Monday, December 01, 2014

Wisdom from the past

The pastor must keep careful watch over himself, in case the craving to be popular assaults him. As he studies to understand spiritual things and as he ministers to his people, he must beware that he does not try to make the congregation love him more than they love the truth. He must take care in case his self-love puts him at a distance from his Creator, even if his good life seems to show that the does not belong to this world. For a man becomes and enemy of the Redeemer, if by his good works he covets being loved by the church instead of by Christ: just as a servant, sent by the bridegroom with gifts for the bride, is guilty of treacherous thoughts if he desires to attract the eyes of the bride to himself.—Gregory the Great (d. 604), Pastoral Care, chapter 8 as quoted in 2000 Years of Christ’s Power, Part 1

<idle musing>
If it was a problem then, with the limited exposure one had, just imagine the temptation now, with all the social media and American hero worship...this should be required reading for all seminarians!

Of course, we could short circuit some of this if we would return to the house church model. But even there we have the church planting gurus who command large crowds. I'll bet they have the same temptations...
</idle musing>

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