Someone was talking to me about how come many Christians in my home country allow their pastors get away with all kinds of misbehaviour.
“Is it,” he asked, “Because they think of their pastors as spiritual mothers and fathers?”
It might be that, I answered. But I doubt it. Paul the Apostle called his congregants ‘my children’ in the bible and yet they gave him hell.
“I think,” I said. “It’s the way we see fathers and mothers in our social context. We believe they can do no wrong.”
But parents can do wrong, obviously. People who care about you and love you and want the best for you can yet do wrong by you – by teaching you the wrong things, beating you with a belt, using terribly abusive words on you, judging you harshly and depriving you of the emotional support you need.
People who care about you can do bad things too.
Yes, he is your ‘father in the Lord’. But a father is a man. And men make mistakes.
When they do, it’s our job to hold them accountable when we can.
Or we simply become extensions of their problem.