Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


The OGD who can be linked via KD (check out the, uh, links) isn't only the greatest guardian and advocate of truly Reformed Theology, he also drops bombs of common sense every now and then.

Here's one of my favorites: "If the horse is dead, dismount."

I think that's what's happened to the GOP, mainline denominations, and particular congregations longing for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.



Speaking of uncommon common sense for these days, Ted keeps coming to mind.

Though he went home to Jesus a while back now, his witness continues to shape my life and ministry.

I'll never forget when I asked him to estimate the percentage of mainline clergy who actually believe in Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture and upheld by most of their constitutions.

He said, "Maybe 40%."

That has stayed with me; and helped me to understand why...


Ted knew all about irregulars, irascibles, and irreconcilables; reminding me of the shrink who told my doctoral study group, "The problem people in your churches are usually constipated. That's why they dump on you."

Anyway, Ted took on one of 'em: "I can't really talk to you right now because I've got something in my eye...'What's that I see in your eye?'"

Ted also reiterated an earlier warning about not getting into tinkling contests with skunks.

I think that was the genesis of creative neglect which you can read about in my non-best-selling Fifteen Secrets for Life and Ministry which nobody is ordering from us because they know I give 'em away because I got so many copies of it from the publisher in lieu of $ which is why my plastic is so...


Whenever a younger or older pastor would banter and moan about how awful it is to be a pastor in today's mainline culture where everybody's word is as good as anybody else's word on any subject and part of a pastor's call is to suffer fools gladly, he'd chime in, "That's not so bad...Look at what Jesus did to save people...You don't have it so bad."


Yeah, it's hard to look at the cross and banter and moan about people bantering and moaning about liturgy, hymn selection, carpet color, and other stuff that really ____ (Thank you, young mentor pastor for fitting commentary!).


Of course, Ted loved Jesus so much that he was hated for it.

He, and I mean He, issued that alert long ago.

I'll never forget bringing up Ted's name for moderator of _____ Presbytery - a guy/gal who keeps the meeting going in an honorary kinda way and has about as much clout as pastors in the mainline culture (scroll down for my response to that invitation from www.advanceillinois.com).

It was one of the first kairos moments of my, uh, professional ministry.

I was on the nominating committee of the presbytery; and for non-PCUSAers and kin, that's kinda like a diocese or conference or pret' near facsimile.

When I suggested his name, the executive presbyter - though they're not really bishops in our franchise, they're kinda like bishops and lots of 'em like that one act like 'em as long as the lemmings let 'em - said he couldn't be moderator because evangelical pastors care more about Jesus than His franchises.


It has a lot to do with Jesus saying, "If you love mom or dad or anyone or anything more than Me, you are in a world of hurt."

Or something like that.

Be that as it is, I asked for a recess so I could speak with the megalomaniac - I mean EP - in private.

As soon as we sat down in his study, he picked up a cup with the denominational seal on it, waved it in front of me, and blurted, "See this cup? It's blue! It has the seal of our denomination on it! I'm true blue loyal to it!"

After I stopped laughing, I said, "Please stop before you really embarrass yourself...[I was a lot younger and bolder than I am now!]...Ted has been loyal to our franchise for a lot longer than you've been around, pal...Yes, if the denomination is not loyal to Jesus, he will stand up for Jesus and stand down from the denomination; and if you've got a problem with that, you're gonna have a really big problem in the end...But let's cut to the chase. If you don't support my nomination through the committee, I'll just nominate him from the floor and tell everybody what you said about him because he has been more faithful than you'll ever be."

I think that was the genesis of KD.

Three things.

I never told Ted about that conversation because I knew it would hurt him too much.

Ted became moderator and was excellent; and, at least for that year, Jesus was Lord of that presbytery.

That EP has hated me ever since and done everything within his "power" to cripple my vocational possibilities; though I've helped him along the way by being a real ____ every now and then.


I'm tempted to include a Denis Leary song here in honor of that EP and yours truly but you'll have to write and ask for it because even I can't stretch that far; but it's so good and so appropriate and so...


Soren Kierkegaard prayed, "Lord, I have to make a choice, and I'm afraid that I may make the wrong one. But I have to make it anyway; and I can't put it off. So I will make it, and trust You to forgive me if I do wrong. And, Lord, I will trust You, too, to help make things right afterward. Amen."

Ah, yes.



Or dismount.



Blessings and Love!

Visit www.koppdisclosure.com regularly because Kathie, Julie, and Terri are about to launch something really awesome!

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