I admit I don’t love my pastor. I have prayed for him once and once gave $10 to the church, but I still can’t say I love him. I mean he’s just weird.
On Easter Sunday, he brought an unholy ladder into the sacred pulpit. I admit it was for a good cause—to illustrate how people reach up to God—yet they can’t climb there in their own strength. But it was still wrong. Very wrong. A ladder in the church, really! I think the minister of education suggested this.
Then there was the pet food thing. I recommended we add pet food donations to our food pantry. He got mad and gave me a book telling me why I was wrong. He said if we bought poor people pet food, we should buy them cigarettes. He sent me to some stupid committee that, too, said I was crazy. I made a YouTube video to tell the world my position. He refused to show it to the church. Imagine that! I’m starting to think my pets aren’t welcome in the worship service!
No cats in heaven?
Did I mention he said there would be no cats in heaven? How Christian is that? I mean, if all dogs go to heaven, why does he think, like Marge Simpson, that cats don’t? Cats are God’s creation, too. Just because they don’t love you unconditionally doesn’t make them evil. Why does my pastor feel this way about cats?
Then there was the Yellow Card affair. No it wasn’t a sexual affair. First, he created this ugly yellow card. Then he demanded I fill out a yellow card each service, whether I need to or not. How many times does the church office need my address? I bet some consultant suggested this crazy thing. Just because famous evangelists do it doesn’t mean we should, right? It’s killing the trees, I tell you. I don’t think he’s a tree hugger at all! I’ll bet he wastes paper in the office, too. He doesn’t look like a one-sheet guy to me.
Then, I went to his yard sale, and he sold me these electric scissors with no electrical cord. Well, I went back to his house for seven days straight at 7 a.m. each day. Just like the Bible says—seven times seven. He couldn’t find the cord. He’s told me not to come back; he kept saying something about a retraining order. I think it’s his job to train me! How Christian is that?
The Dietrich Bonheoffer incident
Then there was the Dietrich Bonheoffer incident. Yes, I call it an incident. One of the guys in my Bible study said he was a good guy. I said he was not. I had to print out articles to convince everyone—on the church copier. I even underlined the important parts so they wouldn’t miss my view.
He refused to admit I was right. How fair is that? A martyred German theologian or me. Who would you pick?
I think my pastor is way off track. I’ve stated my case. I have my reasons.
All humor aside, the fact is that most staff are encouraged to leave, or we simply dismiss their counsel over very silly issues. Not substantial ones.
Some people don’t like the way they do things, but then they don’t have a better way. It reminds me of the late Bill Bright’s comments. After being challenged about his witnessing method, he asked: So, what is yours? The gentleman replied he didn’t have one. Bill said, “Then I like mine better.”
Like my skewed perspective, many church members can’t see the big picture. Dog and cat food can look major to the right person. A yellow card? No reason to destroy the church—or to send your pastor packing.
We should pray for our pastors
We should pray for our pastors and keep people like me away from them! That means we listen politely to out-of-line church members—and ignore them when we vote for what is right. When they encourage us to form a coup to oust the pastor, tell them God holds them accountable for judging his leaders. Don’t agree or join in.
We should pray that our pastor and staff keep the main thing the main thing. If your pastor preaches the gospel, be thankful. Mine does! And if he doesn’t ride his Harley onto stage and then demand you follow him (which mine hasn’t yet) then he might be normal.
Keep him. Support him and be thankful God has sent his man to you. Does he offer godly counsel? Does he love helping children and adults find Jesus in salvation? Does he see Vacation Bible School as a tool used to help young people follow Christ? Then you might have a good one.
And whatever you do—regardless of what you think of your pastor—don’t make a YouTube video about him. It might go viral—whatever that means.
Joel Blaylock peacefully—for the most part—attends First Baptist Church in Allen. With his Rottweiler, Frisco, and his cat, Hanna, they all sit on the back row.