The Preacher: Servant of the Lord and the People

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God…. 1 Corinthians 3:18, 19

Men who are called to be servants of God in the ministry must constantly guard against thinking of themselves as belonging to a “privileged” class. Our so-called Christian society tends to increase this danger by granting the clergy discounts and other courtesies, and the church itself helps a bad job along by bestowing upon men of God various sonorous honorifics which are either comical or awe-inspiring, depending upon how you look at it.

Seeing whose name he bears, the unconscious acceptance of belonging to a privileged class is particularly incongruous for the minister. Christ came to give, to serve, to sacrifice and to die, and said to His disciples, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” The preacher is a servant of the Lord and of the people. He is in great moral peril when he forgets this.

Remember, the clergyman meets religious people almost exclusively. People are on their guard when they are with him. They tend to talk over their own heads and to be for the time the kind of persons they think he wants them to be rather than the kind of persons they are in fact!

This creates a world of unreality where no one is quite himself, but the preacher has lived in it so long that he accepts it as real—and never knows the difference!

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