I remember back in high school the first of many times I was tempted to question my Christian views. I was sitting in an earth science class and the first thing that came out of the teachers mouth was, "i won't be teaching a variety of views on the earth in this class....just one fact. The earth is millions of years old."
I remember this because the teacher was so insistent on this "fact" within the context of his class and i was sure i would fail the class, because i for sure did not share his view. Well i got through the class with an A- and several well prepared verbal debates.
Peer pressure comes in many forms. Most often times we think of it as the kid who pulls out a cigarette and hands one to the kid next to him..... But peer pressure is more than just an action that someone takes. It is most often portrayed in someone who overbears their opinion on another, to the point that they give into the "fact".
Adults face this kind of peer pressure every day. (will i talk about my co-workers behind there backs, will i cater to someones beliefs long enough for them to write the check, will i entertain a life that goes against what i have been taught?)
And one of the top lines of work in which this intimidation takes place: churches and pastors.
Shocking! But reality is that the church often houses some of the most overbearing, opinionated individuals. I am no exception, though i am learning to align my views better with the Bible.
The pastor of the church has one primary job, to shepherd the flock. To care for the spiritual and mental well being of those who walk through the door. But sometimes this passion is co-opted by individuals with power. Whether it's a prominent professor who holds and anti-Genesis view, a tither who believes it's a woman's right to choose, or a staff person who wishes to heighten his position when the funding isn't truly there. And with all of these voices in their ears of the pastor, peer pressure ensues. That is why it is important to be a congregation that won't allow this to happen and have the Courage to address it when it does.
I will leave off with these words from Dr. Terry Mortenson:
" Pray for courage for your pastor to believe and proclaim the truth. Pray that he will fear God more than what people think of him (Psalm 40:4; Proverbs 29:25). Graciously offer some materials for him to consider.
By God’s grace, anything is possible. Pastors can change—and they need to. Our churches need to change, but that change must take place in individual hearts."
"Love is Patient. Love is Kind."