Standing Together

There is a great and powerful need to learn how to pastor differently.

Imagine these words …  that holiness dwells more so in what we don’t know than in what we do know.  Or as Emanuel Swedenborg phrased it, “Holiness makes its home in ignorance that is innocent … holiness can only dwell in ignorance. (Secrets of Heaven 1557).

That is not speaking to the old business of pastoring, a business centered on a sealed “knowing.”  It is a new business of pastoring … a business of curiosity and questions and engagement and mutual discovery, comfortable with blessed unknowing.   Such business is not without a specialness to it.

There is a specialness, a specialness arguably more concerned with connection and care than with the heady mastery of unique and special knowledge.

A historian of religion once said that all religion begins by the making of a false distinction between the holy and the seemingly unholy. Soon a clerical caste, moral distinctions, purity codes, and temple systems emerge to keep these two worlds defined and apart, and to keep us separate from the unholy. This makes the ego feel safe and superior, so it usually works if you stay at the early level (of religion), where not much self-knowledge has yet been acquired. This becomes the very “business” of religion, and you can understand business here on several true levels: It keeps us busy, it keeps the customers coming back, and it is often a very subtle process of the “buying and selling” of God. It does give us clergy a good job, and most of us run to the occasion—because the crowds like it for some reason, and we get to feel important as “protectors of the sacred” (scriptures, rituals, and moralities). No one has told them any differently, for the most part—except Jesus.

And Christ spoke very differently!  He spoke away from special, caste-protected religion to a democratized faith of the people.  Such speech echoed the sacredness of the rich human lives with which it found itself entwined as a here-and-now, flesh-and-bones proposition.  Christianity’s roots far more hearkened to engagement with the world from the dangerous position of a living alternative than to a deadened ritual more concerned with escapism.

It would be easy to blame pastors for moving away from people towards a role as hyper-intellectual content experts.  But such a ministerial role is deeply comfortable for congregations. It demands little except passive listening.  It places faith at a safe distance with a specialized cadre of those expert enough to handle it…. no wars need be fought because there are trained soldiers to do that.   Many churches then get exactly what they want.

The truth remains … we are all here to learn.  We are all here to do.  Together.


Tags: , , ,

13 Responses to “Standing Together”

  1. Cameron says:

    This piece of writing offers clear idea in support of the new people of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.

  2. This is really fascinating, You are a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to searching for more of your great post.
    Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

  3. payday loans says:

    I am really thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared
    this impressive paragraph at at this place.

  4. i can say that David Archuleta has some great potential. all he need is more epxerience’

  5. I’d have to check with you here. Which is not some thing I usually do! I like reading a post that could get people to think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  6. There are extremely plenty of details prefer that to consider. That is a great denote talk about. I provide thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly you can find questions just like the one you start up the place that the most important factor will be getting work done in honest excellent faith. I don?t determine if recommendations have emerged around such things as that, but Almost certainly that your chosen job is clearly identified as a good game. Both youngsters notice the impact of simply a moment’s pleasure, throughout their lives.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to post this data. I am recently one of your most passoniate followers. I have your RSS feed in my iphone and will check back regularly.

  8. Nice post. I learn something tougher on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to study content off their writers and exercise a specific thing from their store. I’d would prefer to use some with all the content in my blog regardless of whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide a link for your web weblog. Thank you for sharing.

  9. howdy, I’m havin a tough time trying to rank up for the keyword “victorias secret coupon codes”… Pls approve my comment!!

  10. wow excellent blog for certain i will come again to study new subject matter thanks

  11. there are some types of collectible figurines that are rare and very expensive to buy,,

  12. Oh my goodness! a wonderful post dude. Thank you Nonetheless I’m experiencing problem with ur rss . Don’t know why Can not subscribe to it. Can there be everyone obtaining identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  13. poetry has the power to affect our emotions by using words alone, i really love poetry*

Leave a Reply