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Oct 14, 2005

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Russell Smith

This seems mainly to be a curse of the mainline denominations -- where institutionalism and power are lionized. A healthful corrective is John Piper's excellent book "Brothers We Are Not Professionals"

Michael Kruse

I suspect that there may some truth to what you say Russell. However, I think independent and Baptist congregations have similar problems for different reasons. With no substantial authority above the congregagtion, the pastor often finds themselves dodging affiliation with any particular power group in the congregation and, IMO, often has to be more controlling to protect against dissident factions. This does not make a healthy environment for friendships to emerge.

Also, regardless of denomination, I think there is a wide spread belief that pastors are a spiritual class above the rest of us. For the pastor to be vulnerable about personal struggles can be deeply unnerving to congregants and could lead to dismisal.

So I agree that mainlines have there own particular pathology in this regard, I don't think our pathology is the only one that creates the distance.

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