Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Few of the Things I've Learned...

I have been a pastor/denominational worker for forty years now. In my older years, I've learned a few lessons...

1. When preaching sermons, attempting to impress people with biblical language and hermeneutical skills bores them more often than not. Most people could care less about how much you know about biblical languages and proper hermeneutics. They want to hear what you have to say about life where the rubber meets the road.

2. Having all the answers to all the questions makes one a know-it-all in the negative sense. Nobody knows everything about every subject under the sun. Most people don't know everything about any one subject. Pretending to know everything about anything is ridiculous.

3. "Going-along-to-get-along" never brings peace of mind and/or soul. I spent years going along to get along while pastoring SBC churches. I regret doing that now because I never had much peace of mind or soul when I did.

4. Yielding to power-mongers (i.e. blindly following them) will get one trampled under foot 98.6% of the time. Power-mongers want bootlickers. They need them. It satisfies their ego to have people they can control.

5. Failing to take a stand on firm convictions does not lead to peace or to peace of mind. Failing to take a stand on firm convictions makes Joe Smoe a weakling.

6. Standing on firm convictions may get one fired and/or excluded but it leads to peace of mind. Three years ago I was both fired and excluded. I stood firm on my convictions about the Baptist Faith and Message and denominational politics. I was excluded from the SBC, but today I have a peace of mind that passes all understanding.

7. It is impossible for a pastor to lead a church, preach sermons, and minister to people in a manner that will cause everyone to love and respect him. Those who think they can lead everybody to think good of them are fooling themselves.

8. Avoiding conflict is impossible. Peace at any price is foolish. As a child I was taught that Jesus turned the other cheek and was expected to do so to in order to avoid conflict. But turning the other cheek doesn't always work. Conflict can, and will come. Jesus didn't avoid the conflict by succumbing to the Pharisees. He got in their faces.

Avoiding the pain of conflict is impossible. Those who don't feel pain in the midst of conflict are not facing reality.

Fundamentalists (of any stripe) are untrustworthy. They are devious. They lie. They steal. They are unbending. They seek absolute control over others. They are holier than thou.

Nuff said...

1 comment:

Speedzzter said...

One wonders what specifically in the following amended statement is offensive to a genuine biblical Christian:

XVIII. The Family

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

From the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message