When people know you pastor a church, they can sometimes act funny. When I worked in sand and gravel or in a textile mill, no one who did me a favor ever added the clause “This should get me in good with the man upstairs.” When I showed up to an outside activity, no one ever said, “Oh, good, it won’t rain now.” Makes me long to be back in a dump truck.
I understand these remarks and I realize they are said more in jest then in superstition. Though on occasion some people have made me nervous. They convey a belief that I have some kind of special inside track to God. The only proof I can offer to the contrary is to invite them to spend a day with me.
In his book The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis discusses the origins of this idea and puts it in its proper perspective,
“I think it was Matthew Arnold who first used the English word spiritual in the sense of the German geistlich, and so inaugurated this most dangerous and most anti-Christian error. The work of a Beethoven and the work of a charwoman become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly ‘as to the Lord.’”1
Someone is not closer to God because they are in the clergy. In fact, they might be further away than prior to entering the ministry. Truck driver, textile worker, pastor. It doesn’t really matter. They can all be done (and not done) to the glory of God.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31.
- C. S. Lewis. The Weight of Glory and Other Essays (HarperCollins Publishers, Inc, 1976), 55. Italics in original.