Pastor Snidely Ridicules Christian Laborers Viewed As Beneath Him
In the opening of a News In Focus podcast posted at SermonAudio, the assembled pastoral counsel poked fun at someone that categorized themselves as a “Christian trainer”.
Following a dismissive remark by the head pastor, one of the dutiful underlings remarked how presenting oneself as a Christian trainer was akin to claiming one was a philosopher.
And what if these were either one's vocation or avocation?
Often the positioned clergy of these more fundamentalist sects rank among the foremost in restricting who may hold status as a recognized minister or the quickest to scold a recognized minister for straying beyond the delineated parameters of the Gospel message into the areas of generalized moral or psychological application even if the teaching provided is basically drawn from Biblical principles.
For example, Joel Osteen is often derided for being more of a motivational speaker than an actual pastor.
But it seems there is also an underlying derision there when someone might have a message or insight of value to the wider church or Christian world but is cautious not to assume the responsibility or authority of the pastoral office.
At the end of the discussion, the head pastor was impressed with what the Christian trainer had posted.
But instead of leaving the compliment at that, the pastor snidely remarked but could the Christian trainer preach.
Frankly, such an aptitude might not even be relevant for that Christian trainer's ministry.
Ephesians 4:11 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”
Therefore, if someone mocks an individual that might have the ability to teach (which the written word is a form of) but not necessarily the ability to preach, isn't the critic edging dangerously close to pronouncing that the critic knows more about how God has gifted a particular individual than God Himself?
If this is to be the attitude of a number of God's undershepherds that all others endeavoring to speak Christian truth should be looked upon in a spirit that cannot be categorized as anything other than ridicule, perhaps a list should be formulated as to what kinds of occupations are considered worthy of placing something in the collection plate.
For if you can't respect how a person honestly makes a living, perhaps your own ministry shouldn't be benefiting from such labors either.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.