Tuesday, August 29, 2006

whoring after other gods

The following text from Eugene Peterson. He's known for his translation of The Book called "The Message".

It's very prophetic in nature, so I think. Kind of Amos-ish or Isaiah-like.

Thanks to Agent G13 of the Boston agents for sending my way to this guy who posted this Peterson text and unknowingly let me copy it here.

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“American pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Congregations still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationary and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays. But they are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn’t the remotest connection with what the church’s pastors have done for most of twenty centuries.

A few of us are angry about it. We are angry because we have been deserted…. It is bitterly disappointing to enter a room full of people whom you have every reason to expect share the quest and commitments of pastoral work and find within ten minutes that they most definitely do not. They talk of images and statistics. They drop names. They discuss influence and status. Matters of God and the soul and Scripture are not grist for their mills.

The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns–how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money.

Some of them are very good shopkeepers. They attract a lot of customers, pull in great sums of money, develop splendid reputations. Yet it is still shopkeeping; religious shopkeeping, to be sure, but shopkeeping all the same. The marketing strategies of the fast-food franchise occupy the waking minds of these entrepreneurs; while asleep they dream of the kind of success that will get the attention of journalists.

The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.”


- Eugene Peterson

1 comment:

Mike Exum said...

Man,

You have got to read COLOSSIANS REMIXED. If I send you a copy, will you read it? Petterson barely scratches the surface!

I shared Remixed with about 2 dozen people. All but one had a turbulant reaction. Only 3 or 4 reacted with disagreement. Nearly all were deeeeeeply convicted. I had one preacher come into our bookstore and gush for 30 minutes about how he had stayed up all night after finishing the book, praying, crying and repenting! He gushed like this in public!

N.T. Wright says that the gods of maternity are Mammon, Aphrodite and War (Mars or Zues etc...) The great high priests, respectively, Marx, Freud & Nietzsche. These are the gods we have gone a whoring after and the voices we give heed to.

Good post.

But there is so much more to see down this road.

Many blessings...