Month: February 2012

An Old Preacher’s Admonition: Please, Quit!

Years ago, when I was a young pastor in California, some well-meaning chowderhead gave me a book titled, Dear Preacher, Please Quit!  (If you were that chowderhead, I apologize…for not telling you sooner.) The book’s author was no Rhodes’ scholar. Nor was he much of a theologian. Nor was he a writer. His name was Roy Branson, and he was mostly an ignorant, prideful preacher that thought every preacher that wasn’t him wasn’t good enough to be one. Dr. Branson’s self-publishing publishing house Landmark Publications advertises the book thus: Dr. Branson details why the majority of preachers are not called and should quit. How the ministry is shamed by egos and meaness. [sic] He never says how large a majority the uncalled preachers comprise. Nor, apparently, did he ever catch the irony in his accusation that most preachers (the majority, you know) are chock full of ego and meanness. The irony here being how ego-maniacal a preacher has to be to make such a sweeping statement about other preachers, along with the fact that the good Reverend Branson has about as much meanness in his pen as any preacher I have read. I don’t remember much of what the book had to say. (Well, it didn’t say a word, but I read it and don’t remember that either.) I do remember the tone was caustic, the rhetoric unschooled and the...

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The Greybeard Chronicles: Why I said nothing at the moment of truth

What will you do when standing up means standing out? It is easy to talk tough until it is tough to talk. Everybody is ready to do something until something must be done.  The reason we revere the founders of America is because they pledged everything– their lives, their lands, their liberties– for a cause they believed to be just. They would be branded traitors to the Crown. They would be the objects of the king’s ire. They would face the stark reality that their only options were liberty or death. We respect Martin Luther King because he had a dream and a clarion voice that called for equality, despite the personal cost. But these are high ideals. These are the standards to which we aspire…unless the cost is too personal and too great. These were the words hurled at me until I told that man in the mirror to kindly shut his trap. Just because something must be done is no sign I have to do it. Maybe someone should say something, but I don’t have to be that someone. Let someone else do it. I have troubles of my own and they are enough. Besides, this is all risk and no reward....

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