You know what, we aren’t rare. This represents the majority of my friends that are pastors, many of whom work insanely hard simply because they care.
What this smacks of is pride – and not the good kind.
School pride, national pride, pride in one’s friends is actually and oddly biblical. It sneaks in on us in Romans 12 and several other places where we are called to out do one another in showing honor and see ourselves as striving together in community to imitate Christ. That sort of pride is great. It reminds us that we are working together and celebrates the accomplishments of others and self.
This sort of pride is just pugilism and judgement.
It sets someone up as better than those around them.
It could have said I’m one of the clergy, the pastors that care, that preach hard truth, that evangelize.
But it doesn’t. It says that whoever buys this shirt thinks they are the remnant in a sea of pastors who have no connection to Christ in the people they care fore, in the texts they read, and in the people they seek to reach.
I believe that Christ is working in people – even people that would wear such a shirt, but I think we have to remember that we are not the savior nor the only laborers in the kingdom. Otherwise, we just become arrogant and egocentric.
This advertisement doesn’t really insult me, but the sentiment in this shirt serves to prop up self congratulatory behavior that dismisses others. It’s always a risk to become self absorbed and self assured, but when taken into account, it helps us stay a little more on the side of humility and deepens our dependency on the grace of Christ.