Saturday, September 10, 2011

When Pastors Choose Our Friends

Is it ever okay for a pastor to tell a parishioner who said parishioner can and cannot have as a friend?

An acquaintance of mine was in the middle of a casual conversation with her pastor the other day, when he told her that he would rather she not be friends with someone. She became understandably defensive.

“Are you really telling me with whom I can be friends?”

“I’m just telling you to be careful.” He went on to explain how the person in question was an inferior Christian and therefore – inferior friend material.

Jesus modeled for us the example of how to be friends with people we “ought not” be friends with. Jesus was totally politically incorrect when he approached the Samaritan woman at the well. He talked with her, encouraged her, challenged her, and then sent her off to become the first evangelist.

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” John 4:39

When we stand in the way of friendships, we reveal our own insecurities, judgmental heart, critical spirit, and phobias. So many pastors have become arrogant and prideful. They seem to truly believe they and they alone know how to make right and good choices. 

The number of pastor/teachers who seem to believe it’s their God-given right to literally direct every aspect of the believer’s life shouldn’t surprise me. I see it all the time.

Get off the pew and go make an unlikely friend today. Go. Go!

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