Over forty years ago I deeply believed, felt, agonized over, and finally said, “yes” to the “call” to ministry. I tried not to follow this “calling” for a few years but eventually, I was persuaded (at least I believe I was) by the Lord to follow this path in life. I began a path of education that would include learning the languages the Bible had been written in, learning the theologies, philosophies, and catechisms of the denominations I was affiliated with. I studied how to help people through acts of “ministry” and encouraged them to seek out the expections I believed God had for them as disciples (followers) of Jesus.
The culture of Christianity has radically changed in the past forty years. I watched as the office of pastor changed from that of a trusted position of caring into a profitable “second career for some, a means of meeting ego needs for others, and a place for all kinds of liars, sociopaths, frauds, political hacks, and mental patients to work. I have watched churches allow this to happen and even encourage and empower behavior that is far from the teachings of Jesus.
I am retired, not. If one is called one cannot retire from a true calling. One can be blocked, ignored, discounted, and not “employed”, but the calling of God remains (one of the deep pains I must daily live with at the unemployable age of 67). I know, even when God is silent, that this was my purpose in life.
However, I do not want to be called a preacher or even a pastor because of the derision and depravity that has now been linked to such titles. The enemy has done its demonic work well.
I watched individuals in the last denomination I served work to try and outdo one another in order to get a better-paying church/position. I watched lazy, unethical individuals use the position to promote people like donald trump ( I will not dignify that moniker with capital letters) as the savior of conservative Christianity. I watched them promote anti-vaccination myths, fight against most things related to social justice, and promote a different kind of gospel rather than the Good News of the kingdom of God. So please do not call me by the title they claim. I want no part of it.