Jodie Foster's somewhat befuddling speech proves one thing: Actors need directors. Foster's fluency, keen mind and sharp discourse are nowhere to be found when left to fly. Some can improvise, but most need a script and a director. And so to a point: so do I. I am mere actor and I need a director - a pastor.
And, like an actor left to go off script, I too need a director who knows the script and can direct lives according to it. This is the admirable job of a pastor; he takes up God's script and teaches the flock to follow and apply it to their lives.
This sounds like I am subjecting myself to a thought police, a kind of oppression. But that is not what I mean. You see a pastor has no licence to write his own script and make interpretations according to his own unspiritual inclinations. He only directs rightly in as far as he directs according to God's interpretation. The protestant instinct is to check with the scripture to see if what is taught from the pulpit concurs with what is written in the word. It is the script, not the director, that has the authoritative role in the relationship. The authority of the director is found in the script, he directs his actors rightly in so far as he directs them faithfully according to what has been given in the words of scripture.
Modernity produced the autonomous ideal - we write our own script, direct our own play, star in our own Hollywood award ceremony. We believe what we say and do to be worthy of applause, tears, fanfare and subsequent praise. This is the deception of modernity, the lie of autonomy - that our attempt to go off script can make any sense at all.
Today, if you sit under the teaching of a pastor who desires that you follow the script of God's drama of redemption, encourage him by avoiding speeches that are only glorious in your own mind and by applying the words written by men carried by the Spirit.