How to Recognize a Bad Man of the Cloth
As a lifelong member of a church I have always had a fascination and fondness for preachers. I have spent many years studying their manners and methods in order to learn how they are able to communicate to large groups in a way that feels intimate and familiar.
For instance, one of my favorite pastors spent on entire year preaching about sin. Each week he would rail against backbiters, slanders, hypocrites, perverts. And each week I went home feelings the message had been meant just for me. The sermons never failed to stir me, probably because he used the effective rhetorical tool of ending each example of wickedness with "...like De'Briell".
I even considered becoming a minister myself since the vocation combines my love of communication with three of my other passions: telling people how they should love, avoiding manual labor, and getting paid a full salary for doing part-time work. But while I may have missed my calling, the experience (i.e., incessant church hopping) has helped me to develop a keen eye for judging the merits of a minister.
As a way of sharing my hard won wisdom I offer eleven surefire ways to know that something isn't right with your pastor:
1. He is a founding member of the ecumenical project, "Evangelicals and Scientologists Together."
2. He claims his favorite work of systematic theology is John Calvin's Institute of Vishnu.
3. He supplements his income by serving as the chaplain/DJ for the topless bar out by the airport.
4. He proposes moving the Sunday morning service to Tuesday evening because he just got a "sweet NFL package on DirecTV".
5. His primary reference work is the Dan Brown Study Bible.
6. His favorite hymn is Madonna's "Like a Prayer".
7. He tells his congregants they are wicked degenerate sinners who are bound for hell if they don't change their ways while coaching the church sponsored Little League team.
8. He plans to spend the next month preaching through...