I’ve been following fellow Disciples pastor Danny Bradfield for about five or six years via his blog, Field of Dandelions. We still have yet to meet in person (it will happen, I promise).
He has a great post about what it means to be honest and authentic, something that pastors are not always good at doing. Here’s the takeaway:
I eat, sleep, fart, feel lazy, dream, stare too long in the mirror, relieve myself, have sex. I have questions regarding God that I doubt will ever be answered; questions about eternity, questions about sex and sexuality, questions about meaning and purpose and good and evil. I have questions about the existence and nature of God.
I find exploring these questions to be fascinating. The questions always lead to more questions, and yet I feel that simply by asking them, I learn more about God and more about myself.
Pastors are supposed to be better, holier, and more spiritual, but I do not feel that I am a better person than anyone else. I am happily married, but I’d be lying if I told you that beautiful women don’t cause my head to turn; or even, sometimes, beautiful men.
I’m not sure what is good or moral 100% of the time. I sometimes recognize that both sides of an ethical debate are valid. However, most of the time, I think I do have a pretty good idea what is good or moral. Faith helps. Scripture helps. But even when I do know what is good and moral, there are times when I’m not sure I want to be good and moral….
If these words strike a chord with you, then welcome to the conversation. Together, let us continue asking questions and exploring what it means to be human.
Danny’s words remind me of another Disciple pastor that tends to be good at calling people on their crap. She’s done that more than once with me. One of the things she has done is tell people, especially other pastors, to stop pretending and start being honest and real.
The interesting thing about reading the Bible, especially the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), is finding out how flawed these people were. I’m not talking about the villians, I’m talking about the good guys like David (who committed adultery, maybe rape and then tried to have the husband of said wife assasinated). David tried hard to play a game, but the prophet Nathan called him out and David had to come face to face with what he did.
For some reason, God still used David, God still worked through David. Here was this guy that was considered righteous before God, flaws and all.
As pastors, as Christians, I think we are called to be the messy people we are. I don’t think that Danny was saying in his post to just be lazy and do whatever you feel, but to be honest and real, which means being someone that will make mistakes and sometimes just annoy the hell out of people (I think I started talking about me).
Just some thoughts on the night before Thanksgiving.