Saving The Book, Losing the Reader…
When I decided (or I was called…who knows?) way back when to enter the ministry, I did so with one thing weighing heavily on my heart and mind.
The life I lived before was over and the life I was entering was demanding that I walk in moral and ethical purity to the best of my ability. There were standards for those who took on the role of a pastor and I would either meet those standards or have the integrity to find another line of work.
I did not expect perfection from myself, but I did expect real repentance when I failed to measure up.
I have had to become very good at repenting.
My assumption was that everyone else in the ministry understood and accepted those terms as well and were doing all they could to walk in something the bible calls “holiness”.
I…was naive and foolish.
I still haven’t gotten over the shock of realizing that those standards were only applied to the “sheep” and leaders in evangelicalism could be “restored” (or never even removed) if they kept their sins short of prison time or homosexual acts.
Those two will end ye…
This years big story here has been the alleged abuse of dozens of young people who love Jesus by two allegedly narcissistic leaders.
The mental and spiritual abuse the couple are accused of devastated these young people.
The “church” has done little in the aftermath and has decided that their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures precludes taking any action to defend those (allegedly) abused by this couple, nor does it allow for any actions to protect the next crop of young people who love Jesus from them.
The Scriptural interpretation must be defended while those young people are (unfortunately, I guess) collateral damage in the holy quest to preserve literal hermeneutics.
They should forgive and move on, possibly so that they can teach the next crop of victims that path of righteousness.
Strangely enough, this method of conflict resolution( we’ll hurt you, you’ll forgive us, rinse and repeat) has caused a lot of people to leave the church.
This style of leadership seems to conflict greatly with what they are taught about Jesus and the cognitive dissonance becomes like thunder in the minds of many.
The church becomes an untrustworthy witness of Christ and thus becomes an untrustworthy guide to everything.
The biggest enemy of the church in the “culture wars” is in its pulpits and equipped by the enablers in the pews.
They are the ones who have destroyed the validity of a “biblical worldview” by allowing rampant abuse and corruption to flourish and treating victims like so much cordwood.
The other victims of abuse and corruption are the faithful pastors who were as naive as I was…and who still cling to those holy standards.
They are the faithful remnant…but they are bone weary as well.
When Jesus comes will He find faith on the earth?
Depends on how long He waits…
Make your own application…