Why We Eat Our Own

Why does the world seem to do a much better job of forgiving fallen leaders than the Church?
Why don't people believe church folk when they talk about grace?
Why are pastors so lonely? Why are so many leaving the ministry?
And why are so many people of all ages and stripes giving up on the Church?

All of these are questions explored in Michael Cheshire's excellent Why We Eat Our Own. In ten concise, blunt, humor-filled chapters, Cheshire exposes and exhorts the Church for its inexcusable treatment of its flawed servants. "We serve such a forgiving, loving, and accepting God," he says. "And yet, His church and His people seem to be angrier and more divided than ever before."

The book hit home with me over and over again. I got hoarse from saying "Amen!" I also sometimes laughed out loud (such as when he wrote, "Christians can't even do judgmental things well anymore. I mean, come on, guys! If we aren't going to be loving, let's hate with excellence!"

Want a few indications of what I mean? He says, "It's sad how many friendships are lost on the Altar of Appearance." He says, "We may not all be judgmental, but we are definitely all carriers." He says, "We need to return to the habit of stopping Christians midsentence when they begin to gossip" (return?). He says, "Legalistic Christians have an uncanny ability to drag an entire church down if they are left unchecked." And he says, "We lost our most gifted and ground-breaking leaders because the world and marketplace show them more value, forgiveness and even freedom than we did....It's going to be rough the next 20 years watching our greatest leaders break records and bring innovation to the business world while we are left with leaders who will serve because no one else wanted the job."

Sure it sounds harsh. But it is harsh truth. And Cheshire is right, as he says in the first chapter, "This book does not hold all the answers of how to get Christians to stop hurting each other. It is, however, a discussion." It is a discussion I wish everyone would hear, and every church would join.

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