Jared of Thinklings:
At the Passion 07 Conference, John Piper, one of my favorite writer-pastors, said in one of his messages, "Sometimes God kicks our ass."
Now he's apologizing for it.
The apology is very good, and it is a testament to the sort of man/Christian/pastor Piper is. But I also think the controversial statement was good too. I'm a fan of the control of one's tongue. I'm a fan of self-control. The lack of both is one of the (several) things that got my church's ex-pastor the boot. But I am so, so, sooooo weary of mealy-mouthed, pussy-footin', beat-around-the-bush ministers. I'm not talking about cussing or being abrasive or being rude or controversial. I'm really not. (Trust me, I'm not.) I'm just talking about speaking plainly and, most of all, truthfully in a world that is used to buzzwords, catchphrases, spin, and plain ol' malarkey.
Amen to that. The Church often encourages the development of pastors who walk about 24/7 with dopey grins on their faces, babble emptily about football, and tell the same tired old sermon jokes that never fail to remind me of the 48th Rule of Acquisition:
The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
A proverb that I have found in life to be rather true. I want a pastor who's friendly, but I also want a pastor who is, above all, authentic. Jay Voorhees talked about this at the Congress on Evangelism. [some] Parishioners really appreciate a pastor who is not forever wearing a mask over his face. They want a pastor who has a passion for something other than appearing harmless.
Well, some do, anyway.