Dueling Pastors


They’re out there most days. I can hear them speaking loudly and passionately, even yelling sometimes. I like to call them the dueling pastors. Usually they start on one end of my block at the bank and make it all the way down to my little corner and then back again. Sometimes they have some women that come and sing with them.

I know they’re talking about Jesus because I hear words like salvation and heaven and hell and God, but I haven’t every really listened.

When they’re on my corner, they stand right beside my steps pacing back and forth speaking so passionately to anyone who will hear. But here’s the thing: No one really hears. We’re right on the main highway. Cars zoom by. There are a few pedestrians going into the shops around us, but for the most part, there’s no one. When I have to leave my office or come back to it and they’re standing outside, I try hard not to make eye contact as to not become engaged in a conversation that I really don’t want to have.

I have a feeling that these gentlemen feel strongly that this is what God has called them to do.

And I have the audacity to laugh when I drive by.

Yeah. It’s not the way I choose to spread the message and the love of Christ. But it’s the way that you choose to do so. Who am I to poke fun at you for doing what you’re called to be doing?

Do I think it’s reaching anyone? No. Does that give me a right to step in and tell you that you’re doing everything wrong? ‘Cause what if you’re not? What if I am?

There’s a lot of talk around the blogsphere of a pastor that is consistently being called out for his bullying behavior. And while I’ve read a few of the remarks and stories, I still don’t know what to think about how to handle the situation. It seems as though he has a history of making fun of people or beliefs that aren’t congruent to his own.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m way off base here, but what makes me any different when I walk inside my office laughing and the dueling preachers on my corner?

The blog world has been heavy with responses to his latest statement, and it’s people that have no relationship with the man that are calling him out. Yes. I believe something needs to be said to this gentleman, but what qualifies me to be the one to say it when I do the same things? Am I any different because I don’t have as big a platform as he does? Should you hold me any less accountable than his peers should hold him? Aren’t all of us who have any sort of a platform in leadership?

And then there’s the little thing about Jesus dying on the cross for us. He extended this radical grace achieved only by His death so that we can be forgiven over and over and over and over again. I have a hard time grasping that. Every time I screw up, I’m covered by His grace. So is Mark Driscoll.

So just as I really do believe that this behavior is kind of ridiculous, I also believe that as Christians we should extend him grace. I’m not suggesting we excuse his behavior. He needs to be held accountable for the hurtful things that he says. I’m saying that I’m not the one to do it. But I can give grace, forgiveness, a second chance. Jesus says 7×70 times.

So if I say something completely ridiculous and you know me, hold me accountable. Call me. Email me. Let me know that you don’t agree. Together we’ll work through it, all covered by God’s radical grace.

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  • Amen! I’m actually struck with how easily we turn off people like your dualing preachers. I wonder how often I do this to God? Like he’s yelling in my ear, but I’m all, “Don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact!”

  • Anonymous

    Julie, this is a great post and reminder to us all! RT’d!!!

  • Bethany Meeks

    Whoa. That is all.

  • Bethany Meeks

    Whoa. That is all.

  • Bethany Meeks

    Whoa. That is all.

  • Bethany Meeks

    Whoa. That is all.

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