In more than 2,000 years, since humanity was visited by God in the person of Jesus, those who still gather in His name have been able to conjure up a whole litany of good behavior rules and regulations and impute their authority to the Bible. This is an amazing feat when we realize that one of the reasons Jesus came was to wean us off the thousands of rules created after the first covenant that began with 10 clear commandments. Jesus told us about loving God, loving ourselves, loving our neighbors and not judging. He was actually pretty harsh with the leaders of the time who had corrupted the Temple with an authority-based system that put man in control of his own salvation (by following the rules) instead of leaving God in charge.
Now I’m a really big fan of good behavior. It makes everything more pleasant, and often more successful. I really like good behavior in the church, as long as it doesn’t become our sole purpose. The tricky thing is one person’s good-behavior-rules does not fit all! And one sect’s well-crafted Biblical interpretation of good behavior is often in conflict with another’s. Of course, anarchy cannot be our goal either.
So when the sheep stray, like in times of marital discord, infidelity, abuse, divorce, what are we to do?
We too often look solely to the Pastor or leader of our church to do the heavy lifting in dealing with us, the frisky sheep. Over the years I have come to admire how well these men and women can deal with these high risk and often thankless chores with gentleness and aplomb. I’ve also cringed at pastoral missteps in this area.
What has your experience been? We want to go right to the source and interview as many pastors and church leaders as we can over the next few months to get their take on how to lovingly and effectively deal with family discord and pending divorce.
Please comment below or email suggestions of church or denominational leaders you would like us to interview. We are looking for success stories and those failures that can lead us to better ways. If you know a pastor or leader who can bring a strong perspective let us know.
If you’ve had a personal experience with a church leader or pastor, good, bad or ugly, let us know.
We are eager to share what we learn. Email suggestions to Dorothy@newlepers.com or post a comment below.