I wonder how different life would be for my LGBTQ friends if they could count on the church to accept, include, befriend, support, and advocate for them. Don't you? (This cartoon... the original and prints... is available in my shop!)
I'm sad to admit that in my early pastoral career I used strength and charisma to control my congregations. I think it was Henri Nouwen who gently showed me the error of my ways. But I have to tell you that most people in my congregations really loved shows of strength and expressions of charisma. They actually told me they liked being brow-beaten, cajoled, bullied, and coerced into believing and living how they should. It's true! I also submitted myself to strong and charismatic leaders who constantly tried to control me. (Although they said they were challenging me and God was...
Careful who you hang out with! Especially in public. But I'm happy the black sheep has a genuine friend. (You can get this cartoon in my shop!)
This is true. When I was a pastor I observed how different churches, including ours, would shrink or grow. It was mostly people just moving around looking for the best show in town.