Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Lindsey Morrison Grant

The Arrogance of the Ministry

  • I had a dream last night. I took my family to church (it just happend to be Portland's Ankeny Foursquare which I attended in the seventies). I had four small children with me. Needless to say, they were being children. As children, they wear their hearts on their sleeve. One came to me and told me the other children were asking her questions about why she didn't wear a dress. "These are the clothes I have," she responded, much to the other girl's dismay.

    What made the dream most revelationary was when we (the children and I) were asked to leave. We were told that our appearance was inappropriate. One little girl had a tear in her cuff that was unmended, and everyone was in "street clothes", the everyday ones that seem to get you by in society. It took some time, but I collected our wraps and we left together.

    The significance of this dream lay in two areas. The first is how judgemental we are about appearences in the Church. Now be it an orginize and high profile organization or a small congration meeting in the home, our first instinct is to make judgements based on appearences. It is natural. After all, we are blessed with eyes, ears and other senses to do just that for our own preservation.....to sense danger and attraction. It is when we bring our history, our experience and personal dogma to this judgement that we fall into the snare of the fowler. We forget the things that we have in common and concentrate on what is different. With a nature to me social creatures, it is our struggle to find the similarities, but  if not only to conform to group standards ourselves to be included. The issue arises when we reach out to require others to meet the standards we have set for ourselves.

    Human beings despise change. Therefore God has granted us the gift of pain. It is the body's own trigger to let the mind know that something has got to change. If we internalize that pain, and do not heed it, we get regret, angst, and sorrow. Yet if we listen to the pain and discover it's source and purpose...revelation, enlightenment and epiphony are surely ours. One answer to social pain of being excluded is to conform. To avoid the pain, we often sacrifice who we are, without asking why.....why we should change and who we are changing for. Jesus said, "Suffer not the little children to come to me."  He knew that in their innocence, children are the most unabashedly loving and straightforward creatures on the earth. It is us who teach them to be jaded and judgemental adults. Yet they are the stewards of our future, and ... contintued...