Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flirting With the Pastor

I’ve had my share of women flirt with me. I figure it’s because women don’t really go for those slim muscle bound fellows, but rather men of substance (big boys). Picture me as a grizzly that has just had his fill of honey and salmon. Who could resist that?

Quite a few actually.

But there have been women who flirt with me occasionally. As a younger man, I was vain enough to think it was me, but I’ve learned it usually has more to do with them. When a woman flirts with me at church, I’ve learned to look for troubles in her marriage. It can mean she’s unhappy with her husband and she wants out. If so, she’s probably not just flirting with me.

Rats.

I remember one particular woman who would flirt outrageously with me and then spend the next week saying mean things about me to others. I learned to look for knives when she batted her eyes at me.

The flirts are not dangerous or tempting to me.

It’s the women who come for counseling where I use some caution. Most of the people who come for counseling are women. To share personal things with an accepting man makes it easy to develop feelings toward him. And I could toward them, too, because intimacy is a shared thing.

However, part of the trust factor in pastoral counseling requires my not taking advantage of another’s vulnerability.

We in the biz call that a sin. I take it pretty seriously.

It can be seductive. If I had a fight with my wife that day and people were mean to me during the week, then a vulnerable woman who thinks I’m a wonderful helper can be a temptation.

I usually steer the talk down a more productive road. “What are you going to do about your situation?” I’ll challenge gently, which reminds her that I’m not there to rescue her, but to show her how to take responsibility for her life. That’s almost always all it takes to put the relationship in the right place.

They don’t flirt with me much anymore. And they don’t fall in love with me either. It’s probably because I’m a more effective minister and has nothing to do with my being old, fat, and gray.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Kook Who Rules the World

In regard to the preacher who says he’ll burn the Koran, where do I start?

Okay, how about this? Has everybody lost their minds?

Since when does anybody listen to a loudmouthed, small minded, narcissistic, minister of unremarkable quality? I wish I could get this much attention by being a crazy a—hole. As it is, I can’t even get my own church to listen to my sermons. How was he able to score so much press time?

He’s wrong. Okay? He’s stupid and crazy, too. I've known guys like him all my life and we only encourage him with all this attention.

Move on.

But noooo. We have to put him on video all over the world. We’ve got to say he’s a national threat. That he's creating more danger for our military (I'm sure they're quaking in their boots over this one). For crying out loud, the President of the most powerful nation in the world has decided to spend some of his valuable time talking about him. I know he’s got more important things to do.

Now it’s reported that the White House wants to contact him to talk him out of doing this.

All this is doing is rewarding a kook for being a kook.

He’s not a national threat.

The people who want to hurt the United States are already making plans to do that. They have their own kooks driving them. If our kook decided to repent and make nice, our real enemies would still be our enemies, even if they never heard the ravings of Brother Pyro.

And, I have to say this. If someone decided to publicize burning the Bible (and it has been done), would the world be so crazy with fear and angst? Sure, some would be. But most of us Christians would read of it, cluck to ourselves, and move on. I have to believe most of the Muslim community can do the same in the face of an insult from a kook.

Could we have some perspective here?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

101st Post

I was just looking things over and realized that this is my 101st post on CG since June of last year. I know that us clergy guys are somewhat verbose, but I didn’t know I had that many things to say.
It has been fun and I have more things to say.

I’d like to thank you, my loyal readers (all four of you :)) for your comments—honestly, they keep me going. I didn’t know this would be a means of making friends, and I don’t take that lightly. Friends are hard to come by.

If you’ve been reading and haven’t made a comment, I’d love to hear from you, if only to know you’re there. Really, give me a “hi!” if nothing else.

Peace to you all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Football and Religion

In my current church, football is spoken of with the same reverence we have for guns and the flag.

Yesterday, on two different occasions of prayer, the success of “our boys” was addressed. It sounded like a battle in Afghanistan rather than the first game of the season, which they lost.

For crying out loud, must we elevate “our boys” to deistic heights? And what about those other students, including the girls, who study hard every night, focus during classroom hours, make their high grades, and fight to increase their GPA by a fraction of a percent, so they can scrounge the little scholarship money left over from the sports funds.

Not to mention the starving wages we pay teachers who equip our kids with paltry things like algebra, English, history, chemistry, and computer technology.

Sports is the religion of America. We worship the fast runners and the high scorers. We debate the significance of the short pass and special teams, like they did in my church kitchen yesterday.

It’s a losing proposition, I know. I’ve learned not to fight it. In fact, I use it. Sports is a good metaphor. Sports teaches people to try hard. It’s there, so we I’ll use it to get their attention and teach what I can.

But I think it’s ridiculous.