Letter: 'Crazy ministers' may be more than just crazy
I am a "crazy minister," at least according to the definition of Eric Bergeson ("Crazy Ministers," March 26 Becker County Record). I actually believe the Bible is entirely true, historically and otherwise; I take it "literally," as Bergeson puts it. As a result I consistently say "crazy things" from the pulpit, during Bible studies, and in Catechism class.
I don't get upset with his caricature of ministers. Where I take issue with his article is why I and many other pastors say what we say. It is not, as he suggests, because we are trying to keep them awake in the pew or persuade them to be generous givers.
A true minister's job is much, much nobler than that.
The Bible intimately ties its teachings regarding forgiveness, life, and salvation to its historical events, especially the "crazy" historical events in the life of Jesus. Without these events -- without them being really true -- there would be no forgiveness, life, or salvation. And so I teach that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (I know it's crazy, but it confirms that Jesus was more than a mere man). I teach that he led a perfect life (who would ever believe such a crazy thing?). I teach that he suffered and died for every single sin of every single person who has ever lived (not only crazy, but impossible for a mere man). I teach that he really rose from the dead with his body (crazy, at least according to the popular, naturalistic world view) and he did this to confirm his identity as the Son of God and prove that his death really was the payment for all sin just as he said it would be.
Call such ministers whatever you want, but know that their message is neither dishonorable nor a mere cultural trend; rather, the message of the crucified and risen Son of God is true, extraordinary, and timeless. -- Pastor David Thompson, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Audubon