SO YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE – PART 8
We moved to Shreveport, Louisiana (aka Sportsman’s Paradise) over 4 years ago from S. Cali.
Like every typical trigger happy kid, I enjoyed shooting my air rifle especially at birds. If it flies – it dies!
Well, my buddy asked if I owned a real gun. Not yet!
So one afternoon, we went to Bass Pro and next thing you know it, I’m walking out of the store with my first gun, a 12-gauge shotgun. I love the distinct chuck-clunk sound of a shotgun being pumped. =)
This Saturday I completed the State’s Hunter’s Education Training and will soon experience why they call it “Sportsman’s Paradise”.
Chapter 8 – Unplayable Lies, we’ll find-out Jake’s ex-pastor’s dirty little secret. Do you know the difference between a politician and pastor? Just keep that question on the back burner of your mind as we unpack this chapter.
The Hunter’s Ed. instructor taught that guns must be treated like it’s always loaded. His disclaimer was know where you point the muzzle because once a bullet leaves the gun, you can’t tell it to come back. What a reality check!
We see that Jake has been given “ammo” that could “fire” his former pastor. The pastor had an affair with a church member. Oh boy! This is going to cause a frenzy!
“He took advantage of me,” she blurted out suddenly while choking back a sob. I had no idea what she meant and as I tried to figure out what question to ask she’d gathered herself enough to continue. “I’ve really fought the urge to tell you this, but when I saw you here alone today, I just knew I had to.”
In measured words she told me that she’d had a three-month affair with Jim. During the divorce and for almost a year afterwards she stayed in a spare room of their home. Toward the end of her time there they had gotten involved and he told her he was willing to give up his wife for her. She was still deeply conflicted about what had happened and alternated from blaming him to blaming herself. “I should not have stayed there. I was just too much temptation for him, especially with the problems he was having with his wife. They fought all the time. One morning I woke up, knowing this wasn’t the person I wanted to be and moved out.” Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Folks, a wise pastor (or believer for that matter) should never be alone with another’s man’s wife, even if meeting in a public area. There must always be someone present like a husband (duh!) or another lady like the pastor’s wife or secretary. You would think this is common sense stuff but pastors get careless, especially the arrogant ones.
A careless hunter will end up killing/injuring himself, taking innocent life, and/or in big doo-doo by the game warden. Remember once a bullet leaves the barrel, you can’t tell it to come back.
One of the police instructors commented that the most dangerous place for officers isn’t the streets but rather their shooting range. Seasoned officers (and military alike) make the mistake of not unloading their weapon or mishandling their firearm.
So the one who lied about me was living a lie himself. I had no idea how to play this out.
Jake has an obvious disdain for his former pastor and rightfully so.
So what would you do if you were in Jake’s shoes? Hopefully doing what Jesus would do. W.W.J.D?
Jake needs help and who better to point him in the right direction? You guessed it. Tito John just so happens to be hanging out at the same mall.
I really wish this was a movie and I can show a clip of their conversation. It’s really good! Here are chunks of what was said:
“They are not all frauds, Jake. Not all groups become as destructive as yours. Those that treat leaders as if they have some special anointing are the most susceptible to being deceived by them. It seems people who assume or who are given the most human authority forget how to say no to their own appetites and desires. It is so easy for any of us to end up serving ourselves when we think we’re serving others by keeping an institution functioning. But not all of those who do it end up so broken. Many are real servants who only want to help others and they’ve been led to believe this is the best way to do it. Always separate the failure of the system from the hearts of the people in it.
“Any human system will eventually dehumanize the very people it seeks to serve and those it dehumanizes the most are those who think they lead it. But not everyone in a system is given over to the priorities of that system. Many walk inside it without being given over to it. They live in Father’s life and graciously help others as he gives them opportunity…..
……We’ve all been there, Jake, and I certainly understand that. But that’s because we can’t see yet what God will do. We can only see what we can do. You think exposing Jim’s affair will fix everything when in fact it will fix nothing. People who can’t see his arrogance won’t be convinced of his moral failure. If he has already been unfaithful, he’ll think nothing of lying about it.”
“I never thought of it that way. But I hate it that people think he’s so righteous.”
“But they only think he is. It’s an illusion and while illusions can be powerful, they are still illusions.”
“But most people live by those illusions.”
“Only because they want to, Jake. I don’t want you to. You appear to be the bad guy when you know it isn’t true. You appear to be on the verge of financial ruin, but you’re not. Never let mere appearances become your reality.”
“But I want others to know the truth, John. Why should they get to live in their illusions?”
“Believing a lie isn’t something someone gets to do. It’s something they are trapped in. You have some information that may help you know better what is really going on. Let God show you what to do with it. Don’t just assume broadcasting it is what he wants, especially when you’re the one who will benefit most from it.”
There are still many good church leaders and God will lead us to them. We can trust God to sort out the bad apples.
There are more nuggets to mine out of this conversation but I trust you’ll spot them.
The chapter can be summed up with this reminder from Tito John:
“We are to live on his ability not our own. Remember what Scripture says about his ability: ‘And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.’ ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…’ ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him on that day. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.’ ‘Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.’ And, ‘(he) is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.’
I’ve tagged Mondays to be my worst day of the week….but does it have to be that way? I think the above Scriptures answers that.
I hope you enjoy the below videos!
Group 1 Crew – “He Said (feat. Chris August)” (Official Music Video)
Story Behind “He Said”
What He Said: Trust
Beckah Shae – Your Presence (Official Video)