Good dads are an endangered species, but good pastors are even harder to find. Bad dads are an epidemic and bad pastors are a pandemic. The good new is that there are good mothers, like Mary, who follow their sons even to the cross when the dads are gone.
This is because we have embraced toxic versions of manhood where the gentleman as an ideal has been replaced by the bullyboy. This results in pastors who value brand and winning over all.
They are boors without being gentlemen.
Tonight roughly 100 percent of kids with dads like that will go to bed without a good father or good pastor if their pastor is their dad and he engages in emotional abuse and is a control freak.
For the first time in America’s history, a dad and pastor who was removed from his office for serious misdoings can move on, because he is too big to fail. Christianity Inc. has separated qualification for ministry, a humble thing with high standards, with ability to do MINISTRY, a Big Deal where only success matters. As a dad to two boys and two girls I love, God helping me, I find it devastating to think that children will think character does not count, just talent, that honesty is not the best policy, just spin, and that being a big name is more valuable than character.
All bad dads are bad in the same tedious, endless, brutal ways, just like all bad pastors share a similar wretched style of behavior. Some dads abuse authority by being harsh, but other dads who are pastors treat their parishioners in ways they would never treat their kids! The harsh pastor may miss his brutality, because he is so gentle at home.
A good person treats all people as God commands and shows no favoritism!
Some dads avoid their responsibilities by not providing for the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of their children. Worse, some pastors avoid their responsibilities by not providing for the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of their spiritual children. This is particularly hard to spot when a bad pastor is a decent dad.
Some dads abdicate their responsibilities and are just bums you can’t depend on for much of anything. Imagine a pastor who pulls out of one city and runs to another to reboot his career and you get the idea. These parallels work. Just as some dads abandon their responsibilities by walking out on Mom, expecting her, the grandparents, the school, the foster care system, the church, the treatment center, or the legal system to correct and raise their children, so some pastors walk out on messes they have made and expect someone, anyone, to clean up the broken lives they have left behind in the churches they have abandoned.
Deadbeat pastors can be bigger bums than deadbeat deads, because the dad may only harm the physical while the pastor harms the soul. Just as a deadbeat dad gets easy forgiveness if he has cash, so a deadbeat pastor will get a quick reboot if he has charisma. This wreaks havoc in the hearts of God’s children.
The Bible often refers to the husband and father as the “head” of the family. This does not mean he is better, superior, or the king, but bad men often act as if this is true.
God holds dad and pastor accountable and half a continent is not far enough to flee the hound of heaven.
Of course, we are all responsible for how we choose to live our lives. Sadly, parents harm us before we are old enough to know right from wrong. A person with authority has the power to do good or bad and so many of us choose to do harm with our power! God help us. We must never retreat from the burden of power: being a servant and not a tyrant.
God comes and asks the missing dad and the awol pastor: Where were you when your children, physical or spiritual, were being harmed, neglected, and not fathered?
Are you a thousand miles away leaving your spiritual children in pain? Or are you there making restitution?
Of course, God has provided us spiritual mothers and not just fathers. Just as Jesus had a mother, so there are still mothers in our families who fill their own special role: equal, but not the same. Be comforted in pain if you have an absent physical or spiritual father! God promised to be our Father if your father, temporal or spiritual, has gone bad.
Biblical thinking begins in the Fear of the Lord and only then can end in Wisdom.
In covenantal thinking, the head of the covenant does well by doing good. He does not flee his responsibilities, but does his duty. He does not seek position, but serves.
We need fathers who father and pastors who pastor.
Imagine a father who thinks all hinges on him. This man will become a self-serious bore or if he is gifted, a tyrant. We have no shortage of weak people or bullies. We need dads who do their duty humbly and pastors who stay the course in holiness. God forgive the dad who runs away from the messes he made and the pastor who abandons a fouled church he created.
The tender man is never tough: that would be a contradiction. Instead, just as Moses was the meekest man who ever lived and that humbleness brought real power, so the dad or pastor who defers, who never is harsh, who asks pardon, and will die for his family, will find victory.
Consequences of Bad Dads Combined With Worst Pastors
Bad dads make it hard enough to see Father God correctly, but if combined with a toxic pastor, the hard becomes almost impossible. Almost. But God knows that though families are broken and people are constantly moving, though nowhere feels like home and no one feels like family, there is hope.
The hope is not in a god we make in the image of our problem: the god of moral therapeutic deism. Instead, our hope is in a God who is like a good father and a good pastor. He is tender, never tough.
It is easy to mock millennials. We see them at home, but we forget that when be bailed out the banksters under Bush and Obama, we put home ownership out of reach. A Weinstein culture combined with Evangelicals who think power trumps character makes the virtues hard to attain.
A culture that abused millennials, mock the broken. We break their legs and then command them to run. We were bad dads and then ask them to embrace fatherhood. We give them a pastor who manipulates himself unto a best seller list and then natter about their Internet choices.
Hypocrites: we are hypocrites. God help us.
We call these men we have harmed boys who can shave, when they are our victims who shave. Instead of giving help, we mock.
We have been Peter Pan and we mock the lost boys we raised. There is nothing that my generation can say until we do our duty in our own time. If we are not men under authority, how can we ask anyone else to act as they should?
We have filled the millennial mind with marketing and mindlessness and then mutter about millennials when they miss the mark. We blame the victim, shoot the messenger, and then ask the victim to respect us, the messenger to live a zombie life, and to hit targets we have removed.
A good dad is a good man. A good pastor is a good person. Let us lift up the dying dad, hurt by our culture. May we pray for our dutiful pastors and reject the Big Name who knows no real authority. Praise the millennial who despite all temptation to belong to the burned out generation has remained a Christian man!
3 Consequences of Harming Millenials
We have created boys who can shave and they have wisely delayed marriage. Boys should not marry and we have made them boys. Nobody bids a castrati to be fruitful and multiply, but our bad pastors have sharp rhetorical knives and yet bid us be loving, gentle, and kind.
Second, people are sexually active as singles. Having been raised as consumers, is it any surprise that commodification of sex has come? Sex and children are as unrelated as nursing bras are to Victoria’s Secret. My generation made the porn, encouraged watching it, and then cry about the results.
Third, people who have no models of true love settle for what they can get. They live together without marriage and so increase chances of divorce, but at least they still talk of love. There is hope in this . . . despite the error. Marriage remains the goal for millions and millennials overcome so often to make marriage work. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, but pastoring without being under authority is worse.
We cannot pick that authority or pay it off. Millennials rarely try, because they loath God’s grifters intent only on money and power. Millennials say, “no.” God bless them.
Millennials, Marriage, and the Mess
I talk to many young men and women who are tired of our hypocrisy and yet my generation calls them lazy! Between the failed marriages of their parents and failed pastorates in their parishes, they are scarred.
Marriage still matters and so does church. They find it hard to believe in a spouse and harder still to trust a pastor. They want to marry and want to join a church, but are scared because they grew up in a divorced home or experienced a narcissistic pastor who abandoned the mess he made.
Parents matter, but so do pastors. Millennials end up the conclusion of so many essays from those of us who have failed them. God help us. We are parents who never apologize and pastors who are not under authority.
There is good news. My dad was a good pastor and a good dad. He was faithful in both roles, a man with authority, because he was under authority. He does not lie and I have seen him lose jobs before he would compromise. In fifty-four years of knowing my Pastor-Dad, I have never known him to put prestige, power, or position over people.
He is gentle, he is a man, he is a gentleman. He is not alone. There are many such people: dads, mothers, pastors, teachers, and leaders. Often they are not famous, because the Names suck up all the air.
The time has come to praise good men, true fathers, decent pastors rather than famous men who are infamous.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy. In an age without fathers, may the Mother of God be our example. In this time with pastors who perform, Mother Mary pray for us.
This blog is adapted from a blog adapted from the book “A Call to Resurgence” written by Mark Driscoll and his ghost writer?