All will probably have read about John Piper taking some months out of the ministry in order to look closely at himself and his family. He has described his awareness of the sin of pride in his life. Rather than discuss it on the tail of another unrelated thread, it deserves its own space for the issues this raises.
Wazza’s response to this off another thread was:
John Piper takes a few months off, where he says he’s going to do absolutely nothing – and he gets universal praise and applause from other pastors and the general community.
Dont get me wrong, I think its a very good thing that he’s doing – but there would be very few jobs where you’d get that kind of affirmation for taking a holiday.
Teddy’s response to Piper’s announcement is:
John Piper is taking time out to restore the proper balance to his marriage – rightfully acknowledging that his marriage is more important than his ministry. As was said by another pastor ….
“Piper’s greater concern to work out his own salvation in fear and in trembling rather than to extend his influence.. We should all take careful note.”
My own reaction is firstly to think, good on him. Its encouraging to see a highly respected pastor admit to something like pride where there may be no obvious incidents that reveal this to the public around him. Adultery for example, seems to show up when affairs are unavoidably exposed, but pride – well, its one of those things that we all agree is sin, but there aren’t the same shocking incidents to unavoidably expose it.
My second reaction is to agree regarding the irony that Wazza has pointed out. Merely by announcing his decision, he is subjected to a torrent of approving remarks, and admiration for his step, which themselves could lead to the problem he’s trying to address.
So, how widespread is the problem of pride in church leadership positions? How can it be addressed? Are there some inherent practices in the way we do church that make this particular sin more of a trap? And the more successful the pastor, the more dangerous the trap.
Teddy put up another good link on the subjecthere, which is worth reading.
As an aside, I did attend the local Anglican church the other day, for my son’s scripture class Easter church service. I noticed the minister was on the cleaning roster, in with other volunteers. Perhaps that is one of his ways of practically keeping himself on the same level as everyone else – it did send a message about a level standing before God with others in the congregation, I think.