What Used to Be Okay

not okayA professional peer and I were talking yesterday about (Middle Age Alert) “the way things used to be” and she said, “Remember when it was okay to drink and drive?  There might be a terrible accident, but people just wrote it off as a terrible accident and everybody moved on.”

Actually, I do remember that.  But things have changed, thank goodness.

It used to be okay . . .

  • For single pastors to date their parishioners. Exhibit A: A whole generation of retired clergymen are celebrating their 50th anniversary with the organist from their first parish.
  • For married pastors to flirt with their parishioners.  I’m not talking about pastors who side-hug their parishioners.  I’m not talking about the pastor who tells a lonely elderly widow that she looks beautiful.  I’m talking about those colorful pastors who make comments about a female parishioner’s legs.
  • For congregations to give their pastors (inappropriate) financial gifts.  I know a pastor who was gifted the deed for a beach cottage from a parishioner.  I know another pastor who was granted $20k annually after his retirement “just to make ends meet.”  I know yet another pastor who was given a trust fund to cover his future travel expenses.

It’s interesting to consider what we might do today which will be considered Not Okay a few years from now.  For one thing, I’m thinking we’ll all be mortified about what Washington’s NFL team used to call themselves.

What do you think we’ll find shocking – and not okay – twenty years from now that is considered acceptable today?

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4 responses to “What Used to Be Okay

  1. I love this post! And it’s something I wonder about all the time. What will my kids or someday perhaps my grand kids find appalling? You used to think it was okay to do WHAT? It’s such a humbling perspective to have, and also hopeful, as we realize really, a lot of the time, things do change for the better. Thanks be to the God who continues to be at work in us and through us! After all, I see proof of that when you can buy tofu at even a tiny rural grocery store in West Virginia, where I grew up…. Where do you see proof?

  2. Can we go back to the trust fund thing?

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