The Gross National Debt

Sunday, May 26, 2013

If you follow me, we're both in deep kimchee


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This not about church or religion.

Some time back I interviewed a Church of God pastor from West by God Virginia. He runs a church which his grandfather ran. He's been there more than two decades and has turned down promotions from the COG international office.
talk about a parking problem...

His church is on a leveled off mountain. At the time, the congregation was waiting for a mining company to flatten another mountain so they could build a bigger sanctuary.

He told me "The passion of the Christ is 'I will never leave you and I will never forsake you.' The passion of too many minister is 'I will leave you and I will forsake you.'" He went to to say a church pastor should buy a cemetery plot in the community where that pastor serves.

As the COG pastor said, it takes an average of 18 months to get to  the point of trusting someone. So, just as the congregation is willing to trust the preacher, he's gone.

I brought this up a while back on FB, about how church leaders are experts showing up and leaving in short order. Some preachers don't even bother to unpack, I believe. I know a few who absolutely will not stay in one place for more than six months. I also know a few people who won't hold a job for more than a few months. Ahem. Anyway, the average pastor stays at a church for 18 months.

A friend reported a conversation from another pastor who said "I know it's time to leave when they start looking to me instead of Christ."

I suggest the pastor in that case ain't doing his job.

Except that he very well may be.

He's dealing with humans, after all.

The problem is when the Bible describes us as sheep, it was dead right on. We need a leader. Even the most devout anarchists I know pledge allegiance to leaders. They espouse the views offered by others. They demand everyone walk down the path someone else created. They look for inspiration from others.

Leaders worth following are a rare commodity. Even more rare is that individual willing to stand up and say "I'm going another way. You can follow me if you want to, but I am not your leader."

I hesitate to say that humans want to be accepted, but I believe that to be the case. Even the most misanthropic person on the planet wants to be included, whether or not he or she will admit to it. That inclusion may be only one other person, but the isolationist is going to want someone. The Unabomber comes to mind when I think of an isolated person. And yet it's still obvious from his writings that he wanted to be a part of, not apart from. If he truly wanted isolation from humanity, he'd have never written his manifesto.
A good cult!

The problem is people are far too willing to attach themselves to someone who is a good salesman and not a good leader. Cults are made by people who can fake a connection to other people with such sincerity that it reaches a primal need for a human to human connection. This is why I say the pastor who said he was leaving may have done his job. It's also why I criticize the pastor.

This is also why this nation has elected the same person with a different face to be the president for as long as I've been an adult. It's the Cult of Personality.

This is also why we are splintering into an increasing number of factions.

Until we are willing to break away and find a leader worthy of the title, even if that leader is ourselves, don't expect much to change. When, and if, we do manage to rally behind a leader worthy of leading us, I doubt most will have the intestinal fortitude to be led.

1 comment:

  1. Cult Mentality highlights what Mr. Baker says so very well. Every cult that has ever existed is powered by a need to belong, to be with others like yourself and believe that some driving force is guiding you. Moonies, Branch Davidians, Radical Islam and the WBC are all good examples of the herd instinct that drives humans. We need to belong and will do anything to make that happen no matter how ludicrous that may be. (I mean who in their right minds believes strapping a bomb onto their chest and detonating it is a good idea?) The problem arises in who we follow and why. We tend to follow the loudest, flashiest people instead of someone who might actually know where they are going. So as he said, until we figure out where we are going and who we are following, we are in big trouble.

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