I’d always been open to restoration with the staff pastor who had booted me out of ministry, and I’d sought it on a couple of other occasions. He, however, wasn’t interested. So, I went directly to the big guy—the man who’d been leading the church for well over 40 years.
I walked in the office and sat down in the overstuffed chair. It seemed like I was 25 feet from the pastor. He had the biggest desk I’d ever seen in my life. A lot of granite had to die for that desk.
The pastor was familiar with my story. He knew we’d been forced to leave the church, but he wasn’t aware of all the nuts and bolts.
I had no interest in recounting all the ugly details—I only hoped for reconciliation and restoration. I’d do whatever it took to forgive and be forgiven.
The pastor’s words shocked me, although I’m not sure why. You’d think by that point I would have understood that the condemnation and judgmental finger pointing was a part of the church’s DNA.
The minister folded his hands, leaned slightly forward, and in his finest Southern gentleman drawl said, “We don’t have to reconcile with you. You work in the theatre and therefore, you are a danger to our reputation.”
And, there it is.
I don’t even know what to say to that. All I know is the pastor needs to step out from behind the behemoth that is his desk, step outside of the church, and see that Christians live in the real world. We have many and varied talents, and sometimes Christians dare to work in film, television, and the theatre!
There are times when I seriously can’t figure out what it is about Christians that draw people to God. That day, sitting in the pristine office of an old Southern pastor, was one of those times. I didn’t see Jesus in his eyes. I saw a Pharisee who effectively said, “Thank you God that I’m not like this person.”