Recently I was accused of preaching a gospel of comfort and believing that anything goes in the realm of faith, provided that you personally are comfortable with what you believe. It is aweful to be so misunderstood. But I thought here is a perfect opportunity to address the whole subject of comfort.
It is funny, but I am wired to rock the boat. I tend to look for opportunities to push people out of their comfort zones, to try and stretch those around me just a little bit. I really love to challenge the preconceptions we have that give the illusion of stability to our lives - particularily when those preconceptions concern how we percieve others. As a minister I see all the time how people are blinded to the light of God in others simply because they have a particular view of how they feel things should work. This is the main theme in the book of Job where the popular notion is that when you do good then good things happen and when you do bad then bad things happen - read Job carefully because God challenges that very notion and rebukes Job's so called friends for letting their preconceptions blind them from seeing Job as a righteous and good man.
Books like Job do what I find myself doing a lot, challenging the preconceptions in others. I feel that this is really a pastoral role. As a pastor my challenge is to help people understand what they think they know about God and to encourage them to go deeper into their understanding of God and God's claims on their lives. In doing so I find myself fairly often pushing people out of their comfort zones. Which, ironically, is exactly what I did with the person who accused me of having an ear tickling gospel.