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Dear Pastors…Tell the Truth

02/16/2011

And, I would add, don’t lie to us. Example. Example. Example. Example. Example. Example. Need I go on? We trust you as our elected leader; don’t abuse that trust.

I realize also that the Internet for many people is a type of confessionals, where we feel safe in saying what’s on our minds when we can’t in public for fear of ridicule or outright attack. It is of no small concern of mine that people will read this blog and immediately grab a wrong impression of me based on some of the things I say and share, without taking the time to actually get to know me. Anyone who knows me knows that there are many pastors I respect and admire and would gladly serve under the rest of my life if that is God’s will. I appreciate pastors, and know they have a tough job. Yes, there is a subset of pastors who are in a position that God did not put them in, and they should be dealt with, but overall most pastors are loving, gracious, kind people who want to see their congregation grow and honor Christ.

So don’t take this as a negative. This is encouragement. This is for all of ours benefit.

Dear Pastors – Tell Us the Truth by Rachel Held Evans

Dear Pastors,

Tell us the truth.

Tell us the truth when you don’t know the answers to our questions, and your humility will set the example as we seek them out together.

Tell us the truth about your doubts, and we will feel safe sharing our own.

Tell us the truth when you get tired, when the yoke grows too heavy and the hill too steep to climb, and we will learn to carry one another’s burdens because we started with yours.

Tell us the truth when you are sad, and we too will stop pretending.

Tell us the truth when your studies lead you to new ideas that might stretch our faith and make us uncomfortable, and those of us who stick around will never forget that you trusted us with a challenge.

Tell us the truth when your position is controversial, and we will grow braver along with you.

Tell us the truth when you need to spend time on your marriage, and we will remember to prioritize ours.

Tell us the truth when you fail, and we will stop expecting perfection.

Tell us the truth when you think that our old ways of doing things need to change, and though we may push back, the conversation will force us to examine why we do what we do and perhaps inspire something even greater.

Tell us the truth when you fall short, and we will drop our measuring sticks.

Tell us the truth when all that’s left is hope, and we start digging for it.

Tell us the truth when the world requires radical grace, and we will generate it.

Tell us the truth even if it’s surprising, disappointing, painful, joyous, unexpected, unplanned, and unresolved, and we will learn that this is what it means to be people of faith.

Tell us the truth and you won’t be the only one set free.

Love,

The Congregation

All the kids have always known/that the emperor wears no clothes/ but we bow down to them anyways…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Eagle permalink
    02/16/2011 7:39 pm

    As much as I would like this to happen I really don’t forsee it happening. The certainity and knowing the exact details of many things drove me nuts. And for me it got worse and worse. I no longer consider myself to be a Christian today but its enlightening for me to know that there are so many other people who have difficulty with the same issues. I couldn’t get some of the Pastors to admit they didn’t know. Instead it was 100% certainity (rolls eyes)

    Problem is that many evangelicla Pastors view doubts, etc.. as a threat to their authority, “their interpretation of the Bible”, etc.. Though to be fair I heard one sermon in WI in which a pastor talked about doubt and mentioned how it was healthy. He used the example of John the Baptist when he was in prison. Stuart what is your story? Are you agnositc, post evangelical, etc..? Can I hear your story?

    BTW…here’s another topic I’d love to hear your thoughts about….do you think the internet is going to lead more christians to a loss of faith, and spiritual crisis with the information they can now access?

    • stuartblessman permalink*
      02/17/2011 3:52 pm

      It’s amazing how big of a blog Rachel Evans became. Lots of pastors coming forward to confess they can’t be honest with their congregation. Shame.

      Well, I still consider myself a Christian. I’ve blogged earlier in this blog about how I reached a dark place or two where I didn’t want to be a Christian anymore if I could help it…that pesky “perseverance of the saints” and all. In fact, I left my last church because if I had remained there any longer I wouldn’t be a Christian today. Left to save my faith.

      I’m a Christian, leaning Calvinist, in agreement with the early early early Fundamentalists, and mildly Charismatic (or really, non-hyper-Cessassionist), and consider myself a Baptist in the vein of baptism by immersion, but I also have agnostic and atheistic moments if I’m being honest. I’m very critical of the Church but out of a sense of love for it to throw off the crap it’s added on and get back to more of a Jesus-shaped spirituality. I definitely feel it’s time for a new Martin Luther or Protestant Reformation to start up, which some in the Emerging (not Emergent) Church seem to be going towards if they can stay focused, but I’m beginning to despair that nothing will change, as the Bible has been thrown out in favor of sola experience.

      Basically, I’m fed up with the Church and the majority of people who call themselves Christian, but I’ve encountered Jesus Christ, and still believe the best course of action in life is to follow Jesus and the Bible. Maybe I’m naive, but I’ve seen lives changed, and I believe lives can still be changed, but it doesn’t happen all that much due to all the crap in the way.

      That help? lol

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