What’s funny is that, this weekend, several Grace parishioners rolled past me while I was protesting. Most just pretend they don’t see me. Some take my picture, no doubt to go to Bob and argue that something needs to be done. A few flip me off. And some try the whole saccharine smile and frantic friendly wave routine.
While the latter is intended to tick me off, it doesn’t. Instead, it just falls into the same bag of tricks as other Grace church antics. In short, behaviors that miss the whole point of being Christian.
Yes, some of these tactics might work in your sorority, or a country club, or similar settings. But they don’t work in a church setting, and they simply underscore how troubled Grace church really is, and just how little real Christian faith there is in the parish. In short, they reinforce the observations of outside observers, which is that members of the church respond to conflict in ways that are childish and hateful. Or as one commenter prefaced her remarks over at The Wartburg Watch, “While this group of parishioners may seem sane to themselves….” The rest I leave to your imagination.
Then there’s the whole issue of Bob trying to convince people that Mom’s blog is somehow threatening. True to form, Bob goes from person to person, trying to stir the pot and create fear where none exists. Because Bob is clergy, people fall for his antics, instead of thinking for themselves. That’s sad, because this buy-in on facially spurious ideas simply accelerates the church’s preciptous decline. Moreover, Bob’s shunning and other misconduct, now widely known, are teeing the church up for long-term problems as millenials look and say, “That is everything I hate about church.” In short, absent a very quick 180, Grace Church is headed for what increasingly looks like it may be a dissolution. It won’t happen right away, but absent big changes, things are not looking good for the church, particularly as older, more generous givers either retire and can no longer give at prior levels, or pass away.