A Parable: The Pastor Who Can Do Anything He Wants
Called by God. And successful. Believe me, I’m successful. I don’t care what data points one wants to assess me with. No congregational stats are more compelling than attendance and money. Look at our services! Have you ever seen so many people? Attendance is HUGE. Never in the history of this church have so many attended and gotten their needs met. And you can prove that by revenues! Our offerings are also HUGE, better than any previous pastor has delivered. Historic highs.
So, I can pack them in and they pay up—offerings, tithes even. No one here used to tithe. Now I’ve convinced dozens of families to tithe. How? A little charm, a soft-sell version of hell, a touch of guilt, and a few quid pro quos. Killer combination.
Really, I can do anything I want. No one wants to mess with success. This congregation has endured so many losers over the years. Social gospel warriors. Doctrinaire liberals. Guilt-soothing (air quotes) “diversity hires.” “Nice” so-called leaders who had no idea how to cut the right deals, put the right—fiercely loyal—people in the right seats, and get results.
Sure, I’ve had opposition. There is a small group of vicious so-called progressives that I’ve not yet managed to drive out. But they won’t be around much longer. I have a handful of special loyalists who will do anything I ask them to do—think of them as the Navy Seals of the congregation. And those progressives are going to go through some bad stuff, and then they’ll walk. Man, I don’t know that any other pastor could have stood up to the pressure and the trouble these people have caused me.
They’ve been out to get me ever since the search committee called me. They don’t like my language. I’m not politically correct enough for those self-righteous prigs. Most people find me authentic and refreshing. I am a man of the people.
The progressives don’t like my theology, either. You see, I’m not a professional theologian, and I did not go to the cemetery—er, ah, seminary. (I love telling that joke in the front of my clergy colleagues with their inflated degrees and shrinking congregations.) The progressives want me to preach about politics. inclusivity, social issues, and other nonsense.
Everyone knows people come to church to find God, be soothed, to get help with their families, find peace. You tell people what they want to hear and they eat out of your hand. It does not matter if you have facts or the right theologians to back you up. I speak from my gut, my instincts are outstanding, I read people well, I know what they’re buying and how to sell what I’m selling, and I know the stories that resonate with them. I have the best stories, and the progressives are jealous of what I’m selling and my talent for selling.
They keep claiming I’m selling a false gospel. Well, believe me, my gospel is not false! People are buying it! That’s the only “truth” that counts. Don’t those stupid liberals get it? If no one is buying what you’re selling, you’re selling the wrong thing, or you don’t know how to sell. Look at progressive churches, weak and small. Look at my congregation! It’s HUGE and getting bigger!!!
My opponents include some women who have it in for me. I mean, come on. Everyone knows that spirituality and sexuality are highly related. I probably am the most spiritual person anyone has met in real life. I just reek of spirituality. Believe me, that also means I attract women like flies to honey. I have helped SO many women who come to me, weeping, troubled by bad marriages or ungrateful kids. And, well, the relationships, they’re all consensual. But some women, you know, they get jealous, or they feel guilty and want to go back to their husbands, or they get selfish and think about their kids.
Some of those women have accused me of taking advantage of them, some crap about the violation of my “fiduciary responsibility.” That’s nonsense. Thank God I’ve not let any but my hand-chosen loyal followers hold leadership positions at this church. I’m surrounded by a great group of defenders who, well, let’s say they know how to counter rumors with rumors in ways that neutralize my enemies. It is always a righteous act to protect God’s anointed.
Yes, believe me, I am called, not only by this congregation but by God. No one has the kind of relationship with God like I have. God chose me to grow this congregation by all means available to me, to make it solidly conservative, wealthy, and unified by the homogeneous unit principle—like attracts like. He (and God is a HE, just like the scriptures say) has made me their lawgiver. Regardless of what the rules were, I have been given the keys to the kingdom, I get to determine who is forgiven and who is not, what is moral and what is not, what is true and what is not. When I say believe me, that means believe ME! You know how Ignatius Loyola said that if the church were to say that what I think is white is actually black, I would believe it? Well, I’m God’s called leader, and I declare, and it is so.
As the Lord’s regent in this congregation, I love those whom God loves and hates those whom God hates. None of that fictional liberal theology that God loves everybody the same. Where does the Bible say THAT?
My character is beyond reproach, because I get to set the bar for what good character means. And, like I said earlier, I’m packing them in and people are paying up and this congregation is HUGE and only getting bigger. If I had any character flaws, and I don’t, my results would cover a multitude of sins.
Because I’m called, I’m God’s anointed, and God has blessed me like God has blessed no pastor before. I’m here 4EVA!
Would a congregation of any size tolerate with this sort of anti-Good Shepherd (John 10: 10, 12)? How much the more so a great nation…?