Read Michael Reynold's post for today over at writinginthedirt. You can click on it under bloggers I read.
Michael is a saint.
We should start to offer sanctuary to one another as ministers and as Christians. We should organize this movement to make it effective but keep it simple enough it does not require an associational type of director, or, God forbid, a convention to take it over and make it useless.
There are simple ways to offer Sanctuary to other ministers.
Most have practically no money. They still need to get away from their place of responsibility from time to time, for prayer and reflection. I have hosted two such gatherings in my house at Brock. Our church benefited each time. Others are invited. For that matter, you are invited, minister, and you do not have to be full time in ministry or baptist. You do not have to claim Christ as I claim Christ to seek sanctuary here.
I will entertain non-inerrantists, even. Humor Alert: My quixotic view of life often is taken seriously at just the wrong moment. I should identify myself, again, here, as a Liberal Fundamentalist, eschewing, as I do, the meager titles "Moderate" or "Inerrantist."
Since I wrote about that experience, others from San Antonio, Whitney, Oklahoma City and the panhandle of Texas have written to say they have rooms or houses that could be used for spiritual retreats at little or no cost. The cost might include getting back and forth, only. If you cannot pay that to get to here, I can repay you what it costs you to drive here.
Nor do you have to have my company inflicted upon you. I have a room in the other end of the house. We can pray, if you want, or share a meal, if you like, or watch and discuss a movie. We can read a book together, noting its salient points for our work.
Or you can come, enjoy privacy, pay little or nothing and keep to yourself. Certainly, bring your wife or husband.
The others who are offering sanctuary share similar offers. This is not some overbearing thing where you must sit and listen to yet another sermonette about how you cannot be tired or depressed if you really, really, really believe in God. In fact, I hope all of these retreats will be low-guilt and high-rest opportunities.
Apparently, Jesus believed in God. He went aside to the homes of friends for spiritual retreats from time to time. This, even though he would only minister publicly for three years. He did not have to prepare for retirement or please a board of elders. Still, he prayed to maintain focus and strength.
You would think, given the brevity of His career, He would have tried to put out a DVD or a something for sale in the foyer. Instead, He prayed and rested and tried to get away from the crowd.
Perhaps this is now you get ready to die meaningfully, and with nobility. Will you have a good death?
No? Then how will you know you have had a good life?
Apparently, if Christianity is about following Jesus, we act out of a Christian impulse if we do go for rest and restoration, rather than try to knock on one more door or sit in the office for one more hour.
You have let yourself become a glorified office manager, only slightly glorified. You have let yourself be formed by your worst critics, your least informed, most lightly spiritual parishioners. You are shaped by lunatics, conformed to the image of practicing atheists and are in danger of becoming an atheist.
While your soul can still be saved, pull apart from the corporate and seek the spiritual. We can do more together, yes, but not in some well served board room where we pretend to be corporate executives.
NOTE: The third sanctuary seeker has come and gone. Each threatens to return for more and I hope these are not idle threats. The last one needed some help with a paper he is writing. We shall indeed meet again.