Author Archives: Pastor Jim Driskell, Lutheran Church

About Pastor Jim Driskell, Lutheran Church

I am the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Chestertown, Md. I pray that you will come and worship with us, worship is 10 am Sundays. We are a renewal church and we are lifting God up in classical worship, and being faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. 101 Greenwood Av, Chestertown. Plenty of parking behind the church.

Jerome’s Latin translation of “repent” as “do penance”, leading to unBiblical practices for centuries

Apologetics and Agape

Jerome’s Latin translation of the Greek metanoeo / μετανοεω was a mistake. The Latin was “do penance” and developed into doing external deeds that the priest said, like crawl up steps and say 100 hail Mary’s or give money to the poor or the church for forgiveness. That is wrong. “Repent” is an internal turning from sin to God that includes a godly sorrow that leads to change and salvation.

Also, Jerome’s translation from Greek into the Latin word for justification was wrong also. (the Greek is: “the count righteous / just / right” but the Latin had more the idea of “to make righteous / just / right”. These 2 mistakes in translation and relying upon them (rather than the original Greek) for centuries is just one of the problems of what later became the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a good explanation:

Actually, “TheDen,” you omitted a very…

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New Study Links Infidelity to Workplace Misconduct

YOU’RE ABOUT TO KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR COWORKERS.

Diana Bruk

By DIANA BRUKJULY 31, 2019

signs your marriage is over

You may have assumed that people who commit infidelity in their personal lives are likely to cheat on more than just their partner. And now, we have proof via a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers out of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, investigated four groups of professionals—police officers, financial advisers, white-collar criminals, and senior executives—who used the Ashley Madison marital affair website. They looked at the records of more than 11,000 people in these job categories, and found that those who had accounts on the affair-seeking site were more than twice as likely to engage in professional misconduct. The definition of misconduct varied from colleague complaints to class action lawsuits, financial misstatements, insider trading, Ponzi schemes, and other types of fraud.

“This is the first study that’s been able to look at whether there is a correlation between personal infidelity and professional conduct,” Samuel Kruger, a finance professor at the McCombs School of Business and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “We find a strong correlation, which tells us that infidelity is informative about expected professional conduct.”

It might not seem too surprising to find out that people who are willing to break their wedding vows and also willing to bend the rules at work. But, as noted in the study, there is a “long-standing debate in philosophy and psychology regarding the extent to which behavior and ethics are situational.” As the researchers explain, “it is common to assume that there are different standards for private relationships compared with ‘business ethics.'” But it turns out, that assumption would be incorrect.

These new findings indicate that, when it comes to personality traits like honesty and trustworthiness, the line between the personal and the professional is a lot blurrier than previously believed.

And for other red flags to watch out for, check out 23 Signs of Infidelity That Are Too Easy to Miss.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram! DIANA BRUKDiana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more

Evangelicals Who Don’t Believe in Christ?

 SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 BY GENE VEITH11 COMMENTS

A majority of Americans, 52%, agree with the statement, “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God.”   That’s not surprising.  But what is surprising is that nearly one-in-three (30%) of evangelical Christians also agree in rejecting the deity of Christ.

That is one of the findings of the State of Theology study sponsored by Ligonier Ministries, the Reformed ministry founded by the late R. C. Sproul, and carried out by the Baptist LifeWay research group.  It surveys both the general public and evangelical Christians on a wide range of theological beliefs.  You can browse the questions and the findings here.   You can also break down the data demographically.

There is a wealth of fascinating information in this study–some of which is encouraging–but I want to focus on the finding that so many evangelicals do not believe in the deity of Christ.  Even among those who do, a large number are evidently heretics.  In fact, a majority of evangelicals, 55%, agree with the statement “Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.”  The notion that Jesus was created, as opposed to being the eternally-existing Son of God, was a key tenet of Arianism, the heresy dealt with by the Council of Nicaea, whose creed confesses that He is “begotten, not made.”

Evangelicals, however, unlike the Arians, do believe in the Trinity, mostly, with 93% agreeing that “There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”  And yet, a majority, 51%, commit another heresy in agreeing that “The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.”

Perhaps such inconsistency is just an example of theological illiteracy.  Some of the questions might be taken in different ways and reflect controversies within particular theological traditions, though these responses to the identity of Christ are pretty straightforward.  And getting the identity of Christ wrong should be a serious concern. After all, “faith” requires both trust and belief, and belief requires someone or something to believe in.  So faith in Christ should entail a true belief in who He is.

The State of Theology study has been conducted every two years since 2014, so, though not all of the questions are the same, we can see changes data over time.  There are even some slight improvements on some conservative Christian issues:  a growing awareness of sin, stronger adherence to the Bible, a decrease in the belief in “gender fluidity,” a decrease in syncretism, the view that all religions are equally valid.  But the study also shows lots of confusion and outright doctrinal errors.

One feature of the study that you might make good use of is the free Create Your Own Group Survey.  You can ask your friends, family members, congregation, or church body to take the survey.  A link will be generated and the members of the group can anonymously answer the survey on line, whereupon the results will also appear online, accessible only to the group.

I’d be curious how my fellow members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod–who would fall under the definition of “evangelical” as defined by the study (see the very end of the introductory report)–would answer these questions.  Many evangelicals don’t use creeds, catechisms, or doctrinal statements, and we see in this report the results of that.  We Lutherans don’t have that excuse.

9/11 my personal experience that day in Boston and in the Coast Guard

I want to thank Mark Berry and Chesapeake College for the invitation, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about my 9/11 experience. My name is Jim Driskell, I realized that this was the first time I really wrote, kind of relived the whole experience. Since this time, I have switched careers, again, I’ve been a Lutheran Church pastor for ten years, and I’m at Trinity Lutheran Church in Chestertown, 101 Greenwood Av, Sunday worship is at 10am, hope you can stop and check it out.

It was just another rock and rolling day at my office half a block from Boston Common, nothing to indicate that it was going to be such a profound time of change for so many people. It really was for me. I had been working in corporate finance for 20 years, and God gave me great opportunities to work for companies like Chase Manhattan, Motorola, Fleet National Bank, Entex Information, Town and Country all large corporations that gave me a lot of great experience and opportunities.

At the same time I had been serving in the Coast Guard reserve since 1976. Corporate America is not very supportive of military reservists, as I found out from my employer at the time. But in the 25 years I had served we managed to work it out. Motorola was pretty supportive.

Like most, someone said it was on television, but just assumed it was a goofy accident and I had a lot of work to do, as usual. But in the next couple of hours we all knew that this was a very profound incident and then we heard about the pentagon and then a crash in Pennsylvania. It really felt as if we were under attack, that somehow more planes would explode somewhere else, then we found out one of the flights left from Portland, Me, which is where my father’s family is from and we had lived there at times, landed in Boston then flew to NYC. Needless to say there was every reason to think that since DC had been hit, NYC had been hit, that either Philadelphia or Boston, more likely Boston since that’s where the flight came from.

About noon it was announced that everyone who didn’t live there had to leave the city and it might be a good idea for anyone else who wanted to leave also, mass transit was closing at 2pm. That was the most specific thing I remember about that day, there was very little vehicle traffic, offices just emptied out and I was part of a large group headed to South Station for the train or subway. At the same time, doing my best to keep off my cell phone, keep it charged because I was already told to keep my cell phone on and clear for when, not if we were mobilized. The unit I was in was a composite unit with the Navy that was deployable anywhere to any major harbor city CONUS or OCONUS. The unit I was in, was classified, so any chatter or any guesses were really discouraged and was frankly pointless because no one, even at the highest levels knew how this was going to play.

In leaving Boston, it was just a mass of people moving right along, no chatter, no poking along, waiting for lights or traffic. It was calm, but pretty determined, we all knew how we wanted to leave, we wanted to get there and put it in the rear-view mirror. There really wasn’t any obvious fear, but people were nervous and it seemed that any nervous energy was being used to get people where they needed to be. In addition, Logan Airport was right across the Harbor from South Station, wasn’t unusual to be walking to or from and have a jet come so close you could reach up and touch it. There was always air traffic over your head going into Logan. But not that day, so it was an almost eerie experience with a crowd of people making very little noise, almost no vehicle traffic and no aircraft traffic, there has to be a Steven King movie like that, but I’ve never seen it.

It was about a month when we were called up. The unit was based in Newport RI, just far enough that it wasn’t really practical to drive back and forth from home, and frankly there was a lot of work to be done and I just as well stay in Newport in case things did start happening. I would love to tell you that we were sent to a JRAC somewhere near where things were happening, but not the case. We were deployed to Spain to do force protection for a NATO exercise because at this port security was at its highest. When we would drive in to Newport, which is generally pretty fancy, it’s the site of the Naval Surface Warfare College, you get people from allied nations around the world there, but now you were being greeted by M60 emplacements and sentries in battle gear. No one was playing.

The Coast Guard heavily recruits civilian police and firefighters, so I did know people in the city. One a police officer Sgt NYPD was part of our unit, so he was accounted for. Another one was an NYC firefighter and early on it was known that FDNY had taken a big toll. I roomed with this guy at the National Motor Life Boat School on the Columbia River, so we got to be good friends, it took me about a week to get him on the phone. Another former member of the NCW unit had been relocated to the Pentagon it took about five days to get hold of him. Anyone else I heard from pretty quickly. The Spain deployment was pretty interesting, it was an interesting part of Spain to be in, Taragona, and it was also a little bit hairy there. It was a rather Muslim part of the country there was still Muslim architecture from the period before the 1500s, and about two months after we left the Madrid train station was blown up. So it was known that there was an active threat there. We had done our best being a hard target with a large Army security force for landward protection and we were there for seaward protection and moving Navy support vessels in and out.

After we returned to CONUS and I moved back into blue-suit Coast Guard I was called to be a part of the Small Boat Tactical Team which the First District had organized to provide mobile security in areas from New Jersey to Northern Maine. They wanted active security for subs coming into Groton , Ct, for LNP tankers going into Providence and also a lot of the bigger civilian vessels like cruise ships going in and out of Maine, the ferrys leaving the Cape to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and other HIVs. We spent time driving around New England, one time we stayed in a barn on the Cape.

After the summer of 2002 things started to settle down and I was moved back to the station I had been at for twenty years. I knew that that point that this was my retirement tour and it was really nice to be at a place I had been associated with since I was seventeen years old. It was a very hectic time, the summer before I had been on Vieques an island off of Puerto Rico keeping demonstrators out of the Navy firing range associated with Roosevelt Roads. Then back to Newport RI, then a week for Port Security College in Norfolk in December, then Taragona for a couple of months, then back in New England going all around New England, then back at my conventional long time stomping grounds. Did shut down a bridge New Years Eve 2002. There was a suspicious pack strapped to the bridge’s support, neither the local police or we knew why that would be there. So me, former NCW and another guy former long-time Marine, the closest the station had to anyone associated with explosives. We got there tried to figure it out and as all good government officials, we decided to call back and tell them they should close the bridge which was not only a significant bridge in and out of Boston, but there was a commuter ferry that we held up because it had to go under the bridge and we pulled the plug on everything, being early evening New Year’s Eve, we got some interesting feed back from the people around us. One of the last things I did was to be a part of a boat crew to run security in New York Harbor. They needed extra people to support the people stationed in there, so we spent time going back and forth to Staten Island, around the Statue of Liberty, up the East River, the Hudson, all through Northern Jersey. A few months later I retired from the Coast Guard. Miss it. The Coast Guard has many missions and especially for people in my rate, get the opportunity to do a lot of different things and in twenty-nine years I got to cover pretty much all of them.

Truth takes precedence over love

Especially in the trite way that the culture likes to throw the “L” word, love, around. To the culture there is no truth, and everything is just an antinomian understanding of “love”, love is the truth and it’s all about loving me, so that’s all I need to know.

Continually reading, listening to Christian radio, podcasts, is really important and it is one of the first radio broadcast ministries that I listened to back in the late 1980s that reminded me of this truth. This answers the spurious claims of the contemporary culture. Dr J Vernon McGee is not exactly the most scholarly, but he really does have a knack of getting right to the nub of the issue and when he was discussing this, I had one of the ah-ha moments. It should have been long ago, but apparently I heard in God’s time and will trust that. His program is “Through the Bible” in case you want to check it out for good Bible teaching.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” Notice Jesus emphasizes these over “love”. These should result in love, but we have to know the truth in Christ, before the love of Christ will mean anything. Jesus’ truth is to salvation, eternal life, to genuine life in the world. The world’s love is whatever pleases us at the moment and well gee gosh everyone has to accept that. Actually it’s more about violence, destruction, and lies. That’s what the world sees as “truth”, regardless of how destructive it is.

Dr McGee goes on to explain that love can only be properly and sufficiently expressed in the bounds and context of truth. Love is expressed in the boundaries and limitations that the truth of Scripture sets.

Dr McGee was in his intro to the epistle of 2 John. He also went on to discuss that we need to not have anything to do with the false teacher. Kind of a separate issue, but it is important. I come to learn that most of the blather of the world doesn’t require response, it’s vacuous and pointless and quickly forgotten by those involved and is simply not worth the time and effort to respond. I grew up in a rather feisty world(s) and have never been known to be shy. This is not about being shy, this is about not giving any credibility to blather by responding to it. If I assert the truth of Christ, anyone can easily see the difference. They may still go with the lie, but they will do it in dishonesty. They have been given the truth, if they reject it that is on them and they condemn themselves.

The truth of Christ is what guides us, within that truth we know we know Christ’s love and can love others in His truth. Anything else is phony, vacuous, a lie in order to avoid the truth in Christ.

Fighting Church

Too much of American Christianity has been sort of Sunday School, no real Christian training. There is too much amateurish or people pleasing in Christian teaching that is totally contrary to Christian tradition and actual Christian doctrine. Americans became way too accustomed to the post- World War II church that was much more about being a social society and not much about the teaching, practice and faith of Christianity practiced for 2,000 years. Now we are just stunned that the church has declined so precipitously and is being so attacked and mocked for its weakness. Why on earth would we be surprised? The clergy and leaders of the church don’t take the church or Christian doctrine seriously, why then should anyone else? If, even worse, the church just becomes a weak echo of a corrupt and decadent society, why should anyone bother with the church. Research has repeatedly shown that for the church to be strong there has to be a strong participation by men. Men need to have a meaningful reason to be part of something. Men don’t concern themselves with the social too much, if a group is doing something meaningful men might give that group a chance, if not they won’t bother. If the church trivializes God and Christ, then men simply won’t take it seriously. If the church can show that God is very real, that their eternal life depends on their devotion to Christ, their’s and their family. That devotion has to begin in this life and good teaching and practice in the church needs to further that devotion, they will take it seriously.

The Christian church, the genuine church, not the social center, has for centuries fought to maintain its credibility as Christ’s  church, the true Body of God the Son as Jesus’ earthly establishment. The fight is very genuine today in China, Southeast Asia, Near East Asia, many parts of Africa. Yet we treat the Christian church like a society, when the current “issue” arrives, well church isn’t really essential, not that necessary. When we accede to that, we call into question even more the credibility of the church and another reason people have to not bother with it. It’s obviously not important and I’m pressed for time, I don’t need “church”! For most Christian “churches” they would be right, maybe even smart to avoid a group that is professing what is so antagonistic to the Triune God.

CFW Walther was the first president of the Lutheran Church, he knew about persecution having been harassed by the German government to conform to the requirement to hold worship and work of the church under the German government. Walther wasn’t about to do that or to do that when he and the rest church relocated to Saint Louis, Missouri.

President Walther preached the following: “The Church of God on earth has always been a fighting one. It has always been oppressed and persecuted, both by those in the world and by those in the Church itself who spread false doctrine. These false prophets secure followers and then cause separations in the Church. In the Church of Adam, self-righteous Cain stirred up dissension; in the Church of Noah, it was Ham, who despised his father; in the Church of Abraham, it was Ishmael the mocker; in the Church of the prophets, there were many who falsely comforted the people and led them into idolatry. Even in the apostolic Church, in almost every place where the Gospel was preached, heretics arose to sir up schisms and even to destroy flourishing congregations. Saint Paul names among them Alexander the smith, Hymenaeus, and Philetus, and Saint John accuses the entire sect of the Nicolaitans. And so this tension continues to the present day. Satan has never been content to let the Church be in peaceful possession of its heavenly good; wherever pure doctrine has been preached, opponents have arise to challenge it. For this reason, the Church has always had to use the Word of God, not only as nourishment for the soul, but also as a weapon to combat the instruction of false teachers. If the Church ceases to fight, it will not survive for long...” [Bolding is mine]

“… Saint Paul tells the Corinthians, ‘For there must be facts among you in order that those who are genuine among you many be recognized’ (1 Corinthians 11:19). If the jewel of pure doctrine were never disputed, those who firmly hold to it would never be recognized. However, if false teachers and enthusiasts appear in the Church, it becomes obvious  who believes in the pure Word. In this confrontational atmosphere, the faith of the upright is tested and confirmed. If the pure doctrine were never attacked, Christians would soon become lazy, lax, and lukewarm. Whenever people deviate from God’s Word, the faithful are driven to investigate it more diligently and carefully paying attention to every word. When a pure teacher is challenged by those who promote other doctrines, he will search the Scriptures and thereby grow in divine knowledge and certainty. Therefore, heretics are nothing but the whetstone of the Church by which it learns to use the sword of the Spirit all the more sharply…”

“… People there may have little regard for the pure preaching that results. They do not thank God for these ministers, they continue to regard earthly goods as of more value than the pure Word and Sacrament, they begin to be ashamed of the right doctrine before the world, and after hearing the Word with a sleepy heart, they finally come to despise it. Then God permits these unthankful souls to lose their heavenly treasure. Those who despise the bread of the precious divine Word must be fed with the stones of man’s powerless doctrines…”

Seems like Dr Walther was prophetic. We certainly have people in the church, even the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, which is a very serious, Scripture oriented, Christ oriented Church, people who are ashamed of right doctrine, who won’t stand up for genuine worship and sacrament and more concerned about their popularity and people pleasing. This is not Christian! I understand people today think that Christians, especially pastors, are supposed to be spineless, pushovers, easily bullied. It has astounded me how many people are surprised when I push back and assert Christian integrity and not just rolling over for worldly opinion. It shouldn’t be a surprise since Walther talked about it about 150 years ago. But it’s mostly the responsibility of weak kneed clergy who wanted to be people pleasing and not stand for Christ.

The church has to distinguish itself from the world and assert a genuinely Christian life. ESV 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  ESV James 4:4 “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James points out how the church has been faithless and it continues to be so.

John quotes Jesus: “ESV John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” This is Jesus talking, there is a passage that suggests if the world thinks highly of you, you may not be in right relationship with Jesus: “ESV Luke 6:26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”

Don’t misconstrue this being some kind of call to arms. We are called to love the world and to do our best to serve our fellow man. But we have to make it completely clear we do this in order to serve Christ not people. We can only be righteous and serve righteously when we are made righteous by the Holy Spirit through Christ. No matter how you serve will still put you at odds with the world because you still have to be faithful to what is in Christ and then the world will reject you and even make you the enemy. You can give all you want, but when you reject the issues of the world and this will happen in the church that wants to echo the world, then you will be the enemy and each of us will have to push back in faithfulness to Christ. That may look like “fighting” because when you are dealing with narrow mindedness, bigotry and hate there is only one way for them and that’s their way. We live in Christ and we will have to push back. Walther writes; “If the Church ceases to fight it will not survive for long.” Paul writes to Timothy: “ESV 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” And that’s just the way it is.

Vocation as a Christian and how we should not be lazy to God’s glory

Jim Driskell

Status is online

Jim Driskell

Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church

Martin Luther brought on the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. His views on Christianity were significantly different than the Roman Catholic Church’s view. The Roman view was that vocation was only significant when your vocation was religious, i.e. priest, monk, nun, or other church worker.

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Luther asserted that God gave us our individual vocation to His glory. If I am a dairy maid, then I am a dairy maid to God’s glory. He has put me in that vocation in order to serve Him and our fellow man. When our attitude is oriented toward God and man we will be more faithful that we serve to our best effort and to the highest ethics of our vocation.

In respect to that in Luther’s mountainous amount of writing, a large part of it had to do with vocation. The following is one of those writings:

“God’s blessings don’t come to those who are sleepy and lazy. Solomon didn’t meant to prohibit work when he said, ‘The Lord gives food to those he loves while they sleep.” (Psalm 127:2). He wanted to say that we should have peaceful, rested consciences. Work shouldn’t disturb the restful sleep God gives to those who have faith and confidence in him. We should have peace of mind and clear consciences. Christ says, ‘So don’t ever worry about tomorrow… Each day has enough trouble of its own’ (Matthew 6:34). Don’t create your own unhappiness. Sleep well, and don’t ask, ‘What are we going to eat? … What are we going to drink?’ (Matthew 6:31)

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I don’t mean people should be lazy loafers. They should work. God doesn’t give his blessings to those who are lazy and lie around snoring. He wants our corrupt natures to be controlled and killed. As Paul says, ‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and desires’ (Galatians 5:24).

Although it’s God’s blessing that brings us what we need, not our work, God still wants us to do our duty and work diligently at the job we are called to do. That way we’ll get our exercise so that we don’t become lazy. As a non-Christian poet once said, ‘By nature all people would prefer not to work and would like to do what they want.’ We can’t give in to loafing and laziness. Instead we should work diligently and faithfully to do what is required of us. Even in times of hardship, exhausting work, and persecution, we should wait cheerfully for the Lord’s blessing.”

[quoted from 365 devotional readings From Martin Luther Through Faith Alone James Galvin General Editor p July 26]

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vocation-christian-how-we-should-lazy-gods-glory-jim-driskell

How the Christian Church should respond to support people in times of crisis.

Crisis focuses us on what is necessary, unexpected, urgent. There are many in the world who pose as teachers who spend pretty much all their time telling people what they want to hear. Paul told Timothy 3For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. 2 Timothy 4:3. People want to hear what they want, then when crisis arises, they really can’t cope. Their faith in Christ melts away. Even in ordinary conditions something happens that rocks their life; disease, financial issues, children, marriage, the list goes on, then they decide that God doesn’t really care, so they give up on God. Let’s face it, we have the everything is great people who tell you what you want to hear, they set you up to fail. Instead of telling you the Bible, the trials that God’s people go through, they try to make Jesus into your best buddy. When Jesus “lets them down”, they dump Jesus, and that leaves them separated from God. There is no salvation outside of Jesus, so they have condemned themselves. You can spin it how you like, the reality is, it’s either Jesus and what He does in your life, or it is condemnation in the world. There’s no way you’re going to do it your way. For those who thought that “worship is all about me” they are now realizing that they need to get serious. It does make me wonder what most people in the world would do in a genuine crisis. Is there a serious problem right now? I will stipulate that there is a matter that requires attention. Does that justify extreme measures? Not really. If anything it has become a financial crisis. I know people who are unemployed because of the current environment. I don’t not know one person, personally, who has this disease, no less died from it. If there were a genuine crisis, people dying all around us, I cringe at the hysteria that would result. Especially for those who do not know Christ, trust in Him and look to the church for sanctuary and support. Church is like anything else if you don’t become a part of it, work with, support, encourage, learn in the church and then expect the church to be there as your refuge in difficult times, in crisis, you’re making it difficult for everyone. Sure we want to be there for people, but the stronger we make it in calm times, more essential, and the church is essential, has been for 2,000 years “essential”, the more effective it will be in those times of trial.

It has been an education understanding how emotional and fearful people are. Jesus told us, repeatedly in Scripture, fear not. He is in control, no matter what you want to believe. People, especially those with little or no faith, people Paul refers to as weaker brothers, simply resort to the emotional, they don’t care about any consequences just make it stop now. I was a lifeguard when I was in high school, college. In training you are taught to make sure the person you’re trying to get is going to be calm enough to help. Too often rescuers have been grabbed by victims, pushed down into the water so the victim can try to get on top of them to get away from the water. Of course that doesn’t work and both might end up being a victim. There are ways to escape, but if you keep taxing the rescuer, he will be worn out and unable to rescue you. That is a metaphor for what you see today. People want to escape from disease, so they close everything behind them, then will probably wonder why there is a wasteland when everything is said and done. They panicked and destroyed instead of trying to save. When people are in panic, and you don’t rush to save them they act like you’re the crazy one. But it’s not in anyone’s best interest for the rescuer to risk himself for the hysterical person. I’ve had over 2,000 hours of operational time in the Coast Guard, mostly search and rescue, and law enforcement. Add to that ten years of ministry, and mixed in with that 8 years as a police chaplain. I’m not going to get all excitable because politicians or functionaries, or those easily influenced who have never actually had to deal with genuine crisis and  they start to rush about. There are many great professionals in government, health, academia, public safety who I have known, worked with and had great, challenging, learning, growing experiences with. They have taught me to maintain calm, to be composed in addressing serious situations and to continue to function as well as possible. Running away in panic is not one of those answers. The Church has been around for 2,000 years, and yes has dealt with many more serious crisis than this and didn’t just run and hide. Dr Martin Luther who had extensive experience dealing with outbreaks of disease wrote a pamphlet on how Christian clergy and public officials should function under such circumstances, the following is my blog with Dr Luther’s text: https://revjamesdriskellmdiv.com/2020/03/28/luther-whether-one-may-flee-from-a-deadly-plague/

We must maintain composure and proportion. When we get silly and destructive and rely on the hysterical instead of the steady, people get hurt and the long range damage is substantial.

You should take that in consideration for the Christian Church. There are Christian pastors who want to serve and, like Luther, are going to be there with you through the trials and crisis. There are Christian pastors, who really don’t know what they are doing and think that being a pastor is about producing a weekly show. I have been through extensive amounts of experience with crisis and take it very seriously in ministry, I am certainly not about hiding away wearing a surgical mask. This is important not just in terms of what is going on now, but always. You want a pastor who will be solid, strong, and respond when needed and in the calm times will work hard to make sure you are prepared to deal with trial and crisis in your life. Despite what you might think, trial and crisis will come in your life. The Church of Christ from the very beginning has been about bringing people together in Christ to strengthen, encourage and support each other in times of crisis. As a pastor I have no intention of failing in that now.