Rainbow Doritos and The Forgotten Verse.

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Pastors have a 2000 year old job description. In all those years, what we do hasn’t changed in any substantial way. Sure, methods and models change, but the overall qualifications haven’t been touched in all that time. The reason for that? They’re in the Bible. 1 Timothy 3:1-8 lays it all out pretty clearly, here’s the tl;dr version :

Pastors…

  1. Must be above reproach. (Solid, good, not going to be accused of sin all the time.)
  2. The husband of one wife. (Self-explanatory, though widowers can re-marry)
  3. Sober-minded. (Level-headed)
  4. Self-controlled. (Not going to fly off the handle.)
  5. Respectable. (Respectable.)
  6. Hospitable. (Generous, kind.)
  7. Able to teach. (Also self-explanatory)
  8. Not a drunkard. (Binge drinkers need not apply…)
  9. Not violent but gentle. (Meek is not weak.)
  10. Not quarrelsome. (Doesn’t pick unnecessary fights.)
  11. Not a lover of money. (Ministry is the reward, pastors ought to be paid well, but we don’t do it for the money.)
  12. He must manage his own household well. (If he can’t, how will he manage the church?)
  13. He must not be a recent convert. (Because pride.)

That’s pretty much it. There is one additional qualification though. It’s the last one in the list and I think, perhaps because of that fact, it gets forgotten a lot. Particularly (and most noticably) by those of us who identify as “conservative Evangelicals.” Here it is: Non-Christians ought to like us. No joke. 1 Timothy 3:7 says it:

“Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

That’s downright Biblical that is…

So if that’s in the Bible, if it’s part of the job description, why do I keep hearing about things like this? Doritos came out with this cool promotion. Rainbow coloured Doritos that you could only get from an online order for a $10 donation to the “It Gets Better” campaign. A charity focused particularly on combating LGBT youth suicide. That’s a good cause regardless of your worldview. Teenagers killing themselves is a tragedy that is perhaps only surpassed by the fact that it’s not universally seen as a tragedy. Predictably, when Doritos launched this campaign, the internet bigots and trolls came out of their hiding holes to register their disgust. Many of them were Christians; at least one identified as a pastor…

This pastor clearly hasn’t read verse 7.

I’m not advocating that we change doctrine, I’m not saying we should buy in to the culture’s worldview, far from it! What I am saying is that we ought not be jerks to LGBT people. Some Christians like to throw the word “persecuted” around. Let me tell you something about persecution. In the Bible, persecution meant being martyred or at least imprisoned. Christians in Syria are being persecuted. Christians in China are being persecuted. Christians in the West are not being persecuted. Kim Davis is not being persecuted. LGBT youth, however, are being persecuted so badly they are killing themselves at an alarming rate just to escape it. That’s persecution.

Pastors, brothers, we are called, mandated even to be seen in a positive light by those outside the church. We don’t have to agree with them to do it! We just have to be kind and winsome about it. I’ve said this before, our neighbours don’t share our worldview, religion, or morals. What they do share are our streets, neighbourhoods, schools, cities, provinces and our country. We need to remember that we are on this rock for a reason. It’s not to complicitly endorse LGBT teen suicide by boycotting Frito-lay, it’s to love, care for, and be good witnesses to the Gospel,to “become all things to all people, that by all means [we] might save some.”

That’s in the Bible too…

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