Leadership for the Saints


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Leadership for the Saints

Size: 5. Buy This Book E-Book. Though his life was in danger, Luther could not sacrifice the virtue of fidelity to the truth as he knew it. He famously said we are all simultaneously saints and sinners Simul Justus Et Peccator. Sinners are made saints by the grace of God.

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He rejected any notion of sainthood that suggests a state of perfection. Luther knew he was not perfect. He certainly was not. The saint, Maimonides says, is less concerned with pleasing others than pleasing God. When one cannot budge because one dares not displease God, it is the action of a saint. The Scottish sprinter would not run in the meter heats of the Paris Olympics, his best event, because they were scheduled on Sunday. Why else would a book filled with stories of those martyred for their faith be called one of the most influential English texts ever published?

The role of the saint is highlighted when set in contrast to other leaders who are willing to sacrifice virtues for the sake of other aims: the negotiators who compromise, the politicians who cut deals, the mediators who seek conciliation. Luther felt that way about fellow theologians who were sympathetic to his views about indulgences but who condemned his sharing his views with the masses because the unity of the church was put at risk. As a minister with over three decades of ordained experience serving congregations with wide diversity of views, I confess to being one of the compromisers, dealmakers and conciliators.


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I feel the guilt of compromises made in order to hold the middle of the church. I have held back in saying clearly what I believed to be the truth when I knew that the capacity to hear it did not match my capacity to articulate it. Still, I also have compromised primarily to avoid the aggravation, quiet the complainers and calm the staff storm.

Yes, middle-ground pastors like me, who are honest, have plenty to confess. However, we hold-the-middle pastors also can find a note of absolution in the writings of Maimonides. Maimonides had a personality that leaned toward his definition of a saint; he was a loner who yearned to be close to God. He took brave stands. After Cordova fell to an Islamic army, he was exiled for refusing to renounce his faith. The sage will consider the costs, is willing to compromise, and can accept losing.

The saint leads by taking a stand. The sage leads by holding the middle. The sage knows that with every virtue comes a vice; that tied to every righteous agenda is self-interest.


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The sage as a leader helps keep the community from failing in its mission, while making sure that progress does not unnecessarily leave anyone behind. The sage can hear different sides of an argument, and show respect to the person with whom even the sage disagrees. The saint may be closer to God, while the sage is closer to doing what God wants us to do, namely bring his presence into the shared spaces of our collective life. Sages reflect the image of God in sacrificing virtue for the sake of love.

Leadership for Saints - Rodger Dean Duncan, Ed J. Pinegar - Google книги

First of all, we have to wonder if prophetic extremism on the right and the left in the church is often a reflection of American culture rather than a witness to it. We live in a polarized age. Political parties are held hostage by ideological extremes: the right yielding little ground on the virtues of liberty and the free market and the left yielding little ground on the virtues of inclusion and diversity. Extremism is almost always defended with the language of virtue. Look within the Presbyterian Church U. For a particular pastor, the vote of the General Assembly to allow same-sex marriage was the final straw.

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He decided it was time to take a stand as a matter of conscience. He preached bold sermons, withstood the scrutiny of presbytery and guided the congregation through a discernment process and to a vote to leave the denomination for another Presbyterian body. Neither did it matter that studies show that on average congregational decline accelerates after departure.

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