January 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm in INFORUM
Ministers thank congregation for support after DUI arrests
Worshippers at Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo faithfully observed the second Sunday after Epiphany. Continue Reading
Tags: Faith, Fargo, olivet lutheran, pastors 57 Comments »
Congratulations Olivet congregation on demonstrating some Christ-like behavior. I’m sure there are many who expected you to turn your backs on these pastors who made some very poor choices, rather than acknowledge their huge mistake and welcome them back to the fold to begin the healing and rebuilding process.
I hope everyone’s saying a prayer of thanks that the only harm caused was a very public humiliation.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 60 16
I find it funny that I am held to a higher standard at my job than these men are.
Hot debate. What do you think? 40 31
I think forgiveness comes with the territory.
Like or Dislike: 15 9
Find a new job. I find it funny that people think these two men are any different than anyone else in this world. Sorry Mr. Perfect (Jeff), everyone makes mistakes.
Hot debate. What do you think? 13 18
I never said they don’t deserve forgiveness or should be fired. I just thnik its interesting that I am held to a higher moral standard in my line of work than they are. I am by no means Mr. Perfect Jim, I make mistakes all the time. If I ran the church I wouldn’t fire them either. People seem to be taking my observation as a slam on these men and their church when it was just a comment on an interesting situation.
Like or Dislike: 15 2
I understand what you’re saying. Though I thought i was mean spirited and tacky of the Forum to publish the events in the way they did I don’t think I’d get a standing ovation for a DUI. Yes, everyone makes mistakes and they should be forgiven and I’m happy they kept their jobs. It’s just an interesting circumstance. I only wish we could extend such outright forgiveness to other members of the community who make similar mistakes, but don’t happen to have a congregation backing them.
Like or Dislike: 11 2
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I don’t think it was mean spirited or tacky at all.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 1 63
They weren’t working when this happened. They are held to a high standard. The congregation of Olivet loves and forgives Jeff and Kris. The end. They still have to go to court, pay fines etc. It’s too bad their bad judgement ended up in the paper. I have never seen two more genuinely sad and apologetic men. Every single person that shook their hand as they walked out was given a personal apology. They are both in great pain for what they did. There were a lot of tears in church. This incident is not who they are. It is painful to me as a member to see them in such pain and anguish over a bad decision. As a Christian, I don’t judge.
Hot debate. What do you think? 29 18
“weren’t working” – give me a break- you never get off God’s time clock!!!! you don’t punch out and then live like you want doing God’s work. these men don’t get the luxury to be a sunday morning christian. don’t feel sorry for these men if they have tears & pain – that’s good for them- hopefully it produces change in them. and it’s not only the DWI they got that was wrong but THAT THEY WERE DRUNK IN THE 1ST PLACE!!!! what other drunken behavior did they have or have had???? is it all right in the future if they get drunk but have no DWI???
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 19
Carol: in my experience Christians are the first to judge and condemn and then deny that they did either.and don’t bother forgiving me,or praying for me I don’t need it.
Like or Dislike: 9 17
I noted that the lead story on the local television news was their arrest. Considering all the other calamities of one sort or another (Arizona, health care debate, Iran, the wars overseas) that the biggest thing we have to worry about was the pastors. Ya know, if that is the biggest thing we have to worry about locally, that is a relatively small thing compared to the problems the rest of the US and the world is having. Not such a bad place to live.
Like or Dislike: 12 7
Do as they say not as they do. Luckily the church going crowd is easily fooled.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 24
I don’t belong to Olivet but had the privilege of volunteering at the church during the flood. They opened their doors 24 hours a day for the National Guard and anyone else who just needed to step back and take a break. The Guard trucks were parked in their parking lot because of the proximity to University. It was a warm and dry place with an over abundance of hot coffee and great food. These Pastors were true servants balancing a coffee pot in one hand and a plate of cupcakes in the other. The words I heard the most were “Thank you for your service” and “is there anything we can do to help?” They didn’t let anyone pay and truly showed God’s love in deeds and not just in words.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 4
The two pastors continue to be good role models, by the way they are conducting themselves in this unfortunate circumstance. Let us not forget, we are ALL more than our mistakes – these guys are a LOT more.
Like or Dislike: 14 9
I am lucky enough to know these two gentlemen personally, and I am a member of the Olivet family. We practice forgiveness, support, and love. Isn’t that what we all need?
Like or Dislike: 14 8
I would say both the Pastors and Congregation handled this situation in the best way possible. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is pretty common in this line of work. I would imagine this is a pretty eye-opening experience for both these individuals and I would speculate they will never look at an alcoholic beverage the same. Having to apologize in front of a church and/or being on the front page of the newspaper for an event like this would certainly make me change my ways. Best of luck to both of them.
Like or Dislike: 16 5
I do not see any admission of guilt for doing wrong from the men for what they have done. What I see is sorrow for being caught. Congregation, what do you see? My favorite third grade teacher would tell her students, who had done wrong, “You are not sorry for what you have done; you are sorry you got caught.” Then she would administer fair discipline. Third graders hide behind excuses for poor decisions; adults admit to their guilt and take the consequences.
Like or Dislike: 9 12
The 2 pastors did NOT make excuses – they took responsibility for their actions and they still have to go to court. It took real courage to face their church family. They have my admiration. These two pastors along with the other two pastors have done a lot of positive things for our community as well as other communities. Unless you can honestly say you have never made a mistake or had a lapse in judement then what gives you the right to “throw stones” at these men?
Like or Dislike: 9 3
They both should have been fired. They are to serve God’s word. Not going out and getting drunk and being a spectacle to their community and congregation. If most people got a DUI their job would can them.
Glad I don’t have kids that go to this church.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 10 31
First of all I don’t go to Olivet, but I’ve found this to be a compelling situation, one I hope a lot of people (including myself) will learn from.
@miranda, painting all Christians with the same brush is like calling all Muslims terrorists.
@chloesmom, they’re usually one of the first churches in town to jump in when there’s a need.
@Linda J. I agree, we are all more than our mistakes.
@Mike. Agreed.. it is eye opening.
@Dale How was their apologizing and admitting they did wrong in front of the congregation NOT an admission of guilt? Your 3rd grade teacher was wise and these two adult men have admitted to their wrong doing and they will have to face the legal ramifications that go with it. Neither appear to be denying or trying to escape it.
@Jason considering how judgmental you are, this church probably wouldn’t be a good fit for you anyway.
Like or Dislike: 14 6
@Aleia…no it wouldnt. Im a standard hypocritical Christan. DO NOT tell me what church is for me and not for me. It is not your job. If i want to go there i will, if i wont im not going to.
You are just as judgmental as I am and your ignorant
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 29
Over the years, Jeff and Kris have “loved us back” from our dark places, from our sad times and remind us of God’s grace after our stupid mistakes. Because of this, it was an easy decision to “love them back” and show them the unconditional support that they have showed us. The standing O was not condoning their mistake, but a way for the congregation to collectively show our support for them as they learn, grow and heal from their bad decision. We will never know the sacrifices that these men (and their families) have made to support all of us at Olivet and in the community, they are faithful servants of God and they do it willingly. It is because of the job they are doing at Olivet that has earned them the same support and love and care that they give to the people they lead. A stupid mistake on their part isn’t going to change that.
Like or Dislike: 14 4
Thank you “whatever” – well said!
Like or Dislike: 5 1
@Jason, I was merely agreeing with your own post of “Glad I donâ€™t have kids that go to this church.” Go to it for all I care.
Like or Dislike: 2 3
Aliea, From the article: â€œWe made a bad decision, each of us did, and we regret that,â€ he added. â€œWeâ€™re sorry, and I apologize â€“ Kris does, too, for this error in our judgment.â€
Those words of sorrow and apology, are not an admission of guilt. Nor do they amount to a confession. They “own” not the error; only something called a “bad decision” does.
Like or Dislike: 5 7
You needed to be there to KNOW what was actually said. Were you? I was.
Like or Dislike: 4 2
As far as I’m concerned, its not about their drinking, although the bible does mentioned not doing things to ‘excess’, it’s about the driving. That’s where they fail as examples because they showed kids very, very dangerous behavior. Forgiving them and letting them go (church, not civic) , to me, shows teens a good example of Christian forgiveness, forgiveness they will expect to get too when they do something that dangerous. Would people be so eager to forgive if someone had been killed? Does someone have to be killed before people realize that?
Being a pastor IS being a role model and being held to higher standard- just saying “They are just human” doesn’t work when the behavior endangers others.
Like or Dislike: 9 5
Kris and Jeff did state yesterday that they understand that they are role models and they failed in that aspect. They specifically apologized to the young people of the congregation that they work with in the youth ministry for the poor example that they set. They did not deny the higher standard that they are held to.
And I’m really glad they did, I just don’t think people out to be saying stuff about them being ‘allowed’ mistakes etc because these kinds of mistakes are exactly what someone in their position isn’t supposed to do.
Like or Dislike: 1 2
I just hope that Mr. Springer received a blessing from being in worship at Olivet on Sunday instead of just exploiting a church service as a voyeuristic reporting opportunity.
Like or Dislike: 6 6
how could you even find a blessing out of this unless your head was buried in the sand spiritually speaking. now i wouldn’t say these guys needed to be fired but for sure a suspension should have happen and an investigation into what drinking & getting drunk means to these guys. for the church just that they were drunk should be taken very serious!!
Like or Dislike: 5 5
If god didn’t want us to get drunk and high, why did she create hops, barley, potatoes, grapes, marijuana and muchrooms? These priests were just living up to the divine being’s standards and should not be crucified for them. I think that was one of the commandments that were lost on the third tablet, “Thou shalt use the fruits of the earth for spiritual synchronicity.”
Like or Dislike: 3 8
Oh, if I remember correctly, there was also something that said “be fruitful and multiply”. I would think this directly correlates to copulating with one’s own congregation, another divine mandate.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 2 13
Or probably there is no god and these substances have an intoxicating effect because nature retains certain molecular patterns that behave differently in different species…but you can go with the peddlers of the common superstition and recite verses from their book. A book whose original authors would have looked at the wheelbarrow as emergent technology.
Like or Dislike: 4 6
THANK GOD no one was killed or injured by these 2 driving while intoxicated.
Like or Dislike: 9 1
I prefer to thank the police…they got these two drunks off the road. I don’t drink at all, and have zero sympathy for those too irresponsible to call a cab or get a ride. They, like many drinkers, think they are okay behind the wheel. They are not. I am glad I live in a city that gives no deference to those who choose to get intoxicated and then drive in a 2000lb bullet. I feel safer for it.
Like or Dislike: 6 5
With so many churches serving the sin-free or sin-lite crowd (you know the type “Please forgive me, I coveted my neighbor’s new Prius”), OR pretending its leaders are beyond reproach, Olivet dealt with this debacle head-on in a very public environment. I think they’ve got this Evangelical thing all figured out. Nice job.
Like or Dislike: 9 8
This is ludicrous making heroes out of them is about the most astounding thing I have heard of. What were they doing besides drinking? These are role models for young people?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 72
I don’t know if I agree they’re being made ‘heroes’, but I’ve gotta tell you, I’m very closely watching how a main-line Christian Church responds to someone who makes some really stupid choices.
How ironic there’s so many ‘churches’ who exist only for the sin-free, holier-than-thou types that would dump these guys in a snowbank in a New York minute.
Like or Dislike: 7 7
Mac I guess heroes might not be right, but I think there is more to this situation then we know about.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 66
Mac, could you address this,
siouxforever â€¢ 1 day, 4 hours ago
siouxforever said: On January 14, 2011 at 10:54 PM
â€Well, of course words and images affect people, if they didnâ€™t, I would not have bothered writing this sentence. But that is an entirely different statement than saying any â€˜battlegroundâ€™ terminology is inciteful of violence.”
Mac â€¢ 16 hours, 2 minutes ago
“No itâ€™s not. Give it up, sweetie.”
Words and images affect people. Does a Ansel Adams photograph affect people? Are you implying that we should not look at Ansel Adams photographs lest we be affected? Does the word “love” affect people? Are you implying that we should not use the word love?
What exactly are you implying when you say,
“Blah, blah, blah, Iâ€™m being a parrot. WORDS AND IMAGES AFFECT HUMAN BEHAVIOR”
Like or Dislike: 1 1
Sioux, I would address this statement by saying “Good day, my friend. I regret that I have nothing to add that I’ve not already said, and I fear the discussion group is finding Mac tiresome. Please know I enjoy your point of view–even when, and often especially when– we disagree.”
Like or Dislike: 4 1
Well, thank you Mac! I sincerely enjoy a good argument. I just couldn’t let your last comment go unanswered.
Like or Dislike: 3 1
i’d like to know the answer to that question too minister. is anyone so stupid to think their only terrible behavior was DWI. how about past behavior too??? did the church do an investigation??? this story is far from over!!!!
Like or Dislike: 6 8
Come investigate —– we have services on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm — there is a supper that starts at 5. Sundays we have services at 8:30 and 11:00 am — any and all are welcome to check us out — there is nothing to hide but a lot to be found! God’s love and blessings are abundant!
Like or Dislike: 9 6
An overseer must not drink. Timothy 3.2-3
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 70
Hopefully you do not drink then either, being a ministress and all.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 64 2
Auntie Palin is just bitter she doesn’t have a congregation. She’s still got my heart though!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 60 4
BOOooooooo, get a new job, possibly as a bartender, you both can listen to everyone’s problems right there at the bar.
Like or Dislike: 3 3
So what would you all be saying if there was an accident related to the driving drunk. Happens often. Forgive them for their mistake and move on, everyone makes mistakes. Thank GOD that nobody was injured or killed. I personally know a few that have commented about this story and have themselves criticized and crucified others for drinking and driving and now are speaking from the other side of the mouth because these two are pastors.
Like or Dislike: 1 4
Forgive them father. They know not what they do.
Again I say…Can someone explain to me why the Bison guyâ€™s driving record and speeding tickets was such a HUGE deal, but two bible-thumping holy rollers get arrested for DUI and everyone is OK with it? I just don’t get it.
Like or Dislike: 3 4
This was a one time thing with the Pastors. They immediately took responsibility for their actions. Even though they haven’t been to court yet they have already been put through more than you or I would. They are and have been strong assets to this community in manyy different ways but in particular they worked tirelessly during the floods. They have positively affected so many people in our area, New Orleans, Haiti, Africa, India, etc. No, they are not perfect, thank God, but they are loved and respected.
Like or Dislike: 2 2
The same could be said for the NDSU gentleman. Still not seeing a difference.
not true – which Bison guy are YOU referring to?
Like or Dislike: 0 0
I just wish society would treat all people that make a bad judgment call, like this one the same way these pastors were treated. We all make mistakes and all get into trouble one way or another, whether its with the cops or with the banks or however, but some compassion from others goes along way. Enough with the judgment.
God forgives. We don’t.
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