"Preaching is moral violence." - Alan Watts
Will someone please explain to me the need for preachers a/k/a pastors a/k/a reverends a/k/a ministers?
If the Holy Bible is indeed holy, and if it is inspired, powerful and convincing, and if its words have the power to effect salvation, shouldn't it be enough?
It would make much more sense for a church to simply have its members walk around and hand out Bibles in malls and supermarkets and used car lots and say "Here, I encourage you to read this."
What is the utility of a preacher? I don't get it. I can read the Bible myself and figure it out. I don't need a preacher to say the verses aloud and explain it to me or preach a sermon from it.
If preachers are needed, their need and their niche proves the Bible is not a book written by God. If a preacher is necessary, the Book isn't. Either a proclaimer of the word or the word is sufficient. Having both is overkill.
Preachers are superfluous. They are no longer needed.
What do preachers do in church? They preach, which means they do all the talking (there are rare exceptions but usually when it's time for the sermon everyone else has to shut up and listen to the man!).
Why is there no democracy in churches? Why a monologue system of monopolized information and opinion? Why does the preacher deliver every sermon all year long except when an evangelist is in town for a revival?
Go by any church billboard in America, and what will you see? The times of the services, and the preacher's name. This is just one symptom - and one of the sickest - of our authoritarian, monarchical society. Power and knowledge are consolidated into one man, and like the ancient priesthoods, he decides what bits and pieces of information to purvey to his flock of sheep. And he typically has a huge ego. Who wouldn't have one, with his name plastered on the marquee for the townspeople to see?
If the Bible is powerful in itself, why do preachers still dot the landscape like pimples dot a pre-pubescent adolescent's face? For the same reason the Hebrews and other ancient sects created and cloned them. For the sake of power and laziness. For the continuation of authoritarianism and control. Preachers, even the most mellow, laid-back, friendliest, and least obnoxious of them, love the fact they don't have to work for a living. They love the religious welfare system of which they are the receptacles. They love the tithes and offerings that keep them breathing. They love having their congregations drop the cash and checks into the offering plate so they can make their mortgage payments and buy new cars. They dig the shit out of it!
These assholes love their power. They love to tell people what to do and how to live. They love to send their listeners on guilt trips. They love their sense of control over others' lives, even if it be indirect control. Being a preacher gives a human a superiority complex.
Tell me - what can be easier than going to a church building every Monday through Friday to prepare a sermon and make phone calls for two or three hours a day then go to the same building on Sunday and preach for 20 fucking minutes?! To visit church members in the hospital and nursing home in the afternoon (on days the preachers don't go straight from the church to the golf course), to dominate the speaking of the church service during which noone is allowed to interject a comment of opposition?
Preaching is a cushy fucking job - one of the easiest, most stress-free jobs on the planet. And it's tax-free, which increases the tax burden for the rest of us. No wonder so many unambitious people become preachers.
Instead of having a monolithic organized church system, in which one man preaches week after week, yea, dominates the act of speech-making in the sanctuary, here's a better idea...
Let the church members take turns instead, as in a different church member giving a sermon each week.
Why put money into the offering plate for a preacher? Why give that clown a penny? Let him preach from the heart. Let him do it out of love for the Lord. Why in the heck should anyone receive money for preaching?
A decentralized, democratic system for organized religion is preferable to the preaching-for-profit scheme which dominates America today.
"Well, let me go ask my preacher about that." That is so lame! Nothing makes me sicker than to hear a churchgoer say that. Christians who have such an obsequious attitude do nothing to break the uniformity of the Hierarchy of Knowledge. They let the preacher continue controlling that hierarchy. They assume he knows the answers to tough biblical questions because he graduated from a seminary somewhere. Instead they should be willing to study and research things for themselves.
Not only that...Walk or drive by any church in America and what do you see on the billboard? The times of the services and the preacher's name. Everyone associates the name of the church with the name of the pastor. Sometimes you'll see a catchy, usually stupid, saying on a separate, higher billboard but the pastor's name is always a constant on church marquees. Why should the pastor's name be on the marquee? Shouldn't a church want to advertise and emphasize the lord Jesus and not its leader? This is just one more symptom of our authoritarian and monarchical society.
Church members acquiesce to the preacher's authority and assume he has superior intelligence and knowledge. They appease his typically huge ego by consulting him for knowledge, as if he's some kind of oracle.
Tell me - why would you pay someone to preach to you?! I'll never understand that one. Humans are dumb, yes, but that's about as dumb as it gets.
I've heard this common retort all too often: "Well, let me ask my preacher about that." That's so lame. What's the deal, Xtians? Is your preacher smarter than you? Does he know the Bible better than you? If so, whose fault is that? You should love the Bible and read it all the time. You can open the Bible any fucking time you want, you know. You don't have to wait 'til Sunday fucking morning when the preacher or Sunday school teacher tells you to open your Bible and you embarrassingly have to ask where the fuck Amos is, before or after Obadiah?...
It's really a shame that atheists like myself invariably know a hell of a lot more about the Bible than you Xtians do! That's fucked! But it's true. What are you gonna do about it?
Is your fucking pastor holier than you are, just because he went to a fucking seminary? Why do you have to go ask him? He has no more reason to be a Bible expert than you do. You should study the Bible and learn more about it every fucking day.
As with other people who occupy power posts in our authoritarian society, it's time for preachers to disappear.