i was thinking yesterday about this really uncomfortable experience we had with our “community life” pastor at the church we went to right before we began attending an Orthodox Church. it was really unpleasant. me and my now wife had been dating a little over a year and it was not going well. we were caught up in all kinds of toxic behavior. i do believe this guy really wanted to help. but he had no idea how to and was woefully incapable. we had all of these meetings with him that were unproductive and frustrating. to some degree, it seemed as though he was needing the power trip. that frustrated me because it seemed to me that certain pastors in evangelicalism were not ordained but self-appointed. this was certainly the case here and it was immensely frustrating. we wanted help. he wanted to help, but this self appointed watch-dog just made things worse.
we used to sit around and criticize the other pastor of the church. his sermons weren’t serious enough for us. he wasn’t telling it like it is, we complained. what arrogance reigned in my heart at this point. i had zero spiritual life to speak of, but i was more than happy to rip anyone else apart for what i perceived to be a lack of their own. God, help me.
going back to 2005 (in my memory), there was a mounting conversation on sexual ethics — which things were and were not permissible. of course, the sides divide and no one of the thousands of little popes can agree. many have embraced the sexual revolution without a thought (i did for quite a long time in a more muted way). recently, an old acquaintance who was in our friend circle posted some photo of himself to instagram. in the caption, he wrote about how he came out and near the end he wrote that it was most important to “love the f— out of yourself”. lots of our friends “hearted” the photo. people who i thought were more or less in line with traditional christian sexual ethics. it stunned me. even if they are of a more liberal sexual ethos, making one’s life end to love the f— out of yourself is as anti-christian as it gets. it is sad to see this happening; people who largely call themselves christian embracing bold secularism and thinking the two are the exact same thing.
Lord have mercy.