Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's never a pleasant thing to realize you've made a mistake . . . and it's even more difficult to admit publicly when you're wrong. Unfortunately, I now find myself in this difficult and awkward position.

A few weeks ago I wrote two blogs on a Bill Hybels Bible study our pastor had chosen to do. My comments were critical, to say the least, and to the point. I also wrote that Kevin and I were planning to talk to our pastor about this, but we never did. Truthfully, we intended to do so soon, but schedule issues and the uncertainty of how to approach things prevented us from bringing up the subject. We didn't want to appear pushy or controlling, and there never seemed to be a "right" time to talk. When the study ended, the pressure to resolve this issue faded.

The difficult thing now is that my pastor read my blog, and being the man of integrity that he is, he called me and talked to me about it. So, today I am writing to correct my error: I should never have blogged about this subject until after I had spoken with my pastor. It wasn't fair to him and it wasn't biblical. Kevin advised me to edit my blogs, but again, a busy schedule prevented me from doing it when it should have been done--right away.

I think, in retrospect, it's easy to fall into a confrontational mode when you spend a great deal of your time confronting error. My frustration over the Bill Hybel's material should have been channeled in a more constructive manner, and I sincerely apologize to my pastor for not handling things in the correct way.

A difficult lesson, but necessary.

I am glad that I attend a church where the pastor is a man of God who says what needs to be said in a gracious, Christ-like manner.


Martin James said...

I thought that, that might happen.

I personally enjoy your thinking ears, eyes and tongue!

I hope the pastor of your current church does too. He needs people like you.

3:06 AM  
JohnD said...

It is very big of you to admit putting the cart before the horse. So often we all do this in some form or other (certainly I have on many occasions). I call it my foot-in-mouth disease.

Your pastor was also guilty of this human infraction with the objectionable material in question (which I am sure he now regrets using).

Yes, I recall even the late great Walter Martin having to retract or at least rethink a strategy or two... giving cultists the room to save face for example. Easing up a bit on the assault on homosexuality while never compromising that both infractions against God are in error. He was (and is on the other side of the great divide) a wise man humble enough to admit and correct a mistake. And I see in you the apple did not fall far from the tree. I know he would be pleased.

4:35 AM  
Jill Martin Rische said...

Thanks Martin and John for your kind comments. They are much appreciated.

Hindsight is always 20/20, right?



7:50 PM  
Jill Martin Rische said...


I don't think I would characterize my pastor's choice as "sin." I think he saw some good things in Hybels' work and decided to focus on the positive.

1:20 PM  
JohnD said...

You got embarrassed by a procedural error. I understand how you want to mend that tear. But that's all it was.

I refrained from using the "s" word (sin) in my reply. If I had, it would have been over the far greater infraction of a shepherd not ensuring the food he was about to feed to the Lord's sheep wasn’t poisonous.

I’m not on a witch-hunt here, but of whom much is given much is required. A pastor is only human, but his charge is of extreme importance. In fact it's beyond human ability (if done right). That's why a pastor must rely upon the Holy Spirit at every juncture in his life. And really we all should.

Joshua (Joshua 9) was taken in by the deception of the Gibeonites because he did not seek the Lord's counsel. Mere appearance + feeble human reason = disaster.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Joshua may have just been using his own noodle or he may have learned it from his predecessor Moses who did not consult the Lord when he set up the body of judges (Exodus 18) at the behest of his (pagan) priest father-in-law.

The Sanhedrin that tried and convicted the Lord Jesus Christ and handed him over to the Romans trace their roots back to that body of judges. This is the weed seed planted by the enemy in the wheat field and the leaven hidden in the lump (Matthew 13). It is the source of that which blinds the Jewish people to their Lord Messiah Jesus to this day.

This is what breaks my heart about CRI. Your father labored so hard for so long to create a ministry (among other things) to aid ministers in this area. So they wouldn’t have to “reinvent the wheel all over again.” I can hear his words now… "never fear, CRI is here."


11:31 PM  

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