Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

August 2, 2013

YOUR VIEW: Pastors make ‘friendly targets’ for flapping tongues, but should they?

Special to the Daily Times
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Dear Editor,

 I guess I am just too sensitive. That really isn’t me. I have been in ministry for more than 40 years and you don’t continue in the service of Jesus Christ in this world and develop a thin skin. You tend to develop a thick skin.

 Being sensitive in the biblical sense of the thought (i.e. tender-hearted, kind and compassionate) is not a bad thing. But, that’s not exactly what I want to mention here.

 It has come to my attention that with the extreme downturn in public opinion of all leadership positions that “pastors” are now not respected much more than politicians. Now you and I know that is not a good thing.

 Of course, you have to earn respect. I agree with you. But, what about the many, and I do mean many, “good pastors” we have in our community who are “respectable.” I would hope you believe I am “respectable” or worthy of your respect. Remember the song: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Give us a little respect.

I know men who have been serving the Lord for decades in Barren County. Many others have been serving in the ministry in many places for decades and now serve here. But where is the respect?

 Do you respect your “clergyman?” Do you stand up for him when others are attacking him? Do you make sure you address him in a respectful way. I am not sure the “mega church” way of being “palsy-walsy” with the pastor and simply calling him by his first name is a good thing. Not that we are above anyone. But, where is the respect? Where is the respect for his years of service, his education, his position?

 What are we demonstrating when we do not hold our “pastor” up as a leader and recognize his accomplishments and his responsibility to “watch over our souls?” No … Pastors and pastor’s families are not perfect. But if you will check it out, you will find the proof in the pudding. A faithful pastor and his wife will have raised a few good kids. Look at their track record and then give them the respect they deserve.

 You are doing a disservice to yourself, your family and this community if you disrespect a respectable pastor. Criticism is cheap. It is available on any corner here in Barren County. Pastors are “friendly targets” for flapping tongues.

With recent local developments in the public arena of leadership, observe your pastor and follow him as he follows Christ. Follow your pastor’s example and don’t be criticizing him or let anyone run him down if you truly love him. Lesson over. Done.

Am I being too sensitive?

Can I get an “Amen” or “a witness?”

Charles M. Padgett