WHY MINISTERS SO OFTEN SUFFER FROM INTELLECTUAL PRIDE
There is a part of my last post which I would like to enlarge upon. It is the part which describes the pride which ministers so often suffer from and seem to be completely blind to.
I believe the reason ministers suffer so much from this kind of pride is because the very things which they feel proud about (academic qualifications for instance) are the very things which are set down in the job description as being necessary for them to have if they are to be able to do the job.
As I have already pointed out, academic qualifications are nowhere to be found in scripture as a requirement for the ministry. In fact, if anything, quite the reverse is true (as previously quoted).
APOSTLE PAUL PARADED
The apostle Paul is usually dusted down and paraded as the chief example of why ministers must be highly educated. Another is all of 'the great, good and highly educated men which went before us and wrote such wonderful things etc.' Well, I would answer thus: as far as Paul is concerned, he was the exception rather than the rule when it comes these 'unlearned and ignorant men' whom Christ chose to use (Acts 4:13).
Many reading this will have come across at some point in their lives the curious pride which exists amongst 'academics' or 'intellectuals' or 'the learned' as they are sometimes termed. It can be quite obscene and outrageously arrogant, I mean, for example just watch the attached clip of Richard Dawkins:
Academics of the inferior kind (and by that I mean educated fools) are stuffed with pride and are continually blinded by the sense of their own importance. Though not for a moment would I argue that every highly educated man or woman is blinded by pride, I would argue that a very great number are.
Now, there is a text which is relevant here, it is this one:
'...THAT WHICH IS HIGHLY ESTEEMED AMONG MEN IS ABOMINATION IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.' (Luke 16: 15).
What does this verse mean? Here is my interpretation (for what it's worth): when Christ spoke these words he was rebuking the hypocritical pharisees (church leaders). The words preceeding this text are: '...you are they which justify yourselves before men...' This means that the things which the pharisees thought highly of and even used to justify their elevated positions before men were abominable to God.
Well, the one thing which the church leaders in Christ's time esteemed most highly and used to elevate themselves more than anything was their LEARNING.
The tradition is every bit as popular today as it ever has been.
Now, there is something which I must make clear, and it is what I am NOT saying. Because if I do not clarify this my opponents will predictably attempt to say that I am going to extremes and forbidding academics from entering the ministry. Well, I am not saying that at all. I am merely saying that Christ does not ask for what is highly esteemed amongst men from his ministers.
But he does ask for what is highly esteemed by God.