Sunday, February 15, 2015


Have you ever been told that 'we have to be accountable' to each other, or asked about 'who you are accountable to'?

It seems to be a big deal in some evangelical circles. No one mentioned it when I was in the Catholic Graduates group at UNSW (for only a few months, but it was a warm and wonderful group that completely changed my view of our friends in the Church of Rome).

This morning we have a meeting of the small group ministry team and last meeting we were reminded that we had to 'be accountable' to turning up to the meetings. Well, there's a strand of anarchist (I think of Murray Bookchin when I think of anarchist) in me and an instruction like this is tantamount to bullying in my book. A mature committed person doesn't need to be 'held accountable' for what they say they will do. If they can't do it, there will be good reason: we do extend the benefit of the doubt to our brethren, do we not?

I don't go to church to have another command-and-control 'boss'. Not on. I go to be part of the kingdom of God which is denominated in love, and worship of our L&S (lord and saviour).

Next time someone talks 'accountability', I think I will talk 'trust', 'love' and 'support'. I much prefer a Christian approach to relationships than an authoritarian, cultish, business approach.

Oh, just for a comparison, here's how the Scientologists operationalise 'accountability' in a quote from Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill:
Self-policing inside the group made it difficult for anyone to trust anyone else. LRH [L Ron Hubbard] believed that a group's success depended on all its members enforcing a code of mores, and making each other accountable.

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