As we were discussing who should be the treasurer, something happened that disturbed me. A man sitting next to me suggested that I should do it because, and I'm quoting, "You are a man of God."
I guess this man, who I'm sure had good intentions (and was probably trying to avoid the position himself), figured that since I'm a pastor this means I'm going to be more honest than other people. Hasn't he watched the news about all the pastors who have stepped down because they've embezzled, etc.?
On the one hand I can see what he is saying. All Christians should be honest people. In fact, if anyone is to be trusted with money, it should be followers of Christ. We should certainly be more trustworthy than those who do not know Christ.
What really bothers me is not the expectation that I will be honest. I welcome that. What bothers me is the title "man of God." Titles like this indicate a marked separation in people's minds between clergy and laity. It shows an expectation that "the pastor" will be more honest than other Christians. It shows a level of reverence directed toward someone just because he's been hired by a church.
The problem is that there is nothing biblical about this. The scriptures certainly say nothing about a divide between clergy and laity. In God's eyes, all Christians are men and women of God.
As I heard the phrase "man of God," I think I cringed. I would cringe if I heard it again. It implies things that I am just not comfortable with anymore.
Thankfully, in the end pragmatics won out over the "man of God" issue. A man with computer-savvy was asked to serve as treasurer. More power to him.
I learned a long time ago from Dave Black that the best thing to be called is just your first name. So please don't ever call me "a man of God," "reverend," or anything else like that. Just call me Eric.