The Censured Pastor

In Uncategorized by PHUMC Staff

Okay, I confess, Im not good at posting a blog.  I placed this in our church newsletter last time and some have suggested I put in here too…. so here goes:

Never in my lifetime have I felt the Gospel more ignored by Christians then today. We, people who claim to follow Jesus Christ, cut people down without any effort to understand them. We assume others hold our opinions and when they don’t we call them names or worse, disrespect them, their opinions or their values. We have lost the way to listen to others because, I believe, we have lost the way to listen to God. For some reason efforts to open a dialogue are met with resistance as we refuse to hear what someone else has to say. I suspect the political standoff we are presently experiencing in the church is a mirror image of the discourse we are seeing in our country and the world.

We have been called to prayer for our general church conference scheduled for February 23-26, 2019. They hope to have a plan for dealing with how we read and understand scripture as it pertains to human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church. The truth is, we have other, pressing issues we need to address including how we lead our broken world to wholeness in Christ.

I recently attended a meeting of activists for social change. I wanted to hear what they had to say, and they said a lot. They helped me see how, by being complacent, I was also being complicit. For example, while I am not a member of the KKK or any other white supremacy group, but by not acting against them I have allowed their movement to grow. Granted, by myself I have had little impact on society as a whole but because I am among a larger group of white, middle class Americans that has not stood against such groups or the hate they spread, I have allowed their influence to grow. Further, because I have not taken a stand against them, these groups believe I support them and their ideals. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t need to march or join an activist group to stand against the sin or racial supremacy and discrimination, but I do need to speak out, identify and refuse to tolerate hate in all its forms.

Jesus did not come so we could set on the sidelines and do nothing. As Christians lets learn what Jesus said about racial discord, feeding the hungry, healthcare, sharing abundance, dealing with foreigners, fear for the future, respect for women’s rights and let’s stand with Jesus. For some of us it is going to take time to learn these things, because first we must look beyond passages that support what we already want to believe. It may be uncomfortable to learn our opinions are not His.