10. I went to seminary too long ago, my education doesn’t count any more, and surely I’ve forgotten everything I learned. I know, stop calling you, “surely.”
9. A few people are afraid my theology might be wrong. The rest are even more afraid it might be right.
8. I think it’s more important to help people than to point out their sins. It’s not that people don’t sin, it’s just that we all need practical, applied help, like feeding people, more than we need to feed other people’s judgmentalism and superiority complexes.
7. Some pastors I have met and tried to help are scared of something. They think it’s me, but all I want to do is help.
6. Some pastors I have met and tried to help wanted to press me into their mold and make me do things just like them. I don’t fit your mold and I can’t do it like you, because I’m not you. I do need a basic job description, but then, set me free to do it in a way that I’m inspired (by God?) to do it. Micromanagement doesn’t work in the world’s workplace, so why do people think it’ll work in a church? When someone tries to control a ministry, they kill it, and the spirits of everyone involved.
5. People want to hear what they want to hear. If you tell them a truth that fucks with their pride, their approach to life, or their way of “doing” religion, it can get you crucified.
4. People want to label me a liberal and wish I was more conservative. Or, they want to label me a conservative and wish I was more liberal (see also #s 5 and 6).
3. I believe Jesus had a hearty sense of humor, and I find some of the things the disciples reported him saying, hilarious.
2. I occasionally will enjoy an alcoholic beverage. I occasionally will have one when the day has been very stressful, to settle down and make whatever rest I can get more restful. I occasionally will have one when I’m feeling sad, to lighten my mood. And I occasionally will have one when I just want to enjoy it for no other reason than I like it. If a proper Seder feast (Jewish Passover Meal) has 4 cups of wine, and Jesus was described in the rumor mill as “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (v34),” an occasional drink is probably ok. No, don’t just read the one verse. Read the whole thing, for context, and for a blessing. Speaking of humor, the self-deprecation of Jesus in this chapter and in this verse is pretty funny. The writing in the sand, whatever he wrote, was also a pretty funny twist to what could have been a really bad scene. And disappearing when surrounded? Not just once, but a couple of times that are recorded by the disciples. Jesus could have taught ninjas a few things. Hmm. Imagine Christ-following ninjas… I swear I am not drinking while I’m writing this. It’s only 9:30 in the morning.
1. I swear. No, really. Look, just in the second to last sentence, I swore I wasn’t drinking. I wonder what words Jesus literally said in Mark 7:19 (but go ahead and read the whole thing) and Matthew 11 :17 (but go ahead and read the whole thing) and Matthew 23:25-28 (but go ahead and read the whole thing). Maybe Jesus never used profane words. But he was famous for getting angry, not once but several times, and he certainly said things that upset prideful people and people who thought they had it all together at the expense of other people.
Oh, wait. I do swear. It’s a method of communicating and expressing strong feelings, and also as I’ve stated before, in the same way as Craig Ferguson, brilliant entertainer, swearing isn’t always angry swearing. Although it is when your internet goes down for half the day. Mine went down right before work, so of course I had to haul ass (and all of the work shit- laptop, mouse, phone headset, cords, blah, blah, blah – and be late reporting for work because I found out 11 minutes too late that my internet was fucked up. That’s right, I got to the office at 11:11, and wasn’t able to clock in due to security issues until about 11:30, so my check will be light this week unless I take it as personal time off. Which I plan to request, except it’s Friday and my boss… nevermind.
0. I surrendered the dream of a ministry career after my umpteenth volunteer “position” at a church. You might not know the drill, but I get it. Everyone loves a volunteer, nobody likes to pay anyone shit if they can get you to work for free. But I volunteered, thinking I was paying my dues and waiting for a promotion to come from within, just like in the non-church-y world. And just like in the non-church-y world, if I even get an interview and am able to present myself reasonably well, the management are ass holes and they hire someone, who doesn’t know shit about shit, to do the job I’ve been serving under and waiting for, while they “have everyone’s resumes under consideration, to get the best applicant.” And they have, more than once, had the gall to ask me to train the person whose job I had applied for. Fuckers.
Anyway, that’s why I’m not in the ministry, and that’s why I’m not a success in the world. “Normal” readers would think that means I’m a nice guy who’s persistent and caring about the job(s) I do and the things I want to do as a volunteer, but I’ll call it straight:
-1. It’s just a coincidence that this one is “negative one.” I’m not in the ministry for this and one other reason: I’m the “negative one,” but I look at life and can’t think this is entirely my fault. The other reason is
-2. I’m stupid.