Some of the ministers who claim to be called by God might not be the best examples of the faith.
"The TV evangelists and religious right who embody greed, intolerance, and political meddling are the complete opposite of this."
keeps this site and its author alive.
I make a point of not discussing the callings of other ministers. There are many of whom I have some doubts of their calling; there are others of whom I do not doubt that God has called them to ministry, but I think their understanding of that ministry and of their faith is lacking. But I have come to recognize that God uses many people to do His work, not all of whom I would have chosen.
I'm going to expand a bit on my answer here. I'm a teacher; as such, I've always been compelled to grasp the scriptures as accurately as I can. Teacher is one of the ministries mentioned in the New Testament as given for the benefit of the church--but it's only one. I've been forced over the years to recognize that God has also called pastors and evangelists (the most common--although I've discussed other ministries elsewhere, this is sufficient for my purposes) to benefit the church, and their job in the church is different from mine. Since their jobs are different, the requirements on them are different, and the objectives before them are different. It is incumbent upon me to understand the truth as revealed as accurately as I can, and to communicate my understanding of that truth to those who need to understand it. The job of a pastor is very different from mine; he is charged to care for Christians and help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. As such, it is much less important to him to know the truth (at least, to the level of accuracy necessary for me), and much more important that he understands people--what they need, how to help them, how to motivate them--and that he knows how to answer their questions in ways which will help them live. Similarly, the evangelist is given the task of presenting the simple gospel to large numbers of unbelievers in ways they can grasp. They do not need to understand the complex issues of the paradoxes you and I discuss in order to do their job. They only need to know the truth of the gospel, and the answers to the simple objections people raise. In most cases, the adage is true: men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.
The point is that God uses people for purposes He has determined, and that many of those He chooses serve Him in ways which I could not, but could not do that to which I am called. It is not my place to complain that the evangelists and pastors are not so careful with the truth as I, for they are not teachers; nor is it appropriate for them to complain that I do not do their jobs, for I am not called to the task before them. We each answer to the same Lord, but he requires different tasks of different servants, and gives them different talents with which to accomplish them.
Back to the previous answer
Back to the full letter text
On to the next answer
Back to the letters index
To Mark J. Young's Bible Study Materials
Read about the Multiverser role playing game--accused by some critics of being "too Christian".
|Books by the Author|