Thursday, June 28, 2012
Can't you forgive?
Recently our pastor announced his retirement. I had been anticipating that he would have several more years left to preach. In fact, I thought he could even be around for another ten. But after citing his lengthly health struggles and his extended families need for him to be close by, I can see why he felt he needed to step away.
What I find sad is how many people and families have left our church over the years. They left because supposedly someone said something or did something. I never saw or heard these things directly, I only heard about them after the fact, indirectly. Considering our pastors physical pain, it is not unlikely that he could have had some moments where he was under stress and things came out not as they should have. So people use these incidences to leave. Yet, I think that God and His Word are paramount. I thought we all believed that. Our pastor teaches at Bible college level. Getting that level of teaching and preaching elsewhere in this area is not easy.
Personally, I would have liked to have see more people forgive and work through whatever issue they had. I would have liked it if people would have put the incident behind them and stuck with it because the teaching of God's Word was done so well. When someone left the church it was always about a person and not about a theological issue. I could have understood people leaving because the pastor taught that Jesus was not deity or that the Trinity was bad doctrine. It was never those things. It was always so-and-so said this or did this. I just wonder, why not forgive? Where does forgiveness play in this? Isn't the centrality of the Word and Christ make everything else secondary?
Have you ever left a church because you couldn't forgive someone?