Saturday, September 11, 2010

Respect for the Office of those with whom you disagree

My friend and former dormmate Rev. David Juhl gives an excellent account of how pastors ought respect one another. Let me throw my own two cents in on this.

There are pastors who do things that I disagree with. Things that I think are foolish. Things that I would never do. However, I'm not going to quick to criticize them for their actions (now, I'll criticize a theological position up and down, but actions are something else). Why?

That person is called to be a pastor at that congregation. I'm not.

Simple as that. Why do we forget the whole doctrine of the divine call whenever someone does something in the exercise of the office that we don't like? Pastors in other parish face issues and situations which we don't - we need to know why they are doing something.

Sure, I don't like your communion policy - but why is it that way?
Sure, I wouldn't have let X go on - but why did you let it?

I need to be humble in how I view other pastors - and if they in their own weakness do something foolish, I should restore and correct in a spirit of gentleness, not a desire to shun the impure.

Because if I respect the Call, then I have to show respect to the man who is called. Otherwise I call the One who called him a fool.

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