That's where I found it, standing just off the road, on gravel, across from a cemetery, all the ingredients of a dead church once upon a time named Zion Pres. Out here, not all of such ruins are Presbyterian. Many are Lutheran, some on the reservation are Episcopal. They come in all flavors, although size is fairly standard on the edge of the Plains: not big.
While division is not new, this year feels different. Both parties paint pictures of a dystopian future if the “enemy” wins. Historians like Kristen Kobes Du Mez and Jemar Tisby remind us that while the volume has been turned up, the beats are still the same. Othering, fear mongering, and name calling are not new ingredients in a presidential election.
Such responses to a great prophet and to our only Savior can give some perspective to pastors serving in a politically and theologically divisive time. We can feel anxious about how our congregation will receive our messages. We can wonder if they will view us as too political or as not political enough.
Self-giving and self-protective. Adaptable and anti-change. Gracious and grumbling. This is the church in 2020. Perhaps this has always been so.
In examining the stories of such well-known pastors’ wives as Victoria Osteen and Lois Evans, Bowler looks at the ways in which these women were able to build their own empire in the shadow of their husbands’ ministries.
A narcissistic person displays an over-the-top sense of entitlement and arrogance which seeks to manipulate or humiliate anyone who might call his or her actions into question. This person isn’t a world leader or celebrity. This might be the person you call your pastor.