Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, May 10, 2013

What is a Pastor?

I had an interesting night on Facebook.  I know, I know. I should know better.  But an article about a school district canceling a grade school graduation because someone complained about a prayer being on the agenda sucked me in.  I noted that it might not be the place for a public prayer, due to the fact that everyone in the crowd might not be of the same faith.  I also shared the fact that even Christian prayers sometimes trouble me, since not all Christians pray and think alike.
I got a response that started by attacking my grammar and spelling.  Yes, it was quickly written, and I was not trying to be grammatically correct, and I had prayer where I should have had pray.  But I never quite get the point of starting out by minimizing the other person, before making one's own point.
I got hooked.  I replied with a very grammatically correct, and very snarky answer.  Complete with big words.  It was sarcasm at its best.  Quite a work of art if I must say so myself (I must, I must).  To which I got the reply back..... "You shouldn't be a pastor."  
Shortly thereafter I got an answer that said if I could see both sides of the argument, in other words if I could side for those who didn't want prayer at the event, I was "not a pastor."
That got me thinking.  Since I have always felt more than a little uncomfortable with the title of pastor (or Reverend, or minister), a little concerned that I really don't live up to the title, I started wondering, what is a pastor.
So I am asking you?  (Replies are welcome).
What is a pastor?
Is a pastor a person who never gets mad? (or engages in any other unsavory behavior?  If so I am way out!)
Is a pastor someone who always pushes the faith?
Is a pastor someone who must by definition buy into a dualistic perception of the faith (us against them, you are in or out, turn or burn)?
Is a pastor an "authority?"  Someone higher up on the spiritual heirarchy?
Is a pastor someone with all the answers?
Is a pastor someone who raises the questions?
In my little church I do one main thing.  I share what I get out of my reading of a section of scripture.  I share what I think (hope?) God is telling me, and I hope it is helpful to someone else.  I don't even go up front (I hide in the back of the choir) until it is time to share.
So call me perpetually confused.
But based upon the comments I got on facebook,
I would guess I am not the only one.

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