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The Trauma of Transparency

There is no one without faults, not even men of God. They are men of God, not because they are faultless but because they know their own faults, they strive against them, they do not hide them and are ever ready to correct themselves.
Mohandas Gandhi
Every honest minister preaches from a reservoir of guilt and grace.
Gary Gulbranson

For Christmas one year, my kids gave me the Gospel Birds tapes by radio storyteller Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame. In one of his yarns, Keillor mentions that if a pastor stands before the church and says, "I'm a human being just like you," the first questions in the minds of the congregation are Who was she? and For how long?

Their immediate conclusion, Keillor suggests, is that he must have committed adultery. Why else would a pastor admit humanness?

His humorous insight got me thinking about that interesting dilemma in ministry. What do we do with our infirmities — our misgivings and fears, our failures and sins? How transparent can a public ...

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