Saturday 9 April 2011


Jim West hits the nail on the head with this posting.

Except, not being a Baptist, I'd want to edit the denominational reference to something closer to my own identity, the assorted, distorted, contorted Churches of God.

Regardless, the point is well made. People who climb into pulpits, Bible clasped firmly in hand, need to have had an education. Not an indoctrination, not "training," an education. Not a degree mill piece of paper either. Something that helps them to dig deeper, ask questions, think twice before parroting rubbish.

Preachers are not motivational speakers. Nor are they experts on each and every subject they might be asked to give an opinion on. And an opinion is not a "ruling;" it's advice, and advice commonly comes in two flavours, good and bad.

Preachers have been known to give some really dire advice, dressed up as "the word of the Lord." The idiot who advised new parents to spank their two week old baby (see Jim's comments) is clearly one such example. Some of us know of equally egregious cases, or even worse.

I'm not sure how many of the Church of God readers who drop by this blog are familiar with the "priesthood of all believers." Basically it's a Reformation understanding about responsibility and accountability that brings the onus back to each and every Christian. The decision you make is yours to make, not the preachers'. And if he's (and in these churches it is almost always a 'he') spouting like a pompous ass, tell him! If he is genuine and sincere, he'll ultimately thank you for it. If he's not, screw the consequences, this is not a good place for either you or your family. Just shake the dust from your sandals and move on.


  1. I've not read Jim West's post and, to be honest, have not intention of doing so (I'm not exactly his biggest fan!)

    However, this post confuses me, My first response reading your post was actually "and what about the priesthood of all believers?" but I see you mentioned it at the end.

    When preachers are spouting this motivational rubbish (for which I have no more time than you) it represents a failure of the church itself, not just the preacher. It's just I fail to see what education has to do with it.

    But then, I wouldn't object to the abolition of all clergy, or the clericalistion of the laity as I put it.

  2. I'm all for congregations of 50 to 70 people max, with an all volunteer, but qualified, ministry: It prevents many excesses and abuses.