In Rod’s case, the facts of the matter don’t matter nearly as much as the soundbyte. Whether or not he was really selling Obama’s senate spot is unclear. But what was clear was the vote to impeach him. (And probably remove him from office.)
I’ve been around church life enough to know that most people fired from a church job feel the way Rod does. The politics shifted on them and the next thing they know they’re in a witch hunt. In all too many cases, the witch hunt is over by the time they find out they are on trial. From the 50 member country church to the 16,000 member megachurch the reality is that all of the politics in church is conducted the same way. Closed door meetings. Coffee shop decisions. Fairness and justice take a backseat to pragmatism.
Watching Rod on Good Morning America was like talking to a freshly fired youth pastor. He didn’t think the procedure was fair. He didn’t have the opportunity to call witnesses and tell them his side of the story. You can see him, wounded and fighting for life, in complete denial that there was no chance getting it all back.
Watching Rod on Good Morning America reminds me of the advice I’ve given to friends in his situation. The best thing you can do is quietly leave. Fighting is just embarassing for everyone and rubs salt in the wounds daily. Working at a church is a political position. Keep the powers that be happy and it’s a great life. Everything you do is appreciate and your family is adored. Get on the wrong side of the politics and your life will become a living hell.
It’s doubtful that Rod will get his fair trial. But I do know that, in church life, the best thing you can do is just move on with your life. Sticking around and trying to fight it out is bad for you and bad for a church. Fighting the politics in a church when the tide has turned against you will merely grind your faith on the hard rocks of others sin.
I just hope Rod figures that out soon enough.