And neither of them good.
First the OJ story. O.J. Simpson has written a book "If I Did It" which details how he would have killed his wife and one other "if he did it". No matter how I look at it this book is reprehensible.
If OJ is innocent how do explain spending that much time thinking about that subject, let alone writing it all down? How do you explain to your kids that THIS is how you decided to make some money?
If OJ is guilty (and I've always believed he is) then this is one of the most evil individual acts I can imagine. It is the ultimate form of spitting on someone's grave. His publisher says it's his "confession". No it isn't, it's a cheap easy way to try and ease his conscience.
What does this have to do with ministry? It's another chance to model for our young people how we believe life should be lived. Don't watch the TV interview, don't buy the book. Until he's ready to make a full confession and accept responsibility (assuming that he's in fact guilty) don't buy into the cheap and easy media event. Don't feed the "car accident gawker" portion of our culture.
Second unpleasant wow. A letter in one of my local newspapers. A local clergy person calls upon the newly elected governor to help congregations that are failing. He wants the governor to "...arrive at solutions to make our churches economically viable..." because "...Like health care and education, spiritual care should be accessible to all." (Full letter is here)
I was flabbergasted. Dumbfounded. Astonished. Appalled. And then I began to laugh.
Brothers and sisters, if we are reduced to having the state government pull our chestnuts out of the fire, if we are incapable of supporting ourselves in a community of faith, then it's time to close the doors and go home. We face a variety of congregations that are struggling, that may or may not survive. I feel for all of them. But if they are not capable of creating a self sustaining community then why do they exist? Should we bail out communities of faith that are little more than personal chapels for a few families? How does this coincide with ANY understanding of the Great Commission?
Beyond that have you seen the way NYS runs MOST things?!?!?!?!?!?! Who in their right mind would want them more deeply involved in church?