"Another one bites the dust"
"It's happened again"
"They'll know we are Christians by...."
"The new 'unforgiveable sin' "...
We just heard of another pastor who was asked to resign. He didn't get a chance to really "fight it". The options were "resign now and get severance pay" or "don't resign now and you get no severance pay". You may wonder what horrible thing he must have done. Murder? Adultery? Embezzlement? Nope... they just didn't have confidence in his leadership. It happened to us two years ago. It happens all the time to pastors all over the place. (I know... I've talked to many of their wives!)
"Another one bites the dust" - Yep, another pastor is asked to resign, no second chances, "you're outta here". "Turn in your keys and don't come back".
"It's happened again" - Satan's tactics just don't change. He knows what works, and when it works, why change? Satan causes division which spreads by means of gossip and slander. It's often coated in words like "concern, love, the best for..., etc." It still smells like sulfur to me.
"They'll know we are Christians by..." - These days, people outside "the church" know we are Christians by this kind of "stuff". I know plenty of people who don't go to church for these very reasons. Why can't Christians get along? I mean, aren't we supposed to be the most loving, kind, gracious and forgiving people? Aren't we supposed to give people the benefit of the doubt? Offer them second chances? Christians are not known by love anymore.
"The new 'unforgiveable sin' " - Apparently these days, it is absolutely a horrible, and unforgivable sin to lack confidence and not be a good (enough) leader. Yep, a pastor could have an affair (they call it a "moral failure") and get all kinds of help, support, counseling, grace, love and even a leave of absence. But if his leadership isn't confident enough, that's it! (We had one person tell us that if my husband had been unfaithful, they could have forgiven him, but, his lack of confidence... well, that's just too much!).
It's sad. It's not surprising. I long for the day when all will be made right. The church is full of sinners... every church... but there is supposed to be grace and forgiveness. I think one of the problems is that we have become churches with a consumer mentality. There are so many churches to choose from that it's easy to just move around when you get tired of a church (I want better music, cooler looking people, more technology, less technology, bigger and better programs...different color carpet, cafe's, etc). It's also easy to just get rid of a pastor when you don't like something about him. Marriages are the same way... too easy to split up and not work out our differences. The marriage vows say "in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want, for richer and for poorer"... too bad churches don't go by this.
Churches should be places of love, hope, grace, loyalty, steadfastness and forgiveness.