A friend recently asked why I was teaching a Sunday morning Bible Study. I am the pastor. Some do not teach or participate in a Sunday morning Bible Study time before preaching. I do. Chiefly because I learn quite a bit from the group.
I don’t always teach. Most often I lead when the question gets a bit complicated. Increasingly many realize that transformative questions require an answer beyond a simple chapter and verse. Scandalous I know.
Recently I was looking for an illustration to make a point during a conversation. It was not a point of argumentation. Instead it was to illustrate the way we must think through the language we use to describe our position. For instance, when conservatives tout family values as a mantra, time must be taken to value the family. Giving in to a busy culture only gives the appearance of valuing family. Chasing around after every possible activity for your child does not guarantee time will be taken to talk about the complexity involved in ethical decisions.
Monday I read a Facebook post by Steve McCoy. I have known Steve, in the virtual sense, for a number of years. We have met in real time and shared a meal nearly ten years ago. He is a sharp thinker, solid writer, a great photographer, and a very involved Father. When he posted about a mishap at a Chicago gas station I read his appeal knowing that he took the time to have this sort of conversation with his children. Yes, he is a pastor and we have those expectations. But, do not assume of us pastor types what you will not assume about you normal types.
How do I know Steve took the time to talk about this with his children? I have read and observed Steve from a distance and know what he values, what sort of stands he takes. (Steve, if you read this and did not have a conversation with your children, hurry and do so.)
This is the sort of event that provides a great occasion to talk about the layers involved in making ethical decisions. Even more, Steve’s FB appeal to those who bought the very cheap gas to do the right thing is the sort of thing we need more of.
Thanks Steve for calling attention to this event. It gives us a good occasion to talk about how we make ethical decisions that honor the other, even when the mistake may be on them.
Dear Woodstock friends and neighbors, if you stole the gas from the Shell station yesterday would you please go and pay full price for your gas? Would you please encourage friends to do the same and post something like this on your FB page? A glitch is not an opportunity to steal. You knew you were taking advantage of someone else for your own selfish gain.