-- 1 Corinthians 15:34a
[T]he church phone in our house rang at some godforsaken hour when I'm not even a Christian, like 3:00 a.m. I answered it in a stupor, and on the other line was some college guy who was crying. I asked him what was wrong, and he said it was an emergency and he really needed to talk to me. Trying to muster up my inner pastor, I sat down and tried to pretend I was concerned. I asked him what was wrong, and he rambled for a while about nothing, which usually means that a guy has sinned and is wasting time with dumb chitchat because he's ashamed to just get to the point and confess. So I interrupted him blurting out, "It's three a.m., so stop jerking me around. What have you done?"
"I m*sturb*ted," he said.
"That's it?" I said.
"Yes," he replied. "Tonight I watched a p()rno and I m*sturb*ted."
"Is the p()rno over?" I asked.
"Yes," he said.
"Was it a good p()rno?"
He did not reply.
"Well, you've already watched the whole p()rno and tugged your tool, so what am I supposed to do?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said. "You are my pastor, so I thought that maybe you could pray for me."
To be honest, I did not want to pray, so I just said the first thing that came to mind. "Jesus, thank you for not killing him for being a pervert. Amen," I prayed.
"Alright, well you should sleep good now, so go to bed and don't call me again tonight because I'm sleeping and you are making me angry," I said.
"Well, what am I supposed to do now?" he asked.
"You need to stop watching p()rno and crying like a baby afterward and grow up, man. I don't have time to be your accountability partner, so you need to be a man and nut up and take care of this yourself. A naked lady is good to look at, so get a job, get a wife, ask her to get naked, and look at her instead. Alright?" I said.
"Alright. Thanks, Pastor Mark . . ."
You may think I'm a jerk of a counselor, but I think deep down most other pastors think like I do and just don't say what they think because they lack whatever deep psychological problem I have that prevents me from filtering my words through a grid of propriety. The truth is that the guy actually did what I told him and today has a wife and some kids and no longer watches p()rno.
-- Mark Driscoll, Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
-- John 5:14
Okay, okay, it's not very pastoral. :-)
We should restore sinners gently (Gal. 6:1). But I do think that sometimes, in our desires to bear burdens, extend grace, restore gently, counsel toward disciplines, we can inadvertently coddle some who best need stern rebuke.
Do pastors rebuke any more?
(HT for the video: Steve McCoy)