What’s with all the odd messages from some American Pastors?

Perhaps you have noticed a little trend in the news lately with some American pastors the last couple of months.

There have been some Youtube videos posted about Pastors wanting to beat the gay out of children, or locking them in an electrical fence so they can’t get out.

Now the latest, John Hagee has told atheists “to leave the country because they are not and won’t be missed.”  He goes on to inform all atheists that are planes leaving the country every hour.

Here’s an excerpt.

Now I know that some have defended this as quotes taken out of context, but it would seem to me something seems to be happening here.

Picture it.  A sharply well-dressed man of God in a suit. He is dressed to make sure that you respect him. He has a thick enough Bible that you would think he reads it. He is giving an image of respect. All the while being disrespectful.

Lest you think that these are the only 3 pastors who have ever done this, there have been more. Mark Driscoll for example has had a history of making disrespectful comments. To the point that there is an actual blog for people that have been hurt by it. We also had a pastor named Perry Noble who in one message that I’m about to say this, “because I’m the pastor and I can.” A pastor in Edmonton wrote on his blog that homosexuals will be sent to a “lake of fire”

Maybe it’s my Canadian that is coming out, but this kind of style is not comforting to me at all.  It feels like some have taken what I see as a privilege to pastor a congregation and have made it a place of power. Because they have the power, and they have the microphone or are “in charge”, they can say what they want. They cannot be stopped. They have built a big enough church that they can.

What is sadder? And even more concerning? They are being cheered, laughed, and defended in the media by some of their members. Here are examples of some of the quotes in the news.

“Oh, that’s just how they talk! We take him with a grain of salt!”

“Enough about the electric fence, let’s look at the Bible says.

That’s a good point actually. The word Pastor occurs once in the KJV.  The word Shepherd occurs 45 times. And that seems to have some important consequences and responsibilities. Jesus was called the good shepherd who laid down his life.

The shepherd was instructed to look after the flock. Separate the sheep and the goats.  So someone that as to be looked up to and trusted.

In the letters in the New Testament even goes deeper when he talks about deacons. Peter in the first 3 verses of his letter challenges overseers to not “lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.”

In the letter to Titus, elders must be blameless, be hospitable, and encourage sound doctrine (Titus 1: 6-10)

I’m thankful that in my church, there is a level of respect from the passers who love to teach, and the people who respect it. We have an open dialogue.

And I see that with a high, high majority of pastors who take what they do as a privilege and an honour to serve their community.  To be accountable to what they are teaching and the people in that community love their church and their community. And everyone is BETTER for it.

That never seems to be reported in the news, the good pastors and churched. We seem too distracted by the ones making awful statements.


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