Friday, June 17, 2011

Soapbox Rant...

Recently I have been dealing with the issue of condoning, condemning and complying with sin. I would like to believe that anything can be measure along side the Bible to determine whether it is pleasing to God and there is little grey area. You either condone sin by participating in it and not standing up against it or you condemn it by fleeing from it.

Simple enough in my book.

When it comes to church leaders and their ideas of condoning and condemning sin, things get a little tricky. Pastors don't want to offend people so often times they skirt around issues like sex and homosexuality. In my book, if you aren't adhering to what the Bible says about these sins and directing your flock to flee from it, you are condoning it. Some pastors of course go overboard and condemn people for their actions and not condemn the sin itself.

There is a difference.

I was reading through a relationship blog that I read for entertainment purposes only. It's written by a man who I will assume is not saved because his posts revolve around random "worldly" relationships issues like sex and dating. Its posts are amusing at best but nothing that I would live out because it conflicts what I know the Bible says. Yet this most recent posting totally blew my mind. The author of the blog is looking for a wife for his best friend who is about to move to the South for a new job. They have known each other for years, hang out, drink, chase girls, have sex, you know...regular guy stuff.

The problem: The friend is moving to take a job a head pastor of a church. Yep. Here is an except from the Q and A session the author posted about his friend and his reasoning for leading a church while still being "in the world."

Boy, stop, tell me what does he do for a living?

He’s a pastor.

A what?

A pastor, as in a preacher, as in a man of the cloth. He’s going to be the head of a church.


Yeah, I know, so next question cause I know you have one.

Does this mean he doesn’t…

Oh no, he does that.

You didn’t even let me finish though…

I know what you were going to ask. Look, he’s an ordained pastor. He went to school and studied to be a pastor like I went to school to study to be a journalist. Being a pastor of a church is what he does for a living, but off the pulpit, outside of the church, he’s one of the guys. He drinks with us, he parties with us, he listens to the same music we listen to, and dates like a sinner, which means, yes, he does have sex. That’s what you really want to know because that’s what everyone asks me whenever I talk about him and bring up his occupation.

But wait, if he’s a pastor how does he…

Stop right there. This is the one thing I hate. Whenever I try to tell someone about my friend people put him on a pedestal solely based off what he does for a living. First of all, he’s spent many years as a counselor to alcohol and drug abusers. He’s also been a hospice worker. This guy lives in the real world, not in the church world.

I’m simply saying I don’t know any pastors like that…

My friend, the one we’re talking about here, once told me, “The problem with a lot of churches is they try to get people into heaven instead of heaven into people.” That’s some food for thought. According to him, there are plenty who are able to balance a life on and off the pulpit without keeping things hidden from public view. But not only that, you’re right, you don’t know any pastors like him and you don’t know any guys like him. He can explain everything better than I can, so for those who are interested, and want to know more about how he does that balancing act, you’ll have to talk to him.

I think my mouth is still on the floor with this one. The author is of course condoning the fact that his pastor friend "lives in the real world, not the church world." I am more astounded at the fact that the friend sees this lifestyle as perfectly okay. It burns me up to no end that there are so many people in the world proclaiming a calling from God to lead a church, yet their own lifestyle does not set them apart from others that are not even Christians.

A couple of weeks ago, God kept nudging me to read the book of Timothy. Weird I know because I am certainly not that girl who gets these divine scripture references from God. I finally took the time to read it and it blessed me abundantly. 1 Timothy is all about being a leader in the church. I took in some very good food for thought since I am in a leadership position at my own church. It also allowed me to see the measuring stick that Bible has for those that want to lead a church.

1 Timothy 3
Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

This pastor friend looking for a wife doesn't seem to be living up to those standards of being above reproach. I will certainly pray for the people he is about to lead and hope that they don't fall under any deception to condone living just as their shepard does.

**Getting off my soapbox**

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