some personal insight

Something I ve learned about myself, and human nature in general, is that the better angels of our nature have corresponding demons. We have a dark side. I don t think our virtues eliminate our faults. Our flesh, although put to death, still struggles for prominence. Our task is to notice this but not submit to it. We allow the good fruit of our lives to grow in the crappy culture of our darker selves.

For instance, some people thank me for preaching grace in new and clear ways for them. In fact, some people  think I preach grace to a fault. I ve been accused of having no moral standards, lawless and being irreligious. But few people realize that I struggle with a very religious and legalistic impulse. I secretly battle against a powerful and sometimes overwhelming moral legalism and religious attitude. Just ask my teen-age children.

Some people say I'm very freeing and liberating as a pastor , and that I refreshingly hands-off with people and programs. I am sometimes accused of being too laid-back and not strong enough as a leader. But I secretly battle with a very controlling tendency. I fear losing control and not being able to see things through to a happy ending, or an ending that I would desire. In my dark side harbors a control-freak! Just ask my teen-age children.

Some people also say that I'm very open, vulnerable and transparent. Hence the name of this website, nakedpastor ! But I know very well that I conceal the most tender, weak, ugly, and less desirable parts of myself from people. I can use the appearance of transparency like smoke and mirrors to deflect attention away from my deepest and most undesirable self. Just ask my wife.

I ve come to believe that my emphasis on grace has something to do, not only with a revelation of grace I ve received, but because I know from my own life that I need grace! I know what freedom means because I need freedom from my own laws! I want to be truly transparent as an open human being because I am loved, totally and completely, just as I am. Everyone should know this. But pastors should especially know this, not so they can discern other people, but so that they can discern themselves and pastor effectively.

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