There Go the People!
W. W. Cassio
It was Cardinel Richelieu, a cunning 17th century churchman-politician, who upon observing the wild revolters in Paris said, "I must go into the streets to find out where the people are going, for I am their leader." Hmm.
We are not far from Paris today, religiously speaking, especially among the self-conscious clerics. There is a definite tendency among that breed of men to thrust the wet finger into the social air and find out which way the popular wind is blowing. Then there is the mad dash to try to get out ahead of the people and be their leader. It is no secret that most movements are being led by religious opportunists. "The firstest with the mostest gets the bestest," is an old country rule still at work.
In addition to getting out ahead of the mob, there is also that tendency to be more like the type than the type itself. Hippy preachers look and talk more like hippies than the hippies do. Brother (Blank) probably attends more pubs and girly shows than the regular patrons of Bourbon Street. You cannot tell your local preacher without a program. He's the one with the long hair and peace beads.
Some interesting information about this trend recently crossed my desk. Two Lutheran "Reverends," David Kurckenberg of Chicago and Robert Schultz of San Francisco, are "chaplains" for motorcycle gangs. Donald Simonton in Eagle River, Wisconsin has a pontoon chapel to minister to water ski enthusiasts. Pat Boone portrays David Wilkerson who lives in the drug subculture as a hippy among the "heads" in a new movie entitled The Cross And The Switchblade. Some preachers, an Episcopalian, Roman Catholic and Lutheran, have followed the draft evaders to Canada and Sweden to minister to them there. In Los Angeles there is even a church made up solely of homosexuals. For the most part the preachers dress, talk and act like those to whom they minister. And, to hear them talk, it is preferable to being "straight."
Although Paul said he was "all things to all men," it is difficult to conceive of him or any other preacher of the gospel chasing fads across the country in order to get out ahead of the people and then try to influence them for Christ. Jesus said to come out of the world!
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 1, p. 2