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Friday, January 20, 2012

Call for a Pastor President

In this election season some have said we need a businessman to be president.  It is worth asking what do we mean by this?  What are the characteristics of a businessman?  It becomes clear that this is an impossible question to answer for all types of people have proven to be good businessmen.  They all have strengths and weaknesses and a key factor for success is their ability to use the skills and knowledge of others to augment their own talents no matter how modest or impressive.  But, of course, this goes not only for businessmen but for all possible professions.

Much in the order of suggesting we need a businessman for president, I would like to suggest we need (whatever their career role) someone with the qualities of a pastor.  Note I did not say preacher or one with an arm full of doctrines.  I mean someone who meets the people where they are; someone who loves them and desires for them wholeness; someone who has outreach to others—a visiting pastor, so to speak; someone with humility that appreciates his own limitations; someone who realizes the itinerate nature of political office—understanding that someone soon with different strengths and weaknesses will be taking his place; someone with a kind sense of humor; someone who exercises compassion;  someone who is a peacemaker and earnestly desires and works for reconciliation; someone deeply understanding of human nature yet not hardened by this knowledge; someone who will reach out to our best drives, instincts, and ideas and encourage development of character; someone who will appeal to the foundational values of our institutions; someone who loves children and always desires the best for them; someone who honors the family; someone willing to put service before wealth, fame, or fortune; someone with tangible respect for all people no matter their class or social standing; someone who has no judgmental arrogance; someone always willing to seek and appeal to the good in others; someone willing to risk their lives for eternal verities.  But, you may say, the President is Commander in Chief, unfitting the role of a pastor.  Maybe, maybe not.  What I have essentially argued for is a righteous man—someone who does not look kindly upon injustice, neglectful treatment of the innocent, crimes against humanity of any sort.  It reminds me in a way of the use of profanity.  If a person speaks profanely all the time, the effect and force of the practice is diminished.  However, if someone who seldom if ever utters a cuss word suddenly does so, typically it carries great force and effect.  I would not bet on the blind indulgence of the righteous man nor of his yielding to the temptation to view life as cheap.

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