Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ministers...pastors...spiritual leaders: this is for all of you

One of my favorite books describes the anguish of a man who felt and followed the call. It reminds me of something Glenn Beck said within the last several years about Christian leaders ducking the responsibility of telling the truth to their flocks.

By Taylor Caldwell

Excerpt, page 103, “Soul Seven, The Betrayer” (1960)

He waited. No one answered him. Then something rose in him like the high and thundering swell of a wave. He fought it down, but it rose high and higher, and out of its smothering he cried, “’Profession!’ I call it ‘profession’! But it is a calling—a calling!—isn’t it? That is what my father said—‘a holy calling’!”

He put the heels of his hands hard over his eyes. “Oh, my God,” he murmured. “To think that there were people long ago who thought God ‘called’ them! Now we gravely consider the impulse we have toward the ministry and wonder if we are well rounded enough, and fully psychologically educated, and adjusted, to become ministers of the Gospel! Are we good administrators? Do we like people? Do people instinctively like us? Are we excellently grounded in the social ethic? Do young people naturally gravitate toward us? Are we expert businessmen? Do women like us? Are we liberal in our ideas? Do we have good voices which inspire confidence? Can we meet men on their own ground easily and confidently, whether it is the golf course, the broker’s office, the club, the family living room, the parish hall, the community activities, the schools, the theater, the good restaurants? In short, are we ‘good fellows, sweet guys, regular people’? Are we enthusiastic about sports and take an active part in them? Are we ‘broad’? Men of ‘diversified’ interests? Conversant with television? Are we on the board of this and that? In short, are we ‘active’?”

He stood up, looking about him with a kind of wild hopelessness. “In short,” he cried, “must we be everything but ministers of the Gospel?”

The white walls were lined with his questions.

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