Smashing Idols

A Time of Response

King Josiah responding to the idolatry in his nation.

King Josiah responding to the idolatry in his nation.

Over the last several weeks, we've been on a journey of exploring the way our culture idolizes certain points of view, or human constructs. In this final teaching in the series, Leah returns to the Hebrew Bible to consider how King Josiah responded when he recognized that his culture had grieved the heart of God through its idolatry. This teaching led into a time of creative response in which each participant was invited to creatively express one of the idols that they have participated in.

If you missed this Sunday and would still like to participate in this exercise, consider printing and artistically interacting with any of these images below you find provocative, or draw your own, and write a sentence or two about how you have directly participated in that idol. Following that exercise, be thinking and praying about how you might embody something different to turn from the idol in the future. On Sunday, 10/22, bring your "idol" with you to Haven and we will symbolically destroy them together.

Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.

Idol images: Androcentrism 1 and 2, Heteronormativity 1 and 2, Individualism 1 and 2, Whiteness 1 and 2, Evangelicalism 1 and 2.

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The Idol of Evangelicalism


Throughout this series, we've been considering the way that we create idols today: not through carvings and statues, but through human constructs, or ways of viewing the world. If this can be true for constructs such as androcentrism, heteronormativity, individualism, and whiteness, then it also can be true for our faith frameworks, as well. In this deeply personal teaching, Leah considers the framework her faith was formed in, evangelicalism, doing the hard work of looking at both the beautiful and ugly parts of her faith-family-of-origin's history. In doing so, she considers questions all of us, from any background, may find relevant: What happens when we find ourselves at odds with the folks we have known as family? How do we follow Jesus in that place?

Look at Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.

The Idol of Whiteness

One of the images from Leah's youth that she shares at the beginning of the teaching. San Diego Junior Theatre, circa 1993.

One of the images from Leah's youth that she shares at the beginning of the teaching. San Diego Junior Theatre, circa 1993.

What does it mean to be white? What does it mean that white people have such a hard time engaging conversations about race? And how can we as a faith community create safe spaces for diverse groups of people, if we aren't willing to acknowledge the ways that our socialization into Whiteness distorts the way all of us see reality, see one another, and see God? These are the tough questions Leah engages personally and invites Haven into collectively as we consider the "Idol of Whiteness".

Listen to the teaching below or read Leah's notes here.

The Idol of Individualism


In this beautiful teaching, Haven's own Jessica Yamane shares her thoughts on faith's call away from an individualistic way of life, informed by her experiences both as an immigration attorney and a queer woman in the church. How might our individual lenses and priorities blind us to seeing one another as we truly are, and creating safety for each other? How might Jesus be inviting us to participate in life with one another in deeper, even more costly, ways?

Listen to the teaching below or read Jessica's notes here.

The Idol of Heteronormativity


In this important teaching, Leah examines human sexuality and the distinct categories that it includes: biological sex, gender, and sexual orientation. She begins by exploring the lens cultures, as well as faith communities, have often viewed these aspects of sexuality through: heteronormativity. Do these traditional ways of viewing sexuality in the church and the broader culture match the complexity of these topics? If not, how might our faith actually inform a change in perspective? Here Leah uses the particular instance of folks who do not fit in the binaries of biologically male or female, known instead as "intersex", to help us think through the implications of complexity in sexuality and how our faith might grow in grappling with them.

Listen to the teaching below or read Leah's notes here.

The Idol of Androcentrism (a.k.a. Is God a Guy?)

Boys and Girls 15-52

While presumably most folks attending a church pastored by a woman would reject the idea of Patriarchy (the oppression of women as a group), are we aware of what lies behind patriarchy? In this teaching, Leah explores how the way our culture thinks about masculine and feminine shapes our understanding of reality, including God.

Listen to the teaching below or download the notes here.

Smashing Idols: An Introduction


Leah kicks off our new fall series by considering how the way we view the world, and privilege certain points of view over others, might keep us from experience authentic connection with God. In this introductory teaching, she explores how our frames and lenses for viewing the world may be understood as "idols", and what we might learn about the insidious power of idolatry by looking back at our ancient ancestors of faith.

You can listen to the the teaching below, or review her notes here.