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How Not To Handle Doubters

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  • How Not To Handle Doubters

    Please don't do this pastor.

    --------------------

    What do you not do with a doubter in your congregation? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Last week, I came down with a virus and was experiencing extreme fatigue. I'm fine for the most part, but I do have a lasting cough that will probably stick with me for awhile. There have been a few nights I have got up in the middle of the night and just sucked on a cough drop until it was done and then I returned to sleep.

    So during the week, I also saw someone share this on their post that a pastor shared. Granted, we don't know all that went on before. The pastor claims there were several cordial DMs that he had with this person, and then decided to share this as something that you just have to do some time. Again, I don't know all the context, but I am going on what the pastor shared, not the person he was dialoguing with.



    Pastors. Please please please don't do this.

    I can see myself easily as the young man in this picture. If someone you trust sees a message and doesn't say anything, it's hard to know what's going on on the other end. He feels ignored. Now is that a potshot possibly taken at the end? Perhaps, but hurt people hurt people, and I do suspect this man has been deeply hurt.

    You all know I don't think God speaking today is normative, but if you do and God seems to be silent and you look to the person you think best represents him and that person lets you down, what else is to be thought? God has totally abandoned you. It's an easy conclusion to make.

    So let's look at this unnamed pastor for now. I know who he is and where he pastors, but I'm not going to share it. I want to note one thing he says.

    He has a church with 400+ people in it.

    Could you not find a man among one of them who can help you out? Is there not someone who understands enough apologetics to help this person? If there is not, then pastor, your biggest problem is not this person coming and taking "your time." Your problem is that you haven't prepared your flock. If you are teaching the flock the truths of the gospel, finding one person who can do this should be simple.

    By the way, I also say a man because I think a man experiencing doubt like this who is going to be spoken to on a personal level needs it to be another man. Forming an emotional connection like that with a woman could easily lead to forming other connections. It is not to say women aren't needed in apologetics. They definitely are.

    This pastor has instead told me more about himself. I know more about what this pastor does, but I don't know what is going on with the person who is asking for help. I know more about how important what this person does is.

    Or rather, how important he thinks it is.

    Instead, all I see given back are a bunch of cliches. These sound good, but they don't work with a doubter. Could some of the claims be true? Possibly. Could it be that this person thinks the world revolves around them? Possibly. Still, the pastor shared this photo and shared it as an example of what to do.

    It is exactly the opposite. It is a failure of leadership. It is someone who didn't delegate and let someone else answer the questions. I hope this young man isn't a casualty of what you did.

    And if the young man who was in dialogue sees this, reach out to me. I'll answer your questions the best I can and if I can't answer a question, well, I don't have a problem reaching out to people I trust to be experts in those fields to answer such questions.

    It's not about me and my time after all.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)
    What do you not do with a doubter in your congregation? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. Last week, I came down with a virus and was experiencing extreme fatigue. I’m fine for the most part, but I do have a lasting cough that will probably stick with me for awhile. There … Continue reading How Not To Handle Doubters

  • #2
    The question I have is why the young man didn't have a local pastor he could ask. Did he not feel comfortable expressing doubts there? Does he not have a church to begin with? Did he try and find nobody who could answer his questions or take him seriously? Ideally, these things should be handled on a local level. Having said that, this pastor does appear to embrace the notion of online ministry so it's not like he was just approached out of the blue with no context.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
      Please don't do this pastor.

      --------------------

      What do you not do with a doubter in your congregation? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

      Last week, I came down with a virus and was experiencing extreme fatigue. I'm fine for the most part, but I do have a lasting cough that will probably stick with me for awhile. There have been a few nights I have got up in the middle of the night and just sucked on a cough drop until it was done and then I returned to sleep.

      So during the week, I also saw someone share this on their post that a pastor shared. Granted, we don't know all that went on before. The pastor claims there were several cordial DMs that he had with this person, and then decided to share this as something that you just have to do some time. Again, I don't know all the context, but I am going on what the pastor shared, not the person he was dialoguing with.



      Pastors. Please please please don't do this.

      I can see myself easily as the young man in this picture. If someone you trust sees a message and doesn't say anything, it's hard to know what's going on on the other end. He feels ignored. Now is that a potshot possibly taken at the end? Perhaps, but hurt people hurt people, and I do suspect this man has been deeply hurt.

      You all know I don't think God speaking today is normative, but if you do and God seems to be silent and you look to the person you think best represents him and that person lets you down, what else is to be thought? God has totally abandoned you. It's an easy conclusion to make.

      So let's look at this unnamed pastor for now. I know who he is and where he pastors, but I'm not going to share it. I want to note one thing he says.

      He has a church with 400+ people in it.

      Could you not find a man among one of them who can help you out? Is there not someone who understands enough apologetics to help this person? If there is not, then pastor, your biggest problem is not this person coming and taking "your time." Your problem is that you haven't prepared your flock. If you are teaching the flock the truths of the gospel, finding one person who can do this should be simple.

      By the way, I also say a man because I think a man experiencing doubt like this who is going to be spoken to on a personal level needs it to be another man. Forming an emotional connection like that with a woman could easily lead to forming other connections. It is not to say women aren't needed in apologetics. They definitely are.

      This pastor has instead told me more about himself. I know more about what this pastor does, but I don't know what is going on with the person who is asking for help. I know more about how important what this person does is.

      Or rather, how important he thinks it is.

      Instead, all I see given back are a bunch of cliches. These sound good, but they don't work with a doubter. Could some of the claims be true? Possibly. Could it be that this person thinks the world revolves around them? Possibly. Still, the pastor shared this photo and shared it as an example of what to do.

      It is exactly the opposite. It is a failure of leadership. It is someone who didn't delegate and let someone else answer the questions. I hope this young man isn't a casualty of what you did.

      And if the young man who was in dialogue sees this, reach out to me. I'll answer your questions the best I can and if I can't answer a question, well, I don't have a problem reaching out to people I trust to be experts in those fields to answer such questions.

      It's not about me and my time after all.

      In Christ,
      Nick Peters
      (And I affirm the virgin birth)
      If a pastor is not able to recognize that it is acceptable and normal to have doubts, and if he is not able to provided some kind of guiding hand through them, even if it is to say "I am not qualified, but here is the name of someone who can help" he shouldn't be a pastor.
      A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
      George Bernard Shaw

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems like this guy is one of those pastors whose brand is "look how manly I am", and he probably thought it would make him look very masculine and tough to put the kid on blast on the whole Internet.
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          It seems like this guy is one of those pastors whose brand is "look how manly I am", and he probably thought it would make him look very masculine and tough to put the kid on blast on the whole Internet.
          For all I know the doubter he corresponded with is someone in his congregation.

          Meanwhile, I saw this on this guy's Facebook page.

          I rarely wash the dishes, change diapers, or do the laundry.
          And yet my wife isn't resentful.
          Why? Well, because I'm the...
          - chief discipliner of the kids
          - main manager of difficult interfamily issues
          - supplier of all the resources she needs
          - mover of insanely heavy things
          - etc etc
          Division of labor, y'all.
          We both do things the other doesn't want to do.
          Find what works for your household.
          I depend on her, she depends on me.
          And we both make sure the other one gets a break and gets out with friends.
          We are a household on mission.
          Things must get done.

          Comment


          • #6
            From the context, the pastor is corresponding with a stranger, not a member of his congregation. It is also apparent that the conversation was not going well to this point. And people do need to be told sometimes that the world does not revolve around them. Let's not be too hasty in judging him. He could well be dealing with a Johnny Loftus type.

            And I have no idea what your last response here has to do with anything, Nick.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

            Comment


            • #7
              I get that he is busy, but at the same time Scripture speaks of redeeming and making use of your time. And even if so he could of least deferred him to the elders, or hearing him out then directing him to someone who could help instead of blowing him off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                From the context, the pastor is corresponding with a stranger, not a member of his congregation. It is also apparent that the conversation was not going well to this point. And people do need to be told sometimes that the world does not revolve around them. Let's not be too hasty in judging him. He could well be dealing with a Johnny Loftus type.

                And I have no idea what your last response here has to do with anything, Nick.
                My last response is with regard to what KG said.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Regardless of whether he was in the right to discontinue conversation, I think it was inappropriate for the pastor to send this message out as an "example" to the entire Internet.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                    Regardless of whether he was in the right to discontinue conversation, I think it was inappropriate for the pastor to send this message out as an "example" to the entire Internet.
                    Definitely. I wonder what the young man will think if he ever sees that.

                    Comment

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