Something happened a few weeks ago that really bothered me so much that I need to write at length about it. I guess it strikes my nerve whenever I encounter bad theology in churches.
A few weeks ago I visited a church and that day there was a famous guest speaker from Hong Kong. The famous speaker used to be a doctor 30 years ago, but then he decided to go into (so-called) “full-time ministry.” When it was time for the speaker to speak, the person who introduced him said, “We welcome Dr. ZZZ to speak with us today. We’re so glad that 30 years ago he decided that caring for people’s souls is more important than caring for people’s bodies.” Upon hearing that, my eyes propped wide open: “What!!?! If we’re not ‘full-time ministers,’ do we not care about people’s souls?”
Now, first a disclaimer. I’m not knocking that particular church or that particular person. I’m dealing with a bad theology position that, sadly, has been too prevalent in churches, especially Chinese churches. Often these “bad theology moments” don’t come in the context of sermons, but in seemingly casual statements made by people that not only reflect bad doctrines, but also affect our applications/practices of the theologies in life.
In this case, all too often I’m reminded that too many Christians still live in a caste system between pastor/clergyman/minister and “layman”/non-clergyman.
Let’s explore this issue some more throughout this week. Stay tuned.
|Caste System in Church (1): Do We Care About Souls?
Caste System in Church (2): False Dichotomy
Caste System in Church (3): Churches Need To Talk About Work
Caste System in Church (4): The Goal Of God’s Ministry