Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Are More Pastors Narcissists Now?
I was telling Q over on this blog, there are few preachers worth a plum nickel and all of them are fake on TV. Most are there to sell you something. They ooze oil and are like used cars salesmen. I am kind of an outliner as a Christian, outside the church system now. I got done with being shamed in pulpits for not dishing out enough money when there were no groceries in the house. Most of the preachers lived a far higher lifestyle then me, and even the nicest one I had, in his new church, a wife who has been a forever a stay at home mother, has a boat he takes out, 4 children, a new house full of nice appliances and never wants for a dime. He's not pastoring huge churches but ones with 200 or so members but which teach tithing, aka 10 percent of your income is to be given to the church.
The Bible in an OT book taught of a collection to be taken up for the poor in the temple, but it is not mandated in the NT, the pastors have run amuk with that one. No one questions it or checks things out for themselves. So to be poor in some of these churches can be embarrassing, the pastor preaches 10 percent, and you hope they don't notice or say anything about you giving .005 % or something because you want to eat that week. Some better churches will share food and more with their own members but there's many poor people now, taking an emotional beating over that one. A lot of poor people never become an "official member" because in many churches that means signing on for the giving and being committed to it.
In the type of churches I went to, they wore snappy suits and had to give a lot of attention to being nice, and charismatic and not boring people during the longer sermons. There are Christians who believe that even having a clergy is not mandated by Jesus and more and more I have joined their ranks. One didn't see the apostles pulling rank on each other during the book of Acts and putting on funny hats or making sure to have the nicest Italian silk suit in the room.
One thing I noted visiting a lot of churches around here, is a lot of preachers seemed to have strong narcissistic qualities. They smile a lot but with the worse ones, there seems to be something sinister behind it. The whole "profession" has become one where one has to fill a room, and to succeed you better be someone that can get the butts in the seats and get various collections flowing. Serious mournful personalities better not apply but happy charismatic glad handers do. There was one church I visited where the preacher was so charismatic, I thought I had entered Jim Jones land. The people praised him so much it was frightening. They would come up to me and say "Pastor Joe is the best pastor, he knows and understands all your problems!" I didn't go back. If that guy wanted to turn his baptist church into a total cult and get everyone to hand over their money and worldly goods, he could do so tomorrow.
In the church "covenant" which you had to sign to become a member, you had to promise to never gossip or say one word against him. That is popular now in a lot of evangelical churches.Like a narcissistic mother on crack, daring to dissent was premptively against the rules.
Since pastorships have become more like businessmen, the attraction of even more narcissists seems a natural outcome. It seems to me that the whole job of being a pastor now has devolved into one where a narcissist would be more attracted! More money, the ability to sway people, the ability to rise above it all. Even old Jim Bakker who had his golden dog house has a religious TV show back after his earlier years in prison. The TV evangelists aren't shy types. The big whig ones are showmen first. Maybe some of this stuff has filtered down to the little guys now.