Can you Share The Journey Of Truth?

I’ve struggled with how much of my wrestling I can share. As a seen leader of a church congregation there is this expectation that you are extremely careful with what you share. Questioning the incarnation of Christ? Well, fine, but don’t share that you are, you might lead people astray. Wondering if the Bible is the Word of God? Don’t. Constantly wrestling with what God is or who God is? Have faith that your current understanding of the Bible is the absolute truth and only encourage people to have faith in that as well.

The pressure is enough to make one want to quit both any type of leadership and also wondering and exploring at all.

Being a pastor has responsibilities that I take seriously. For example, I don’t want to cause someone to spiral in depression because of the relativity of religious truth or to hint an never ending meaninglessness. Or, I don’t want to give someone confidence in God’s promises when maybe they just won’t happen. It’s a tension that is not comfortable. On one hand you want to comfort people and encourage them. On the other hand you want to speak truth and help remove the blinders.

I’ve continuously struggled with this in the last eight years at theStory. I have spent the last fifteen years wrestling with theological, philosophical and political issues. Homosexuality, salvation, God, economics, sociology, business and race are all things that I think and read about – and a wide variety of perspectives on all of them. The issue is, that most people in our congregation do not read about these things, at least as much as I do, and in some ways either don’t care or just don’t understand where my head goes at times. As an individual though I need an outlet. I need to think these ideas out loud and hear people interact with them and respond. The pulpit I have learned is not a place for that.

Some people think that I have the same responsibility with my blog as I do from my pulpit. I tend to agree with them as I don’t think that the pulpit is that special of a place, especially with our church and the same people are probably reading this as well. This comes with the understanding that wherever I speak, I am responsible for what I say. People are listening, reading and digesting my words.

So how does one think outside the box but stay with their community? How do I avoid leading people astray into all sorts of crazy directions as I explore them myself? I want to be honest and vulnerable in where I am and what I’m thinking about but I am unsure how to do that in the context of a community where people are in different places.

2 Comments

  • Sounds like you could use a mento or a few mentors and people in your life that you dont lead but grow with and explore with.

  • Nathan,
    I always appreciate your honestly with where you’re at spiritually.
    I too have questioned everything you have, and I imagine countless of millions of people have over time. We always feel so alone when we study/question/inspect what’s going in the world and compare it to what the Bible teaches. All I learned is that I could never count on people’s answers. Every person will have their own beliefs/desires/ideas of what the “truth” is. This causes confusion..exactly what the Bible says will happen, (and yes I believe that the Enemy encourages this).
    For me, ALL the scriptures are a unravelling revelation. I had to be humbled in more ways than you could know. God had to “strip” me of all I thought I knew. And now that I understand there is paganism mixed with Christianity I have a whole different approach to scripture. This has changed my whole life. The turmoil I once faced is now turning into a wonderful experience of a better understanding of the Father and Son.
    There is a difference between the world’s idea of knowledge and the all encompassing wisdom of God. Sounds corny? Well…knowing this saved my life…literally.
    Thanks for sharing your personal journey. I, as well as many others love this open dialogue and know of it’s importance. I would not have come to learn what I know if we all stayed silent on these issues.
    I pray your journey takes you to immeasurable joy and peace.

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