Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vader's Guide to Pastoral Practice (Special Edition)

(In Honor of My Ginormous Star Wars Mug which contains around 2.5 cups off coffee)

How do you handle those tough, tough cases of pastoral care? Learn from Pastor Vader proper pastoral care!

Member 1: Pastor Vader, I'm not sure what to do. I have some coworkers who have been giving me a hard time. How do I handle them?

Pastor Vader: If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.

Member 1: I don't want to fight - I don't want to hurt them. They've hurt me, I'm upset and angry, and I don't know what to do.

Pastor Vader: Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy them.

Member 1: What? No, no, I don't want to destroy them. I just want to know how I should handle, them or approach them.

Pastor Vader: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.

Member 1: No, it's not about fixing them - it's about how I can be more caring to them, in spite of their mistreatment of me.

Pastor Vader: You are unwise to lower your defenses!

Member 1: Um, okay. I think I'll just go and work this through myself.

Pastor Vader: No, leave them to me. I will deal with them myself.

+ + + + + + + + +


Member 2: Pastor Vader, my wife and I have been considering using contraception.

Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

M2: Well, it's not faith, I know God will care for us, but it's really me just wondering how I should do my duty - I am the head of the household, I have responsibilities to plan and care for my wife and children. That's the vocation God has given me as husband and father. Don't matters like this ultimately fall upon me?

Vader: No. I am your father.

M2: Um, okay. Well, I just want to know if there is any time in which we might use contraceptives.

Vader: Obi-wan once thought as you do.

M2: Well, yes, I know many people think it is allowable and some don't. I'm interested in good, scriptural study about parenting and headship and children and the will of man as regards children.

Vader: WHAT?

M2: I'm guessing from your response that you think all use of contraception is wrong. I just don't see that in the Scriptures.

Vader: You should not have come back!

M2: I'm just saying that I think you might not really be using Scripture there...

Vader: You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor! Take him away!

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Remember, as Archbishop Tarkin says, "Fear will keep them in line."

Join us, or die.

(Note: Initially I had "Now strike them down with all of your hatred" but that is an Emperor line. This has been corrected)

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(Mike Baker - who is sort of like the Irvin Kurschner of this whole thing, has written the fitting and appropriate prequel. It follows here)

Let's not forget Pastor Vader when his friend and mentor noticed these problems and try to correct him:

Friend: "I am concerned because you are not acting like a pastor anymore. You seem confused and and under the... influence of foreign teachings."

Vader: "What?! How can you do this? This is outrageous, it's unfair... How can you be on the Council and not be a Master?"

Friend: "...um, it's not about being the Master of anyone. You are a teacher and helper to these people. It's not about control and domination... but love and sacrifice."

Vader: "I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new empire!"

Obi-wan: "Uh... wow... that sounds like pietism."

Vader: "Don't lecture me, Obi-Wan. I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side, as you do."

Obi-wan: "You should fear it. Remember our Sem professor? He told you specifically that this road ends in suffer suffering."

Vader: "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!"

Obi-wan: "...maybe there are some grey areas here. Sometimes black and white thinking creates a false dichotomy that does not help you reach the truth."

Vader: "Don't make me kill you!"

Obi-wan: *sigh*

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Let me try.

Member 3: We were reading Luther and all the Lutheran and Early Church Fathers and they were all against contraception. Even until the 1930s all Christians were against it. We were wondering what you thought?

Vader: Ignore them. They clearly were NOT Lutheran on this issue. You are free in Christ to use contraceptives. The Bible says nothing about this issue.

M3: What about all the Scripture passages they use to support their position?

Vader: They did not know what they were doing. They did not understand the Scriptures. If they knew what we knew today they would have thought differently.

M3: What would they know?

Vader: That having children is difficult and can interfere with our plans.

M3: When was it determined that contraceptives were wrong?

Vader: When we wanted to use contraceptives and since we want to, who can say we shouldn’t?

M3: Oh….. so you are saying I can use contraceptives whenever I want?

Vader: Of course not! You are only free to use them if you follow this “Conscientious Guide to Contraception”.

M3 Reads it Over: Wow, you said the Bible doesn’t speak to this issue, and I’m free, but then you give me this guide that seems to have a lot of rules to follow if I want to use contraceptives. And the guide seems to leave really almost no reason to use contraceptives. I mean it says to use humility, but isn’t it arrogant for me to think I have control over life. I mean look how long it can take people who are trying to have a baby. Also, what else besides fear would I use them for – fear I can’t provide for the child, fear now is not a good time, fear that I won’t get to accomplish my plans and goals, fear that the blessing won't really be a blessing. Then it also says “not for trivial reasons”. Compared to the blessing of children, it seems like most things would be quite trivial. It all seems very subjective and never deals with what the Bible says on these things.

Vader: You are clearly not Lutheran. It is clear you hate your Christian Freedom. Return to the bondage of legalism from whence you came.

christopherdhall.com said...

Holy Baloney this is hilarious, with actual quotes from the movie.

Dude, you (or we) must make a Youtube of someone asking the pastor, spliced with scenes from the movies of these answers.

Made my day!!

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Chris, I would have done that if I had the DVD ripping abilities.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Annoymous - you failed.

You see, the point is that you were supposed to use actual Vader quotes to make your point. You didn't do it right.

Now, you would have two options. One, you could try to modify what you have done above - but that's sort of cheesy because I've already defined Vader as "birth control is evil" guy. You'd just be doing a different spin on what I've done.

Rather, what you could do is take someone like Yoda and use him as the mouthpiece for what you want to do. Let me give you an example:

+ + + + + + + +

Member 4: Pastor Yoda, I'm really fearful about the future - I don't think we can afford another child right now.

Pastor Yoda: Difficult to see, always in motion the future is.

Member 4: I know, that's why I'm worried. What if our family can't handle another child?

Pastor Yoda: Much fear I sense in you.

Member 4: But shouldn't I be fearful. The world is scary.

Pastor Yoda: When you are at peace, then you will know.

Member 4: But there is no peace in the world. I look at the world and I see nothing but troubles.

Pastor Yoda: You must unlearn what you have learned.

Member 4: You mean, my focus should be on Christ, and whatever I do I should trust in Him? But what if my faith, my trust in Him isn't strong enough, isn't big enough?

Pastor Yoda: Judge me by my size do you?

Member 4: No, and I shouldn't - because what is important isn't the size of your faith, but rather Christ Jesus, who is our ally in all things. I will think on this. If my wife and I do decide to use contraceptives, it will not be out of fear, but simply trusting in the Lord.

Pastor Yoda: Good. Let's eat.

+ + + + + + +

Oh, I guess I just claimed Yoda for my position too. And I did say that Obi-wan thought like me. Maybe you can claim Mace Windu or something?

Got to be quick and on the ball around here.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Ah! I failed!

Let me amend my introduction to anonymous.

++++++

"You failed, your highness. I am a [Lutheran], as my father before me."

++++++

There. That's much better. Keep in the spirit of the post.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Chris,

Actually, one of us could just wear a Cassock with a Darth Vader helmet, and we could play the sound clips while the actor points at the "Member". That could work too.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

And one other thing, anon -

Of course there is "law" in the guide... it's a guide. Guide is a law word - it's the 3rd use word. While I am free, while I may eat or not eat, while I may use contraception or not use contraception - what should I consider so that I am not simply using my freedom to give occasion to my flesh.

Christian freedom is not that there is no Law - we uphold the Law. Christian Freedom is that we are free to live our lives in hope in Christ, without fear, without condemnation - that God's law is not a checklist of "do this, don't do this, eat this, not this" - but rather we are free to show love (that is the summation of the Law).

Now, consider how you might show love - and then you are guided rightly in the paths of wisdom.

Brian Yamabe said...

Pr. Brown,
Wasn't it the Emperor that said, "Strike them down with all of your hatred!" ?

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

It may have been in Jedi - but I think Vader also says it in Empire as a goad. Now, I am not sure.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Hmmm... I think you are right. . . I will have to modify it with

Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.

and "If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny. "

christopherdhall.com said...

I know how to rip DVDs....

just sayin'....

Mike Baker said...

Let's not forget Pastor Vader when his friend and mentor noticed these problems and try to correct him:

Friend: "I am concerned because you are not acting like a pastor anymore. You seem confused and and under the... influence of foreign teachings."

Vader: "What?! How can you do this? This is outrageous, it's unfair... How can you be on the Council and not be a Master?"

Friend: "...um, it's not about being the Master of anyone. You are a teacher and helper to these people. It's not about control and domination... but love and sacrifice."

Friend: "I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new empire!"

Obi-wan: "Uh... wow... that sounds like pietism."

Vader: "Don't lecture me, Obi-Wan. I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side, as you do."

Obi-wan: "You should fear it. Remember our Sem professor? He told you specifically that this road ends in suffer suffering."

Vader: "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!"

Obi-wan: "...maybe there are some grey areas here. Sometimes black and white thinking creates a false dichotomy that does not help you reach the truth."

Vader: "Don't make me kill you!"

Obi-wan: *sigh*