You may have gathered by now that technology is not my strong point. I thought if I posted stuff on Facebook it would go to WordPress etc but apparently it is the other way round.
So for those not connected to me on Facebook, this is something I posted earlier on Facebook… and have expanded upon here!
Looking back on being a C of S parish minister, I think I managed to cope with most things I came across by the help of God. However there is one thing above all that brought me extreme discomfort through the decades: when I came across self righteousness. I always felt I needed a spiritual bath after encountering that. It saddened me beyond words. How can people be blind to their sin? That continues to be a mystery to me. I guess it is possible to be locked in a fantasy world….
I think this attitude damaged me more than any sin of “the body” that I came across from time to time in God’s people, though that was deeply sad too. I guess that is reflected in the story of the Prodigal Son in what we read about the elder son. An office bearer in one of my congregations sat behind someone in church one Sunday and said loud enough for the person and anyone else to hear, “Imagine the likes of her coming into this church.” It was not said in a tone of awed wonder at God’s Amazing grace but in a tone of self-righteous disgust! I have been blessed with many very godly elders and office bearers in all my congregations, but is it just my imagination or is the Kirk Session or for that matter the Congregational Board often the place where the odour of angry self righteousness wafts into the room more often than can be coincidence?
The only meetings I have ever come home to the manse crying over were ones where proud self-righteousness ran riot. Sins of the “spirit” (if I may use that word in a colloquial rather than theologically accurate way) are so damaging to the Church of Jesus Christ, scarring its fellowship, mocking its mission.
Praying for all you ministers of Christ who this very night may have been vomited over by self-righteousness from your church leadership meetings. May the God of all comfort be close to you. May you sense His smile and know His personal embrace.