Are Pastors Exempt?

It’s commonly thought that Pastors’ lives are somehow unique: They are protected from suffering and have a Red Phone to God. I’m a pastor. Read my story and see.

On March 6th the burned remains of my Mother were discovered after a 6 1/2 hour search. She was formally identified by the surgical markings on her toes. Today, sixty days after Mom’s horrific death, my Dad died. He suffered as well. Last May he spent ten days on life support following heart surgery and had been hospitalized eight times since then.

Both were great parents who contributed well to society. Some would say they were good people. Some would say, “Why do good people suffer?” The question’s fatal flaw lies in the fact there are no good people on earth. A better question is: Has a good person suffered? Yes. The Bible says that God sent his Son who knew no sin (was good) to become sin (be punished for our fatal flaws) for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God (we can be made good).

My parents weren’t intrinsically good, but were made good simply by believing that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross for their fatal flaws. They then demonstrated this faith remarkably in their lives.

Mom and Dad both suffered and died. This is not an indication that God isn’t good but that life is broken. The two can’t be confused. The same God who made them good has now delivered them from suffering and into his presence forever.

Pastors are not exempt. Even though Mom and Dad are with Jesus, I’m grieving and rightly so. I grieve because death is real and I won’t make friends with it. I’m hopeful because Jesus has defeated death.