For each of the past two days Thom has hosted a discussion with Robert Jeffress, pastor of the megachurch First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Their discussion has been about whether Mormonism is a cult. What I would like to interject into the conversation is my contention that those who operate megachurches, like Pastor Jeffress, have no legitimacy as clergy persons. That is not to say that I am defending Romney from the assertion that Mormonism is a cult; I don't know whether to call it a cult or just plain silly but that isn't my concern here. I contend that the operation of a "megachurch" is unethical for (at least) two reasons: first, those who operate them engage in gross displays of self-aggrandizement. They use their position to attain lifestyles wherein they hobnob with the wealthy and with political elites and live lifestyles unbecoming of a student of Christ. Second, but actually the more serious allegation, pastors who minister to "flocks" that consist of tens or hundreds of thousands of people can do no better than minister to their parishioners in vague generizations and so are shirking their respnsibility to appropriately "minister" to their flock. This digression actually goes both ways as those who attend or who count themselves as parishioners of a megachurch because they watch TV programs are also shirking their responsibility as faithful Christians. Their participation is really nothing more than a claim, valid or not, that they are an anonymous face in an anonymous crowd. While I am not myself a Christian I would refer megagchurch "parishioners" to Luke, Chapter 8: verses 5-18. This critique does not even touch on the subject of whether or not it is ethical for clergy persons to advise their parishioners on political matters, that is a whole 'nother discussion.
Anybody care to argue with my claim that Robert Jeffress speaks from an illegitimate perch?