Respect the Office, Even if Not the Man

By Graham Glover

I know you don’t like him. It’s obvious every time we talk about him. It’s also apparent on your social media accounts. Some of them are direct attacks. Others are a little more subtle, but still, we all know who you are referencing. You’re clearly no fan.

But as much as you don’t like him, as much as you don’t respect him, you are still obligated to respect the office he holds. In this instance, as in all those that preceded him and those that will follow him, his office is much more important and represents something far greater than the individual that occupies it. It’s an office that has been established by God, in order that His will might be done. You may not understand it. You may think God got it wrong this time. You may even think God has forsaken us. But I assure you, God is and remains in complete control. His will is and will continue to be done.

I know this isn’t an easy thing, respecting the office, even if not the man. I say this because I understand some of your concerns about him, especially when his words and actions seem to indicate that he doesn’t respect the office he holds. I think even his most ardent supporters would admit that he is not a shining example for others to emulate, which makes respecting him even more difficult. If given the chance to choose again, I wonder if people would consider someone else to occupy his office. Like many, I’m still perplexed how he ended up here. It certainly defies normal expectations. Even now, knowing what we do, I never would have guessed that people would have chosen him. But he’s here and at least for the foreseeable future, isn’t going anywhere.

But no matter how long he occupies this office, he demands our respect. Not him, per se, but the office he holds. I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t be critical. There are times when our concerns should be aired and times when these concerns might require us to make a change. But these times shouldn’t consume us. They shouldn’t so completely overwhelm us that we are more focused on the misgivings of the officeholder rather than an appreciation that he still must discharge the duties of his office.

So, give it a rest. Quit with the incessant rants. Trust that God still rules and that even now, He has out best interests at heart. He is Almighty, in every realm. Which is precisely why you must respect the office. For it is of God. To disrespect the office is to disrespect God. To disobey it, is to disobey the One who established it.

Respect the office, even if not the man.

He is your pastor after all.

5 thoughts on “Respect the Office, Even if Not the Man

  1. Good punch line! I was thinking everyone from the
    Platoon Leader to Commander in Chief … and then you hit me PASTOR!
    Good one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is not the man that makes the Office, it is Christ. If fact it was not the Call committee/council/elders/congregation who technically place this man in the office, but Christ Himself. He only used those people as the means to Call this man to the office of the keys.

    Here is a checklist to show if your pastor is fulfilling his duties in the office.

    1) He forgives sins.
    2) He preaches Christ crucified and resurrected for your forgiveness and justification through Law and Gospel.
    3) He administers Baptisms and the Sacrament of the Altar in accordance with Christ’s command.
    4) He forgives sins.

    While this may be an over simplification, this is what really needs to be taken into consideration. Therefore, if he in the stead and by the command of his Lord Jesus Christ fulfills these – and in so doing consoles souls and hearts – while still being an utterly horrific jerk, what he says and does filling that office is just as valid as if the pastor was the best guy in the world.

    I beg you with Rev. Glover, respect the guy for the sake of the Office and Christ, and care for him – in fact kill him with kindness! You never know what his life has been like beforehand, or if he’s having a bad day, week, month, year, etc – yes, a pastor’s life is not always flowers and sunshine! He is a lost and condemned sinner apart from Christ just as you are.

    Kyrie Eleison!

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    1. Jonny Rev, concur with everything you wrote, including our need to care for him. I hope I wasn’t suggesting that we shouldn’t respect him. My point was that even when we don’t, we must respect the office he holds for the very reasons you outline above.

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