Down in Virginia, we have a well-known Reformed pastor—son of an even more well-known theologian and pastor—defrocked by his presbytery for a variety of causes, all highly odd.
Down in Georgia, we have a well-known charismatic pastor accused of tying salvation to sexual favors. The suit against him actually involves testing the children of women in his congregation to see how many are his. Talk about getting a witness.
The Reformed camp is stunned. The charismatic camp is stunned.
Me? Anymore, not so much. Maybe it's a sad thing to say that nothing surprises me after 43 years on the planet. That shouldn't be the way it is with Christians. I'm not sure we should be the people who are numb to the perversity of humanity.
Or maybe we should be. Total depravity, right? Shouldn't we above all others come to expect it—even from pastors? Still, the idealist in me wants to believe that there are a few folks left who aren't wallowing in it.
Even so, Maranatha.
Normally, I'm a Winter Olympics freak, but Torino hasn't captured me this year. Maybe it's the calculted attempt to change the name of Turin to Torino so it's more marketable. Maybe it's the Mont Blanc of work piling up around here. Either way, my heart isn't in it this time around.
I've always looked at the Olympics as pure sport, but there's my idealism showing again. If anything, the Olympics have become one performance-enhancing drug scandal after another. The Wall Street Journal ran an article detailing Finland's trouble with the IOC because it's been training athletes in simulated high-altitude conditions using a unique hyperbaric room. The Olympics ruling body is hacked at the Finns' insouciance. Finland's argument is that it lacks the mountains needed for naturally blood-boosting its cross-country ski team, while other countries are altitude rich. With the level of competition so high, the extra hemoglobin gained by training at altitude marks the difference between 1st place and 201st place. While the Finns may have a point, anymore I'm just tired of the grousing, cheating, and trainloads of money it all represents. Eric Liddel ran because he felt God's pleasure. Today's athletes run to get a Nike shoe contract.
Sadly, I've taken to running in whatever direction takes me as far away from sporting events as possible. And no, I didn't watch the Super Bowl.
Al Mohler is in the middle of a series on true worship and I can already tell what the final post will say without his having posted it yet. The last eight months in the Godblogosphere has seen a consistent wrangling over "God Is My Boyfriend"-style worship songs, the supremacy of old hymns, the vacuousness of modern worship song theology, what it means to worship "in spirit and in truth," and on and on.
Though I'm thoroughly bored with the arguments, I feel the need to once again walk the line between the warring camps and say a few words on the selective memories and theologies we call upon when we start talking about who has the correct form of worship.
I hope to have something to say about this on Monday, but it's a horrendously busy next few days, so I may have to hold off for once to do the subject justice.
Never leave on a down note, so I won't: There are few things better this side of heaven than knowing that friends are fasting and praying for you. Thank you—you know who you are. Your selflessness on our behalf means more than you can know.
Tags: Olympics, Pastors, Scandals, Whining, Cynicism, Worship Wars
3 thoughts on “Tired…”
I read you all the time, and rarely post, but today I’d like to encourage you. Your posts are always thought provoking, and although they aren’t always meant to produce that “warm fuzzy feeling” in your readers (grin), they certainly are edifying. Thank you for taking the time to give such thoughful posts. I think your statement, “I feel the need to once again walk the line between the warring camps and say a few words.” just about sums up why I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for trying to “walk the line” between us. On my search for truth (so that I may live in it) you have uplifted me over and over again.
I pick up your RSS feed because you’re one of the few Godbloggers I’ve read who actually shows some wisdom.
In respect to your topics today – I don’t care for Al Mohler; he’s a little bit too “holier-than-thou-because-I-do-X-and-you-don’t” for me. I grew up in a church whose pastorate thought that way. It’s one of the reasons I left the church for 13 years. The pastorate thought it was immune to sin. Then they found out they weren’t.
Back in the late 1960’s, my parents left a Baptist church because they had found out that the elders and deacons were practicing wife-swapping. Of course, they promptly jumped into a church that preached legalism (out of one frying pan into another one).
Pastors are people too. The problem with the hierarchical view of church leadership is that it leads to this idea that pastors are somehow supermen. The idea that pastor are “over” everyone else is… well… counterChristian, I think. Priests, pastors, bishops, doesn’t matter. Pick the title.
Matthew 20:25-28: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slaveï¿½ just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Now why do you suppose he said that? Would that more pastors, elders, deacons, priests, bishops, et cetera would read the book they claim to follow, and preach the whole gospel.
There is a reason why the Hutterites continue to succeed in their little communes. There is a reason why “Senior Pastors” have problems. The very title “Senior Pastor” is counter to those verses I just quoted. “Lead Shepherd” – maybe. “Senior Pastor”? No way.
This was a timely post for me. Not that I thought I was the only one ever hurt but…well, it was just timely. Thank you. There is so much pain out there.