A Bank Robbing Deacon

I feel for the Bruce Windsor and family. We rarely know at the onset what triggers a specific action regardless of how outrageous it appears. Bruce Windsor allegedly walked into Greenville First Bank armed, wearing a mask, and demanding money. From all the evidence, the Windsor family was typical. They went to church, played soccer, and did all the stuff that “normal” families do. News reports state that Bruce Windsor was facing tremendous emotional stress due to financial pressure. Something happened and he snapped. The tragedy isn’t that Bruce was a church leader, deacon, husband, father, or son; the tragedy is that this happened.

This unfortunate event demonstrates that anyone is vulnerable to “snapping” and acting out inappropriately. Those outside the church are quick to judge and claim it as another illustration of modern day hypocrisy. Those inside the church are probably quick to wag a finger, too. While some may harp on the disappointing black eye the church received, I’m more concerned about the individual offender. Why did he feel this was an option?

While I don’t know the Windsor family and probably will never have the opportunity to meet, I’m not so sure he’s not a product of our modern church culture. We unofficially promote perfectionism from our religious leaders. This intentional pedestal building creates an isolationism for the leader. They can’t talk about hurts, disappointments, failing, or fears without being “found out” as human. Leaders don’t need to live on pedestals, but in community. Do we ever get so desperate that we have no one we can talk to and confide? Yes, we do; it’s a cultural phenomena. No Christian is an island; faith is meant to be lived out in community. Aloneness is a disease and left untreated leads to inappropriate behavior. While I hold Bruce accountable for his behavior, I believe the modern church culture deserves some blame.

So how do we change it?