Thursday, July 13, 2006

Gimme a dose of reality

You gotta be real.
I think a lot of times Christians, especially Chrisitian leaders, avoid revealing their weaknesses and neediness. They're especially careful to convey an invulnerability before those who would be their subordinates in the ministry, their mentorees, etc. Here are possible reasons: 1. they wouldn't want those under them to feel insecure about them as leaders; 2. they wouldn't want those under them to stumble and fall into a state of greater weakness; 3. they want to prove to them they are more mature as Christians, and by living a victorious Christian life, they have earned the right to impart wisdom upon the younger generation.

There are probably a whole list of possible reasons or combinations of the above. The point is, weakness is bad - don't let people see. It might give them a bad impression of God's powerful and sanctifying work.

Being in Bible school for a couple of years now, I realize how really weak people are. They go through the same struggles that 'ordinary' Christians face, yet they are not allowed to reveal it, lest they jeopardise the flock. Rather, they use carefully chosen words to convey an invulerability that they do not necessarily possess, but always point to some ideal that is not necessarily attainable.

When my former pastor was just beginning his ministry in our church, he asked us, "what would you want or expect of me?" I responded, "I want to know that you are one of us, struggling through life and not afraid to let it show." Well, I guess he turned out to be Mr. Perfect after all, cause I never saw a the release valve open even once to let out some reality of genuine human struggle. Thus, he always remained far ahead of the game. Sure, we respected him greatly, but always as someone we could never be like.

I see something a little different of Jesus. He even once lamented that he had no place to lay his head. He even wept, in public, in order to identify with the sorrow of his friends - even though he knew he was about to completely change the atmosphere of the funeral into a time of joyous celebration.

Does anyone actually think that the clergy are superheroes, walking 3 feet above the ground and hears God's voice audibly, every 5 minutes or so? Please.

Show me a man who isn't going through hardship and toil and isn't honestly lamenting about it, and I'll show you a man who's putting on a mask - a fake.

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