This has never happened to me before. I picked a book at random off my shelf. I believe I received this book free at a conference I attended a couple of years ago. It is a book for Pastors.
And for the first time in my life - I disagreed with the very first sentence of a book.
This is the offending line:
"The Christian pastor holds the greatest office of human responsibility in all creation."
Stunning. In one compact statement, the authors have managed to belittle and diminish any Christian who does anything else besides being a pastor.
I would have re-written it as follows:
"A Christian pastor holds an important office within the Kingdom of God, along with any OTHER Christian fulfilling their Divine calling."
What the author's have done is perpetuate a hierarchal system that I believed evangelicals were growing out of. For a long time Christians had a structure like this:
Missionaries were the saints willing to go places no one else wanted to go for no money.
Pastors did the same thing as missionaries but didn't get shots or have to get on a plane to get to work.
Para-Church workers were seen as sub-pastors, pretty good people, but - still , not pastors.
And then everyone else who sought out "secular" work - you know mundane run of the mill stuff like healing people, suing people, teaching people or making stuff. These people were no where close to pastors and missionaries on the holiness scale.
But, as I grew up - I came to realize that this structure is nonsense. Everyone is called to vocational ministry. Some are called to be software engineers or bus drivers. But - their calling is every bit as holy as someone called to preach.
I'm still going to read the book, because I've learned that you can still learn stuff from people you disagree with - with the exception of perhaps Fox news.
And no, sorry, I'm not going to reveal the name of the books. I'm sure the authors are nice guys, and I don't want to hurt their feelings - even though they had a bad opening line.