a divisive mustache?

Perhaps you heard about this story:
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Pastor Rick Pfeiffer returned from vacation with a new mustache, promptly dividing his church.

"I couldn't get used to it," says Janet Stassey, one of 55 longtime members who left Living Word over the flap. "I like his preaching, but the mustache interferes with his ministry. He should recognize that."

Pfeiffer says he didn't realize his facial hair would upset so many people. Some told him he looks creepy, like a "skinny version of Robert Goulet."

"I like the old look," grumbles Leo Winter, 46, who has considered leaving the church. "When a pastor isn't consistent, things go off the rails. What's next? A goatee?"

I shared about this at the end of my message this past weekend... a message about the values the Bible says are to exist in a church. For example, Jesus entrusted His Church into the hands of a ragtag group of people who were full of imperfections, would at times get distracted from what was most important and every once in a while get on each others nerves.

If Jesus Christ has that kind of faith in the Church, who are we to have any less?

So I shared this story at the end of the message and asked our congregation, "What do you think - is this story truth or fiction?" The majority of people in both our services speculated it was truth.

Thankfully, it's fiction. (When I shared that, I even heard someone say, "Whew.")

It was at that point that I put a fake mustache on my face, said nothing for a bit and let the reality sink in...
 people leave churches for silliest of reasons.

Perhaps you've heard of a few.

Perhaps it was only a "mustache."

?

Romans 16:20 says "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."

Keep in mind... it says that right in the middle of a passage that is full of directions on how we're to treat one another. So apparently when the church is loving and not petty... optimistic instead of critical... full of reconciliation instead of avoidance... Satan is crushed under our feet.

When we don't do those things...

when we don't treat each other the way God asks us to..

when we make the most out of mustaches...

should we really be surprised that there's something missing from our lives and our churches?

It's time to grow up and go all in.

Whether or not you join me, that's the direction I'm going. Hope to see you there.

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