An editor wears egg for a lesson in humility
Don HinklePathway Editor
March 11, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY — I wear egg well, especially when it’s all over my face.
If there is one thing I want more than anything for The Pathway (other than to lift up the name of Jesus), it is for it to be an encouragement to all believers and particularly to the men who faithfully stand in the pulpits of our churches and rightly divide the inerrant, infallible Word of God.
But this week I failed miserably.
Let me direct you to this week’s letter to the editor written by Steve Gann, associate pastor at Plaza Heights Baptist Church in Blue Springs. He took exception to a letter in the previous issue of The Pathway from Bob Cherry, the fine pastor of First Baptist Church, Lancaster.
Pastor Cherry had written me a PRIVATE email critical of my decision to run a story about a church that does not offer invitations at the conclusion of its worship service. Pastor Cherry held nothing back in expressing his views on the matter. I appreciated his candidness.
So I called him and asked for permission to run his letter in The Pathway. He hesitated, admitting that if he had it to do over he would not have expressed his views quite as forcefully. I asked him to rewrite a slightly toned-down version that we could publish. He agreed to do so and submitted it to me the next day. Unfortunately I failed to delete his original emailed letter and it was the original that I forwarded to Managing Editor Bob Baysinger for publication.
As one would expect, Pastor Cherry was a bit, shall I say, surprised when he saw his original letter in The Pathway.
So was I.
I have no excuse. I messed up. It was my responsibility to make sure the right letter was published.
If you thought Pastor Cherry was too harsh in his letter, let me be the first to admit that I have often written and said things – in private – in ways that I wish I had not. Pastor Cherry admitted as much to me before submitting his revised letter.
He deserves grace in this matter as well as a public apology from me.
It is I who deserves tar and feathers.
This embarrassing incident reminded me of two things: (1) the power of the printed word and (2) how quickly those of us in the news media can be humbled by our own inadequacies that are an endless testimony to the objective fact that we live in a fallen world.
It is not uncommon to hear people today refer to their “quest for perfection” or how a certain person is “a perfectionist.” Both have a noble ring to the human ear, but in reality they say a lot about man’s arrogant attitude and the utter contempt he holds for his Creator. We too often fool ourselves into believing that perfection just might be possible, but only for a short time, only until a space shuttle blows up, an ocean liner sinks, or we hit the wrong button on a computer keyboard.
Only one man, the God-man, Jesus, has ever lived the perfect life. But our Lord calls us to excellence in all we do and so, like the Apostle Paul, we press onward covered by the grace of an amazing God who looks beyond our faults to infinitely love you and me.