Friday, April 1, 2011

Clergy Meology

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I'll never forget it.

It happened while I was a boy wonder high steepler in Kansas City with more obscene perks and higher pay stubs than any clergywoman/man who pretends to follow Jesus should ever...

Anyway, during a fellowship hour between worship services, I saw the President of Hallmark serving coffee.

Aside from giggling about all of the Hallmark employees lining up for him to serve them, I was struck by the irony of one of the world's most influential men humbling himself before...

That's irony in a capitalistic/classist kinda way as opposed to a Matthew 16:24-28 or Mark 10:42-45 kinda way.

Moretheless, I think that's when I started to feel guilty about making so much more $ and having so many more advantages than 99% of my peers.

It's hard to feel close to Jesus when you're living like the people who crucified Him.


It started when I was in my first pastoral care and counseling class in seminary.

The professor had just finished a lecture on the do's and don'ts of hospital visits and asked if we had any questions.

One of Princeton's finest asked, "Do all hospitals have parking spots reserved for clergy?"


Have you ever seen those "Reserved for Pastor" spots in church parking lots?

How, uh, servantlike.

What about the handicapped and geezers and, really, anybody else falling under the "serve rather than be served" part of the call?

Here's my favorite: "I can't go see anybody in ICU today because it's my sabbath."


He said something about that too.

Another favorite: "We're not going to live in the community where the church is located because..."


He said something about that too.

Is it any wonder why so many folks are leaving churches with imperial clergy for churches with undershepherds who understand the difference between posers and authentics?



I lost my train of thought.

Something was in my eye and I couldn't see the screen.

And why do I keep thinking about Matthew 6:25-34?


I just got back from three days of seeing some aging inlaws and outlaws.

They used to help their children and now the roles are reversed.

While driving back from Pennsylvania to Illinois, I had a lotta time to think about that.

I'm also trying to figure out why visiting the geezers in my family provoked pet peeves about peers.

What's He trying to tell me?



I may have discovered His answer last night.

Before going home to see if Kopper was still alive after three days of care by our high school senior who didn't make the trip because of baseball games, we met an elder and his wife for dinner because he was leaving early today for a job in Montana. Still trying to sell their house in this wretched economy, the wife will follow in a few weeks.

Parenthetically, I'm starting to wonder what's going on in our government. How can we afford all of those bombs to kill people over there when we can't even pay our bills over here? Why are we spending so much $ over there to prop up incumbents/insurgents who hate us as much as they hate each other when...?

Remember those old "Bizzaro World" Superman comics?

Maybe getting back to the point, I reminded them that I had borrowed a dolly and hadn't returned it; whereupon the elder said, "I know where it is; besides, maybe you can help somebody who needs..."

I thought, "I didn't go to seminary to learn how to..."


That could be a big part of the/my problem.

I thought of Hallmark's President serving coffee, that first pastoral care and counseling class, parking spots in lots, sabbaths, geezers, and...Jesus.


Maybe that's why He moved me to stop wearing those expensive vestments in favor of something more, uh, common.

Maybe that's why I'm gonna try to trade the wagon for a truck.

Maybe that's why my youngest bought work gloves, get this, for me for my birthday.

Maybe that's why Francis kissed lepers.

Maybe that's why Bonhoeffer wrote The Cost of Discipleship.

Maybe it has something to do with Jesus.

Maybe it has something to do with Christianity's supreme symbol.

Maybe it has something to do with 21st century clergy acting like their 1st century counterparts.


I need to repent.



Blessings and Love!


Crystal said...

Dr.K., good. One of the things that used to turn me off about religion/big churches/ministers who thought they were somebody was...they thought they were somebody better then the someones they were serving. Wasn't it George Washington who said he would never ask any of his men to do something he wasn't first willing to do? To be great...
Love you,

Bob said...

Dr. Bob,
Great article!
That's why I quit wearing the robe at the Forks from Easter to WWcommunion Sunday.
That's why I didn't wear a robe again after I left the Forks to go to non-denom & NCD churches.
That's why we didn't have a pastor parking spot at the Forks and I parked in the further away lot in the Poconos.
[But to be fair, I always WALKED over to the Forks bldg. from the manse!!!]