I have a feeling this is going to require some explanation and justification. That will come next Friday.
The Grace Particular Baptist Church elder board had a decision to make. Two elders were under consideration for the position of senior pastor.* Neither candidate was perfect, but then, no one—except a few immature idealists whose own self-image was rather bloated—expected perfection. However, while one, Popularem, had a few flaws, some of them needing attention, the other, Tyrannus,† was a theological and ecclesiological disaster.
Tyrannus had little regard for Scripture, and had expressed dismay over the devotion of the other elders to out-dated documents. Truth be told, he didn’t like the Bible at all, with its narrow definition of faith and church, and its condemnation of so many things decent-enough people seemed to want and enjoy. He insisted that the church needed to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Prophets, Apostles, and Christ himself in the Bible.” That he was on the elder board at all—indeed, that he remained a member in good standing, not having run up against Matthew 18—raised serious questions about the character of the church body.
After a great deal of passionate debate, the time came to vote.‡ Although there were several on the elder board whose views leaned Tyrannus’s way, few of the others believed he would be chosen. To their shock and enormous disappointment, they were wrong.
The dismay of the faithful was unspeakable. What would they do now? Several answers were offered, some wisely, some glibly, but there was one in particular that simply could not be accepted. It was simply wrong, and impossible.
“What we need to do now,” they said, “is to pull together and support our new pastor.”
* Yes, I know we didn’t elect a pastor. That’s why I was able to vote for a Mormon. This is a parable. Not every element in the story is part of the lesson.
† Latin names to demonstrate my scholarly scholarliness. Thanks, Google Translate.
‡ I’ve never been in a church with proper elders, so I don’t really know how this works, but I’m quite sure it isn’t like this—at least, it better not be.