Quite a few of my clients serve heartland churches where there is a good mix of Trump supporters and those who loathe the man. There are very few who feel ambivalence about the President. The pastors of these churches try very hard to avoid alienating their Trump people - especially those people who follow his Twitter feed much more carefully than they follow the news. With one issue after another, these pastors have found themselves biting their tongues.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
I have been hanging around at church for 55 years. I was born a preacher's kid, and I have visited far in excess of 1000 churches across the years. So I think I have a little perspective. I am able to say with some accuracy: theology is no predictor of meanness (or kindness) in a congregation. The spirit of meanness seems to be an equal opportunity visitor - afflicting some of the most conservative and some of the most liberal congregations in America. It comes out in different ways - sometimes in rude interactions, and just as often in passive ways. Christian congregations can be some of the meanest places on earth - and some of the most grace-filled. And often, we are talking about the same church!
My dad served a church in the 1950s where the people got into a fight at a church meeting and threw chairs at one another in the fellowship hall. A kid had to go call the police. I heard this story growing up, and assumed that this was just a quirk related to a rough and tumble church of poor white folks in Fort Worth. But, the years have revealed that with education and a little money, the only difference is that we stop throwing chairs. Nothing else changes.