Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Problem of Pain

Stumbled across a brother pastor's blog today. He had mused upon why pastors quit a few days ago, and his blog and his thoughts are quite striking. Go give it a read.

Why do pastors quit? Because they are tired of trying to be invisible. The pastor's job is to be invisible, to have people see Jesus instead of him. It's to point people to the One who can truly save them . . . and yet people often spend all their time looking to their pastor, to force him into the open, to make the Invisible Man someone to be clearly seen . . . to look to him instead of to Him. Let me say it clearly: YOUR PASTOR IS NOT JESUS!

I want nothing more than my people to know Jesus. To love Jesus. To trust Jesus. To recognize their need for Jesus. But what gets in the way is when they fail to recognize that I need Him too. Yes, I, I myself, I NEED JESUS. I fail. I sin. I make a mess out of things. I need to apologize. If you want to get real earthy for a minute, then understand that the bathroom stinks when I leave, same as it does for you. For the love of God, please do not make the mistake of looking to me for your salvation!

Chief of sinners though I be,
Jesus gave His life for me.

That doesn't change because I'm the guy preaching. Yes, I'm there for you. I want to minister to you. I'll do my best to point you in the way in which God would have you walk. I'll even be God's voicebox, His mouth, and His hands for you--I'll let Him act through me. But I can't be God, and in fact I'd kill you if I tried to be. I'd kill you because I would be offering a fake god, a false gospel . . . a gospel something entirely other than the true Gospel you are offered only in Jesus Christ. By trusting in my false gospel, you'd die. And I'd be guilty.

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