Friday, April 20, 2012

Crossing the Lines

Making tracks
I'm sure this has been said before. Certainly I'm not the first to rant about this. I'm positive I won't be the last. And in my usual manner of coming to a story late, I want to comment on Bobby Petrino, recently fired head coach of Arkansas. But this isn't really about Bobby, or I should say, not just about Bobby.

He is simply the latest in a series of stories where big-time athletes, coaches, or celebrities does something stupid and gets caught. But that's not the story, because, quite frankly, we all do dumb stuff. But when too many people get angry, defenders line up to separate the personal life from the professional life.

I actually heard a woman quoted, in relation to the Arkansas story, saying that Bobby has won a lot of football games for them. Oh, so that makes it ok?  Arkansas  went 11-2 last season, so the head coach can be immoral? Is that how this is supposed to work?

Why draw the line there? If splitting personal decisions from professional performance is the standard, then we need to put a call into the judicial system, because they seem to be judging people based on what they do. But clearly they are not looking at this correctly.

'Yes, your honor, my client was at the scene of the crime, but I'd like to submit his career won-loss records into evidence.'

Perhaps we could use this philosophy in the church as well. How many new families make it ok for the pastor to be a jerk? Without even asking more questions like that, I know people see a problem. So why is it that we don't make the connection between a man who has no integrity in his personal life and the assumption that he will continue to do his job without taking shortcuts?

I haven't been around longer than others who are watching this same cycle repeat itself, but I am all too aware that we cannot continue to cross the lines without expecting repercussions.


Sarah said...

Agreed! I was just reminded while reading the Bible yesterday of all the things a church is supposed to look for in a leader... I was saddened to think of the leaders of so many churches I see today. I have been finding that we are willing to hold them to some of the standards, but not all...just as we are willing to point out and recognize some sins, but not all. One example...dare I say gluttony?

Rick Nier...Woo! said...

Uh-oh, some might think you've gone from preaching to meddling. But I have to say I agree with you.