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Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

Friends, say this, “I am a living stone” and “I am a priest”

Turn to your neighbor and say, “you are my priest.” 

Congratulations pastor, you just had a sexual predator, who is not one of God’s elect say he is a living stone and declare he is someone’s priest.  There’s also a thief, a liar, and a mother who beat her child just before service.  Even some out there are nice in our eyes, but are still sinners and have just said they are someone else’s priest.  Now, if that sexual predator has become regenerated and has turned from his wicked ways and is saved, that’s a different story.  However, making a mixed congregation repeat after you can be dangerous.  There may be a delusional person out there who now believes they are something they are not.  Scary.

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An elder recently told me my former pastor who used Donald Miller’s story theme in his sermon as well as using the same terms as Michael Frost while presenting missional lamented our critique of his sermon.  He commented that it was strange to have a critique like ours when he had finally used “contemporary authors.”  He also commented that he could buy into one idea of an author without becoming like them entirely…truth is truth.  In other words, he could buy into the idea of “story” taught by emergent leaders and yet not be emergent himself.  This may be so, but I don’t buy it.  He used terms in different sermons such as wholly other,  at one ment, god consciousness, and christ coursing through (his) veins.  Those terms were not all scripted, but some were boldly written into sermon notes.  I believe he has not only bought the story idea from Donald Miller, he has become a lot like Donald Miller.  He has himself become very much emergent (or whatever we can call them, I think New Age is probably the proper term).  He has likely had a mystical experience or several.  I cannot be certain, but I believe he didn’t just pick up that one single idea.

Suppose he did agree with this one concept of “story.”  I find it offensive enough by itself.  God is not writing a story when he deals in our lives.  We cannot “take the pen” and write our own story.  How crazy is this?  We are not part of a story, we are part of God’s creation and our lives are real if only a vapor.  What’s more, Christ is real and not a character in a play God created.  He’s not a even God acting in our world.  How ridiculous.  Christ died for our real sins, and we are made alive in Him for real if we have real faith which He gave to us as a gift.  It’s not just a story which we can write better if we would just try.  Our job is not writing some story, our life is meant to give glory to God.  We fall short every day, but by the grace of God and by His mercy, we are saved, forgiven.  We who repent and who rely on God for His salvation are not just characters, we are His people. 

Beyond this, suppose I read a book written by a Mormon.  I find something I like in the book.  Am I to quote this author from the pulpit without some sort of disclaimer?  Would it not be better to quote the Bible itself if the concept was true?  I believe it’s unwise for a leader in the church to go around quoting people without carefully considering who they are quoting and what that person believes.  Also, it’s important to clarify if you only “buy into” one part of their beliefs to the congregation.  If you are trying to distance yourself from the emergent church, it’s wise if you use emergent authors to state what is good in the quote you are using (it was actually most of a sermon) and to point out the error for the congregation.  Just my opinion.

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Response

Recieved and email response from our pastor from the old church.  He wants a face to face…doesn’t see what we’re talking about.  Told a couple we know that the pastor wishes to meet.  The wife laughed outloud (she’s such a meek, kind woman…so this shocked me).  She said, “we’ll be praying for you on that.”  She then said that this pastor is intimidating in a face to face.  I will not publish his letter here, but I feel the tone is one of challenge.  He may not see it, we’ll give him that wiggle room.  He didn’t deny the problems completely in his response, just seems he thinks he’s not  part of the problem.  Even if he preached all of his sermons from the Bible, I think he, being the lead pastor, is responsible.  Our old church is elder controlled and yet the pastors teach and so the pastors are, in my view, responsible.  After all, they endorse books, encourage the way people study, and have a big impact on the thinking of people in the week.  They are recognized as an authority even if they want to deny they have power.  He should be speaking against things, if he cannot change the church through vote power and eldership power, he sure can preach the truth and preach against the wrong things going on.  Why hasn’t he done this?  I believe it’s because he’s in it…but then again, if he really doesn’t know what he’s part of is wrong, he could possibly be opened up to the actual truth. 

Pray, pray, pray.  I will be praying also.  I hope for something good to come from all this mess…but Gods will be done.  God tends to use messes for good even when we cannot see it ourselves.

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