an appetite for destruction… or the world of grace?

Yr006disgrace "A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace."  – Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p.25

Another pastor has been caught in a prostitution scandal.  And I'm ready for another one to be caught tomorrow.  My profession is no longer equated with morality or trustworthiness.  "Slimey" is how one person recently described "pastors".  I know many people who have had more pastors who failed to be faithful than who actually lived what they preached. 

I actually hesitated this week to help with something in our community because I thought the other people involved might not trust a pastor among them.  Sad.  My title might actually be creating a barrier to the Gospel these days.  Something has to change!

Most pastors, I believe, entered into their "careers" out of a passionate calling from God, or at least a passionate devotion to God and others.  But after some time, the passion can wear off, for numerous reasons.  Their initial passion for God and their congregation can wane against the constant barrage of pressures in the ministry.  And passionate people who lose their first love are seriously apt to seek the love of another, even if it is contrary to their belief and vision for life.  And thus, another pastor gets caught in a sex scandal. 

Until pastors get sick of sick stuff, I'm not sure they'll acquire an appetite for the world of grace.

Just to prove my point, here's the lyrics to Appetite for Destruction by Guns N Roses (1987):

Guns N' Roses
Appetite for Destruction (1987)
Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the jungle
We've got fun 'n' games
We got everything you want
Honey, we know the names
We are the people that can find
Whatever you may need
If you got the money, honey
We got your disease

CHORUS:

In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
knees, knees
I wanna watch you bleed

Welcome to the jungle
We take it day by day
If you want it you're gonna bleed
But it's the price you pay
And you're a very sexy girl
That's very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights
But you won't get them for free
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
I, I wanna hear you scream

Welcome to the jungle
It gets worse here everyday
Ya learn ta live like an animal
In the jungle where we play
If you got a hunger for what you see
You'll take it eventually
You can have anything you want
But you better not take it from me

CHORUS

And when you're high you never
Ever want to come down, YEAH!

You know where you are
You're in the jungle baby
You're gonna die
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
knees, knees
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
knees, knees
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
It' gonna bring you down-HA!

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

2 thoughts on “an appetite for destruction… or the world of grace?

  1. Thanks for the note, Shandell. I don’t know if the trend is higher for pastors to be caught up in trouble. Perhaps they do get caught more… like a politician or other public official. Certainly a bigger deal is made out of it than most other professions.
    But I think it is fair that the news media makes a big deal of it. Those outside the church understand that pastors should live a higher level of accountability and ethical responsibility because they are pastors. Yeah, everyone should live according to strong moral values… but those who teach it persistently should live it out. Otherwise they are the ones Jesus’ judges harshest in the book of Matthew.
    I’m mostly frustrated today that my title as “pastor” is getting so pillaged in the last 50 years. The respect isn’t there for that role in society anymore… and understandably so.

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  2. Compared to the “average” (I use the term loosely) christian, do you think pastors fall into trouble more often, or do you think they are just “caught” more often? Sometimes if you live your life under the microscope it’s easier to get busted than if you live your life in the shadows… Just a thought to add to the discussion.

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