A Confession

I was appalled and horrified at what I was hearing as I listened to a brief clip of a message from a well-known pastor that has lately gone viral on social media.  Whoever had posted the particular clip I was watching had mashed it together with a clip of Bill Cosby saying “That’s the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever heard in my life!”  I have to admit it made me laugh.

But I was brought up short by a good friend of mine when I shared it with him.  His gentle response to me caused me to realize that my response to this pastor was just as wrong as the message I’d heard.  My intent in sharing with my friend had been to mock and ridicule this pastor and was not done from a heart of compassion or with the love of Jesus.

Please understand I am not saying that I agree with what was said, nor am I endorsing that particular ministry.  I strongly disagree with what the preaching in that church emphasises, and I could not recommend any of the teaching, books, or other resources that come from that ministry. But my reaction was wrong.

To personalize John 13:34 and 35, Jesus said that everyone will know that I am his because I love others the way he loved me.  If you think about it it’s easy to love those who agree with you, but the proof of Jesus in me is how I respond to those who disagree with me.

Rather than ridicule and tearing down, I need to be praying that the light, and love and truth that is personified in Jesus would be seen clearly in and through the life and ministry of that pastor and church.  And I need others to pray that for me.

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About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

4 responses to “A Confession

  • Kathy Blatz

    I saw that clip as well, and the response by Bill Cosby which, I’m sure, was just another clip taken out of context. As far as the ‘theology’ that quoted by the wife of this well known auther, preacher (and unfortunately followed) by so many really endorsed for me what my ‘gut’ feeling has been all along. According to His Word, we were never promised an easy life filled with perfect health and wealth to make US happy. In fact, quite the opposite. Praise God, He has promised that He will be with us through every circumstance that we face. Thank you for your humbleness in acknowledging that you felt your response had not been appropriate. We all do it but it takes a real humble servant of God to acknowledge. That is a very powerful testimony! I noticed on facebook (the modern day telephone party line…for those us all who remember those growing up in a small village) that your house was for sale and that you were possibly going to be the new Director at the Kerith Retreat Centre. That is awesome. Our daughter, Janet, worked with Inner City Youth Alive for 5 years in Winnipeg’s North end….and resigned due to Compassion Fatigue. We was advised by several people in ministry to go to the Kerith Centre to recup. and it was a wonderful experience. She told me yesterday that the Directors that were there at the time were or had terminated. Janet’s hobby is photography and she got a photo book printed with photos taken during her stay and she gave a copy to the Directors. Not sure if they will have taken it with them or left in at the Retreat Centre. But if you see it, you know it was done by your wife’s ‘frinshaff’. Just by reading your blogs, I know you will be the right people to do that job!
    Kathy (Hamm) Blatz

  • Jake

    “If you think about it it’s easy to love those who agree with you, but the proof of Jesus in me is how I respond to those who disagree with me.”

    For me, this is one of the hardest parts of following Jesus and it urks me to end when people throw out the comment, “We just need to LOVE those people.” as in: We aren’t going to change and They aren’t going to change and this is our way of saying we wash our hands of them. AT least that’s what if feels like to me when I hear people say this about people they don’t agree with or like, or have issues with because those people won’t agree with them or change their ways. Probably because this is what I know goes on inside of me internally everytime I find myself uttering those words. So I have stopped trying to say I “love” people and actually start doing loving things towards those people I don’t like. Doing this is one of those most difficult things in this life to do, I have found. Thanks for reminding me again to watch my responses towards people I disagree with or dislike.

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