Religious Weasels

Alex blogs about an article at Christianity Today that reports that pastors at the National Pastors Convention in San Diego are angry with their congregations. Here is an excerpt from it:
For most pastors that anger is directed at stupid lay people, stubborn church boards, or indifferent church bureaucrats.
Not a lot of tender comments about the sheep that these shepherds are responsible for. Lots of desire for transforming the world, becoming a missional outpost, and enough social justicing to make mainline liberals drool with envy. But not much tender love for those people, as Willimon put it, whom Jesus loves and calls into community with him.
My first reaction was to comment this way to Alex:

This really speaks to the dysfunctional atmosphere in churches.. to Pastoral Entitlement and maybe why these folks stray.
I have to wonder.. when I read such drivel.. if God is a part of this kind of religious dysfunction.. and if he has really 'called' some of these folks to pastoral ministry.

I am also wondering if I will get much response to this post. I sensed that my post labeling a few sports heroes as weasels was not very popular.

Maybe I should say that folks are just acting like weasels but that they are really great people who have made some mistakes. Maybe the weasel like behavior is an aberrant manifestation of their environment. Maybe I need to blame the "system" or the "culture".. or maybe I need to be a bit more compassionate. I am just so tired of making excuses.


  1. Let's analyze this a minute.
    We have a group of pastors that are upset that their congregations are stupid, stubborn, and indifferent.

    At the same time we have this same group of pastors who you know view it as their responsibility to disciple their congregations and teach them how to be mature Christians.

    If you put those two things together what do you get?

    Wait a minute . . . it couldn't be that the pastors themselves have to shoulder a large part of blame for the fact that their congregations aren't spiritual grownups, or could it?

    Of course there is a much deeper issue here, but this isn't my blog. And it's a can of worms I'm not gonna open on someone else's.

  2. Bob, what do you have against these cute little weasles? They have a bad rap. They are clever and sneaky for self preservation.

    Seriously, I think some churches would be better off without any leadership, just a group of people who gather for a common purpose. They can take turns "teaching" if they feel like it. Its all too much like a business to me...profits and numbers. Yuk.

  3. I think there are weasels is every organization and I won't make excuses for them. they will have to stand before their Maker and He won't take excuses either.

  4. I think there are weasels is every organization and I won't make excuses for them. they will have to stand before their Maker and He won't take excuses either.

  5. I agree with you that many of our churches are dysfunctional (dare I say all?). It hurts me to say that. How can Christ's body be dysfunctional? Your posts are relevant to my thoughts. Does the fault lies with the leaders or the congregation or both? Again as I look at the Bible, all families mentioned were dysfunctional.

    I have come to really appreciate what God has to work with.

    (my reply to your comment on my blog *smile*)

  6. I do have trouble getting behind a post labeling people as weasels whether they be sports figures or pastors (politicians not so much ::wink::: :::wink::::).

    I'm very "weasely" in a lot of my behavior. Michael Phelps, for example, is a kid who smoked some pot. He's human. I'm just not all that upset about it. I'm a lot more upset about systematic greed that robs from the poor and gives to the rich which is why I could get behind the label of weasels a little more when it comes to politicians.

    There are pastors who are in the "business" for all of the wrong reasons. Without a doubt. And many (I'd say most) churches are extremely dysfunctional. Sad. But, true.


  7. I see God present in the current situation in that we can see the consequences of the behaviour. When a person thinks that the right way to live is to be religious, we see the side effects of anxiety and judgementalism.

    For those in the church who have made their leadership consistent with love and community, we can see healing and relationship.

    My call in the church is have an open heart to receive the religious person and lead them in engaging their heart.

  8. Bob, to call someone "weasel" implies to me both a contempt for the individual or their action and an intent in the individual to take from another. I did not see either of these present in an argument against the sports figures you had quoted. Rather, I saw humans who had made every effort to provide what they had promised, but had made personal mistakes in their examples. They quickly admitted their wrongful actions - at great risk to themselves - with what appeared to be sincerity.

    On the otherhand, leaders who willingly - and often arrogantly - take responsibility for the spiritual growth of others should humbly take responsibility for the failures of their methods as much as they take credit for the successes. A leader who has not taken responsibility for the congregation, but rather for their own servant heart for Christ and His people, would not have answered in such a way that implies contempt for those he/she serves. It is weasel-like behavior to talk service from one side of the mouth - and hatred for the master of that service out of the other side.

  9. Thx Missy.. I mostly agree.. I updated my thinkings on weasels in my most recent post.


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