“My Journey Out” (Part 5)


Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Being a car salesman at ten different auto dealerships allows me to have some interesting insights, such as:  most Christians don’t wear their white robes when buying cars. Somehow, they disrobe at the entrance of the dealership and act just like pagans when entering the door; they lie… a lot!

And if that’s not bad enough, wait until you hear the next insight.

Car salesmen – including me – absolutely hate trying to sell a pastor or preacher a car. In fact, if a known pastor or preacher parks his car in front of a dealership, veteran salesmen will run for the restrooms, parts departments, service areas, anywhere to avoid greeting the preacher. Only a newbie will be left standing at the door, awaiting the preacher.

It’s obvious why Christians lie at dealerships, right? They hope to get a better deal and save their precious mammon.

But why do car salesmen hate selling preachers?

Over and over again, I have watched various Christian clergy act like arrogant hypocrites when they’re purchasing vehicles. They expect favors. They whine and complain. They treat auto personnel as underlings. On and on, the list continues. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

Now, don’t get me wrong, auto dealerships are high pressure cauldrons where it’s tough to hold onto Christian integrity on the part of the sales person or of the buyer. It’s a tough atmosphere for Christians to survive in.

And yet, let’s be honest, what’s the real reason that pastors and preachers (clergy) have a bad reputation with car salesmen? The separation between clergy and lay people. Period.

But of course, there will be readers who will state, “My pastor is not like that at all!”

No doubt there are countless godly pastors and preachers in America who walk the walk, and talk the talk, even at auto dealerships, but even with almost everyone of these godly people, there is an aura of separation about them.

Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation. (Mark 12:40)

Is the separation between clergy and lay people scriptural?

(Continued in Part 6.)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.


Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

7 responses to ““My Journey Out” (Part 5)

  1. My pastor used to be a salesperson before he was called to ministry. I wonder how he behaves at the car dealership?


  2. But to answer your question, the only scriptural separation should be that clergy understand their role as servants perhaps better than laypeople. But this understanding shouldn’t make them arrogant or holier than thou, but even more humble. Who are we to do the Lord’s work?

  3. anna,

    Remember that I have used a broad paintbrush in this article, one that may not accurately portray every person.

  4. annaldavis-
    “But to answer your question, the only scriptural separation should be that clergy understand their role as servants perhaps better than laypeople. ”

    “The only scriptural separation should be that clergy……..”
    The only scriptural basis, is that there is no scriptural basis for such a thing as a clergy or for that matter a lay people. That relic of a doctrine was dragged out from pagan Rome and Babylon.

    Also the idea that clergy are servants is an oxymoron. They are in charge of what goes on in church and have to be asked permission before anyone else can bring a variation to it. That makes them a ruler, not a servant.

    I’m sorry if it sounds that I am being a little condemnatory about your comment, my target is the false doctrines which have continuously destroyed the true work of the gospel, not you personally Anna.

    I suspect that most Christians disrobe when they exit the church door. They have gone and got “serviced” at church for the week, and that should suffice.
    This is a natural result of a system which relegates the spiritual responsibility of the body of Christ to one man performing from the front for one day of the week. If we regard these men as any more holy than ourselves, then it is idolatrous. If we let them handle our relationship with God on our behalf, then it is even worse. If we believe that Sunday is a sufficient recharge for the week then we have robbed both God and ourselves. However this is what happens with a hierarchical system.
    P.S. I just remembered this bit.- The last time I bought a car, as my wife and I were still deciding, the seller reduced the price for me, but to his surprise I chose to pay his higher original asking price.
    I like to occasionally make choices which free me from the constraints of Mammon.

  5. Hi Frank — no offense taken, it’s an important issue and some hashing out is needed. I guess we need Larry to define clergy for us. I was thinking more about protestant churches, where more power is given to the elders and deacons and our pastor does more teaching than decision-making. But in the Catholic church, we certainly see the hierarchy you mention.

    Larry, what exactly do you mean by clergy?

  6. Frank and Anna,

    What do I mean by the term “clergy?”

    I could easily give a short one sentence answer, but there would be loopholes big enough to drive a truck through. So, I will give my answer after thinking on it.

  7. Anna,

    “What do I mean by the term “clergy?”

    I like Frank Viola’s term for clergy in his book, “Rethinking the Wineskin.” He states that the clergy are the active-few and the laity are the passive-many.

    The clergy are the men or women who have the authority to determine how a church and its services will be run. They are the performers; the active-few. Usually, they are the pastors, associate pastors, assistant pastors, worship leaders and elders. The burden and responsibility for governing the church rests on their shoulders.

    The laity are the spectators who sit in the pews, toss money into envelopes, stand up, sit down and are the passive-many.

    Whether we like it or not, most pastors are taught by their seminaries not to get too close to the lay people. In fact, it is usually recommended that pastors fellowship with other pastors rather than their own lay people.

    Thus, the chasm between clergy and laity.

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