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Doctrine in dialogue format
they be blind leaders of the blind.
"Indeed you are Mr Busybody, indeed you are. And it has been a very long search as you say. We have been searching for the right pastor to lead us for over two years, having had disappointment after disappointment during our search. You can imagine the joy we feel having finally discovered the perfect man to shepherd our little congregation."
"I can well imagine that it would be quite a relief for all of you Mrs Plebs. And you are quite confident that this pastor you have with you today is the right one for you? You have no doubt in your mind whatever?"
"Absolutely Mr Busybody. We need someone to lead us who is confident, one who can inspire us, and who can lead us into better things. We need, in a word, a people person. And as you can see, this man certainly meets our criteria."
"Yes Mrs Plebs, I must agree with you. By all appearances he does indeed meet your criteria."
"You must understand Mr Busybody, over the past many years we have had disappointment after disappointment. We have had pastors try out who were either too subtle in their preaching, or they were too fire and brimstone. We have had those who desired to change the church from its long standing attitudes, or who wanted to take command and run the show their way and not our way. Our last pastor was just such a person, and by the time we discovered his intent, it then became very difficult to dislodge him from his established position. We don't want to risk finding ourselves in such a situation again. Along with dedication and ability, we need someone who can please people, a people person if you will, who can bring in the sheaves if you'll pardon the expression. Our church is filled with fading flowers, and we need fresh new seeds in the pews if we expect to survive and to grow as the Lord desires of us. I'm sure you can see our dilemma, can you not Mr Busybody?"
"Yes I can Mrs Plebs. And I suspect you realize that there are many churches in the same situation as you find yourself, and they too seek and desperately need a good pastor to lead them. But I return to my original question. Are you sure this is the man for you? Have you checked out his credentials in order to insure that you don't find yourself in an even worse bind than you are at present?"
"Of course we've checked his references Mr Busybody. What kind of church do you think we are? And he has a good record, this I can assure you. Of course there are rumors to the effect that he has had some problems in the past. But he has assured us that they are just that, malicious rumors spread by those who are envious of him."
"I see, you feel they are just rumors. Yes, I can see how desperation can lead someone to settle on such an explanation."
"My Busybody, you are behaving very strangely for a person who is supposedly merely conducting an interview. I feel more as if I were on the witness stand being cross examined than a person being interviewed. If you have something to say, say on. Don't keep beating around the bush. You will not dissuade me or my committee, but I still want to hear anything you might have to tell me."
"I find this difficult to say since you've already made up you mind Mrs Plebs, but I do have some knowledge about the man you've chosen as your pastor. Are you sure you want to hear it?"
"Of course I do Mr Busybody. Spill it."
"All right Mrs Plebs, but remember, this is by your request. I have encountered your pastor when he was involved with an enterprise other than that of pastoring a church. At that time he was going by the name of Duplicity J. Pettifogger rather than the Reverend Croesus Van der Opulence you have with you today. This Mr Pettifogger has a criminal record as long as your proverbial arm, and is now wanted in two states for bunco charges, that is, he is a confidence man. The last church he pastored had total confidence in him for two years, and then they discovered that he, while receiving travel expenses, was driving the church van and pocketing the money given him. He had run up bills in the church's name, on their accounts, and when his criminal activity was discovered, he had sold the furniture the church had supplied him, which was rented from a rental agency, and left them having to pay the bill. After he had disappeared, the church was left in a financial bind, having to pay more than they had available. I'm sure I've forgotten some of the things your pastor was involved in, but I think you get the message. It's not my job to accuse or to judge, but I do believe you need to reevaluate your criteria Mrs Plebs. As it is, it seems all the world to me that your desires for a pastor are all too superficial."
7Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. (Ezek 34:)
13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2Tim 3:)
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