Confessions of a Part-Time Pastor

It's been a long while since I've posted here on the Huffington Post. I always felt like I needed to save this prime blogging real estate for pieces that were "significant" with "widespread appeal." But I found that "important" topics like celebration of LGBTQ people in the church and implementing sane gun laws bring out the whackadoodles here. Whackadoodles who haven't yet found my personal blog. (A few of the "gay people shouldn't be in my church" commenters have found me there, but the "send Kindergartners to school with AK-47's" have yet to venture over to a Mennonite pastor's blog.)

So I got really tired of the NRA trolls (who I'm convinced use software to scan blog posts for phrases like "sane gun laws" and "understanding the Second Amendment in its historical context" and "for the love of God can we please stop shooting each other?"). And I got tired of the non-Mennonite, anti-gay trolls (who are more aggressive and less polite than most of the Mennonite anti-gay trolls). And I had other things to do anyway. So this particular blog fell to the wayside.

But I've started thinking that a Huffington Post blog could work -- if I try some different material here. Who needs the pressure of writing about "significant" and "meaningful" topics? And who wants to deal with all the people who have different (a.k.a. wrong) opinions about those topics and feel the need to share those opinions on your discussion thread?

Not me. I'm done with significant and meaningful. (If you want that, read my other blog or, better yet, come by Peace Mennonite Church on a Sunday morning.)

This column on the Huffington Post is now going to be "Confessions of a Part-Time Pastor." It's going to be my place to share my pastor fails, my parenting fails, my basic adulting fails -- all the ways I don't quite live up to the standards I have imagined for myself.

The truth is that it can be kind of tough as a Mennonite -- I have tons of Mennonite guilt, but no priest to hear my confession. One thing, though, that Mennonite theology does have going for it is a healthy belief in the priesthood of all believers. Which means that you, random blog reader, can be my priest. You can hear my confession and offer prayers for my immortal soul. (Please and thank you.)

I suppose I've already made my first confession at the beginning of this post: sometimes I call people "whackadoodles" in my head. And now apparently on blogs, too. (Oops.) And name-calling is not very pastoral.

It's just that it takes too long to think (or type): "this misguided child of God who is putting forth false and oppressive information in the guise of legitimate opinion." "Whackadoodle" is much snappier, don't you think?

Which leads me to my second confession: I'm not very good at confessing. It sometimes turns into self-defense and justification. I have a very strong compulsion to defend myself against even the most mundane criticisms.

Which is probably why the whackadoodles bother me so much.