Recently I received the following letter from a pastor; let’s all look this situation over, ponder it and pray over it, and think about what to do. Those of you who feel prompted, tell us what you think the pastor should do. I’ve edited slightly.
Scot…I just finished reading your chapter on John in The Jesus Creed. I’m wondering if you can give me some input in applying this.
I have a man in our church who has a long negative history with the Church (he’s been through a variety of churches). His response to his experiences is to set about writing his own book in which he points out all of the faults of Christians all over the place. In addition, he claims to receive “revelations” from God, and is certain that he has figured it all out. His approach is, “you prove that I’m wrong.” I have read his material and it is full of hurt, wounds and error from a orthodox context. He’s not at all orthodox.
He and his family came to church based on an invitation, and within a few months made it known that he wanted to teach. He isn’t interested in entering into community, and is actively disengaged from our body. I find him to be very abrasive and arrogant, but I know that much of this comes from his wounds. (Wounds which he claims to have received healing from.) He shows up at my office about once a month to talk theology, but basically he just wants to tell me what he thinks. It is quite clear he isn’t interested in dialogue.
I find myself turned-off by him, but I want to love him as Jesus would if he were me. How do I do that?