Thursday, November 14, 2013

None of my Business

Most churches refer to themselves as "family."

Come to us and we'll accept  you and love you--you belong with us. 

It's rarely true. Oh, there's usually a tight knit group at the core of the church that started together and have known each other a long time. And like a family, they may be close, yet dysfunctional, with each other.  Others can come to services and told they're welcome, but they can't be part of that group, even and especially the preacher.

To survive, the preacher has to know how to respect and work with the core group, but he'll never be one of them.

I have spent most of my life entrusting myself and my real family to a people who say, "We love you. We're glad you're here. We are grateful for your care and we will take care of you." And then one day, usually sooner rather than later, they won't love me anymore and they'll want me to go away and they won't care if my family starves. It won't be simply a lack of love... they'll grow to hate me. But they won't admit it.

Oh, it has not yet happened at this church. And I'll be able to stave it off for awhile, maybe a good long time. But that has been the pattern, as it was for my father who has also been a minister, and as it is for almost all ministers.

"We hated the last guy, but we love you. One day we'll hate you too, and want someone else. And for good measure, we'll break the hearts of your wife and children, and force all of you to start again with new relationships, which will also be taken away.  All the while, we'll still claim to love you, and wonder why you're so bitter.

"What did you expect? We may call it family, but we all know it's really business."  

Okay, it's nothing personal. So I can choose my own friends, right? 

Well, no. We have to approve your friends.

If it's just a business, I can do what I like on my personal time without anyone having the right to evaluate me? I can go to the movies I want, yell at the ball games, buy condoms and beer and say curse words, as long as it's on my own time, right?

Not really. You have to be a good example and we don't want you embarrassing us.

If I had problems with my family, can I come to you for support, love and help? 

We don't even give that to each other.

If I make mistakes, you'd follow the direction of Christ, and be compassionate?

Well, no. Remember, this is a business.  

Yes, and it's apparently none of mine.

That's right. but remember, we want our pastors to love and care for us.  


  1. Screw them. Just start preaching down at the strip club. At least when someone has a pole up their butt, it's attached to a great body...

    This is nothing new. Congregations want the real Christ to be their shepherd. Christ that doesn't get tired, mad, horny, or will make them look bad. Which, really, if they looked at the real Christ, they would have been TOTALLY embarrassed. I'd have hung with him ( pun intended..)

    Go start being truly Christlike. They're going to love it once you start hanging with the strippers....

    1. Jesus actually did embarrass his colleagues. And once again, I so appreciate the wonderful career advice. :)

  2. This is the brutal truth of the churches that I have attended.

  3. Man, I'd love to take you out for a beer and hear more of your stories in person.

    1. That would be great. In the mean time, pour yourself a cold one and read some of my earlier stuff. :)