Yesterday in a bookstore I had a conversation with someone who was before in Christian ministry. She told me her sad story of how the sheer imaginative speculation brought about the abrupt end to her vocation as a minister. I listened with intent, and was saddened by her journey. She choked back tears.
It was sheer speculation, her leaders have made their decision and it was final. There were no intent of hearing her side of the story. Her proactive stance to give her explanations we looked upon as going against her leaders, something like speaking out with no respect to her leaders decision.
She carried the scars for quite a while. The stigma of what happened was still very much felt, because some ministers looked at her with certain disdain. That pretty much marked her journey of isolation. Though she tried again after some years to continue to minister under the denomination she was affiliated with, the response they gave her was, “you just rest.” And that was after a number of years.
It is a sad tale of how leaders in the church deal with issues pertaining to ministers. It is like a complete fall from grace and with no thought of redemption. Ministers seem to be placed on the platform of where Lucifer was. And we know that salvation is not meant for Satan.
How should leaders deal with difficult situations in the first place? I know that it is not through mere speculative intuition. They should have sat down with her and tried to look at things objectively. See if there were enough evidence if she really did sin. They should also consider her side of the story and not see her explanations as a form of rebellion. I mean we are grown ups here. We need to be civil. There is no room in the kingdom for rash decisions.
And if it were found that she had indeed done what they speculated she did after good solid evidence then there needs to be some form of discipline. But the church is not good on this. Usually disciple means excommunication without the thought of restoration or reconciliation. That is a sad fact. And here we are preaching that God forgives and reconciles, but we find it hard to enact what we so dearly preach.
There are many stories that follow along the same line as I’ve told here. I guess I know this too well myself. I’ve been a victim of this senseless thing called speculation. Made more as a scapegoat by arrogant dictators. I hope in the future, things will change, and it should. But I think history likes to repeat itself. Her journey was some 10 years ago. Mine was 3 years back. Dictators still rule the church. What more in the present political state of Malaysia. If we think we are the salt and light of the earth, and our message is one of reconciliation, we must not just preach it. It needs to be practiced as well. It will do no good if we pray for change in our political climate now if our own governance is just a reflection of what the world is all but bent in doing.