In this chat I start to unpack an uncommon perspective on church-based wounding that, over the years, has helped a lot of people put words around something they have felt deep in their hearts.
A quick Google of the term Foundation Sacrifice will reveal a practice that only physically stopped in Europe just a few hundred years ago. Today, however, the principle of sacrificing others relationally, emotionally, a d spiritually to build something still lives on in many organisations, including many Church communities.

My Out of the Tomb teaching. https://davidtensen.com/product-tag/out-of-the-tombs/

Anne Hamilton books on Threshold covenants. https://store.vision.org.au/spiritual-growth/anne-hamilton-s-recommendation-pack-3-x-paperbacks/13444pck-6579820.html


AI Summary:

This conversation explores the concept of foundational sacrifice, which is an ancient practice of burying people or animals in the foundations of buildings and structures to ward off evil spirits. It is proposed that this practice has been repurposed in modern times to build the Christian church, and that many people have been sacrificed in the process. It is suggested that Jesus’ sacrifice is all that is needed to build the church, and that people should not be sacrificing themselves unnecessarily. The conversation ends with the suggestion that people should bring a sacrifice, but not be it.

Automatic Transcript

(Not 100% accurate. Please listen or watch for actual conversation)

Hi, friends, been a while. So we are going to talk about

Foundational sacrifice.

And in particular, what that has to do with this ancient practice has to do with church-based wounding.

So, if you follow me for a while, this is something I have discovered probably about.

I know six or seven years ago for those. Maybe this is your first episode with me. I did spend it quite a few years travelling around Australia, and Asia, Pacific teaching, but also sitting with people in an advanced pastoral care, / counseling capacity, helping them through things. And one of the

Groups of people that I saw were pastors, pastors kids and of course people particularly that we’re in church leadership and trying their best to fulfill a sense of calling to God to serve God in the place that they are at. However, they often felt

That previous trauma and church-based wounding had left them in a position where they couldn’t give everything, they knew that they had.

I’ve also taught this system larger groups on Sunday Services if the church would have how many the teach it because what I would teach would be one of those things that when you see it, it’s a bit hard to unsee and this has a few layers and because I’m not overly planned. And I tend to ramble a bit as I’m walking.

Which some people are really loving it. So Pink’s, but I say all that to say what I’m going to teach you now it’s not entirely big and structured. I did put this in teaching.

set called out of the tombs few years ago, which you can download the audio and video for

from my website.

Lady have the whole foot path and to walk, like 30 cm from me. I think it was a protest to my

Being on the phone while I’m walking, we’re also tell you so okay.

Foundational sacrifice, what is foundational sacrifice and what does it have to do with church by swimming?

What I encourage you to do after I talked about this briefly, if you want. And there is a bit of trigger warning here. Because what I’m going to talk about can be one of those things that it’s like, oh my God, that’s what it is for me. So if you’ve been wounded in church, what I’m about to give you is possibly the language and framework around.

Your experience and then I’ll talk about some ways of possibly dealing in walking through about as well.


In ancient times.

But for thousands of years, I believe and you can go in Wikipedia, this kugel, This research, this, look at the academic literature. Look at the Historical literature, but there was a practice called foundational sacrifice and in short what people have done up until maybe a few hundred years ago in most cultures, and they still might do it in other cultures today without us knowing, but they would bury

People and or animals?

In the foundations of buildings and structures. And so archaeologists today have found

Human remains in the foundations of bridges roads. Temples churches.

Sort of religious structures all kinds of things. They found human remains in buried in walls of churches and so on.

And where I could go on. This is quite nuanced, but I’m walking and I’m not here doing an in-depth teaching in it. If you write them in your desperate, I’ll send you some sermon notes and some scriptures on it, but just pay the ten bucks and get that out of the tombs thing from my website.

That’s not a sale pitch. I’m just telling you this Eclipse where you going to get it. So,

What does this have to do with organization off?

Institutional wounding. Well,

I propose that this ancient practice of sacrificing people in the foundations of buildings which are explain why they didn’t a second. He’s still happens today. However,

It’s just been reskinned, that’s not a good word, it’s been repurposed. It’s it’s the same old thing but it’s dressed up as something new

It’s the same principle.

But it’s dressed up as something different.

So let me elaborate on foundational sacrifice and give you some examples.

If I can remember, right? It was a Crown Prince of Thai. Had taken the remains of. I think there’s a Chinese emperor.

If I’m right and had buried them buried. The remains of children in in the road base of a path between the city to strengthen them. Now, before we as a people understood what engineering was before the enlightenment before science gave us you know how soil works and how you have to put pillars down and how things move, you know we put structures up on

On ground that it was, you know, Rocky or Sandy. It would fall over today. They can build all kinds of stuff on rock and sand because we have the engineering Mouse, but in years gone past, if you wanted to build a monument of building the bridge, whatever it was.

And you wanted to help ward off the spirits that push that over.

Right? Which sounds super specious superstitious, but this is the world view of ancient culture.

In order to ward off, evil spirits, who would come and attack your building or make it fall over after a few months or whatever, they believe that they, if they sacrificed something into the ground, particularly human than that human Spirit would protect

that building.

okay, now this idea of sacrificing something

At the at the foundation of something is not new.

An old friend and Hamilton who’s written. A lot of books would have to be, probably one of the current world. Currently, one of the top experts world’s top experts on something called threshold covenants. She’s written about it. A lot in her books. God’s pageantry. God’s poetry God’s panoply and Hamilton

And threshold covenants are things. We read a lot about an Old Testament and in ancient cultures where if somebody comes into your house or tent, you would kill an animal at the threshold of that, the blood would run across the threshold and you would walk across that and that would be an act of Covenant and protection.

All right, when the scriptures talk about Jesus being the Cornerstone.

Here, we have imagery.

That pertains to this whole same idea of blood having to be shared.

At the beginning of something at the Cornerstone at the threshold.

In the foundational. Structural

Beginning of something that’s being built.

And I mean, it’s very significant that in the Christian faith, they say Jesus is the Cornerstone because actually says, it’s his blood that is at that place. So to the ancient


This this was not just a strange thing to say because cornerstones were important and Hamilton posits have a hyper. I’ve got this right that if you that Peters nickname was cafes, which ments stone or Rock. But in particularly, this was used as this idea of foundational Stone. So I will call you Peter

We talked about on this rock being built something. So you have Peter as a Living, Sacrifice be set forward as a stone and National Stone in the building of the church st. Peter the Apostle.

The language of threshold is everywhere, the language of sacrifices everywhere. Now if you’ve ever studied the church in Iona,

It’s in Scotland or Wales their stories. Their of these monks, wanting to build a new extension, or a new Temple or something. And one of them, one of the monks in the brothers, said, you know, I will I will be happily to be buried in the foundation in the walls of this, so it doesn’t fall down Apparently after a few days, he pushed the walls over because he was just getting bored in. Actually didn’t want to pick Sacrifice from his brother, Pat. This was

A very common practice.

Not just in abrahamic faiths but in other faiths and religions and spiritual practices all over the world.

That if you wanted something to be successful, if you wanted to appease the gods or ward off evil,

If you wanted to build something begin successful.

There has to be sacrificed, right? So you hearing this language. Now those who have been part of building churches and seeding, churches, and planting churches, there is often a lot of language around sacrifice and the reason that it that is done and some people don’t like me saying, this is because of bloody works.

Brian’s. The reason we thinking a humanity and at leadership and now wanting to do things.

And build things is we understand or have come to believe that it requires a sacrifice and the larger, the sacrifice, the larger, the reward, we hear this language in all kinds of things. No pain, no gain. You have to sacrifice if you want something etc, etc, But ultimately here, we’re not talking about going to the gym four times a week so that you can use might sacrifice time in front of the TV to get some


Or we’re not talking about sacrificing, your daily coffee on the way to work so that you can save fifteen hundred dollars a year, go on that holiday. We’re not talking about that. We in this context with talking about how this whole idea of sacrifice is used to build the church, the church. And by that I mean the Christian church, the church is attached to Jesus.

Christ. The god, head to the Trinity to the New Testament, etcetera, both Catholic and Christian, and particularly in particular, but beyond that, perhaps, as well.

and for those of us who have had a background in,

Ministry in building things and being part of church plants.

For those of us who might have been, this is not me particularly. But my kids, for kids of pastors, with kids have people in the ministry, missionary kids, my friends PK’s, which are pastors kids and MK, switch, our missionary kids know, full, well, the extent of what it feels like.

To be laid on the altar of sacrifice.

For the building of the church.

Not only psators kids, a missionary kids but others who have been involved. Maybe this is your listing of been involved in leadership and voluntary capacity.

Where you felt?

You were sacrificed on the altar of building a church.

If you like me and like so many others who are disposed of, we’ve gotten about no longer contacted when we were of no longer use.

Right to the church. We were part of, we said no to serving, we said no to these things, listen to my stuff on stages of faith. We might have hit stage for out of stage, through the life of service and gone to the end would journey and crises and said, F this fall. I’m not doing anything and then all of a sudden call stop the invite stop communication stops.

No one. It seems cares about you because you no longer

Letting blood.

Or you’ve just fell apart, you amount of people that end up with just dream or fatiguing etcetera, because they’re working jobs are managing homes and things, and then volunteering 15-20 hours on top of that. In the church they stopped and all of a sudden, you know, one calls

and then you start to feel alone and then you can’t help. But feel like, man was I just a thing used.

And what happens in these circumstances?

The Situation’s PK is MKS volunteers. No one is excluded from this. I’ve just felt that PK is and then case field is deeper because it’s often their parents that are the ones that say, hey, we’re going to leave you here. And you’re going to stay here because I’m, we need to go serve the Lord. You need to do this for Jesus. There’s a person out there that needs help and some of that can be all done in balancing in good in a good way, but often

Often this language in this whole idea of well, you know, like if we want to build the church and serve, these people will save these people, then it requires a sacrifice and we have people over the last few hundred years that have talked about. Well, I would just, I got on it. I left my wife and my six kids in England and I shipped off to China, or Africa, or wherever it was.

To serve the Lord, and the sacrifice. That was the sacrifice and there you see their family sacrificed in the foundation of the church now.

I hug you.

Let me just pause there for a second. I’m hoping you see this connection right between this very ancient practice of foundational sacrifice. Which

A ditz.

Deepest and real thing. Deep, some real expression did

look like,


Sacrificing other people.

And or animals. But let’s keep it human here. Sacrificing other human beings in the foundation of something. Now, I’m walking here in Australia.

Honest Abe Street here.

That was once.

Stewarded and looked after not by the Sunshine Coast Council but by the cubby cubby people of the Sunshine Coast. In Australia has if I’m right the oldest documented

and still living ancestors of Aboriginal First Nations people than anywhere in the world.

And in my state in my area tens and hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal peoples were sacrificed by the colonialists by the settlers before over their land.

Their blood was shed into the foundation of the life I enjoy.

slash, and part of

Now, not that that’s I’m not here. There’s I don’t know what I can do about that wherever I go this seems to be the case an honor, this people and work towards reconciliation and

Honoring these people and working to restore things to them.

You know.

this is I’m making this as a demonstration that where you look, there’s often blood in the foundations and that is done because it builds

colonialism and capitalism, and

All war and all these things have their reasons.

The sacrificing others into the foundation of an ideal. But here is where I think it becomes a

The big deal, a really big deal in the Christian church to come back to this point.

there are quite a number of times, but we read about in scripture and people will quote,

Even pastors and leaders who are just trying their best. But leaving in their wake, the bones and remains of broken hearts and lives. I’m not talking about a past that actually takes a knife to somebody and sacrifices and then physically in the foundation, which spiritually and emotionally relationally.

Maybe reputationally there are, I would suggest millions of people across the world that have found themselves as foundational sacrifices.

Where they’re hard in this spirit.

Is has been broken and shattered and is like it’s stuck when I used to pray with people.

On healing this for used to ask Jesus to come once again and be the Living Sacrifice to be this. The one and only sacrificed end all sacrifices and asked

Jesus in the way that only I know he could, I don’t know how he does it, but real talk here. We would pray. Lord, you go back through this person’s life, and begin to pick up all the shattered and broken parts of their heart. And the spirit, their emotions are all parts of their Essence that have been trapped and sacrificed and left in the foundations of churches.

And return them to themselves and would you be the one and only sacrifice? Because and we would pray like that. Because again, we would read time and time again that Jesus is

The sacrifice. He said, I will build my church time and time again. And I’m not going to stand here and quote, the scriptures, she get these yourself, but but it’s suffice to say,


One of the, and I remember sitting a few couple years ago, 23 years ago.

at a table, with the whole stack of pastors, quite emotionally bent, on this whole thing,

Because I knew some of them and I knew that their families are in. You the trying to build up the church and part of that really I’m not going to do here is so that the church is financially viable as well as doing what it’s called the so they can freaking put food on the table. So, you know, this is the business side of church but it is what it is.

The commercial reality of it today in this day and age.

whether you like the model or knots what it is,

I could I was sitting with these pastors and I said, you know, either Jesus is sacrifice is all sufficient to build the church or it’s not

And if it’s if we actually think it is, what I’d want to ask you. I said to them is what are you what’s being unnecessarily? Sacrificed on the altar of this Church’s growth and and whatever that is is your next. Your next place of trust and growth

So this is the thing that Jesus says I did. This is the whole idea around a large idea. I should say, around the New Covenant, is that the sacrificial system is finished.

The Jesus is the is the all sufficient sacrifice that we no longer have to live under the sacrificial.

Old Covenant or way of doing things of bloodletting and sacrificing etcetera and we can move into relational.

Trust and service and love of God and others.

And that’s a hard challenge. There was a hard that hit hard, some kind of a couple pastors like that that hit hard. I remember sitting with when I travel to India and I sat with someone who wrote To Me years later, talking about the significance of that moment in her life. But her parents, she was married to a pastor bit of parents were missionaries in the medical field.

and they had put her and her siblings in, in a

Instead of like a local school and doing a local job, they went off to the mission fields.

And the turnip brother sister boarding school which was very traumatic.

But the language was always, we do this for the Lord.

So how does a young person reconcile? Like well here, I am being abused, beaten traumatized,

Having to Steward some deep trauma and scars. And this is what this is all for Jesus. Like

Why does he need more sacrifice?

And I guess,

That’s where I just might leave it for now and talk more about it. In part two, we unpack it a bit more elaborate maybe some of you want to give some feedback on this but ultimately

the healing of this comes,

When we begin to see and recognize.

That our lives may have been subject to a system.

That were set up.

Into one of two ways. Number one, we volunteered as the sacrifice. Those watching me have video. Now, you can see that. It’s the days ending here. We, we believed we had to be the sacrifice. We went voluntarily. We’re like, is there a foundation requirement to, and a life to lay down?

Let it be me, you know, we did that for the accolades or I’ll talk about that next time or involuntarily. So volunteer was a footer or involuntarily we were almost coerced and suckered into being a sacrifice.

and something, in these people who see,

I do believe that they’re like and Hamilton says, God, God has called us to bring a sacrifice or not and not be it, not be the sacrifice, which I think is great terminology.

Yeah, the bring it but not be it.

And I think for those who became it.

It’s very hard to reconcile. What happened. Particularly if on the other side of this thing we have this deep sense that it isn’t what you did enough Jesus.

so it’s getting dark and I’ll leave it there and pick up and cut too, but I’m open to any thoughts of feedback on this whole idea and action of sacrifice and and church wounding. All right, take care.