I won’t be attending the First Baptist Church of Zeeland, Michigan any time soon…or any time later. On March 1 their pastor, convinced he is biblically well grounded, more than compared. He equated gays with axe-murderers. It’s amazing how supposed clergy [wonder if he obtained the $100 certificate of ordination…or simply self-proclaimed his ordained status] can be somewhere between stupid and embarrassing. That’s the polite version.
Then I read where a pastor “in the south” has asked his thousands of members to donate $65 million so he can buy his personal jet. Can you imagine? Can you imagine what can be done with $65 million? Shoving politeness and eloquence aside, that guy’s an idiot. And tell me. Who in his congregation has a runway next to their house for pastoral visitation?
Then a dynamic has presented itself more than too often to look the other way and not see what’s really happening. Won’t name names. But what occurs to me that the overwhelming number of times a person apologizes…it’s anything but genuine. It’s forced strategy. What is lacing the news this past year is how many athletes apologize…only AFTER they get zapped by the press…or the owner of the team…or when someone in the organization needs the blunder to be covered by an apology. Too many. Too many apologies never get offered on their own. It’s only when the culprit has no choice and an apology is the only escape valve, the “I made a mistake” is spoken. I asked someone recently—decided to do this—if he knew what mea culpa means? He looked puzzled, “Is there medicine for that?” What a set-up! “Sure…it means we each admit we could have done better, we made a mistake and we’ll try not to repeat it.” He shook his head, “No way. No way.” Conversation ended.
I agree. No one is innocent. Neither I nor you nor those whom you know. Still, my sense is when even the church omits the Confession of Sin and Assurance of Pardon accountability is vacated…and its absence is never asked about, is never missed.
So I wonder. When we arrive in our new home in Texas in a few weeks…I wonder where we will worship…and whether a church will agree that our humanity needs help…and our blunders are not in a record book. We don’t add them up. Nor do we add up the good we do. The only self-guidance I have is to know that my life is blessed…and, to count the blessings of God to me and my family…is like standing on the ocean shore and count the waves.
I wonder. What happens to truth today? And when someone, at least in your own understanding and heart…or I in my “sense of things” speaks no word to the woeful attitude triumphed by so many…who couldn’t care less what they do or say…unless they are caught…clouds become darker and the winds get their voice…and it’s a shrill voice.