Thank you father dear for inspiration......we don't agree on synod issues.....me Karin LCMS, him ELCA. This is one of those issues I have to 'let go' as much as possible in conversation. Well......I have heard bunches and bunches of evaluation of pastors and buildings and social dynamics involved with the church from an ELCA point of view. Well......my response which I would give but as I mentioned.....I am practicing tightlipped.....covers many bases. I then find inspiration for carefully asked questions as there are times I have to keep tight lipped and think through how to address the issue at hand in a loving way.
One recent issue was a rambling of why an ELCA church failed. The explanation was something about having bad accoustics, no outreach to the neighborhood changes, and......I can't remember the last one but my Gospel antennea always spring to attention. Oh....I think it was poor hymn choices and the lack of modern liturgical practices. The question I will ask if given opportunity will be......what is the church really about? Is it the accoustics or the people the pastor has to deal with or the poor arrangement of the sanctuary???? The pastors poor charisma, the programs offered, the openess to open sin? Not getting your way with how you think things should be done by the pastor???? Um...... I don't want to be confrontational but when it comes to the Gospel and the faithful preaching of Christ and the forgiveness of sins and if you are really blessed, the proper distinction of law and gospel......the church is about......drum roll please.......JESUS! Why all of this discussion about buildings and music programs and not a word about Jesus?????!!!!! You want to get my ire up, you will forget Jesus and focus on the implementation of current social trends and marketing. It is SOOOO obvious that that guy Jesus is forgotten. I guess tightlipped is actually not a bad idea as I have no interest in debating architecture but a huge interest in the forgiveness of sins.
What if......your pastor gets grumpy and upset if Jesus, the sacrements, and the faithful preaching of the Word is forgotten. You should LOVE that preacher!!!!! Take care of him and his family and share the gospel with HIM (he is blessed to hear it too), pray for him, speak well of him, keep your whining at bay, try not to 'get your way'......the list goes on.
A story of an LCMS pastor who was privy to a criticism of seminarians (ore something like that) is a favorite of mine as it was appropriate for him to say "How dare the faith of these pastors be criticized or judged" or something to that effect. Yep.
So.....call it righteous anger or correct me. I can take it most of the time or will call in reinforcements, but loving your neighbor and forgiving them their trespasses seems the better plan and of course.......Everything is about Jesus and not the accoustics. Sigh. I could ramble on and on.