In a new post, “From the Associate Dean’s Desk,” Dr. Steele discusses the complexities and nuances of using moral judgement in a context of pastoral care:

“But the fact that having to render moral judgments is inescapable does not give anyone, including Christian pastors, the right to be “judgmental,” to set themselves up as infallible arbiters of other people’s conduct. [….] [However] Pastors must sometimes make such judgments.

What ‘pastoral care’ I offered [a member of my congregation when I was a young country pastor] began with my unconditional positive regard…and not beginning there would have been inhuman. But it ended with my invoking the authority of moral norms that she understood and respected, and with my inviting her to participate in a ritual whereby forgiveness and restoration were actualized for her.”

Click here to read more about the tough situation Dr. Steele dealt with as a pastor and the full post:

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