Since I have a new article over at Key Life today, I decided to direct your attention over there instead of writing a new devotional. Here’s a preview:
I have become addicted to a new Hulu series, The Path.
It’s a compelling story about a man caught up in a Meyerist cult. The prime belief held by the Meyerists is in a supreme “light” and followers of this light must ascend rungs of a spiritual ladder in order to advance within the movement and have the “truth” opened to them. From the beginning of the series, you realize that this cult is one giant slippery slope of morals, where those the highest up the ladder actually have the darkest secrets. The movement refers to these leaders as guardians of the light. The Meyerists are big on what they call “unburdening,” forcing all new members to sit and spill their most grievous of sins to one of these guardians, while being recorded.
One scene hit me like a tidal wave. A woman, Mary, has been sexually abused and impregnated by one of the guardians, though this was being covered up by the fact that she’s married to someone else. She’s struggling with her faith, and confesses to her mentor that she and her husband are thinking of leaving the movement; the baby is likely not her husband’s, and it’s causing a strain. When her mentor pushes to find out who the father is, she senses fear in Mary and says,
“I can’t help you if you’re not transparent.”
Mary stands up and in anger answers,
“It’s just that all of you believe in it, but none of you practice it.”
That line sent shivers down my spine because it hit so close to home. Many Christian cultures have attempted to create environments for transparency but go about it in a way that cultivate relationships which invite us to hide the darker parts of ourselves, meanwhile pretending to ascend spiritual ladders together. We call it “accountability” and believe in it wholeheartedly, but we set it up in such a way that none of us end up practicing it.