THE PREACHER SYSTEMgreenspun.com : LUSENET : church of Christ : One Thread
THE PREACHER SYSTEM
Another result of the institution of religion shows up in what we refer to as the Pulpit Minister or the man in the Preacher System. This system digressed slowly until we now have what is followed by most religions today. If we want to find information on when the Preacher system came into existence we would have to go to secular history because there is not even a hint of such in the New Testament.
What is the “Preacher System?”
To understand this system more fully we should look at the big business that is carried on today by the Board of Directors and we sometimes call the Eldership. Older men who have the godly lives whom the saints of God want as their leaders and who are apt to teach those who need teaching the leaders are among, have been replaced with those who now run a business which they call “Church business.” Trouble is, nothing in the scriptures about such a category. The Board of Directors is in the hiring and firing business. It holds the purse strings and thus has total authority over who can be placed on the salary list.
This is where the Preacher System comes in. These are men who are specially trained to fit into the institution. In our culture it depends on how much education one has as to which Eldership will accept. In fact, in many places the university or preacher school where one was trained to fill the “Pulpit” makes a big difference in whether a man is hired or rejected.
There is a scarry situation today. That being the “empty pulpit.” Several years ago an article was written in a religious paper titled, “The Empty Pulpit.” An alarm was sent out over the Brotherhood that if something wasn't done about the empty pulpit, thousands upon thousands of unsaved people would be lost to a devil's hell.. The idea was that standing before these empty pulpits were all these sinners with no one to teach them about Jesus. This is the extent people of tradition will go in their beliefs concerning a system that is not once mentioned in the scriptures.
What is the purpose of the Pulpit Minister that evolved along with the Preacher System?
I posted last week on this list an application from one of the progressive groups seeking a Pulpit Minister. Of course, the salary paid to these men will usually decide what his duties consist of. It can usually be summed up as a man hired to do the individual's work that was assigned to him/her by Almighty God. This man is hired to do the encouraging and edifying of the group when scripture says we get with other Christians to encourage and edify one another. Nothing is said about one person edifying all the others.
The first thing to notice in the duties of the paid preacher is he is expected to teach the opinions of the Eldership. Any rules and regulations they set up, the preacher is expected to teach them to the pew sitters. In reality, this is as it has to be when an institution is set place. There must be those who run the institution and those they hire to help them must, of course, put forth the teaching held by the Eldership. Without this the institution would fall by the wayside. Since the preacher is hired by those who hold the purse strings, he will be sure to give the opinions of those who hired him. Sometimes we might see a brave soul who gives HIS opinion on a subject and if it does not match the opinion of the Eldership he is quickly sent on his way (not rejoicing.) All of this is necessary if the institution is kept intact.
The preacher is not unlike the Priest in the Catholic Church. He marries people, buries people, counsels people, visits the sick in the hospital, and in the homes. He stands at the door after the formal worship service where he has given his (their) opinion on what the scripture says, and with a smile greets all those people who have helped put him on a pedestal because of his position.
-- Nelta Brock (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 11, 2004