I’m going to try and address a thorny topic today, one that has permeated the public media.

I’ve been grappling with the incessant news of pastors of particularly mega churches insisting on their supreme authority and dictates. Inevitably, these pastors crash and burn, ignited by whatever default human characteristic they’ve allowed to surface because of the corruptive, incendiary, and corrosive elements of power. I’ve sifted out my own solution to this dire epidemic.

I am not commanded to believe the Bible, but to believe the One who the Bible reveals. I am asked to present freedom for the conscience of others, not to bring them liberty for their thoughts, opinions, and formulaic systems. It takes perseverance to bring me to the point where I quit thinking that unless others see things exactly as I do, or as my pastor thinks I should, they are wrong.

There is only one valid liberty, the liberty of God at work in my own conscience, equipping me to do the next “right” thing. I have to resist getting impatient with others lest I forget how God has dealt with me through the years, with patience and gentleness. Jesus said to go and make disciples, not make converts to my own thoughts and opinions.

What pushes your impatient button?

Therefore, as people dearly loved by God, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Colossians 3:12

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