Hawaii 2010

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Are you one of us?

There is a particular syndrome among Christians that affected my life way more that it should have. When you have a particular theology like Reformed Theology there quickly develop gradations in said faith. You can be therefore, Totally Reformed, or normally reformed. You can belong to camps within camps, such as being a Van Tillian presuppositionalist or an evidentiary apologist.

I, the area of church growth the reformed folks have always been sensitive to those willing to use innovative methods to increase the size of your flock. Then myriads of little things become issues, like which hymns are appropriate for morning service versus more informal services.

The Church I came to serve came from a merger with a small denomination called the RPCES. They had their own set of historical issues and shibboleths.

Very quickly after we settled in I realized that a couple of leaders did not trust me anddid not like my personality, gifts, and perspectives. I had violated some of those things I mentioned. It went sour quickly and I realized I was in trouble within four months. These guys were Pharisaical picky and real smart a.....lecks. If I said left they said right. What should have been a pleasant transition and acceptance by a loving group of people degenerated into gossip groups and accusations and tensions.

No pastor deserves that short a honeymoon, and when a crisis occurred morally in one of those leaders, I was already so nervous that trying to be a leader with those dynamics was difficult. I had several opportunities to let the bad blood leave, but chose instead to try to make the differences work, and it sunk me, as the non involved began to leave just because of the fuss.

I cannot change that four years, only learn from it, be changed by it, and forgive the principal players from the heart. Ultimately it changed my thinking about theology and so many other things that I can truly say good came from it.

Those were pre digital years and I took very few pictures during that period.


Anonymous said...

The times of my life I did not take pictures are called the "undocumented years". :) Sometimes it's best not to have a image to associate with the pain.

Love you guys,


Redlefty said...

My father-in-law was a pastor for 30 years for several different churches (he's now a hospice chaplain) and has told similar stories. I'm sorry you went through it but glad you seem to have taken the lessons and the blessings that you can from it.

But I do think my wife is grateful that she married a businessman instead of a minister. After her childhood and seeing what happened to her dad, she was pretty much done with that.