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A House Divided—addendum

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In thinking over what I’d written in my previous post, I think it was wrong of me to say that control and power is what is driving a lot of the leadership of the SBC. I don’t know if that’s what it is or not. It certainly looks that way from the outside and from their blogs. However, I’m not to be the judge of their motives.

In my ongoing efforts to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” I was thinking of how, perhaps, some of these people in positions of power are not driven by power and control, but maybe by the pressure their “flock” puts on them to have the answers.

I know that I have gotten in discussions with my parents about how they trust too much what the pastor says to be “truth.” That they should read and dig and find out for themselves what the Bible says. Their answer has always been that the pastor is the one who’s done the studying, and therefore, his view of scripture is more valid than theirs. Even when I was young, I rebelled against that belief. It’s really little more than having a protestant priest, an “intercessor of wisdom” if you please.

I become more thoroughly convinced every day that knowledge about scripture may indeed come from studying the history, the exegetics, apologetics, and hermeneutics, but wisdom about who God is and His mission on earth comes from doing what Jesus said…. love God and love others. Period. All else is peripheral.

Well, you might be thinking, if everyone interprets scripture for himself, won’t that lead to MORE denominations and splits? Not if we view each others’ understandings and gifts as part of the whole, not the whole itself. I was thinking of the analogy of building a house. You don’t see the plumber trying to apply sheetrock. You don’t see the roofer trying to install windows, and on and on. Each discipline is worthy and useful in and of itself, and it contributes to the whole, but the architect is the one who has drawn out and oversees the whole plan. He tells the bricklayer when to show up and doesn’t necessarily share the roofing plans with him, and vice-versa. The workers have to trust that that architect will tell them when and where they need to show up to get their job done. And if they all work together, the house the architect envisioned gets built.

So anyway, I think perhaps the drive of some leaders to “have the answers” lies partially at the feet of the sheep who are waiting to be led. We need for them to “have the answers” so that we’ll feel “safe” in the church we’ve chosen to affiliate ourselves with. Unfortunately, this kind of affiliation and thinking that the pastor knows it all, will often lead to an “us vs. them” mentality and result in “holy huddles.” I’m sure the pastor sometime has doubts of his own, doesn’t know the answers, doubts his own effectiveness, doesn’t like people in his own congregation, and on and on, but we strip them of their right to be fallilble humans, and then wonder why they act accordingly.

I’ve got an article called “Four Tragic Shifts in the Church” on another page, but I’ll link it here as well. It’s a powerful essay reflecting on the way the church has become an institution, with all the bad that comes with that, rather than the body of Christ. Maybe we shouldn’t even have “pastors” as we know them today. And then maybe the leadership could say “I don’t know and/or I need help” without fearing for their position as a shepherd.

All I know is that if the current bickering continues, the SBC won’t have to worry too much about being attacked by evil forces who don’t want the work of Jesus to get done. The leadership is taking care of that themselves.

Written by blogicalinks

October 27, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Seeking, Venting

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