Thursday, May 26, 2005


Like Jimmy Swaggart, our pastor came clean last night during service. He confessed bluntly and specifically about his "challenge spikes" both in ministry and family. He spoke of an insidious desire which drove him to an accumulation of a newly constructed big luxurious home, a BMW, a Corvette, a theater room, and whatever else satisified him on a short term basis. He looked out at us and said, "Your pastor is a materialist, and I'm not proud of it, and it has caused your trust in me to decrease." Many of his prior sermons dealt with the allure of status and symbols as a Christ substitute. Many of his future sermons will probably deal with the growth of our church and being faithful stewards of our financial resources. He felt like a hypocrite. He came clean. He's selling the house and he's sold the cars. He was stopped by those around him who saw his leadership and character being compromised. Stopped by God who wants more of him than serving the mortgage.

Honesty about process is welcome in my church, thank God, and my pastor certainly models it. When I hear a co-attender talk about her struggle with pot, I'm so happy that openness is acceptable. We can pray for her, support her, use her example to model our own struggles to live as Christ would want us to. I'm grateful to be in such an environment of grace and reality.

As we sang loudly last night, as the guitars rocked joyously, I felt led again to abandon my tightholds on how I should be before God. Praise means acceptable entrance. I'm accepted, and I accept the forward motion toward the door.

Thank you, God, for my church. Please bless and protect her within and without.

No comments: