The easy thing to do is play it safe, but easy is not always right. And at the end of the day, integrity carries more weight than comfort. At least for me.
Most preachers I know are off the Richter scale in the people-pleasing department. I know because I have been one, though less now than in the past. Perhaps there is something about pastoring for 30 years that strengthens the spine and the spirit.
Mind you, I don’t go looking for battle, but if something vital is at stake, I’m on the field and I’ll go the distance.
Immigration is a complex and emotionally-charged issue. For most, not a safe topic. But the more exposure I had to it in media, print and in person, the more troubled my soul. It begged for a public forum and since I have one in a pulpit weekly, it made sense. Not for a bully pulpit, but rather as a place, with honor, to explore the issue. Democrats and Republicans; Liberals, conservatives and middle-of-the roaders; members and guests alike all gathered for worship around a topic they read about in advance on-line or just happened upon, summer Sundays when they showed up for worship.
Some objected. ‘It will divide the church. Politics have no place in the church— a place for peace in the midst of life’s storms!”
Others chimed, ‘What a breath of fresh air.’ I need my church to take more risks like this, to help me explore faithful responses to complex problems.’
Curious. I wonder why we fear conflict or differences of opinion? What is behind that fear? And how real is it?
My denomination celebrates its diversity, in people and thought, at least that’s what we say.
And as I read it, Jesus was a reformer and a reformer of the religion of his birth. From his pulpit came sermons on the economics and politics of faith, unapologetically. He talked about a Kingdom whose standards did not match the world’s and he had little time to worry whether folks agreed with him.
Three years was all the time allotted him, so he worked smart.
It cost him his life as it has others.
While in my circumstance, I don’t expect such sacrifice, I choose not to live easy just because it’s safe. Because in whatever ways it can, I want my life to count, and my words. Perhaps a blog will help me do that.
Join me here weekly and we can do some life together.