PastorChat: Ducks and Ladders

I want to tell you about the meeting with the pastor yesterday, and what I learned. 

We talked for two hours straight.  ((Yeah.))  Actually, he admitted to me that he expected me to just be a confused young girl… but he was surprised with how much scripture I had a handle on.  He said “Wow – deep conversation!”  Like I’d hike down there for shallow talk? ((LoL!!))

It really was a waste to go at all.  He wouldn’t commit to anything.  Not even salvation as the only means to eternal life with God.  It was funny… I would clarify his words.  Like this:

Pastor:  If someone doesn’t accept the core beliefs of Christianity, they probably won’t go to heaven.
Anna: ((…if? …Probably???))  So what you’re saying is, either you believe on Christ or you’re hellbound.
Pastor:  (Stares blankly at me for a moment.)  Well… if someone doesn’t accept the core beliefs of Christianity, they probably won’t go to heaven.

It went like that for two hours.  We talked about everything he could come up with to get away from the topic at hand – including my marriage, family history of Christianity, infant baptism, Catholicism, whether or not you can lose your salvation, the apostle’s creed… and of course he wouldn’t take a stance on any topic.  He’d say “We’ll get to that in a minute”… and of course we never got to it, because he had no intention of getting to it. It was a little more than disappointing.  In fact, it was pretty durn frustrating.

The pastor was really good at teaching how to be born again – in fact, he taught me the way of salvation six times.  John 3 is the only chapter in the Bible he could refer to, so he did it repeatedly.  And with joy.  And that’s great – don’t get me wrong… but I’m already a believer.  What I need is help at a different level.

It’s kinda like a ladder.  The first rung is salvation.  The next, baptism.  Then prayer, study, church, fellowship, testing spirits, proving scripture… and so on.  And the more you ‘climb up the ladder’ (or grow), the closer you become to God.  The deeper your relationship with Him becomes.  Unfortunately, Pastor seems to be stuck on the first two rungs.  That’s as high as it gets.

And that affects the church in this way: it’s like a mama duck teaching her ducklings to swim.  She introduces them to the water, she helps them learn to paddle.  But then she stops there – she doesn’t teach them to fly or to migrate or to catch fish and avoid predators… or do anything… but swim.  So then you have those swim-ducks who teach other ducklings to swim, and they teach other ducklings… but all of them are completely at sea when the winter comes, or when a fox shows up, or when they see other ducks overhead.  Does that make sense?  ((Yes, I know, there’s instinct, but for the sake of my silly illustration, work with me.)) There’s huge numbers at our church – tons of people coming to Christ – we’ve doubled our membership in five months.  But the church isn’t a strong one, because nobody’s taught how to grow.  People are “gung-ho for Jesus”… but then can’t lead because they don’t know enough to teach, and things fall apart.

Pastor’s basic answer to me about Christmas ((and don’t laugh) was “if it doesn’t affect your salvation, it doesn’t matter.”  ((told you he’s wrapped thoroughly in John 3))  I came back with “Then what you’re saying is that going to church doesn’t matter?  Reading the Bible doesn’t matter? Whether you contact the dead doesn’t matter?”  To which he had to back-pedal… and try to rephrase… but it didn’t’ work too well, since he wanted to leave all doors open.  It didn’t appear he was very poised for debate.  He thought I’d just accept his answer and go. 

((…to be continued…))

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