Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Church Grumblers

Laughter is, perhaps, not the normal response of most folks when reading the Scripture, but it happened the other day as I was doing some reading in Luke.  What I was reading brought to mind a lesson learned from a life time of preaching in nine different United Methodist Churches.  Have you ever noticed that every church has a group of people who can only be called "The Church Grumblers?"  Well, I finally found their kin in the Word.  I did not really go looking for them.  They just sorta popped up on the page. 
When I finished reading the story of the paralytic lowered through the roof by his four friends, I kept on reading to the end of the chapter.  There in the second part of that 5th chapter of Luke, I saw them.   "The Church Grumblers."  Of course, they were there when the paralytic was forgiven his sins.  "Only God can forgive sins," they told Jesus.  (vs. 21)  And then, later, when Jesus was eating in the home of a tax collector, they grumbled about His choice of dinner companions. (vs. 31) Next  they grumbled about the habits of His disciples. (vs. 33)  Nothing He did made any difference to these folks.  They just grumbled.

They are still around today.  Over the years I learned that those who greeted me as their new pastor grumbling about the old one would be grumbling about me before I left and most likely would be grumbling about me to the one who followed me.  I learned, too, that those who grumbled about what I did grumbled about what pastors before me did.  Some folks just cannot seem to help themselves.  They just find something about which to grumble.  I saw and heard them in every church I served.  Maybe you have, too.

No comments: