An Authoritarian in Pastor's Clothing
Excerpted from, Leaving (& Finding) Jesus…
Have you ever had your trust broken by an authoritarian in pastor’s clothing?
Like David in Saul’s throne room, I’ve played my metaphorical harp with my heart open to God’s love and one eye always on the authoritarian King.
“Best to see the spear coming,” I say, having been on the pointy end of a few.
If David had trusted King Saul, his life story would have been much shorter as he wouldn’t have survived Saul’s hurled spears, never mind the ten plus years of living on the run while the authoritarian hunted him.
David honored Saul’s title, but had he equated honor with trust, as so many Christians have been taught to do, he would have died painfully at the end of a spear. David’s trust was placed in God’s goodness. Surely God’s goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, he wrote in his most famous psalm. God’s goodness and love are where David put his trust. A good place to put it and the reason God referred to Him as a man after His own heart. (See Psalm 23:6 & 1 Samuel 13:4)
Blind trust is a fool’s game. A person’s title doesn’t infer character, or integrity, and has nothing to do with kindness. And honor and trust aren’t the same things.
You can honor someone without trusting them. And when it comes to hell-fire authoritarians, I’d recommend it.
Honor and trust are not mutually exclusive. Honor simply recognizes a person’s humanity, their intrinsic value, and the fact they were made in the image and likeness of God.
Trust is earned over time, through faithfulness, by those who lay their lives down.
When it comes to titles, especially within the church, unkindness in any form is an alarm bell. When I see it demonstrated, hear it preached, or defended, my trust for that leader diminishes faster than a five-year-old’s meltdown in the ice cream aisle of a grocery after mom says no.
But I digress…
Some of this article is excerpted from my forthcoming book, Leaving and finding Jesus
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