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[personal profile] jenk
Peggy Senger Parsons wrote this article in response to the alleged murder of Rev Winkler by his wife, based on her experience as a pastor and a counselor who has worked with clergy families.
God is all about choices – any theology that makes you feel trapped is not really from God. And God’s reputation isn’t really going to live or die on your perfection. Lighten up on your clergy and their family. Set a new church culture that tells the pastor that she or he may model how to get help for problems, not pretend to live without them. Let’s start telling our young people that they can make mistakes, admit them, and fix them. Let’s tell all our children that they have the power and the right to stand up for themselves. The proof of the Gospel is less about how good your cleric is, and more about how good we can be to each other in our humanness. Let’s try harder.
I would add that it's not just the church culture that sees clergy families as "the proof of the Gospel." It's the greater culture as well, at least in America. Many ex-xtians and non-xtians love to belittle imperfect clergy. The problem is, "This kind of falsehood has a backlash. When you hold in ugly -- it just gets uglier. When it comes out -- and it will come out, usually towards the people your love the most -- it can be truly nasty."

And that's only the start of her "recipe for a Christian matrimonial murder." There's a reason why the article is titled "The Death of Perfection". Not that this kind of perfectionism only applies to xtians, or to religious people in general. When you can't admit you have problems you can't solve them.


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