Over summer I had the blessing of looking after my granddaughter Olive for a few hours. I personally think she’s the best bubba in the world, but I suspect every other parent and grandparent may disagree. They’re wrong, of course, but I won’t argue the point. After a while she fell asleep in my arms. Isn’t it one of the most precious things to hold a sleeping baby or child? To feel their warmth and closeness, to hold them securely, to see the way they relax into you. I always loved slipping into our children’s bedrooms when they were sleeping. Sometimes I couldn’t help myself and I just had to take a photo. Too often I forgot about the automatic flash on my camera, and our poor children were woken from their slumber by a bright flash of light in their faces. Oops. I suspect they may still hold it against me.
This week I took a call from another pastor who expressed concern that the Church was coming under an increasing number of attacks in the media over the last few weeks. Nearly every night this week on prime-time TV, there has been a damaging report on the state of the Church. On Monday night Four Corners aired a damning report on the Roman Catholic diocese of Philadelphia’s appalling handling of pedophilia committed by priests. A Current Affair, Today Tonight, have each exposed financial and psychological abuse of vulnerable people. On Tuesday night, The 7:30 Report presented a sickening exposé on how domestic violence is rife within the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Australia. And this Sunday night, 60 Minutes is reporting on a Baptist church in New South Wales that is in hot water. As I told this fellow pastor, it’s not that the media are attacking us, it’s that they have guns and we keep giving them bullets to fire at us! I want to pastor the kind of church that gives the media reasons to put down their guns. Here’s how we can do it.