I don’t quite concur, and here’s the reasons I posted on BJS :
Resolution 3-10: I consider this to be a “make it look like we’re doing something” study. It should be re-written to investigate what Synod and the DP’s are doing to get these candidates into Calls, refer those DP’s et al who aren’t doing their job to the appropriate disciplinary / correctional authority, and help share the lessons of those DP’s and related Synodical members who are doing it right with the rest of Synod.
Resolution 4-14: This one is dangerous – the expectations between a congregation and it’s “Callee” should be laid out and identified _before_ the Call is extended and accepted, not afterwards when they’re “stuck” with each other. It’s also missing a call to stop “trying to resolve” situations when it’s clear that one or both sides are entrenched in their sin. In such cases the DP et al should “wield the sword” Christ gives to His designated authorities and discipline and / or punish errant congregations when they persist in walking astray.
Resolution 7-06: The “Whereas” is good, the “resolved” for the COP to seek a compassionate way to serve men on CRM is – to me – an indictment that they aren’t doing it now! The second resolved finally takes a stand and instructs the COP to “do something” about the problem. I would rather they be instructed to come up with a solution to a problem during the next triennium.
This article discusses the reality of pastors pushed out of office – and what should really happen to them:
What this paper misses is what should happen the congregations who wrongfully mistreat their pastors and use them for chewing gum. It is well and good to talk about supporting pastors in difficult situations, and hopefully do something about it.
It’s also half the story.
In writing about Pastors ousted from their calls, I came across this during my devotions last night, and thought it rather telling:
A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard.
But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out.
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
Pastors are God’s ambassadors through whom He makes His appeal, which makes them workers in His harvest field.
When a congregation runs a pastor off for the wrong reasons, they’re abusing servants of the Most High God. And, as surely as there is a God, absent repentance and forgiveness, Justice will be served, it will be certain, final, and without possibility of appeal.
And this would be with good reason, because – let’s be serious here – this isn’t “just” about how the pastor’s being treated, it’s how Christ Himself is being treated.
As Christ told Saul when Saul was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians there:
And falling to the ground he [Saul] heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?”
And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…
CRM is a unique place in synodical politics, where a man who’se trained years to serve as a pastor can find themselves ousted from a call, placed on the CRM list, and then sit and languish for ages waiting for another call.
I know it’s not going to make much difference, but I’ll feel better posting some pertinent Scripture citations here:
Pastors are sometimes referred to Christ’s Ambassadors through whom He makes His appeal (2 Corinthians 5:20). Therefor, the way pastors are treated should be given special consideration:
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Mt 25:40
What makes this a fundamental offense in Christiandom is that when such men wind up CRM’d, not because of some wrong they did, but because of some wrong someone else did, which was then either ineffectually opposed, or perpetuated by the “powers that be”:
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Some will say “Wait for God – He will provide”, as if this relieves Synod and the pastor’s fellow believers of the responsibility to their brothers in ministry. Such was the doctrine of the “religious authorities” of Christ’s time who used their traditions to invalidate the responsibility children had towards their parents, while sounding high-minded and pius in the process:
For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” ’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Such neglect and dismissal certainly isn’t the fruits of love, which implies….
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
1 Jn 4:20–21
I think this is most damning of all citations:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Could it be that the lack of fruit of all the “evangelism” and “mission” programs is in part because God knows that a church that can’t properly care for it’s own pastors will not take good care of a harvest of new believers? And that, in the end, “The church” would drive them away, and their final state would be worse than how they are now?
One has to wonder….
Notable quotes from the article:
It’s been almost four years since I have had any contact with my mother, but it’s for the best – not only for my self-protection but for my son’s well-being.
Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: ‘I’d like a child. If it happens, it happens.’ I tell them: ‘Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.’ As I know only too well.
Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They’ve missed the opportunity and they’re bereft.
Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.
I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters – a happy family.
Quote of the Day:
They (do things for a girl) thinking it’ll will get them somewhere with girl.They’re seeking approval. It’s a passive aggressive attempt to generate tingles.
A normal working father who already had three other children, he wanted to know if there was something he could do to stop his wife from killing one of their children.