hdchris (hdchris) wrote in rsqubf,

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Under the Unpredictable Plant

During a three week Internet abstinence, I read the book "Under the Unpredictable Plant" by Eugene H. Peterson (it is available in German as well with the title "Der verlorene Hirte" - "The Lost Shepherd"). It is highly recommended for those who have been involved with UBF and are trying to recover and purify their calling after the disillusionment.

The book also explains the temptation that pastors of ordinary churches are exposed to: We can be guilty of seeking glory and status, climbing the religious career ladder of success towards the bigger, brighter, better churches. We can be guilty of presenting our desires, our word, our action, as God's desire, God's word, God's action. "Our vocational identification with God's cause and God's word make us vulnerable to mistaken god-identities... The condition works its way underground and requires strenuous vigilance to detect."

If these temptations are already that strong in non-authoritarian churches, how much worse is the temptation in an authoritarian environment like UBF where pastors are viewed as unquestionable "servants of God." No wonder that virtually all UBF missionaries have taken the bait of that temptation.

However, the book also shows ways out of the misguided understanding of being a shepherd. I like the German title "the lost shepherd." It's probably how we UBF dropouts would have described ourselves after leaving.

Here is a short summary and evaluation of the book written by a woman.

"ubfsurvivor" - the author is also from Balmer, Merlin ;-)
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