If your church is your family then the preacher is a lot like a parent. There are three types of parenting styles. There is authoritarian, authoritative and permissive. Authoritarian parents are strong; they raise their children with an iron fist but love them all the same. Think about most single moms you know. They are some of the strongest people you have ever met. They love their children but they are the boss. They are willful, independent, and completely protective. There are authoritative parents who want what’s best for their child but they are not fearful of letting them experience the world. These parents teach children to think about things while guiding them with a stern h . Think about Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mocking Bird”. He wasn’t going to hide dear Scout from the world and pretend there was no such thing as prejudice, yet he also explained it to her in a way that a child could underst while correcting her and hoping she would not choose to be prejudice. Then there are permissive parents; they are people with live and let live, laissez faire, if you will mentality. These parents are a lot like hippies. They may seem uncaring in that they love unconditionally and want the child to underst the world and make good choices with little intervention. Well, Christian churches are a lot like families. The pastors are like the parents and the congregation is a lot like the siblings. People literally call each other their brother and sister in Christ. The metaphor is good for explaining the different types of churches. On one h you have legalism (authoritative single mom approach), on the other you have extreme grace (permissive, live and let live parents). I’m not going to say one version of parenting is better than the next. There are all kinds of parents out there, most of whom are good; even if the child doesn’t exactly mesh with the parents’ style. Most parents will produce productive children even if they don’t see eye to eye on everything. Now there are some parents, a rare exception to the rule, who hurt a child so bad it becomes scared. This could happen to all the children or just one. This too happens in religion. So I think as people in the body of Christ, we should stop the perfect parent competition. It’s unhealthy and it causes a lot of hurt and feelings of inadequacy, resentment, hatred and bitterness. Yes you will come across a very bad terrible drug addict parents every now and then. But in fairness you wouldn’t call CPS on everyone who did something to a child you didn’t necessarily agree with either.