There is a UM church in the area going through some stuff. They had some minister issues and then had a pastor appointed mid year to fill the gap. They haven’t been happy. My neighbor attends there and on the rare moments we talk, all he does is complain. I actually had an older couple start to visit my church because they were unhappy. They wanted to talk to me and so I attempted to set up a time to visit but it ended up being a phone call conversation instead.
I learned he wasn’t happy with his church because the clergy that was appointed there was a young woman. She is a young mother, married, and snake owner. He went on to explain that anyone who owns a snake and has a young child could tell him nothing from the pulpit he would listen to. Then he quoted me some scripture in 2 Timothy about women being silent in church. As I listened to his side of the story I thought to myself…great, how do I get out of this conversation. Then he opened the door for me.
After he finished he asked me, “am I wrong?” I responded, “yes,” which is not what he was suspecting nor wanted to hear. I told him God calls all kinds of people. He ignored me and continued to make his case. I haven’t seen him back at my church since.
The truth is there is a ton of clergy haters out there. They don’t like their minister because she is a she, because he is too young, or too old, because he is fat, has too many kids, is single, blah, blah, blah. I also know that there are a ton of people unhappy with the ordination process on the clergy side. Yet, if there is an ordained UM minister down the street I can say with certainty that the person is called by God and has been vetted enough to know that person can do the job. I can stick up for my fellow clergy when approached in person or on the phone because they have been through a whole hell of a lot to become ordained and they deserve the position they are appointed to.
If you don’t like the person the bishop appointed to your church because of silly issues, don’t come to my church down the street and expect, just because I’m a young white male, that I will agree with you. Keep your hate to yourself and give your minister some respect!