When I was at the Honor Academy, I went through a very spiritually dry time. No matter how much I prayed, or studied or did all the right things, I couldn’t seem to feel God’s presence or hear His voice. The longer this went on, the more desperate I got. Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – at the Honor Academy told me that this dry season was my fault. I had backslidden, or had hidden sin in my life or I just wasn’t trying hard enough or going to church enough. In My Story, I tell how this eventually led me into a deep depression and even suicidal thoughts and my eventual departure from the Honor Academy.
A few months after the dawn of this blog, I corresponded with Dave Hasz who assured me that the Honor Academy no longer teaches this idea and that interns are no longer blamed for their spiritual dry seasons. I hope that is true. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anybody.
And yet, sadly, I came across this video of some current interns having a room meeting. The ACA (assistant core advisor) is the room leader who is responsible for “pouring into” their fellow roommates, reporting on their spiritual well-being to higher-ups and just generally being the most spiritual person in the room so that everyone else can look up to them.
What’s sad is that this kid, like all interns, is very sincere and genuine. He just wants to do the right thing and grow closer to God, but his idea of God and spirituality has been corrupted by the performance driven culture of the Honor Academy. While discussing how he had the opportunity to “pour into” a fellow intern he says:
5:30 – Honestly, if you are feeling dry at any point, we probably can admit that its because we are not getting into the word.
Again, no offense against this kid who seems to have nothing but pure motives, but this teaching is WRONG. And it hurts people. And Teen Mania has been propogating it for years!
Dry seasons are a normal part of the Christian life. We can’t always be living on the mountaintop. Sadly, at Teen Mania, anything less than a hype-filled, “on fire!” contagious passion is a sign that you are less Christian that you should be.
And that’s just not true.