Yesterday we received some rather shocking news that at first just made me laugh, but was quickly followed by sadness.
I wrote a post about it immediately following about the big scandal. But shortly after posting it I deleted it. Why? Because I hate to be a gossip. I hate those gossip sites that slander people all over the internet and write about shit they have no idea about. And that’s what I found myself doing. I don’t want to be one of those people. I try very hard not to be a gossip. So I removed it, figuring I could write it in a more respectful way. In a way that conveys the shittiness of it all, instead of sensationalizing it. It is an opportunity to practice love and forgiveness.
As Christians, as church-goers, we are often guilty of placing our Pastors* on a pedestal. This has been happening since the beginning of Christendom, and will continue to occur for various reasons. We often see them as intermediaries between us and God. Or as more spiritual than us because they know more scripture, or because they have devoted their lives to ministry and are therefore closer to God. I am guilty of it. They are where I want to be. They are knowledgable about the things I want to be knowledgable about, and are doing the job I want to do.
We often forget that they are men and women just like us. They have their faults and misgivings, and they fuck-up just as bad as the next person. So when they fall, it is as though they are falling farther, and landing harder than need be. They need love and forgiveness just like we do. And we are just as capable of providing this love and forgiveness as they are/were to us.
Mama Bean and I used to attend this amazing church. We were loved and welcomed from the moment we arrived. It was a place where we started and grew some amazing relationships. It helped strengthen our relationship with each other, and with God. Our friends there made leaving Calgary very difficult to do, and we miss them. It was the kind of church where you walked in the door and there were people there to greet you; people that were genuinely happy to see you. We got plugged in quickly, joining a small group (care group), and playing/singing on the worship team. Mama Bean made the decision to get baptized, and a bunch of her friends showed up to show their support. It was a wonderful place. It was a good definition of church.
Last year the children’s pastor had a baby. It was a bit of a shock since her husband had gotten a vesectomy so there were lots of stories about how they aren’t 100% effective.
Earlier this year the lead pastor (who planted the church just 2 years previous) made the decision to leave ministry after 15 years to become a firefighter.
Yesterday we find out the new baby is the result of a 2 year affair between the children’s pastor and the former lead pastor. Both pastors are married with kids.
To say it was a shock is an understatement. And I think if I was in church when the announcement was made, my internal filter would have failed and I would have laughed out loud. But that was my first response. I just laughed. I thought it was hilarious. This kind of shit doesn’t happen in real life, not in our cirle of influence anyway. This is the kind of shit that happens on TV, or at least in the states, not here.
So yeah. I’m sure there are a million and one rumors flying around right now, and alot of hurt and pissed off people. Initially I was one of them, but then I realized what a perfect opportunity this is to demonstrate love and forgiveness. These two are no better or worse than we are. They are human and flawed just like the rest of us. Now is the time to demonstrate God’s love. The love that they have shown us for the past couple of years since the start of the church. They may have had this big secret the entire time, but I don’t think that diminishes the power of their love or actions.
I hope the two of them find the love and forgiveness they need and deserve. They have my forgiveness. And love. And prayers. And I hope others see this as an opportunity to really live like Christ did.
*not sure if this word needs to be capilatized