Dear Pastor Whoever….
You started your christianity just like all of us. He was your enthusiasm, your centre, your Lord, yes, your God. You told Him you would walk with Him always, you would never look back, you would be faithful. (“Though none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.”) Life was full back then. Yes, the old crowd never liked you much after that but it was a small price to pay for fellowship with the very Son of God. Amen?
But then, Pastor Whoever, something happened. You forfeited Him for an it. An it? Yes, an it. An it is something that doesn’t breathe, doesn’t smile, doesn’t feel. An it is dead. That it that you embraced could have been a religious ambition, a spiritual association, an ideal, a set of doctrines, an enviable status, a whatever. This it, long ago, replaced Him. I don’t know when you gave yourself over to your it (perhaps when you ‘entered the ministry’?), but, to me, there are three telltales that convince me: 1) your speech, 2) your allegiance to tradition (“you have made the commandment[s] of God of no effect by your tradition[s]”), and 3) your congregation which mirrors you (“like people, like priest”). There was a dreadful ‘moment’ you traded “living water” for a murky puddle. Bear with me as I use imagery to depict my perception of ‘church’ leadership….
Thousands and thousands of devoted white-robed Pastor Whoevers lay prostrate before their lord. All (most?) are Blood-washed, bonafide sons listed in the Book of Life, each the very “righteousness of God”. But it is not our King before whom this enormous throng lies. Oh no. Seated on a flimsy throne before them is a dark, misty, spooky thing…. religion. One by one, these Pastor Whoevers have been ensnared, lured by the promise of prominence. Now they are a mighty army indeed, exercising authority over most of Christ’s church.
But look beyond that! Can you see King Jesus, way over there, seated in full majesty on His glimmering throne? Waiting. Inviting. Loving. I implore you, Pastor Whoever…. simply rise up, walk away from your lifeless it, and move toward Him. Bow once more before Christ’s throne,and in deep humility and repentance prostrate yourself before the “Lord of lords and King of Kings”. Soon He will take you by the hand, lifting you to your feet. Together again.