Monday, August 1, 2011

A Badge of Honor

When you become a “free thinker” in todays terms with Christianity it can be a very good thing. You begin to rethink what you have been taught. The stuff you were perhaps force fed or just willingly heard are now all things up for discussion. This does not mean you will depart from them...it just means you are rediscovering for yourself. As a pastor I have gone down that road on multiple lessons taught in pulpits across the world every Sunday. Does that make me a bad person? Does that make you a bad person? I don’t think so. I would go as far as to say it is central to Christianity to question things. Hear me when I say “NOT IN AN IGNORANT MANNER” but in an educated manner.

What I have discovered about being a pastor is that I don’t have to “be the norm.” It is okay to use other means to bring out a message in the Bible. Sometimes I wonder if Christians worship the Bible more than the author. There have been times where I use a scripture and apply it to a message a secular music artist may be using and draw truth from it. I will also use scripture to contradict what a musician may view as truth. If I don't use the Bible enough...some may say talk. If you use the Bible too much some may talk.

So being a “free thinker” has it’s risks. To have a blog and be completely transparent means some people will like you. It also means others will not like you…in fact some people will even pray “that God would take you out.” Now I know this sounds completely farfetched but this happened with me and I have the proof for you to listen to (about 5 minutes). All throughout Jesus earthly ministry you see him using the pop-culture of the day to proclaim the message. Throughout the apostle Paul’s missionary journeys you hear him using methods that may in fact cause many “Christians” to squirm. The only thing is that these “Christians” who did not approve what Jesus others in the New Testament were doing....they were actually given the label “Pharisee.”

If you take a stand for what you believe and are transparent in how you do ministry…you can expect the Pharisees to come knocking. I think I have read one of, Rick Warren’s book and used a quote from it in a message awhile back. Because of that one quote I had people emailing me telling me he is a witch, sinner, awful person and that I am as well for quoting him. Oh…and the email was from “a fellow brother in Christ” who likes to post comments on my blog “anonymously.” To those kind of people I say man up and put your name on there.

When I first heard my name used in a message I was deeply offended and hurt. To be completely honest with you when I heard this pastor say “he quit trusting the Lord” or “he one time zealously served the Lord” or “was overcome by the world” or “suckered by invitation of Satan” or “preach the Bible but don’t preach what God would have you to preach” (what the heck does that mean anyway) or my personal favorite “gave up to get fame and fortune” (uh…I still live in Waupaca a blue collar town and LOVE IT!) this all becomes a badge of honor. For me it reminds me why I pastor the way I pastor…to welcome the hurting and abused by the “institution of church”. These kinds of comments remind me why I do this thing called, “That’s Not My God.” So thank you…to all of those anonymous commenters, you preachers who use my name in a negative way. You are simply stating the case for my cause. I once was so beat down by the system and ready to give up. But...the picture on this blog sums up where I am at now. I have turned another page and don't dwell much anymore on my "past hurts" because they are healed and gone. However, another thing central to scripture is to forgive and NOT forget.

Btw…

I will not reveal the name of the person you hear in this clip. He mentions mine freely but I will not mention his and take the higher ground. I choose to take the high road because with 22,800 hits on this blog and many from the Free Believers, Sanctuary, and That’s Not My God…I am quite sure the comments would flood this ministries site.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN IN CASE YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME

6 comments:

  1. Dude! James Pesch, Bentonville Ar here, that was awesome! I loved the clip. My parents actually told my wife and I that we were destroying our child's life because we believed differently about the objective of scripture. Not Christ, not the love of the Father, but a book. I love that you are being openly criticized because I was & was heartbroken for years. Stories like this remind me of something Darrin Hufford said in an email:"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." I left the pulpit ministry 5 years ago due to peer pressure from bible school friends and fellow ministers. I'm glad to see someone has the heart to carry out what the Father is laying on it!

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  2. Thank you, James I am glad it was an encouragement to you! I really appreciate the comment.

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  3. There are so many now who, as you say, worship the written word and not the living word. I know the Lord will still use this guy (whoever he is) and I'm sure he has a heart for God and truth. It's just so sad when those in the church think they have it all sussed and slowly descend into dogma and closed minds. God gave us the written word, but he also gave us enquiring minds. It would dishonor God to not question and grow and stretch for answers. Good on you Bob!!

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  4. Bob, I'm glad you are not a coward who believes the lie that if something bad happens in "church" we're NOT supposed to talk about it, (the reasoning being)that way we'll ruin what a "perfect" thing it is. Just like families who think they need to hide molestation or alcoholism. It's DYSFUNCTIONAL and wrong to cover up things up continuously!!! The "church" (little c) has become professional at that!

    I'm glad you expose the truth of things. It's VERY refreshing from people who are tired of hypocrisy being pushed as the norm.

    You are a total squealer! lol Thank you for being a bold leader who will call a spade a spade and not shrink back and ignore things that are just not right.

    I am also glad you are not a type of Pastor who would shoot someone down by NAME from the pulpit...goodness that was rude!

    Jim M. put it perfectly above, that God will still use this person (I personally HOPE this person knows Jesus... it sure disturbs me that he is pretty convinced that you do not! YIKES)! I personally feel that this person's usefulness will be limited by the fact that he sure doesn't appear to have Love and Jesus' heart for "the least of these" as his motivator but rather and agenda to control people through judgement, condemnation and am "I'm better than you religion"... Which I believe Jesus came to show us how EMPTY that is!! HE is the life!
    My prayer for him is that HE will have this repentance he talks about!!!

    I am so thankful that God continues to pull me away from living like a Pharisee... by HIS Grace He does that.
    okay... I digress(sorry)... great blog Pastor Bob! Thank you for being used for the Kingdom!! Jesus LOVES People!!! That's it!

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  5. So the so called 'pastor' 1: wanted you to leave, 2: PRAYED for you to leave.. THEN..here's the kicker.. he BLAMES you for following the devil. oh for crying out loud.

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