Friday, July 08, 2005

Not to Become a Pharisee

I have to be careful not to become a Pharisee, or to return to being one. This is part of why I embrace simple church. This is part of why I don't want to be a "vocational" pastor the rest of my life.

Jesus told three stories to get the same point across. The first was about a sheep-herder who lost one out of his 100 sheep. Yet he left the 99 to go find that one. The second was about a poor woman who had ten coins and lost one. She turned the house upside down to find it. The third story is about a son who trashed out his life, gave his family a bad name, blew his inheritance, and ended up on skid row. His older brother stayed on with the family business and did everything he was supposed to. When younger brother came home, desperate, dad welcomed him, but older son was pissed off. This third story reminds me of the story of Jonah who, like the older brother, had always been a "good person" and was downright furious when God decided to forive a pagan city (full of "younger brothers").

I know that my life story lines up much more with the older brother than the younger brother, more with Jonah then the pagan city people, more with the 99 sheep who stayed home than the one who wondered off. So I have to be careful not to slip (back) into being a Pharisee. I can't change my life story, nor should I, but I have to be careful.

So, I'll continue to pursue a different path of what if means to be a Christ-follower, and what it means to be a "church leader." I know many people will not understand why I must do things this way, but do so I must.


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