Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Lyrical Commentary on Scandals

These words by James Watkins summarize many of my feelings about the various Christian leadership scandals, but many others in our church universal where individuals are set up for temptation and failure by a system which isolates and flatters them. The church is supposed to be a body–a family–a place of intimacy and accountability. The way that we often do church makes it more like a free market corporation or something like that …. pedestals


and clap
as one of their own
is proudly carried toward the
lofty pedestal.
The audience

urges him
up the stairway,
step by step,
higher and higher,
far above the masses
on the prominent platform.
The media is there

with lights,
and prime-time coverage.
Publishers huddle

around the base,
for they know
sell well.
The crowds

on satellite hook-ups
hang on
every last word,
for he seems
so close to eternity.
Yet he feels

and very alone . . .
But at that height

no one notices,
no one questions,
no one confronts.
And so,

in a split second,
the trap door swings,
the noose tightens,
the crowd gasps.
Undeterred, the mob moves on

to build more pedestals;
to encourage another
of their own
up the starlit steps.
But mostly

to wonder
why those
at the pinnacle
keep falling
from the heights.
© 1988 James N. Watkins

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