tend

of Personality wasn’t an invention he’d

to be loaded with racial bias and cultural

created, but a discovery he had merely

assumptions, and focus on personality

observed. He could no more copyright

rather than essence.). As one person—

the stars.

who wished to remain anonymous—told

In the eyes of the U.S. legal system—as

me, “Finding your Enneagram type is like

well as those of a growing generation of

trying mushrooms for the first time. You

devotees—the Enneagram is more than

don’t want to do it alone.”

a personality test, a life tool or even an

Instead, try finding a certified Enneagram coach in your area who can meet

area of study. It is, above all, a fact of life.

T YLER HUCK A BEE lives in Nashville and is a contributing editor at RELEVANT.

THE WISDOM OF THE ENNEAGRAM

THE MODERN ENNEAGRAM

DON RISO & RUSS HUDSON

KACIE BERGHOEF & MELANIE BELL

Considered the Bible of modern Enneagram texts, Riso and Hudson’s academic study is definitely a deep dive into the Enneagram of Personality, but it’s fastidiously researched and surprisingly practical.

A hyper practical read, with plenty of anecdotes and illustrations to help the more laborious points of the Enneagram go down easier, this is a good introduction for someone who remains a little skeptical about the whole thing.

057

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


COIN They deliver one of the best shows in rock, but behind the performance is a fresh outlook and a community of fans. BY T Y L E R D A S W I C K

MAY-JUNE

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2018


WHEN BANDS PERFORM LIVE, playing

working through is impressive, but COIN’s

last year’s performance at Atlanta music

new music is a big risk. The crutch of

always come across sharper than their

festival Music Midtown. COIN realized for

familiarity, that oh-my-goodness-they’re-

sometimes “aw-shucks” sound portrays.

the first time people were singing along to

right-in-front-of-us crowd energy goes

Their live shows, for instance, flex

their music.

out the window in favor of a bold all-in

some serious adult muscle. The songs

“It was the biggest crowd we had

gamble: Will the fans go for these, too?

might be boyfriend material, but these

ever played for independently, where

guys are husband-material performers.

people had showed up to see us,” Winnen

(aptly titled) How Will You Know If You

Touring their second studio album,

Lawrence leaps and clambers all over the

says. “It’s hard to describe it. It felt real.

Never Try, COIN played aggressively, but

stage, but he doesn’t waste a step. Behind

Hearing that many people sing a song we

they never bluffed. The Nashville band

him, Zachary Dyke (bass), Joe Memmel

wrote a year before ... was really special.”

shredded their new stuff. They put up.

(guitar) and Winnen are dynamic

They want their fans to do the same.

supplements. They’re crisp, but they

live music is supposed to be: responsive

know when to flip the switch. These guys

and communal. They see some of their

can jam.

fans line up outside a venue the day of

“Watching people cling to this new music and feel it for the first time is surreal,” lead vocalist Chase Lawrence

Putting together such a calculated rock

The band realized that’s exactly what

a set and stick their phones through the

says. “You forget about the power of live

show takes hours of refinement, and

doorway to record the rehearsal and

shows. In the past, [the crowd] would be

that’s what COIN did. For the new tour,

learn the songs they haven’t heard yet.

like, ‘Can you play ‘Talk Too Much’ one

they put in a steady 72-hour week of

Those fans go absolutely nuts during the

more time?’ but it’s cool to see people

rehearsal sessions, going nonstop for 12

concerts themselves.

attracted to something they’ve never

hours at a time. All the practice is about

heard before.”

damage control.

Of course, “Talk Too Much,” the band’s

Live music is at its best when the crowd takes ownership over the band and

“It’s planning for the worst, and the

treats it as their own. That’s a community,

most popular song and far-and-away

worst does happen every once in a while,

and that community gives the band space

most streamed on Spotify, was a staple

but we’re totally ready for it,” Lawrence

to just stop trying so hard.

of the new set list. But so was the non-

says. “We’re open to anything, but in an

COIN’s new music is simpler, a

album single “Growing Pains,” released in

ideal world, I would like to keep [things]

self-described “de-evolution” back to

February. “Growing Pains” keeps up the

pretty structured in my brain because I’m

something less meticulous. They say it’s

group’s smirking lyrical style and color-

not trying to freak out in front of a bunch

the least over-thought thing they’ve ever

blast pop hooks; it’s fun but savvy. The

of people.”

done. “Growing Pains” released more-

band has found its lane. That took some time. COIN’s 2015

“The preparation allows us to provide

or-less in demo form, and while they

the energy that we do,” Winnen adds.

acknowledge the risk in that, they find it

self-titled debut established the formula,

“Because if we weren’t so well-rehearsed

freeing, too.

but didn’t innovate much past the

going into this tour ... we wouldn’t be able

introduction of the group. Nothing’s

to exert ourselves and play so mindlessly,

have treated this song like it’s the only

wrong with it, but nothing aims to kick

effortlessly.”

one that exists,” Lawrence says. “You get

your ear off, either. How Will You Know

“A year ago, even six months ago, we’d

COIN compares live shows to muscle

so deep and feel so much pressure, you

If You Never Try pushes more chips to the

memory. If you don’t have to think about

just have to surrender. We realized it’s

center of the table. It’s a leap ahead.

the music, you can think about the crowd.

just a song, another piece of the puzzle.

You can make room for spontaneity and

We didn’t think twice about it.”

“You don’t want to throw out the playbook altogether, but you do have to

randomness and insanity. In the past,

COIN is done playing it safe. Now

reinvent,” drummer Ryan Winnen says.

randomness was cruel, like when the

they’re dealing. Time to call their bet.

“We know the moments our consistent

venue manager at their first live show

fans like, and we know what will excite

told them they needed to quiet down or

the new people, too.”

when animatronic wolves started howling

For a 6-year-old band to place its focus

in the middle of a casino set in Vegas (yep,

on the subtleties instead of the broad

that happened). Now, randomness takes

creative steps most groups their age are

the shape of more pleasant surprises, like

059

T YLER DASWICK is RELEVANT’s senior writer. He’s on Twitter @TylerDaswick.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


MAY-JUNE

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2018


Aubrey Plaza From Parks and Recreation to Legion, Aubrey Plaza is creating characters we never knew we needed. BY T Y L E R H U C K A B E E

IT’S HARD TO SAY MUCH ABOUT AUBREY

to take some slow, lurching steps toward

PLAZA’S character on Legion without

progress, Plaza seems uniquely poised

veering into spoilers. She plays Len-

for a new cultural norm: One in which

ny, an ostensible friend of David Haller

the broad spectrum of mental and emo-

(Dan Stevens). But she also might not be

tional health is more fairly and accurate-

a friend. She might not even be a she.

ly represented. Slowly, with performanc-

We’re not even 100 percent confident

es like hers, the stigma around these

that she’s real. If that sounds a little

issues is beginning to fade.

weird, well, that’s the kind of show Le-

  She created and perfected a certain

gion is, which is why Plaza is so supreme-

kind of character whose necessity in the

ly well-suited for it.

pop culture canon seemed obvious the

  After nearly a decade of playing qui-

moment Plaza filled it. A sort of bizarro

etly odd people whose weirdness makes

counterpart to the manic pixie dream

them feel somehow more relatable, Pla-

girl (the manic impish goth girl?), whose

za’s left of center sensibilities are start-

effortless charm flowed from her lack of

ing to feel mainstream. As society’s un-

interest in charming anyone at all. She

derstanding of mental health is starting

plays the sort of person who was too cool

061

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


“I want to make a movie and star in a movie that is so specifically my sense of humor that no one else could have made it.” to be a nerd but was always more popular on Tumblr than in real life. That’s the space that Aubrey Plaza fills, and it’s why you think you know her.   “I think they would be surprised to see how different I am from those characters,” Plaza says of her fans. “But they’ll never get to see it because I will never show that.”   She has a quick, self-deprecating wit that she uses during conversational lulls and anytime she feels like she might have said something too revealing. She has a keen understanding of her place in Hollywood, right now—as one of the breakout stars of a beloved sitcom; as the most fascinating character on Legion, one of current TV’s most fascinating shows; as a high-profile woman in an industry currently under an enormous amount of scrutiny for how it treats women; and as an actress building a singularly astonishing resume of excellent, low-flying indie oddball films like Ingrid Goes West and Safety Not Guaranteed. But she’s also got an eye on where she wants to be. And while a lot of that will involve her hustle, talent and rare ability to play characters with atypical mental and emotional lives, it’s also going to involve an even brighter spot-

MAY-JUNE

062

2018


light. In Hollywood, self-promotion and

of deadpan delivery. She became an

Olsen. Ingrid’s obsession drives her to

talking about yourself are part of the

avatar of a new wave of 20-somethings

the brink and well past it, toward an

job, and most celebrities are naturals at

who rolled their eyes at stereotypical

inevitably grim conclusion. It’s a state-

it. Plaza is not.

millennial trends like yoga and would

ment about the interplay between our

laugh in your face if you suggested get-

own emotional stability and how social

me to talk about what I’m doing, so I

ting an Acai bowl.

media can set it reeling, and Plaza’s

have a positive attitude about it,” she

  “The more complicated the part, the

performance anchors the whole thing,

says. “But I did have a period of time

better for me,” she says. “I’m really at-

making Ingrid a sympathetic charac-

where I had to kind of get over my neg-

tracted to characters that have a lot of

ter without glossing over her very real

ativity. I mean, it’s so cool that anyone

steps and a lot of complexity. I’m not

issues. It’s the sort of role that would

cares, and that anyone wants to hear

interested in playing one-dimensional

have been all but unimaginable just a

about what’s happening. So, I try to

characters.”

few years ago.

just focus on that but”—here, she starts

  The relative mental and emotional

laughing—“I hate it.”

stability of our media figures can lead

SHE IS LEGION

to those with some sort of mental health

“I think roles for women are becoming

A WALK IN THE PARK

issue—all 42.5 million of them—feeling

more interesting and more complex,”

About one in five Americans wrestle

even more ostracized than they already

Plaza says.

with some sort of mental health issue,

do. But there are signs that the tide is

  That’s good news for women who

according to Substance Abuse and Men-

shifting, Jamie Tworkowski, founder of

want

tal Health Services Administration’s

To Write Love on Her Arms, an organi-

characters and right now, Plaza is play-

most recent study. That’s about 42.5

zation that helps people struggling with

ing one of the most bonkers on televi-

million people with issues that run the

depression, says.

sion. There is nothing and no one else

gamut from depression and anxiety to

  “I think we do get to see a lot of ev-

on television or any medium quite like

things like bipolar disorder. And while

idence of change, a lot of positive

Lenny, and Plaza makes sure of it with

Americans themselves have grown

change,” he told RELEVANT on the 10-

a performance that is in turns warm,

more comfortable with discussing their

year anniversary of his organization.

ferocious, creepy and agonizing.

mental health (nearly half of everyone

“Sometimes it comes at a cost. I mean,

  The show centers on David, a man in

in America with a reported mental

Rick and Kay Warren [the pastor of

a mental institution trying to deal with

health issue now receives treatment—a

Saddle Creek Church and his wife who

his strange visions about him having

number that’s been creeping upwards

lost their son Matthew to suicide] are

immense power. Or are the visions ac-

over the last decade), the representa-

an incredible example of choosing to

tually memories? A team of strangers

tion of people with mental health is-

use their platform, their audience, their

seems to believe he’s actually a huge-

sues on screen has been virtually nil

voice to say, ‘Hey, this conversation

ly powerful mutant, and David starts

or, even worse, fraught with offensive

needs to be had.’”

to think they might be right—or, then

stereotypes. It does not bode well for

  It’s one thing to say it, but it’s another

again, they might all be in his head.

the country that millions of Americans’

thing to actually show mental health as

  “It feels like a very trippy, Kubrick-es-

most regular interaction with a person

being a regular, ongoing part of people’s

que, psychological thriller,” Plaza says.

on the autistic spectrum is Big Bang

lives, and that’s why on-screen represen-

  There are also some dance sequenc-

Theory’s Sheldon, for example.

tation matters so much. Netflix’s recent

es (yes, dance sequences) that lend a

  And that’s where Plaza comes in.

hit 13 Reasons Why was a big step in the

surreal layer to an already very surre-

  She was memorable in early roles on

right direction, as was FX’s surprise hit

al show. This is a show that takes place

Funny People and Scott Pilgrim vs. the

You’re the Worst, but Plaza’s poised to

largely within the minds of its cast,

World, two films stuffed with memo-

own the lane in a unique way.

and those minds are varying degrees

rable actors, but Parks and Rec—no

  Take the darkly comic Ingrid Goes

of healthy. Mental health is something

slouch in the memorable cast depart-

West, in which Plaza plays the title

Plaza thinks about a lot. You sort of

ment itself—is where she made a name

character, who becomes obsessed with

have to, to hear her tell it.

for herself as an unparalleled master

an Instagram star played by Elizabeth

  “I struggle just as much as the next

“I’m so grateful that anyone wants

063

to

portray

multi-dimensional

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


person with anxiety and depression,”

this—telling

with

  But being in Los Angeles has con-

she says. “And I have a really hard time

things like depression to just “focus on

those

struggling

vinced her to start taking better care of

relaxing.”

God.” But as psychologist and author

her own mental health, whenever she

  She says she’s a workaholic, and that’s

Dan Allender explains, “The problem

can. And her family? Well, they’re com-

part of it, but she’s also open about the

with the ‘focus on God alone’ trope is

ing around.

nature of the job she’s in.

that it is not the primary message of

“It’s just not the Delaware way,” she

  “I think there’s kind of a lot of nega-

Scripture ... It is not that we are to focus

says. “But they’re definitely cool with it.

tivity, and a lot of kind of b******t that

on God and thus achieve mental health,

I think.”

goes on out here,” she says. “Movie sets

it is that God enters the fray of mental

especially can get really hectic and real-

complexity and makes His home not

MY BILLY MADISON MOMENT

ly toxic really fast.”

only among us but in us.”

“I’d really love to make my Billy Madi-

  This isn’t just true of Hollywood. Dai-

  But there are real ways to manage

son movie,” Plaza says. “I need my Billy

ly life in America is not conducive to a

mental health, and the more stressful

Madison moment. That’s what I want.”

healthy mental perspective, and it’s get-

and toxic your own environment is, the

Aubrey Plaza is entering that rarified

ting worse. According to the American

more important it is to make them part

strata of stardom where you’re given

Psychological Association, boomers on

of your daily life.

a lot of leeway to what you want to do

average rate their stress level at 4.3 on

  “I kind of prioritize the work over

and for Plaza, that means writing her

a scale of 1 to 10. Millennials rank their

everything else,” Plaza says. “So, some-

version of Billy Madison.

stress at 6, and overall, the majority of

times my health suffers from that.

  “I want to make a movie and star in

Americans say that stress has a nega-

When I’m not doing that, I just try to re-

a movie that is so specifically my sense

tive impact on their mental and even

ally be gentle with myself, and just do

of humor that no one else could have

physical health.

a lot of restorative things as much as I

made it,” she says, her voice brimming with conviction. “That’s something I really ad-

“It’s so cool that anyone cares and that anyone wants to hear what’s happening. So I try to focus on that, but I hate it.”

mire about Adam Sandler is just no one else could’ve made that movie. It’s just so weird and ridiculous and amazing. I just respect that so much. I would love to make a big comedy that’s all me.”   It’s easy to see why Plaza looks to Sandler as inspiration. Both have a knack for crafting lovably anti-social outcasts who seem to be at their best

MAY-JUNE

  While there’s no one root cause of

can. It sounds really L.A. to say that but,

when they’re furthest left of center. Both

mental unwellness, the situation is ex-

it’s true. I need to go on a hike every

are famous for finding the warm heart

acerbated by our lack of understanding

now and then to just clear my mind.”

of cool personalities and deploying em-

about how to handle it. Simplistic ad-

  It wasn’t always this way. Plaza says

pathy for them in surprising ways.

vice (“Cheer up!”) and ignorant ques-

growing up in Delaware, her Irish Cath-

Plaza wants to introduce the world to

tions (“Why are you so anxious?”) lead

olic family wasn’t interested in “restor-

characters who can’t be stigmatized and

to a further stigmatization of people

ative things.” “I did not grow up going

don’t fall into easy tropes. That’s a major

with mental health issues.

to therapy,” she laughs. “We didn’t talk

part of the conversation around mental

  Many churches are notorious for

about our feelings.”

and emotional health—that people can

064

2018


Dan Stevens (L) and Aubrey Plaza (R) try to sort out what’s real and what’s not in FX’s Legion.

look, feel and act differently, and it’s OK.

dler and Plaza all displaying an em-

the day—are drawn to authenticity and

  “It’s all about trying to find the hu-

pathetic gift for portraying characters

to confidence,” she continues. “I think

man, relatable side of those charac-

outside the norm with genuine emo-

that focusing on your weight or your

ters,” she says. “All I have to work with

tion. By taking on complex characters

looks or whatever is just a distraction.

is myself, my own life experience, my

who don’t easily fit any predetermined

It’s like, you can be successful exactly

own memories, and my own approach

bubble, Plaza is helping the rest of us

the way you are if you’re just yourself

and take on the world. So even if a

feel better about our own lack of labels.

and confident.”

character does things I would never do,

It’s more authentic than the packages

She pauses, and then sighs. “I feel

I still try to find ways to be compassion-

we’re often handed by pop culture. In

like I read Meryl Streep say that some-

ate toward the characters and to under-

fact, Plaza says, that’s what she’d tell

where.”

stand where they’re coming from.”

herself if she could go back 10 years ago

Comedians have been ahead of this

and talk to that girl in Delaware before

curve for a while, with performers like

Apatow, Poehler and Legion changed

Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, Carol

her life.

Burnett, Chris Gethard and, yes, San-

“I think that people—at the end of

065

T YLER HUCK A BEE lives in Nashville and is a contributing editor at RELEVANT.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


TRAVE L: TH E LOST S PI RITUAL D I SCI PLI N E

BY A N D R E H E N RY

Throughout the Bible, God’s people understood the spiritual importance of travel. What happened ?

MAY-JUNE

066

2018


T

he air is unusually cold for Austin

unique experiences with people and

the living God, suggests author Dr.

in March, even for nighttime, as the

nature will teach you things about

Todd Johnson, a professor and theolo-

woman-fronted Nashville hard-rock

yourself and you will be growing as a

gy scholar.

outfit known as Bully takes the stage

person. Then that growth will shape

Johnson knows a lot about pilgrim-

at one of South by Southwest’s pre-

how you view everything else and live

age. Along with being the spiritual

mier stages: Mohawk Outdoor. But

your daily life.”

director and a professor of clinical

the crowd is warm—in part because

Research shows that travel is good

psychology at Fuller Theological Semi-

so many bodies are crammed into the

for us. A study from the Global Com-

nary, he leads a group of students from

space between the bar and the stage

mission on Aging and several oth-

Pasadena, California, to Orvieto, Italy,

but also from excitement. They’ve

er groups found that travel reduces

for an immersion course on the prac-

come literally from around the world,

stress long term and vacationing more

tice of worship and prayer. Tradition-

making a pilgrimage to this city of art

frequently is linked to significantly

ally, he says, pilgrimage was a big deal,

and weirdos for moments like the ones

lower risks of heart attacks.

and in some smaller religious circles,

they are about to experience.

Research in the Academy of Manage-

it still is.

All around the space, pilgrims are

ment Journal linked travel to increased

“Pilgrimage in the early churches

enraptured: lifting their hands, sway-

professional creativity. Researchers at

was big business,” he explains. “And

ing, some even doing the zulu jump.

Cornell University found that “expe-

what happened was, people would

They haven’t gathered for a sermon,

riential purchases” (like taking trips)

travel to Jerusalem during Holy Week,

but to experience something transfig-

“tend to provide more enduring hap-

[and] they would literally re-enact the

urative. They need this.

piness than material purchases.”

events of that week beginning with

“Being in crowds, large or small,

But what if travel is better than just

Palm Sunday and ending with the res-

and feeling the music together; singing

good for us? What if travel helps us

urrection. You still see this [during]

along to your favorite tunes to me is

grow spiritually?

Holy Week. You see pictures in the

one of the great unifying experiences

newspaper of people being nailed to a

of our lives,” says 27-year-old Devon

GOING UP TO JERUSALEM

cross, carrying a cross in the street. For

Bailey, who moved to Austin because

In the Old Testament, God commands

the most part, however, in evangelical

of its music scene. “Few things can

the Israelites to observe a rhythm of

and broad society, [pilgrimage is] not

bring strangers together.”

travel. Three times a year, they are

a big deal.”

Festivals like SXSW combine a

instructed to make a pilgrimage to Je-

But if travel is important enough

unique experience with a unique

rusalem and feast together. The com-

that God commanded the Israelites

place. One way or another, no one

mand makes feast time for them—like

to do it somewhat regularly, and has

leaves a gathering like this unchanged.

festival time for us—set apart time in

been so integral to the people of God in

“A concert is an invitation to just

the sacred space of Jerusalem. Imag-

centuries past, then it seems the peo-

pause and share something power-

ining those ancient worshippers on

ple of God today may stand to benefit

ful with others,” Bailey says. “You’re

the road to Jerusalem, singing psalms

from learning to travel as a sacred act.

transported with others to a place of

(there are certain psalms specifically

solidarity.”

designated for this trip in the Bible)

GOING TOWARD SOMETHING

But it’s more than being at a con-

as they go, one can imagine all of the

For various reasons, taking a pilgrim-

cert; it’s about being in a new place,

same benefits that exist in travel in

age of that kind is not an option for

with new people, sharing new things.

general being present in pilgrimage.

many modern-day sojourners. But to-

That inherent transformative pow-

Pilgrimage breaks the rhythms of

day’s pilgrims can still participate in

er of travel is something travel evan-

ordinary life, calls people out of their

the essence of what a pilgrimage is, no

gelists rave about. Professional pho-

normal surroundings, invites them to

matter where they travel.

tographer Kevin Russ, who travels

gather with people of distant tribes

extensively in his work, says, “Trav-

who they don’t see regularly and to

eling is the best way I’ve found to get

experience the most transfigurative

me out of my comfort zone. New and

experience imaginable: meeting with

067

Pilgrimages look different to different people. Travel

designer

Ian

O’Sullivan

spends his time helping people expe-

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


rience what he calls “transformative

they’re in the cold, they want to go

locate people as a spiritual practice.

travel.” His company All Bhutan Trav-

to where it’s warm, and if they’re in

And it’s successful because it helps you

el focuses mainly on bringing people

a remote place they want to go to the

come back and see your own world

to Bhutan, a tiny country in South Asia,

city. Usually it’s just getting away from

more differently. But it’s not that

where sojourners “almost inevitably

what you’re lacking; as opposed to go-

you’re going to a more sacred ground,

have a profound transformative expe-

ing toward something.”

but you’re just seeing the world from a

rience ... due to the uniqueness of the

A pilgrimage is not necessarily

Himalayan mountains and the nature

about the destination but about inten-

in Bhutan,” he says.

different perspective.”

tion, says Dr. Laura Harbert, clinical

TRAVELING OUT OF

He says traveling with spiritual in-

psychologist and dean of the chapel

SELF-CENTEREDNESS

tentionality is very different from just

and spiritual formation at Fuller Theo-

Harbert

“vacationing.”

logical Seminary.

changes that come from a habit of

believes

the

prospective

“The idea of sojourn and pilgrimage

“Spiritually, pilgrimage has to do

dislocating ourselves as a spiritual

and embarking on a travel adventure

with the spiritual benefit of being on

practice addresses one of the greatest

or a quest of sorts has always been

a spiritual journey for the specific

threats to spiritual maturity: self-cen-

what’s kind of motivated my love for

purpose of looking for God,” she says.

teredness. That is, the tendency to see

travel,” he explains. “To leave the com-

“And I don’t think that has to be in The

one’s self and one’s experiences as the

forts of where you are at home to go

Holy Land or walking the 500-mile El

focal point around which all other

somewhere unknown and unseen and

Camino de Santiago. But I think we can

people and experiences are organized.

uncertain … to me, that has always

take a pilgrimage to my grandfather’s

“We have to get dislocated [to solve]

been the core of what sets adventure

cemetery. We take a pilgrimage when

that thing that happens,” Harbert says.

or spiritual travel apart from vacation-

we go anywhere with the purpose of

“We fall into spiritual complacency,

ing or escaping—[the things] you don’t

wanting to notice God. It just needs to

or a rut or a rigidity [of thinking] that

like. It’s really about going in search of

be prayerful.”

[our] social location is everything. I do

something and you don’t always know what that is.” When talking about his work, he

Regardless of where you choose to

think there is that experience of trav-

go, she says, the important thing is that

el that dislocates us. To me, there is

you choose to go.

something so essential about the spiri-

echoes a familiar theme: “I think the

Johnson points to the common

difference between conventional va-

thread that ties together very different

cationing [and a pilgrimage] is that

types of trips as sacred travel.

tual life that has to do with that.” The idea is this: We are all shaped by our locations—the countries we

[vacationing is] not as aware and con-

“I think that pilgrimage is like [what

grew up in, the values our parents

scious or as intentional as a transfor-

we do in] youth ministry,” he says, ref-

instilled in us, the times in which we

mative travel experience that we de-

erencing contemporary Christianity’s

live, all of these shape our identity and

signed would be,” he says.

short-term mission trip trend. “We

how we view the world.

“People vacationing, their motive

take them on mission trips. We take

But many people are as aware of

is what they’re escaping from. So if

plunges. We go to Appalachia. We dis-

their location as a fish is of the fact that

Packing for your pilgrimage:

MAY-JUNE

1. BIBLE

2. MIXTAPE

3. JOURNAL

4. ONE LONG BOOK

5. NOT MUCH ELSE

This is the most obvious

Take a few minutes to

Either invest in a nice

You know that

Part of the point of a

one, so let’s get this out

put together a Spotify

journal or pull out

intimidatingly heavy

pilgrimage is to put

of the way. Reading

playlist of songs that

that one you bought

book you have on

yourself in disruptive

your Bible while

get you feeling some

back in 2013 but never

your shelf that you’ve

situations, so you’ll be

traveling can open you

sort of way. Craft a

got around to writing

heard is amazing, life

doing yourself a favor

up to fresh insights

soundtrack for your

anything in. Challenge

changing, but keep

to leave behind as

you’ve missed before.

physical, spiritual

yourself to write

procrastinating on? It’s

many comforts of home

Bring it and read it.

journey.

something every day.

now or never.

as you can.

068

2018


it lives underwater. We live as though

grabbed my arm and said, ‘Oh my God!

our location is the default context of

It’s so ... Jewish. And she finally got it:

life, and we think of our experience

Jesus was a first-century Galilean Jew.

THE GREAT PILGRIMAGE

within that context as “normal.”

So this sense of ‘otherness’ helped her

“I think if there’s a common gather-

understand God—in both His familiar-

ing space for evangelical Christians,

ity and His unfamiliarity.”

it’s the great by-and-by,” says Johnson.

This narrow view of the world can express itself in different forms of prejudice, superiority and fear of

God’s

“otherness”

to

through travel.

humanity

“That’s the Promised Land for us. And

those who live outside of our location.

(commonly known as “holiness”) is

it disconnects us from physical reality.”

Traveling creates space to encounter

one of God’s most essential descriptors

But the idea of pilgrimage reminds

the unfamiliar—“the other.” This, ac-

throughout Scripture. When people

us it is a biblical concept that geo-

cording to renowned author and Catholic priest Father James Martin, is a critical part of why travel is so important spiritually.  “One of the most consistent commands in the Old Testament and New Testament is to welcome the stranger,” Martin says. “And that has very important implications for refu-

“Spiritually, pilgrimage has to do with the spiritual benefit of being on a spiritual journey for the specific purpose of looking for God.” – Dr. Laura Harbert

gees and migrants. In fact, Jesus says explicitly in the Gospel of Matthew that ‘when you welcome the stranger, you

encounter God in the Bible, they en-

graphic space—just a car ride or plane

welcome me’ and pilgrimage brings us

counter the unfamiliar: a voice coming

flight away—can be imbued with God’s

in contact with people who—at least

from a bush on fire, a visit from a fear-

presence, which is why God can tell

on the surface—seem strange to us.”

some-looking angel, a man who opens

the Israelites essentially, “Meet me in

the eyes of the blind.

Jerusalem in spring.”

He says there are even evangelistic implications to this approach.

intentionally—

Pilgrimage brings us deeper into

“When I was in East Africa, we were

looking for the presence of God—we

time and space, into the very defin-

told that the old view of work of peo-

learn to celebrate that which is unusu-

ing characteristics of earthly life, to

ple sent overseas was to help bring

al to us, realizing that difference is the

find God there. And oftentimes, to our

God to the people,” Martin says. “But

essence of God.

surprise, we find that God is in those

the new work is to help people see that

When

we

travel

Harbert points to the doctrine of the

seemingly mundane places: under the

Incarnation as a biblical example of

concert lights in Austin, in the foothills

Father Martin remembers an exam-

this idea in action. She suggests even

of Bhutan, on a prayerful walk down

ple of the revelatory power of travel

though God couldn’t be more different

the shore of Daytona Beach.

on a recent trip to the Mount of Ol-

from us, God moved toward “the oth-

ives in Jerusalem.

er”—that is, humanity—in the person

God is already there.”

“Our tour guide

was a Galilean who spoke Aramaic

Somewhere, outside of our comfort zone, God is waiting to meet us.

and ministry of Jesus.

and at one point, we were in a place

And those who are called to imitate

called the [Church of the] Pater Noster,

Christ can practice that by immersing

where people think Jesus taught [The

themselves in the world of those who

Lord’s Prayer]. And our tour guide be-

are different than themselves. And

gan to sing [it]. And one of the pilgrims

the best way to do that is to go to them

069

A NDRE HENRY is the managing editor of RELEVANT and tweets @andrehenry.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


How Passion Music is challenging the way people think about worship—and God

W

BY

JESSE CAREY

MAY-JUNE

HEN PASSION MUSIC

The album’s breakout

album was a controversial

starting working on the

single—a worship anthem

one, even among members

songs that would become

called “Reckless Love”—is

of the band.

part of their new album,

now a staple of Sunday

“The first time I heard

Whole Heart, they realized

morning services across

the song I really had issues

they might be fueling a

the country, but the

with it,” says Melodie

theological controversy.

decision to include it on the

Malone, who performs lead

070

2018


vocals on it. “I was like, ‘Wait

beginning, trying to

can we actually say this? Is

express God’s deep

that the proper word to use

sense of love for His

here?’”

children has been

First written by Cory

“WE HOPE THAT PEOPLE WOULD ENCOUNTER JESUS. THAT’S OUR HOPE AND PRAYER, REALLY FOR EVERYBODY.” BRETT YOUNKER

part of the mission

Asbury, who is a member of

of their ministry,

comes with no conditions / You

the Bethel Music Collective,

which reaches hundreds of

gave us Your whole heart,’” he

the song has been the subject

thousands of young adults

explains. “He gave us Jesus,

that has its share of catchy

of a theological dust-up, with

every year.

the one son He loved … God

choruses and emotional praise

loves us and has pursued us

anthems. But what Passion

bloggers, pastors and writers

For singer Brett Younker,

way in the days of Passion.” Whole Heart is an album

debating whether or not

realizing that God’s love is so

and has good things intended

is doing is much bigger than

calling God’s love “reckless”

profound—so “reckless”—is

for our lives.”

music. They are on a mission

actually crosses the line from

what served as inspiration for

provocative to heretical.

the album.

But after reflecting on it,

“We are always going to

Passion is a worship

to challenge how people think

collective that serves as the

about God and Jesus—even

musical arm of the wildly

if it ruffles some theological

Malone and the band came

sing songs about the Cross,”

popular Passion movement,

feathers along the way—so

to the conclusion that not

he says. “We’re always going

a series of global conferences

they can truly experience who

only is “Reckless Love” a

to sing songs about the love

led by Atlanta’s Passion

He is.

perfect encapsulation of their

of God, surrender, worship,

City Church pastor Louie

approach to worship, but it

worshipping God.” But when

Giglio that brings together

encounter Jesus,” Younker

also gets to the heart of the

Younker and the team began

20-somethings and college

explains. “That’s our hope and

album and what Passion is

selecting songs for Whole

students, united with the

prayer, really for everybody:

trying to do.

Heart, a specific theme began

mission of “worship, prayer

That these songs would lift

to emerge.

and justice for spiritual

your eyes off of yourself; you

awakening in this generation.”

would lift up your eyes off of

“The song is not saying that God is reckless,” she explains.

“God gives His love without

“It’s just saying that when you

any condition,” he says when

look at His love for us—and

“We hope that people would

The Passion movement

what’s going on today, and

asked about the underlying

isn’t simply about a worship

that you would see a great

how we picture love—it does

idea of the album. “It’s a

service or creating popular

God in heaven: Jesus, who

seem kind of reckless.”

powerful thought to think

worship music. It’s about

loves you and has a plan and

that God would initiate a

trying to show people God’s

a purpose for you and has

of the Lost Sheep, in which

relationship with every single

love for them in such a

invited all of us into the story.

Jesus compares Himself to a

one of us whether or not we

powerful way that it not only

shepherd who leaves a flock

decide to be a part of that

makes them want to worship

begin to mean something to

of 99 sheep to go after one

relationship or not.”

God, but also change their

people because they have

lives so others can experience

encountered Jesus.”

She refers to the Parable

that is lost. “In human perspective,

The concept is not only at the core of a song like

that sense of reckless love too.

that does seem somewhat

“Reckless Love,” but also in

reckless,” she explains.

the album’s title track, which

transformational moment

“Because you’re thinking,

features vocals by Younker

for these students and for us

well what about the 99? But

and Kristian Stanfill.

who are leading the way,” says

that just goes to show how much God loves us.” From the

“We are praying these songs

“Passion is such a

“That’s why that line in

singer Sean Curran. “We meet

the chorus says ‘Your love it

with Jesus in such a powerful

071

JESSE CAREY is the brand director at RELEVANT. You can find him on Twitter @jessecarey.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


H OW TO KN OW IF IT’S TIME FOR A CAR E E R R E B OOT BY TYLER DASWI CK


Millennials job-hop more than any other generation, but how do you know when it’s time to move on? CRITICS MIGHT SAY 20-somethings are non-

business, entrepreneurial and vocational

committal, but a less negative term might be

experts to lend their advice and wisdom on

restless or dynamic. Studies show workers in

how to know when it’s time to take a risk

their 20s and 30s tend to hold onto a job for

and go your own way.

about two years. Why all the movement in this season of life?

something that develops and lasts.” — Simon Sinek, best-selling author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last

Here are nine ways to know if it might be

2.

the right time to move on to another career

Data says money could be a factor. A job

opportunity.

change brings an average pay increase of 8 to 10 percent—not bad—but Forbes has

1.

written that staying with an employer more than two years could cost you a startling 50 percent loss in total lifetime wages. LinkedIn, however, speculates the real

YOU’RE NOT BEING CHALLENGED

YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A COMPANY THAT REFLECTS YOUR VALUES

“I wanted a place where every single day I came to work, I was in a community

“If we come to work and no

that held the same things in importance

longer feel challenged, we

that I do. Part of [Patagonia’s] culture is

reason millennials subject themselves to

lose the desire to learn and stop caring what

actively working to protect family, and

turnover could be a more intentional pursuit

anyone else is doing. Then, not only do we

wild and outdoor places, but also collecting

of a fulfilling career rather than settling

risk getting bored, we start to become bitter

experiences with your children or people

for a good-enough job. Their data shows

and angry whenever we are asked to do

you work with. That’s what’s important

those who landed in fields with limited

more than our job specifics.

to me, and it’s connected both. It’s more

upward mobility, like media, education

“When that happens, it may be time to

and government work, skipped off to more

start exploring a career with a steep learning

jobs in their first five post-graduate years

curve, something exciting, something that

than those who landed in steady, vertically

inspires us to want to learn more.

inclined fields, like finance and energy. The takeaway: The pursuit of a

than just cramming money in your bank account.” — Dean Carter, vice president of human resources, Patagonia

“There is one caveat, however. The joy of a career comes, in part, from being

3.

YOU’RE JUST PLAIN BORED

meaningful work life is normal and—now

passionate about whatever it is you do.

more than ever—expected (CareerBuilder

When we have passion for something we

says 45 percent of employers assume hired

want to be challenged, and if you’re not

college grads will stay less than two years).

feeling challenged within the first year or

Even so, knowing when to jump ship from

two of your job, odds are you were never

in market research, but meanwhile,

your current endeavor can be difficult to

passionate about it in the first place, or you

beekeeping was opening my eyes to nature

discern. RELEVANT gathered a panel of

haven’t given it enough time. Passion is

within London. It made my daily commute

OUR REBOOT EXPERTS

“I was missing adventure and change. I worked

DEAN CARTER

EMILY ABBOTT

Vice president of human

Founder of Hive &

Author of You’re Made

resources, Patagonia

Keeper honey company

for a God-Sized Dream

073

HOLLEY GERTH

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


much more interesting—I noticed the

beyond our everyday roles and

happy and fulfilled, I needed [to have]

weather and seasons more—but it also

responsibilities. When we’re in that

that control.

highlighted how awful it was being in

sweet spot, we’re aligned with God’s

an office all day at a computer with

design in the closest way we can

standards, and I have exceptionally

artificial lighting. I began to feel caged.

experience, and seeking out ways to

high expectations for what should

spend more time in our sweet spot can

be delivered to customers through

couldn’t do something, that someone

not only boost our personal well-being,

a business, but I think the biggest

else would do it better or that if it was

but also glorify God and benefit others.

obstacle is fear. The unknown is

“I learned to stop assuming that I

a good idea it would have been done

“Start by asking, ‘What are the

“I’ve always had very high

always more fear-invoking than the

already. Lots of people have ideas but

moments when I feel most alive?

known, even if the known is not

not many follow them up. Left to sit

[What compliments do I get on] my

ticking all the boxes. I feel really

for long enough, these threads gave

character, relationships or actions?’

unhappy when my standards aren’t

me the idea for Hive & Keeper, and the

These will give you an understanding

met, but a friend said to me, ‘Fear is a

enthusiasm to embrace it.

of your strengths. Keep a notebook

choice.’ I love that.”

“Selling something you believe in is

and write down those moments and

— Marcia Kilgore, entrepreneur and

an incredible feeling. You have both

look for patterns. Ask God to give you

founder of five companies, including

freedom from corporate politics and

eyes to see what He has placed within

Bliss and FitFlop

the opportunity to embrace adventure.

you. This will not lead to pride. It

When something goes well, it’s your

will lead to praise. ‘I will praise you

triumph.”

because I have been remarkably and

— Emily Abbott, entrepreneur and founder of Hive & Keeper honey company

wondrously made’ (Psalm 139:14).” — Holley Gerth, life coach and

6.

“It’s more likely than

author of You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream

4.

YOUR BOSS ISN’T TEACHING YOU

YOU’RE NOT PLAYING TO YOUR STRENGTHS “There are seasons

when we’ll not be in the center of

not you’re going to work for a bad manager at some point. Gallup says that 70 percent of

5.

YOU’RE NOT MEETING YOUR OWN STANDARDS

managers are terrible [Ed: Gallup estimates that 70 percent of employees say they’re disengaged at work due to poor leadership, and reports that

“For me, following

82 percent of managers don’t have

what we feel we’re created to be and

the direction of someone else, whose

the right talent for their position]. If

what we’re called to do. This is part of

ideas or judgment I didn’t necessarily

they’re pulling you down and you’re

living in a fallen, broken world, but if

agree with, didn’t seem like a

not learning from them, you need to

this feeling is chronic, it can be time to

sustainable way to exist. I literally

get out quickly.

consider doing something different.

cannot live with subpar customer

“Our sweet spot is who we are

experience. It drives me crazy. So to be

“But you can learn a lot from jerks! I’ve had some jerk managers deliver

OUR REBOOT EXPERTS MARCIA KILGORE

CHARLES SPECHT

SIMON SINEK

Entrepreneur and

Author of Revealed:

Best-selling author of

founder of five

God’s Will for Your Life

Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last

companies

MAY-JUNE

074

2018


learning in a really ugly box, but if I focus

and it tends to be administrative. I

on what they’re trying to teach me, it was

needed a place that would let me explore

some of the best advice of my career.

progressive ideas of what HR could do.

Don’t leave the manager who’s teaching

“At Patagonia, I have an open door to

you just because they’re a jerk. It’s when

explore unconventional approaches. I’ve

you’re not growing that you need to

had a lot of free rein to explore and be

leave.”

innovative in thinking about how to build

— Dean Carter, Patagonia

a different HR. That was really inspiring to me.”

7.

YOUR NUMBERS AREN’T ADDING UP “I would say it took a few years for me to

come to grips with [the money issue], but

— Dean Carter, Patagonia

9.

YOU WANT TO APPLY YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE ELSEWHERE

Jesus talked a lot about money, and there’s a lot of Scripture that seems to encourage

“The skills we learn in one career are

sitting down with a pencil and paper and

often more transferable than we think.

asking if it really makes sense. I consider

Let’s say someone has been an actor

the Apostle Paul building tents to make

for 10 years and now wants to work in

extra money when the churches weren’t

corporate training. Actors learn the value

financing fully.

of teamwork—they’re only as good as the

“For somebody who wants to build, ask

other people in their cast—and actors

yourself: Do you have enough money to

learn discipline. They have to be ready

build? If not, don’t build it. I was thinking

on opening night. A career in acting

and praying and talking about leaving

gives someone a huge advantage in how

ministry, but I didn’t pull the trigger for

to communicate ideas in a way that are

three years. I wanted to stay away from

compelling to others.

subjective ‘calling’ stuff, and see what the

“The ability to see the skills required

Bible says about the will of God. It came

to do the job will give any candidate the

down to lifestyle choices. If I’m doing

confidence to do something completely

those things God wants me to do, then in

different. The biggest obstacle to

whatever else I do, if it’s within God’s will,

shifting one’s career path is perceived

He’ll open the door for me.”

credibility. Either others will think we

— Charles Specht, former pastor and author of Revealed: God’s Will for Your Life

“Start by asking ‘What are the moments when I feel most alive?’ How do people compliment my character?” – Holley Gerth

are not qualified based on our previous experience, or we doubt our own abilities based on our past experience.

8.

YOU WANT A PLACE THAT REWARDS CREATIVE THINKING “Often, HR tends to

be one of the least dynamic parts of a company. There’s not a lot of innovation,

“Here’s the solution: Get over it.” — Simon Sinek

T YLER DASWICK is RELEVANT’s senior writer. He’s on Twitter @TylerDaswick.

075

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


_INSIDE CHIWETEL EJIOFOR AND IRA GLASS’ MOVIE ABOUT THE REAL-LIFE CHRISTIANS WHO BELIEVE IN AN AFTERLIFE WITH NO HELL

HAPPILY EVER AFTER BY JESSE CAREY

MAY-JUNE

076

2018


ONE NIGHT 15 YEARS AGO, Carlton Pearson was sitting in his home when a news report about starving people in Uganda came on TV. The megachurch pastor began to pray. Pearson, who described himself at the time as a “fundamentalist, Pentecostal, evangelical” Christian, asked God what he could do to help while images of human suffering flashed on the TV screen. God, he says, told him that, well, if Christianity works like he thinks it works, then someone needs to preach the Gospel to unbelievers so they don’t go to hell forever when they die. Pearson’s response? He burst into tears, saying, “God, don’t put that guilt on me … I can’t save the whole world.” What he believes God told him next would alter the course of Pearson’s entire life and serves as the basis of a controversial new film on Netflix called Come Sunday. Pearson says that in the next moment, God told him: “Precisely. You can’t save this whole world; that’s what we did. You think we’re sucking them into hell? Can’t you see they are already there? That’s hell.” In that moment, Carlton Pearson, the host of TBN TV shows, a man who counted Billy Graham and Oral Roberts as close friends—stopped believing that hell was a destination that unbelievers go to when they die. In that same moment, for many in the Church, Carlton Pearson became a heretic. The film version of these events—and their aftermath—features an all-star cast including Jason Segel (as Pearson’s co-pastor and best friend), Martin Sheen (as Oral Roberts), Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Pearson), Danny Glover (as Pearson’s father), Condola Rashad (as Pearson’s wife, Gina) and many others. “This man is a very revered and respected man, who has this crisis in his faith,” Ejiofor explains. “And that juxtaposition—of whether to follow that crisis, to pull that thread, knowing it will cause all of this other chaos—and the sense that one is compelled to do that, because it’s his connection to his own relationship with God that is pushing him forward. … [That’s] very, very fertile grounds for a fascinating character.” But along with examining Pearson’s personal story, the film is concerned with a larger, deeper theme. What happens when someone in the Church does something that jeopardizes the principles of it? How will

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a community that’s supposed to be

Christians in the movie when they

there are boogie men and ghosts that

built on the principle of forgiveness

learned of his revelation and heard

will always be there.”

react when a pastor does something

his new unorthodox message. In real

seemingly unforgivable?

life and in the film, his congregants

themes, Glass says he didn’t have any

tried to convince him to recant his new

interest in making a movie that tried

beliefs, and re-embrace traditional

to convince anyone to believe in any

views about heaven and hell.

kind of doctrine. This is a story that

What happens when someone becomes a heretic? WRESTLING WITH HELL

has no “good guys” or “bad guys.” This

Chiwetel Ejiofor grew up attending

they didn’t react that way and try to

is a story about a deeply conflicted

Catholic church, but admits that as

save him and try to talk him out of it,”

community.

he got older, he “drifted away from

Glass says. “I definitely had sympathy

church.” For him, this film was an

for all the Christians who [didn’t] side

understands we are just as

opportunity to re-engage his own ideas

with Carlton in the story.”

sympathetic to the people who are

about faith. “It was really fascinating for me

Glass—the creator of podcast and radio series This American Life—is a

to approach faith and to approach

producer of the film and based the

religion as an adult again and to

movie on a 2005 episode of the show

reintroduce myself to those ideas of

called “Heretics.”

spirituality broadly,” he says.

The movie, in

For two decades, the critically

many ways, is

acclaimed actor has sought roles

about living

that challenge big ideas and present

in a tension: a

complicated characters like 12 Years a

loving God and

Slave (for which he was nominated for

an eternal hell,

a best actor Oscar), Mary Magdalene

caring for your

(he plays Peter), Children of Men,

pastor but hating

Amistad and dozens of others.

“heresy,” building

Come Sunday is no different from

community and

those films that wrestle with big,

casting out “false

nuanced themes because it not only

teachers.”

looks at what Pearson went through

“I hope a religious audience

telling Carlton it’s not in the book,” Glass explains. Ejiofor says that he even met Christians who were still sympathetic

“IT WAS REALLY FASCINATING FOR ME TO APPROACH FAITH AND TO APPROACH RELIGION AS AN ADULT AGAIN.” CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Even today,

but also his church that went through

Pearson himself lives in a sort of

to Pearson. “I spoke to people who

it as well.

tension. He still wrestles with his

were part of Carlton’s [church], who

revelation.

were still very close to him but just

“I think that so much of what underpins the story is about

“I’m constantly battling between

don’t worship alongside him or in

community and society and how one

what my mind believes, which is what

the same place,” he says. “They don’t

engages with their fellow man,” Ejiofor

I’ve been taught and told my whole life

hold malice or ill will toward him.

says. “This is an incredible lens with

… and what my soul or maybe my cells

They understand that he went on his

which to look at those relationships

know,” Pearson says, comparing what

journey and for whatever reason they

and just the social interactions of your

he believed for most of his life about

couldn’t follow him on that journey.”

life.”

exclusion of salvation through Christ

For producer Ira Glass, truly understanding other Christians’ role in the story was critical.

MAY-JUNE

“They would be terrible people if

Even with the deep theological

and what he now believes. “There’s some permanent iconoclasms in my psyche. Not in my

But depending on who you ask, how the Church has dealt with “heretics” in its midst can sometimes be seen as anything but sympathetic.

“People were being completely

soul but in my thought-life that I don’t

reasonable,” Glass says, when asked

think I’ll ever completely be rid of. So

A HISTORY OF HERETICS

about the reaction of Pearson’s fellow

it’s like living in a haunted house and

In the wake of Pearson announcing

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his personal “revelation” to his church, he became something worse than a pariah: He was dangerous. He no longer believed in hell, and others warned, if you joined him in his new worldview, you could risk spending eternity there yourself. Even now, it’s difficult for him to talk about. “My emotions are still pretty raw around it because I suppressed a lot of the details of it,” Pearson says, looking back. “Over the years, it was too painful to accept as my own reality.” It’s a feeling many in Christianity have felt. Historically, the Church has not been kind to its heretics. In the years after Christ, believers openly debated His teachings, while still conscious of His warnings about the dangers of “false teachers.” But in A.D. 385, things took a dark turn as Christianity became more institutionalized. A man named Priscillian began to preach some unorthodox things about the Gospel and was executed after powerful people deemed his beliefs to be too far from conventional understandings about the Bible. He became the first person to die for heretical beliefs. Afterward, violence was a frequent reaction to “heretical” sects that arose on the fringes of Christianity. Starting in the 1400s, the Spanish Inquisition tortured, prosecuted and even publicly executed tens of thousands of individuals suspected of being heretics. Today, heretics within modern American Christianity aren’t likely to face violence or criminal prosecution, but the response within the Church can still be severe. This is partly what was so interesting to Glass. He said when he first researched Pearson’s story for This American Life, he thought, “I didn’t know that’s a thing

In Come Sunday, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Bishop Carlton Pearson who was tried for heresy in real life.

that happened to adults.”

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Director Joshua Marston works with Ejiofor on the set of Come Sunday.

Ejiofor says he understands why religious institutions work the way they do, but that it’s complicated to see

branded as “the next Billy Graham”

solve a problem.”

by TIME magazine when he first

“Like here in the 21st century,

began to make a name for himself

how the outcasting of a member of a

generally if somebody says some stuff

as a fairly conventional pastor. But

church unfolds. “I don’t know where

you don’t like, you just say you think

after the publication of the book Love

one lays the finger of blame, if that’s

they’re wrong, and people stop going

Wins, which also questions traditional

the right expression, of who’s sort of

to their church and they become less

teachings about hell, he, too, drew

at fault,” he says. “The nature of the

popular, and then they have to go

widespread denouncement from major

religious systems and how they come

off into the sunset,” Glass says. “The

Christian leaders.

about sort of dictates certain positions

technology of discrediting somebody

that are held. And I think that trying to

is not to hold a heresy trial, you

find different interpretations is always

know? It’s to appear on television

Bell, who is the subject of a recent

fraught with complications.”

and denounce them. It’s just using

documentary called The Heretic, says

some very antique technology to kick

his first brush with accusations of

somebody out of the house.”

heresy actually came much earlier. He

Glass said the idea that someone could be essentially kicked out of their religion for thinking certain

MAY-JUNE

the technology of the 14th century to

“Our situation is almost identical,” Pearson says.

If Pearson’s story sounds familiar,

was in his early 30s at the time and

ideas was completely foreign—and

it’s because an extremely similar one

was the pastor of Mars Hill Church,

fascinating—to him and thought there

played out even more recently with

which he had founded.

was something intriguing about “using

another rising star, Rob Bell. He was

080

“I did a whole series of sermons on

2018


“I HOPE A RELIGIOUS AUDIENCE UNDERSTANDS THAT WE ARE JUST AS SYMPATHETIC TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TELLING CARLTON IT’S NOT IN THE BOOK.” IRA GLASS

make a topic like heresy so emotional and to make a place like church so relationally rich, makes the subject at the core of the film—the existence of hell—so opposite of what it has become

women’s equality,” Bell says, looking back. “And I remember a whole

wasn’t to try to prove one side wrong. Instead, the story is about people.

for Christians: polarizing. Instead, they’ve set out to show what

group of people organized to have me

And one of the most important people

it’s like to deal with the issue in a way

removed from the church I started.”

in the story is famed evangelist and

that truly explores the tension of what

university founder Oral Roberts. In

it’s like to deal with a topic with literal

campaign to discredit his teachings.

real life, Roberts was extremely close

eternal consequences.

“That was probably the first time I was

to Pearson and served as his mentor—

on the receiving end of that particular

that is, before Pearson changed his

evangelicals will know it’s about

venom that people spew when

beliefs about hell.

Bishop Pearson, and they’ll feel like,

Hundreds had orchestrated a

they believe they are defending the

“It was such a central relationship

Almighty,” he remembers.

to Carlton’s life and a relationship

When he concluded the

that brought him so much joy and

“My fear with the film is that

‘I don’t support what he stands for, so I’m not going to see it,’” Glass says. “My hope would be that they would

controversial sermon series, he

connection,” Ejiofor explains. “So to

come out and see it and realize it’s not

decided to hold a Q&A-style event,

have that kind of stripped away as well

just a story about him. It’s a story about

hoping that the open forum would

as everything else was clearly a very

everybody in the Church … We think

foster healthy discussion for people

difficult, very painful experience.”

there should be more stories in the

in his church. Instead, angry critics

Glass recognizes what “a divisive

Church.”

showed up to express their outrage at

figure among the secular and religious

his teaching.

audiences” Roberts still is, but that’s

about arguing about doctrine; it’s

not the character they wanted to show.

about connecting with people who

“People showed up from other states that weren’t even a part of the church

“We very much were trying to

Ejiofor agrees that the film isn’t

think differently.

I started,” Bell says. “I was brushing

portray him the way people close to

up against what happens when you

him saw him—really, like to give him

will take away from the story, he says,

think you’re talking about one thing,

credit,” Glass says.

“It’s people’s capacity to change and

but for a number of people, you’re

Glass notes that Roberts was socially

When asked what he hopes people

people’s capacity to connect with one

unsettling an entire framework that

progressive in many ways that are

another—the capacity to have empathy

has political, economic, social [and]

often forgotten in light of the scandals

and engage with other people with

family [implications].”

that followed parts of his ministry.

other points of views.”

“He was an early and forceful A HAPPY ENDING?

advocate for integrating the Church

When making this film, Glass and

and getting black people and white

Ejiofor understood just how sensitive

people praying together like way

the issue of heresy—and figures like

before his time,” Glass explains.

Pearson and Bell—can be to many Christians. That’s why their approach

The approach to making a figure like Oral Roberts so down-to-earth, to

081

It’s a story he believes is important to tell, even if he catches hell for it.

JESSE CAREY is the brand director at RELEVANT. You can find him on Twitter @jessecarey.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


Beth Moore, Bree Newsome, Carl Lentz and other leaders are catching heat for speaking their minds.

MAY-JUNE

082

2018


BY TYLER HUCKABEE

THERE IS ONE IMAGE of Bree Newsome that will

of history has revealed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

outlive the rest. It’s an image you’ve probably

to be a prophet, John Wycliffe to be a genius and

seen. Newsome, a 32-year-old black woman, is

Queen Esther, a liberator. But at the time, they

some 20 feet up the flagpole outside the South

were written off as rabble-rousers, troublemak-

Carolina State House, with Confederate battle

ers and worse.

flag in hand.

“We are convinced that these demonstrations

This was summer 2015, and while most of the

are unwise and untimely,” wrote eight prominent

country was arguing about whether or not the

white pastors in 1963, in response to King’s de-

rebel flag was too offensive to be flown in the

segregation demonstrations in Birmingham, Al-

country, Newsome and a friend took matters into

abama. “A cause should be pressed in the courts

their own hands. When police arrived on the

and in negotiations among local leaders, and not

scene and told her to get down, she responded

in the streets. We appeal to both our white and

on camera for the whole world to hear: “In the

Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law

name of Jesus, this flag has to come down. You

and order and common sense.”

come against me with hatred and oppression and

Newsome felt that same pressure. “When I

violence. I come against you in the name of God.

made the decision to scale the pole, I recognized

This flag comes down today.”

the possible physical danger I was facing at that

Newsome was arrested, as she well knew she

time,” she says. “I also recognized there is some-

would be. She was led away in handcuffs, recit-

thing greater than this world and this age and this

ing the 23rd Psalm.

power structure and this thing called racism.”

“The very first question we had was, should

One of the chief ironies of taking a stand is

we do this?” Newsome recalls. “Or do we wait

that if you’re successful, history will eventually

and allow legislation to work it out? And think-

pretend that it stood with you all along. But at the

ing through we were like, ‘No, we have to make

time, taking a stand can be awfully lonely.

a statement, this really isn’t just about a stupid flag. This is about South Carolina making a state-

MOORE VOCAL, MOORE PROBLEMS

ment in this moment about black life.’”

“I have been asked numerous times why I, a per-

“Take a stand.” It’s one of those phrases that

son who’s only spoken publicly to matters in the

has managed to retain its romantic allure despite

spiritual arena, would spill over into the political

years of overuse and misuse. It’s seen as a good

arena,” says Beth Moore.

thing, the one thing, perhaps, that all heroes have

In the world of evangelicalism, few names are

in common. It’s the shining thread that connects

as highly regarded as Moore’s. As the founder of

a group of people as disparate as Moses, Joan of

Living Proof Ministries, Moore has reached mil-

Arc, Rosa Parks and, yes, Newsome.

lions of people over the years with her myriad

But overlooked in the glorification of taking a

Bible studies, books and speaking engagements.

stand is how difficult it is. If it were easy, as the

But she’s gotten increasingly vocal over social

saying goes, everyone would be doing it. The lens

media over the past year, where concerning po-

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RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


F I G U R E S WHO TOOK A DIVISIVE STAND: JOAN OF ARC

COLIN KAEPERNICK

LEAH REMINI

R i g ht u p u nti l h e r f i e r y d e ath at a g e 1 9, J o a n of A rc p e rs i ste d G o d h a d g ive n h e r a d ivi n e m i s s i o n to l i b e rate Fra n ce fro m En g l i s h r u l e d u r i n g th e H u nd re d Ye a rs’ Wa r. S h e wa s ca n o n ize d i n 1 920 .

Th e fo r m e r N FL q u a rte r b a c k sa c r if i ce d h i s e nti re ca re e r by ta k i n g a k n e e d u r i n g th e n ati o n a l a nth e m to p rotest th e A m e r i ca n j u sti ce syste m . H e sti l l wo r ks off th e f i e l d to e m p owe r b l a c k yo uth .

S i n ce l e avi n g th e Ch u rc h of S c i e nto l o gy, Re m i n i h a s b e co m e a n a c tivi st a g a i n st its a b u ses . Th e cu lt s l a n d e rs h e r, b ut th ey h ave n’t sto p p e d h e r awa rd-w i n n i n g m e m o i r a n d T V se r i es .

litical trends among her fellow evangel-

ly about at this time, just because they

which Lentz drew criticism from Chris-

icals have motivated her to speak out.

were so dear to me and I had trouble

tian circles for an appearance on The

“The political arena spilled like a tid-

wrapping my mind around the harsh-

View in which he gave some comments

al wave into the spiritual arena in the

ness with which some responded to me.

some interpreted as going too easy on

last year and a half with, what I felt at

It was heartbreaking.”

abortion. Certain corners of Twitter

least, were really toxic waters. I mean,

Moore estimates that in the days af-

dangerous waters,” Moore explains.

ter she first started to be vocal about

“My concerns are [for] the Church. It’s

what she views as an evangelical capit-

“I learn so much from critiques,”

not that I don’t have political opinions,

ulation to some of the most toxic polit-

he says. “From people who are strug-

of course I do ... but the reason I got

ical elements in the United States, she

gling, from people who don’t get us,

more vocal was because of the over-

lost about 30 percent of her audience.

that I don’t ever want to cut that part

lap with the witness of the Church and

welcome criticism.

of me off because that’s how I research.

the witness of Christianity and just our

SEASON OF LENTZ

I think, what’s this view, why does this

care with the name of Christ.”

Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz is not

person have this view?”

When Moore says she has political

a stranger to controversy. His church

But Lentz says he has one goal above

opinions, she’s not blowing smoke.

has come under scrutiny for everything

all others: “I want to stay true to who

She was a political science major at

from its congregants (Hillsong counts

God’s called us to be and you know, it’s

Southwest Texas State University, now

Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Kevin

not easy.”

Texas State. But she made her name in

Durant among its flock), to its stances

Lentz isn’t alone. A lot of Christian

Christian living, and the way she sees

(“At this church, we are not saying ‘All

leaders had to start dodging arrows

it, politics and Christian living have

Lives Matter,’” Lentz declared in Sep-

when they zig right when their follow-

become intertwined in such a way that

tember), to Lentz’s fashion choices (GQ

ers expect them to zag.

it’s no longer an option for her to sit on

dubbed him a “Hypepriest” for his col-

the sidelines. But for her, speaking out

lection of ultra-hip designer threads).

came with significant pushback.

Dr. Russell Moore (no relation to Beth Moore) is president of the Ethics

As a pastor, his associations have

& Religious Liberty Commission, the

“There was a loss,” she says, her

earned him a lot of side-eyes from

Southern Baptist Convention’s public

voice cracking ever so slightly. “There

churches that haven’t set up shop in

policy arm. He grew dismayed over his

was a significant amount of women

New York City, but for Lentz, getting

denomination’s embrace of President

who I had served for 20 years who were

grief is worth the cost.

Donald Trump over the course of the

very, very offended, and so it really hit my base the hardest.”

“I mean there are hard nights,” he admits. “I never, ever want to get to

2016 election and spoke out forcefully against it.

She knows how that word “base”

the point where I don’t feel it, and I

For his trouble, he was rewarded

sounds and she doesn’t mean she

don’t care if it’s something stupid or

with the threat of forced resignation

mourns the loss of revenue or public

something serious ... like that’s a heavy

when over 100 churches said they

traction. “Just people who had been

thing to have people accuse your entire

would stop the flow of donations to the

there for a really, really long time,” she

church of horrible things because of a

SBC if Moore didn’t lay off Trump. That

clarifies. “That was more painful than I

sound bite.”

culminated in a 2017 meeting in which,

even feel comfortable talking complete-

MAY-JUNE

flared up, and Lentz says he still tries to

He’s referring to an event in 2017, in

084

some outlets speculated, Moore’s job

2018


hung in the balance.

their life a lot like I do mine.”

“I just so want us not to lose our

Tensions between Moore and the in-

Moore says her crowd has changed

bravery,” she continues. “Because the

dignant wing of the Southern Baptists

in recent months, and it’s now look-

reason why we get timid is that it’s hot

appear to have cooled for the moment,

ing significantly less like her. That, she

out there and the stakes are high and

but Moore has been no less outspoken

says, is a good thing.

you can get hurt.”

on social. He was extremely vocal in

“You look up and, wow, your group

You can and, truth be told, Moore has

condemning the evangelical wagon-cir-

looks different than it did. But it still

been hurt. But when asked if she would

cling around Roy Moore—the Alabama

—” and she takes a brief moment to

change anything about how she’s acted,

GOP Senate nominee who became em-

compose herself again before saying, “I

the swiftness, certainty and confidence

broiled in sexual scandal in November.

thought they were beautiful then and I

of her answer is almost impossible to

“Christian, if you cannot say defin-

think they are beautiful now. They just

overstate: “No. Absolutely not. It is not

look different.”

a cheap thing for me to say that to you.

itively, no matter what, that adults creeping on teenage girls is wrong, do

There’s a common belief that there is

It’s not a cheap thing because it was ex-

not tell me how you stand against mor-

a cost to taking a stand, and that’s very

pensive. Would I do it again? Absolute-

al relativism,” he tweeted. If Moore still

true. But for people like Lentz, Beth

ly. Absolutely.” CAPTURE THE FLAG

After Newsome was arrested, she be-

I would not commit myself as much as I do to these issues, these causes if I didn’t believe in our ability. — Bree Newsome

came something of a celebrity. Her bond was set at $3,000, but a crowdfunding campaign had raised $60,000 before the day was out. Minority leader of the state House of Representatives Todd Rutherford offered to represent her in court. Michael Moore offered to pay her bail. Standing up doesn’t always work out so well, but in Newsome’s case it did. “I would not commit myself as much as I do to these issues, these causes if I didn’t believe in our ability,” Newsome says. “And if I didn’t have hope in our

feels like such words have put his ca-

Moore and Russell Moore, it’s been less

ability to achieve a true, just society—a

reer at risk, he clearly hasn’t let it get

like a cost and more like an exchange.

society that is truly built upon human

to him.

You trade a bit of safety for a different

rights.”

sort of influence. You sacrifice a little of

Newsome’s hope may feel distant

MOORE LOVE, MOORE POWER

the base you’ve built for a platform of

now, but there are signs that she’s mak-

“One of the things that I’ve learned

a different sort. It may not be exactly

ing a difference. On July 9—12 days af-

about servant leadership is that we

what you had in mind when you start-

ter she was arrested—South Carolina’s

don’t really get to choose who we serve,

ed out, but it’s better. Truer.

House of Representatives voted to take

except simply to serve God. I think that’s

“I do want people to be courageous

new for me,” says Beth Moore. “Maybe I

in their convictions,” Beth Moore says.

thought I chose all those years ago who

“Even if they trip off more criticism

I was going to serve. Maybe I got in my

than they think they can bear, our

mind [that] I’m going to serve women

very heritage is to speak to the Gospel

and this is a lot of what it’s going to look

of Christ. Not only what we think is

like and they’re going to be women who

pro-Christian but to distinguish what is

go to their local church and that they do

actually Christ-like.”

085

the Confederate flag down for good. It was removed the following week.

T YLER HUCK A BEE lives in Nashville and is a contributing editor at RELEVANT.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


FRIEND

OF

SINNERS

Rich Wilkerson Jr. wonders when Christians stopped hanging out with non-religious people.

PASTOR RICH WILKERSON JR., FOUNDER OF

words, he’s a guy who knows what it’s like to

MIAMI’S VOUS CHURCH, leads an interesting

walk in two different worlds.

life. He’s a staple at church conferences,

But Wilkerson doesn’t see his life as

hosts a TBN talk show and comes from a line

a dichotomy; he sees it as an attempt to

of ministers (his cousin is the late author

follow Jesus. In his new book, Friend of

and evangelist David Wilkerson), but he also

Sinners, Wilkerson looks at why Jesus was

starred in an Oxygen network reality show

so comfortable hanging out with “non-

(Rich in Faith), counts celebrities like Justin

religious” people and what we can learn

Bieber and designer Jerry Lorenzo as close

from His life. We recently spoke with him

friends and officiated the wedding of one

about the book, what many Christians get

BY

of the most famous couples on the planet—

wrong about “reaching the lost” and what it

JESSE CAREY

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. In other

really means to be friends with sinners.

MAR-APR

086

2018


WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR FRIEND OF SINNERS COME FROM?

I wrote a book a few years ago titled Sandcastle Kings, and I started traveling

You’ll also find Jesus in the Gospels,

Saturdays once a month, hundreds of

times that we don’t have any evidence

people show up to … clean up the streets,

that He actually preached the Gospel, we

paint public schools, go to children’s

just see Him hanging out with people.

homes, go to elderly homes and play

Look at the story of Matthew’s tax

music. People who do not know Jesus and

and talking about that book. I started

collector, also known as Levi, when he

have no church background have come

getting into interviews [and] a lot of the

gets completely, radically changed by

to those Saturday meetings and are now

questions would come back to some of

Jesus. The next scene is Jesus and a bunch

ultimately in church, saved. I just believe

my friends and how we do life. And they

of tax collectors at a party hanging out

in that stuff.

would question … what they thought

together, and then the Pharisees show up

was the appearance of evil and guilt by

and are like, “Yo, what’s this guy doing

that. People will attack me and say, “We

association. And in all of that, this sound

with all of these sinners?” And Jesus’

were meant to bring change!” And I know

bite kind of kept erupting out of me

answer is so funny to me. He’s like, “I

what they mean, and obviously, I think

which was just—it’s not an original sound

didn’t come for the healthy. I came for the

we are to be change agents, but the tactic

bite—but people aren’t projects, people

sick.” And I can kind of see the Pharisees

of how we get there ... I’m not here to say,

are people. I’m not gonna treat them like

going, “Oh, OK, good. We like that mission

“We’re here to change Miami!” Like no,

projects.

…” but completely missing the mission.

we’re here to serve Miami. We’re here to

What He was saying is, all of you are

love Miami. We actually think we change

I’ve had people attack me for believing

A LOT OF LEADERS WILL SAY, “YOU’VE

sinners, and until you’ve met me and

GOT TO BE CAREFUL WHO YOU HANG OUT

encountered me, you’re all lost. You’re all

WITH, BECAUSE THEY’LL INFLUENCE YOU

sick. So I came for you, but you have to

friends of sinners … You don’t have to

MORE THAN YOU’LL INFLUENCE THEM.”

realize you’re the one who needed to be

believe what we believe; you can be in

saved.

our church and you don’t have to behave

You have to be careful who you spend the IT’S LIKE THAT BILLY GRAHAM QUOTE:

friends, and I’ll show you your future. I

“IT’S THE HOLY SPIRIT’S JOB TO CONVICT,

believe all of those things.

GOD’S JOB TO JUDGE AND MY JOB TO

balance, we’ve got to look at the life of

like-minded, who were sharpening one

THERE’S A REASON WHY PROSTITUTES AND TAX COLLECTORS WANTED TO

THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS A JOB HERE.

BE AROUND HIM AND NOT THE STAGY THEOLOGIANS OF HIS DAY.

I think we all do it. I have a Pharisee in me, we all do. We

another and going into areas not afraid to

can act like we understand grace and

bring light into the night.

the Gospel so much, but then we see

Bad company corrupts good character.

and you can have questions.

LOVE.” AND IT CAN BE EASY TO FORGET

Jesus once again. Jesus spent the majority of His time with 12 dudes who were

We, as a church, are called to be

like we behave. You can be in our church,

majority of your time with. Show me your

I think when it comes to the idea of the

it by loving it and by serving it.

ourselves putting our score cards out.

We need to be aware of those things for

That’s the kind of church we want to build, and I think we are building it. Jesus had Judas with Him for three years. Judas shows up in the garden, betrays Him, kisses Him on the cheek. But

sure. We need to determine, are you

WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO ENGAGING

before he gets there, Jesus says to him,

being influenced or are you influencing?

THE CULTURE AT-LARGE FROM A CHURCH

“Do what you came to do, friend.”

It’s about seeing people for who they

PERSPECTIVE?

If there’s a picture for the worst sinner

are and seeing them as God’s creation

in the Bible or in the world, you kind of

and loving them where they are, and not

This is kind of the way we built our

think Judas Iscariot. Yet the last word

feeling the pressure that it’s up to you to

church. The day we started our church

Judas ever heard Jesus say is friend. That

change people—but really allowing that

we were like, “We’re gonna do monthly

to me is who Jesus is.

to be God’s role.

service projects and, most of all, put a

THAT’S AN INTERESTING IDEA, THAT IT’S NOT UP TO US TO CHANGE THEM. THAT’S ULTIMATELY GOD’S JOB.

right until the end. Every breath He took,

and weekly service things.”

He was going to be loving and serving.

We just call them “I Love My City,” but

And He wasn’t going to call out the truth,

the whole premise and the whole tag line

and wasn’t going to call out their sin, but

was, “We’re not called to change the city;

was going to love them through it.

In my journey, so many times, it’s like

we’re called to serve the city.” Then, we

you’re with those people, but they haven’t

always say, if we serve the city, God will

changed yet. Well, what you’ll discover in

change it.

the Gospel is that Jesus was with people who didn’t change yet.

The Bible says He was loving them

seed in the ground; we want to do daily

I can’t tell you how many people have started going to our church because on

087

JESSE CAREY is the brand director at RELEVANT. You can find him on Twitter @jessecarey.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


R E L E VA N T SELECTS

FILM/TV MUSIC BOOKS

NEW RELEASES YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

Chvrches W

HEN YOU THINK “SOUND OF THE

their minds to outside influence. Greg Kurstin, who

SUMMER,” Chvrches’ unique synth-

has worked with Adele and Sia, co-produced eight

pop vibes instantly come to mind.

of the record’s 12 tracks, with some production

The Scottish trio, consisting of Lauren

collaboration from Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics

Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty have,

fame) and pop super-producer Steve Mac (One

in the past, produced every piece of their music

Direction, Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran) following suit.

themselves, including their 2013 debut, The Bones

With a conscious move toward openness in

of What You Believe and 2015’s Every Open Eye,

their creative process, this album results in the

swearing they would never consider collaboration.

most accurate representation of the band itself,

However, they’ve recently had a change of heart,

creating deeper themes of strength, resilience and

and it was a good call.

resistance. Though Love Is Dead finds Chvrches

On their latest, Love Is Dead, for the first time ever, Chvrches made an executive decision to open

MAY-JUNE

refining their indie-pop sound, it also finds a band

LOVE IS DEAD [GLASSNOTE RECORDS]

The soulful synth is still there, but a pop-infusion gives it a new club feel.

on the brink of reinvention.

088

2018


Dizzy Fae The young phenom has dropped her first mixtape and takes on all of the hype. BACK IN 2015, Dizzy Fae was a high school student when

her track “Color Me Bad” debuted on Zane Lowe’s radio show on BBC Radio 1. Having the track selected by the influential tastemaker at just 18 years old propelled her to international attention, and her latest mixtape, Free Form, more than lives up to the hype. The title of the breakout single “Don’t Hate for Me” is fitting in a way; it’s easy to be envious of such a natural talent who’s on the brink of superstardom, but it’s way more fun to just enjoy the show. FREE FORM [DIZZY FAE, LLC]

After years of anticipation, the 11-track mixtape lives up to the hype with mellow beats and pop-savvy hooks.

AMERICAN FOLK

of 9/11, captures the

FEEL FREE

modern pop culture and

DAVID HEINZ

right blend of soul,

ZADIE SMITH

contemporary politics

[GOOD DEED ENT.]

sorrow and hope.

[PENGUIN PRESS]

Though it takes place in

to Renaissance art and classic literature with her

This movie, about two

the shadow of tragedy,

In her new collection

unique wit and insight.

musicians who take a

the film is really about

of essays, acclaimed

It’s a book that makes

road trip from L.A. to

the hope found in

intellectual Zadie Smith

you feel smarter while it

New York in the wake

loving your neighbor.

dissects everything from

entertains you.

Planetshakers Planetshakers’ new EP, Heaven on Earth Part 1, is a collection of live worship sessions from the Planetshakers’ regional conferences in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. It is as anthemic as you would expect and captures the passionate singing of literally thousands of

HEAVEN ON EARTH PART 1 [VENTURE3 MEDIA]

worshippers. So if you’re looking to get lost

Though this is an EP, it’s

in the presence of God, turn this up and get

representative of what you

your ugly cry on.

089

would expect from a fullfledged worship set.

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


02/03

SELECTS THE RECOVERING: INTOXICATION AND ITS AFTERMATH LESLIE JAMISON [LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY]

Alison Wonderland The Australian singer continues reinvigorating EDM.

Part memoir, history text and literary analysis, Jamison’s book presents deep insights into how we engage with addiction.

A

lexandra Sholler is a master of sonic disconnect— creating big,

anthemic soundscapes laced with acerbic, vulnerable lyrics. “You’re saying sorry constantly / But you never, but you never / Never say a prayer for me,” from her hit single “Church” is not exactly the typical club fare. But under her stage pseudonym

NATALIE PRASS THE FUTURE AND THE PAST [ATO RECORDS]

The Richmond, Virginiabased singer-songwriter is taking a surprising new direction on her

Alison Wonderland, she displays a natural instinct for getting festival crowds bopping even though her lyrics may well shock a few of the more introspective partiers into contemplative silence. On her new album, Awake, Sholler gains confidence as an artist and

sophomore album, The

a lyricist, venturing into bolder,

Future and The Past, that

more adventurous sounds. She

recalls the heyday of the

also samples beats without

neo-soul movement.

AWAKE [EMI]

abandoning the songwriting

As jubilant and danceable as it

chops that set her apart from

is thoughtful, Awake cements

many of her EDM contemporaries.

Alison Wonderland’s status as

She’s creating a wonderland well

one of the more gifted EDM

worth getting lost in.

artists of her generation.

NEON IN DAYLIGHT

STEFFANY GRETZINGER

HERMIONE HOBY

BLACKOUT

[CATAPULT]

[BETHEL MUSIC]

This release is an excellent debut

On her anticipated sophomore

novel about a young British

album, Gretzinger finds herself

movie delivers top-

transplant to New York City and

leaning in as a songwriter in the

tier superhero thrills

the people who shake her loose

midst of self-discovery. Blackout

from the life she left behind.

gives an image to the light that

BLACK PANTHER RYAN COOGLER [MARVEL]

Marvel’s boldest

alongside urgent racial

penetrates the dark.

themes.

MAY-JUNE

090

2018


SUPERORGANISM

NIPSEY HUSSLE

TAKE YOUR PILLS

VICTORY LAP

ALISON KLAYMAN

[ATLANTIC RECORDS]

[NETFLIX]

Though technically a “debut” album,

Are people treating stimulant

the West Coast rapper knows the

amphetamines like coffee? This doc

game. His latest navigates the vicious

dives deep into the origins, and ripple

social terrain of gangland L.A.

effects, of this dangerous drug trend.

SUPERORGANISM [DOMINO]

Delightfully hooky as it is weird, the album has hooks that will make you bop and sing along, and give you that feeling that you haven’t quite found the right frequency on the radio dial.

Kimbra The primal heart is what makes us human. YOU PROBABLY KNOW Kimbra for

deeply emotional tracks that

her vocals on Gotye’s breakout hit

explore the raw side of romance

“Somebody That I Used to Know,”

and heartbreak.

but her latest album is a reminder

“I’m hunting for feeling in

PRIMAL HEART

of just how great of a solo artist

songs,” she explains. “I don’t know

the New Zealand pop singer really

how to explain it. You know when

is. On Primal Heart, she explores

it’s right. You know when you’ve

unseen facets to her personality

got the audience feeling that

emotional ambivalence

as well as her songwriting, with

emotion you’re searching for.”

and raw emotion.

[WARNER BROS.]

Kimbra’s third studio album represents

ANNIHILATION ALEX GARLAND [ SKYDANCE MEDIA]

The new sci-fi cult hit is a forceful, challenging, nebulous experience. You might not understand it, but you’ll remember it, and sometimes that’s all that matters.

INSPIRED RACHEL HELD EVANS [THOMAS NELSON]

Rachel Held Evans has always been fascinated by the presuppositions Christians do and don’t bring to the Bible, and in her provocative new book, she addresses them head-on.

091

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


03/03

SELECTS

Lord Huron THE INDIE-FOLK GROUP, headed by Michigan

native Ben Schneider, has roots in the camping grounds of the Midwest and the arts scene of New York City, but their new album, Vide Noir, is flavored by Los Angeles. Schneider was inspired by his nighttime drives through the city, moving from the dark hills to the bright streets to the cold, vast, empty oceans. It’s a trip.

EVERYBODY, ALWAYS

book puts forward a

BOB GOFF

case for loving difficult

[THOMAS NELSON]

people, even those who

[REPUBLIC RECORDS]

As their majorlabel debut, Vide Noir is the band’s most diverse project yet.

GAME NIGHT

fun-filled story, this

DALEY & GOLDSTEIN

comedy crowd-pleaser

[NEW LINE CINEMA]

have hurt us personally

VIDE NOIR

starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams

With a measure of

and those who do

Surprising critics and

should persist as one of

levity and joy that only

heinous, unimaginable

audiences alike with its

2018’s funniest romantic

he could deliver, Goff’s

things.

sharp writing and twisty,

date flicks.

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IN UNEXPECTED, author Christine Caine invites us to learn how to live in the mystery and adventure of following Jesus and embracing the unexpected-because nothing grows without disruption and interruption. Nothing grows without the unexpected. Using dramatic examples from her own journey, Christine offers real-life strategies and biblical inspiration to help move us from fear and anxiety to hope and trust in God, fully embracing the unexpected every single day. Learn to live in the joyful freedom of complete trust in God.

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MAY-JUNE

092

2018


Middle Kids The indie-rock trio combines a big sound with even bigger ideas.

W

HEN YOU HEAR Middle Kids’ debut album, it’s hard to believe the band is primarily comprised of

just three members, including husband and wife Hannah Joy and Tim Fitz. Every song hits with an indie-rock wall of sound as blaring guitars provide a sonic background for Hannah’s poetic lyrics. On “Edge of Town,” she sings “I came a little closer / To the truth that day / I heard its call ... And the one resounding answer / That I could take

CHURCH OF SCARS [DOMINO RECORDING CO.]

Lost Friends showcases a more

/ Is that I don’t know nothing / And I got

somber side of indie-

no way.” The album is all about looking for

pop, with big guitars

purpose, even if it’s sometimes hard to find.

and haunting vocals.

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RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM


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LAST WORD A Thought Before We Go

fragmentation of our schedules

friendship is about more than

can make it tough to maintain

texting and sharing photos

strong personal ties. We’ve all

online. And following others

Are We Connected or Entangled?

experienced those moments in a

must never take the place of

group, or even our own families,

following Jesus first.

Technology promises to bring us

when all the people in the room

God has entrusted you with

are looking down, glued to their

certain people in your life, and

phones or tablets.

he loves them just as much as

I’m not anti-technology;

he loves you. He’s also given you

in fact, I’m one of its biggest

the unique privilege of loving

fans and most frequent users.

and serving these individuals.

However, I always try to

Whether it’s for a limited season

remember that constant access

or for a lifetime, you have

does not necessarily create

people on your boat traveling

together but at what cost?

stronger bonds. We have to

with you right now. Your divine

make sure we stay in control of

destination may not be the same

BY S A M U E L R O D R I G U E Z

our tech devices if we want to

as theirs, but your fates are

enjoy the quality of relationships

intertwined.

that enrich our lives and allow

IN

Now is the time to encourage

our

Although our ability to stay in

technologically

touch with others is enhanced

advanced, social

by technology, it’s not the same

pressure to work hard at all

riding spiritual shotgun with

media-saturated

thing as actually sitting across

hours and be connected 24/7.

you. Now is the time to tell

society, we’re

from someone over a meal and

In so many ways, technology

them—and more importantly,

sharing from the heart.

remains an amazing blessing

show them—just how much you

for human beings, but like

love them.

seemingly more connected than ever. We can chat with

It’s great to view a child’s

us to enhance the lives of others.

them and remind them that

Today there is a tremendous

you’re blessed to have them

friends in Singapore via video

birthday party via video, but

anything, it must be kept in

call, text with loved ones in

it’s not the same as being there

check, submitted to God’s

have yours. And even if a ship

our hometown and follow the

to taste the cake, hold the little

authority and guidance, and

sinks, everyone is going to get

people we admire the most on

one, feel her breath blowing

used appropriately.

there.

Twitter. But I’m not convinced

out the candles and hear her

all this connectivity is actually

joy as she unwraps presents. I

become idols if we let them.

making our relationships

know it’s incredibly cost efficient

And this hurts not only us and

stronger. Sometimes we lose

to conduct video conferences

our relationship with God but

our connections to one another

with important clients and

also all our other relationships.

as we become more entangled

team members, but often you

There’s no substitute for

in technology. In all our online

still need those face-to-face

sitting across from a Christian

connecting, are we missing out

encounters to convey more than

brother as he asks your advice

on what matters most—true

what can be read from a report

on an issue he’s facing with

friendship, authentic fellowship

or analyzed in a spreadsheet. As

his kids, sharing a meal with

and healthy intimacy?

much as our tech providers and

team members to celebrate a

online-service companies want

milestone achieved or shaking

for tech companies such as

us to believe we’re personally

the hand of a new neighbor.

Apple, Samsung and Verizon

connected across the miles, it’s

showcasing the way their

not the same as being there.

We’ve all seen commercials

products and services keep us

While our longing to

Our phones can easily

Words such as friend and follower have gained new meanings in our online world,

connected with a simple call,

connect with others remains

but we should never forget

text, Skype, chat, post or click.

as strong as ever, the constant

their primary definitions. True

MAY-JUNE

They have their Rome, and you

096

S A MUEL RODR IGUE Z is the author of Shake Free: How to Deal With the Storms, Shipwrecks, and Snakes in Your Life.

2018


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“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

MAY-JUNE

04

2018

RELEVANT - Issue 93 - May/June 2018  
RELEVANT - Issue 93 - May/June 2018