Keeping Score: Pastor + God, A Majority?


Guess it doesn’t really matter what our denomination is, seems we all may face a contentious lot! How we stand in the face of those trials and opposition is our witness to the peace of God residing in us. Personally though, some times I like the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning. 😉

Isaac Asimov, familiar to many as a noted scientist and author, once told a hilarious story about a Rabbi Feldman who was having trouble with his congregation. It seemed they could agree upon nothing. The president of the congregation said, “Rabbi, this cannot be allowed to continue. Come, there must be a conference, and we must settle all areas of dispute once and for all.” The rabbi agreed. At the appointed time, therefore, the rabbi, the president, and ten elders met in the conference room of the synagogue, sitting about a magnificent mahogany table.

One by one the issues were dealt with and on each issue, it became more and more apparent that the rabbi was a lonely voice in the wilderness. The president of the synagogue said, “Come, Rabbi, enough of this. Let us vote and allow the majority to rule.” He passed out the slips of paper and each man made his mark. The slips were collected and the president said, “You may examine them, Rabbi. It is eleven to one against you. We have the majority.” Whereupon the rabbi rose to his feet in offended majesty. “So,” he said, “you now think because of the vote that you are right and I am wrong. Well, that is not so. I stand here” –and he raised his arms impressively– “and call upon the Holy One of Israel to give us a sign that I am right and you are wrong.” And as he said this, there came a frightful crack of thunder and a brilliant flash of lightning that struck the mahogany table and cracked it in two. The room was filled with smoke and fumes, and the president and the elders were hurled to the floor. Through the carnage, the rabbi remained erect and untouched, his eyes flashing and a grim smile on his face. Slowly, the president lifted himself above what was left of the table. His hair was singed, his glasses were hanging from one ear, his clothing was in disarray.

Finally he said, “All right, eleven to two. But we still have the majority.”

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