What does a pastor do during the week? The only thing people really see is what happens on the weekends, but by far the most strenuous work is done from Monday thru Friday. All of the planning, effort, research, studying, scheduling, programming and practice happens when no one else is watching. On a typical day, we may get visitors that want to see the church, ask questions or try and sell us something. The same thing happens on the phones…questions about the church or again trying to sell the latest and greatest church resource. Bottom line, it’s a pretty busy work environment.
Most of the time, when people call or visit that need help or have a question – although it’s never easy to break concentration on what you’re working on – it’s an honor and privlege to help when you can. But, on occasion we get someone who simply wants to pick a fight under the guise of innocent questions. You can always tell because they always preface their question or comments by this phrase, “I’d like to get your opinion on something”, or “What does your church believe about…?” Although these conversations are so distracting, I have to be honest and say that I really like them. I like the challenge of answering hard biblical or theological questions…ok, that was too nice, I just like having fun with people. I was the lucky one that answered the phone and got the million dollar question this week. Here’s how that conversation went:
“Are you a pastor?” “Yes I am”, I answered. Oh goody, I passed the credential test. “What version do you use?” I answered, “which one would you like to use?” Nice one Chad, empower his question. Then he asked me if John, when writing Revelation, only had the use of common language of the time in which he wrote it. My answer, “great question, not a clue, I would assume so. I wasn’t alive back then.” Sweet…act dumb. Now at this point, he really believed that he had me, he said, “Chad, I think I’m on to something here and I need your oppinion. “Of course”, I said. “Do you think that John, even though limited in his language back then to describe what he was seeing, was describing cloning in Revelation 13:15?” “What do you think?” I answered. Nice…answer a question with a question.
Now at this point, I figured that I had spent enough time with this guy and asked what his name was and where he went to church. He told me his name and then said that he doesn’t go to any church…not into the religion thing, just into Bible prophecy. What a waste of brain power and time. The longer I do this, the more I understand how mid-week distractions are one of the enemy’s best weapon.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 says, “And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.”
2 Timothy 2:23-24 says, “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.”
Titus 3:9 says, “Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time.”