“The problem is”, the pastor said,
“We’re hip-deep in buffoons;
The public sees the ministry
As perverts, thugs, and goons.
To save ourselves, we’ve got to lose
The losers and the loons.”
He’s right, of course; the Christian church
Has standards to maintain;
The scandals and buffoonery
Take effort to explain
But once you take the crazies out…
Will anyone remain?
Context, after yon jumpage:
CNN’s “In America” blog features the Reverend DeForest “Buster” Soaries, reacting to all too many stories in the recent news.
The inappropriate antics of many clergy could easily cause one to wonder if there are any moral standards for those who preach and teach morality. We are all too familiar with the flaws among some Catholic priests and their highly publicized breaches of trust and sexual indiscretions with children. But Protestants have our share of disgraces in the pulpit, too. Homosexual bashing pastor Ted Haggard left his giant church in 2007 following a gay sex scandal. He later admitted to GQ, “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.” Prosperity preacher and television evangelist Robert Tilton was accused of throwing away prayer requests that he received from donors and television viewers without even reading them. And mega-church pastor Eddie Long settled lawsuits with four young males who accused him of coercing sex acts. It is time for a remedy within Protestant churches.
Soaries is, sadly, able to add a couple additional paragraphs of examples and details, and I’m sure that’s the edited-down version.
The remedy that can put a halt to this behavior is some form of formal accountability that protects the flocks from the wolves in sheep clothing. There are many congregations that understand that they, too, have a religious obligation. It is to demand excellence and integrity among the clergy. When people begin to eject fakes and frauds from the pulpits of our houses of worship, true religion can thrive and play an important role in society.
I agree. I do. I only want “true” religion, something that can stand up to withering skeptical analysis. Will Soaries help us clean house? Get rid of the “inappropriate antics” like claiming virgin birth, or original sin, or a privileged access to morality?