“I didn’t agree with what the Pastor taught, that’s why I left that church.”
That’s an excuse I’ve heard from people in my generation more than I can count. Generation X, Screenagers, Mosaics, whatever you want to call them. This generation is getting more use out of that phrase than any other previously. I love this generation, I’m a part and a product of it. But we so easily get offended by those in spiritual authority and the words they preach. In using that excuse, here’s two issues that underly it:
1. You’re not going to agree with the next guy either.
2. The issue isn’t what he said, it’s who you are.
Let me explain.
My wife and I belong to a gym. We pay monthly dues and it gives us access to weights, treadmills, etc. There’s also the option of getting a personal trainer. They are there to help you with form, nutrition, and overall health. These trainers are skilled, knowledgable and have your best interest in mind. I trust them because they know what they’re talking about.
When a trainer tells me, “Don’t eat that, eat this.” Or, Don’t lift like that, lift like this,” I listen. Why? Because they know something I don’t. We go to that gym to get more physically healthy and listen to someone who can help me better my life physically. I’ve never met someone who has left a gym because a trainer gave them “too strict” of a diet.
On the contrary, people leave the Church all the time because they say a church’s rules are “too strict” or the pastor is legalistic. Often, Pastors take abuse from people because they say, “Read the Bible more.” Or, “Stop sinning in this certain area.” All of a sudden the Pastor is now the one to blame. He simply is looking out for your spiritual health and now he is under attack by the very person he wants to help. The issue is not what he said. He spoke the truth. The issue is you enjoy what you’re doing and how you’re living, and what he has said does not mix with those choices.
Your pastor is not your enemy. He is not trying to cramp your lifestyle. He’s trying to help you. Your Pastor is your personal trainer, spiritually. Even if you don’t like what he says, try it. It’s probably good for you. This Sunday, hit the spiritual gym and thank your spiritual trainer. You may not be where you want to be, but you’re better that what you could be. Listen, he can help you get good results.