Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect


Recently I saw this amusing quote” Dog is OK, Beware of Master” outside a house. An interesting twist on the familiar quote “Beware of Dog”. Then I came home to see CNN-IBN airing the story of pastors taking money from people and selling fake baptism certificates to people so that they could then apply for admission to Christian schools, presumably under the minority quota. I am waiting to see whet the reaction from the Christian community is. We Christians have a familiar bogey that we resort to when some one digs some dirt out of our closet. We hide behind our minority status and umbrella and shout ourselves hoarse that we are being persecuted.


Why am I relating this to the quote of the dog and the master? Because the Christian pastor has a particular role to play in the affairs of his community. Priests of all religions are entrusted the duty of conducting the rituals that are associated with the rites of social passage be it the Hindu Pandit or a Muslim Maulavi. But a Christian pastor does all this and much more. The word pastor is itself derived from the Latin word for shepherd and has connotations of caring and leading and guiding the sheep who are supposed to be dumb and easily misled in the way of ethical and moral living and conduct.


Besides this, compared to the clergy of other faiths who some times demonstrate obscurantist tendencies, our Christian clergy present themselves as urbane, modern, progressive and comparatively well educated in the “modern, Western” sense. Their education does not happen in madrasas or gurukuls but in well equipped seminaries fitted with modern amenities and gadgets. All this , so that after their studies they be adequately equipped and fitted to take care of the dumb sheep in the shape of the congregation that they supposedly look after. That obviously isn’t happening, no matter ho much learning the seminaries might be providing to those whom we deign to call church leaders.


If the congregation, comprised of “ordinary” people falls and sins, that is only to be expected. To quote the famous aphorism of “what is news”, if a dog bites a man, it is no news, for that is whet a dog is expected to do in any case. CNN -IBN wouldn’t go around broadcasting on prime time, the story of two ordinary church members swindling some thing for a fast buck. That happens all the time , is to be condemned when it is discovered but is nothing more or less than a mirror to the society large. But when church leaders who mount the pulpit week after week and tell ordinary people , how they should lead their lives and waggle their fingers about persecution, minority rights, injustice and all manner of social inequity , it can only be termed a disgrace.


At another level, it really shouldn’t be though. The Bible plainly teaches that the heart of all is wicked and that all have sinned and come short of God’s standards – be it any body. In the Catholic tradition, even the Pope goes to confession and confesses his sins. It is really the common man, who by bowing and scraping before any cassocked figure or any body calling himself a Bishop or elder or Pastor or Reverend makes him think that they are above the common ilk. This is a wake up call for the Christian common man and women to rediscover the reformation heritage of the priesthood of all professing believers and hold accountable the people they call” priest”. It is true after all. The dog might be OK; it is the master we might need to be beware of.

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