Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pastoral Ways

I've not posted in a while. It's not because I've been too busy to blog, but simply because I haven't wanted to lately. I've not had enough energy to post anything constructive lately and it would have been rant had I posted before now.

However, all my internal and external ranting has finally brought about, perhaps, a sense of growth into a more pastoral mindset. Perhaps it's part of that oratio, meditatio, tentatio Luther talks about?

Anyway, it boils down to something Pastor Batsky told me a couple months ago: act like a pastor today. I thought originally how incredibly pietistic and moralistic that sounded. But now as I understand it, it has a much broader scope.

I have a gentleman that I speak with regularly who delights in the law of the Lord, too much - at the expense of the Gospel. It ultimately shapes his view on the end times (Historic Premillenialist-ish), and the way He interprets Scripture (with a bias where he is always correct, that he might never contradict himself). He often is spot on on some details, and it is enjoyable to listen to him. But lately it has gotten harder to have conversation with him. He gives me back-handed compliments, belittles me when I disagree with his interpretation of passages, and can be vociferously belligerent if I tend to agree with the Lutheran Confessions (which he claims makes so many wrong conjectures).

I have seen strife and anger first hand. People who have become upset and angry over something that could have been avoided. People who are unwilling to understand before acting. People for whom forgiveness is not the answer to redeem and bring to Christ a broken world.

And, on the positive side, I have seen Pastor Roth handle a very delicate situation with incredible Pastoral Care. A situation in which I would have failed miserably.

Act like a pastor today.

Speak with love and with understanding to the people you wish to guide and teach. Be encouraging, slow to become angry, and patient. Always patient. Be repentant and forgiving, and ultimately trust in the Gospel. Trust in the Gospel, that the Good Pastor Jesus Christ has been the perfect Pastor for you, and has forgiven every one of your sinful pastoral failures with His precious blood.

+Kyrie Eleison+


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

One of the ways I like to think of this idea is that a Christian (and hence a pastor) ought not give offense and ought not be offended.

We should so moderate our tongue so that we don't give offense.

We should govern our mind that we don't let people get under our skin (so that we are thrown off kilter and less apt to show love).

Jay Hobson said...

I tell you though, that is a hard thing to do.

But, that is the case with all good disciplines. Prayer and fasting and the like. All disciplines, but certainly hard to do them well and consistently.