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Doctrine in dialogue format
why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
In today's episode we find Pastor Bach comforting one of his parishioners. Listen:
"Where were you Pastor? You let me down. Here I am suffering in this hospital while they take out my kidney stones, and where were you? I called for you and you didn't come. I had to endure my tribulation alone. Do you hear me? Alone! What do we pay you for if you're not going to be at my side when I need you?"
"Mrs Jones, I can empathize with you and your pain, but I think you are overstating your circumstances. You see...."
"Over emphasizing my left foot! You can't imagine the pain and the agony I was experiencing. It was unbearable. And where was my pastor all this time? Not with me, that's for sure."
"Again I'm sorry I couldn't be here with you, but I had a more important engagement I had to attend. You see Mrs Jones...."
"Yes, I do see. I see very well. You think your other little things are more important than my fear and my agony. I've got your number now mister. Oh yes Pastor Bach, I've got your number loud and clear."
"Mrs Jones, you say you were left all alone here in this hospital during your time of need. Tell me, did any of the elders or the congregation come visit you or send you their best wishes?"
"Certainly they did. And that just adds to your deficiency. Others of the church took the time to come by and call, but not my pastor. Oh no, not good old Pastor Bach. He had more important things to do."
"You say others of the church came to visit you. Doesn't that mean anything to you? You had need, and others did their part to fulfill that need. Isn't that what a church body is for Mrs Jones, to be at one another's side when they have a need?"
"All I know is you weren't where you were supposed to be. All your rheologic doesn't change that one bit. You may be able to talk your way out of other people's situation, but not this one. You had your test, and you failed. That's all there is to is. So you may go now pastor. You're visit is too late."
"I'm sorry you feel this way of course, but would it interest to know that the reason I wasn't here with you is because I was with Mr Brown during his critical open heart surgery? Would you have expected me to leave his side to visit you when your need was less crucial?"
"All I know is you weren't here when I needed you. That's all I care about."
"I see. In other words the visits by the rest of the congregation means little to you. All your expectations are placed on one person and one person alone. Is that correct Mrs Jones?"
"Like I said before Pastor, I just know you weren't here. Nothing can change that."
"I see. Your concept of church then is what it can do for you. Tell me Mrs Jones, has there been any time in the many years that you've been with our church that you have visited someone in need?"
"That's not my job now is it Pastor Bach? That's your job, not mine. That's what we pay you for. I sign the card they pass around, and I attend services. What more can you or the church expect of me? I do my part, but it's obvious you don't do your part, at least not where insignificant me is concerned."
"I think Mrs Jones that you, like so many others of the congregation, have the wrong concept of just what the church, the body of Christ is all about. The Church is a living organism, a body if you please. Like a human body there are many members, and each of those members are to help support the body as a whole. One part of the body, such as the pastor in this instance, should not be expected to perform all the functions of the church. I, as your pastor am to be a shepherd, in fact a shepherd's helper in that I help keep the body moving in a forward direction, and I feed the flock. But I am not the owner of the flock, nor am I the ruler of the flock. That is the domain of our Lord, the One you should be calling to be at your side in times of need, not your pastor or your elders. If the body has been at your side, then the church has been successful in performing its duties. They can not be expected to do more than to comfort you and to pray for you, which is all I can be expected to do. I am not a source of miracles any more than are you or those who visited you. Putting the shoe on the other foot so-to-speak, by your failure to visit those who have been in need, and by failing to inquire into the needs of others, have failed in your part as a member of the body of Christ. I'm sorry to have added this extra burden during your time of need, but I can see no other way to cause you to see that you are your own burden, and you are looking at the mote in everyone else's eyes, while failing to observe the log in your own eye."
12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, WHICH WE THINK TO BE LESS HONOURABLE, UPON THESE WE BESTOW MORE ABUNDANT HONOUR; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, HAVING GIVEN MORE ABUNDANT HONOUR TO THAT PART WHICH LACKED: 25That there should be no schism in the body; but THAT THE MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CARE ONE FOR ANOTHER. 26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. (1Cor 12:)
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