As I was meditating on the state of the nation, the church, and the world one word kept coming to mind. I sensed that this was the root of destruction in the nation, the church, and the world. It is not a bad word in many venues of life but in some, it is anathema to the core reason for those venues or activities. Do I have your attention yet?
What is the word that kept arising in my heart? Why do I call it the root of destruction? That word is “Professional.” If you consider yourself a professional do not become prematurely angry with me. I am not railing against the professional in many areas of life or professions but in some areas, it is the root of destruction.
As I prayed and meditated regarding where we are as a people, a nation, a church, and a world I heard, “The single most destructive thing in some areas of life is the professional or the mentality of some things being a profession.” I will list several and give my reasons for making this allegation. This is not an exhaustive list but touches on several areas that I believe can easily be documented over time as being detrimental to the purported objective of those ventures or arenas.
One of the greatest areas of destruction in our nation is the Professional Politician. The Founding Fathers never envisioned or intended there to be a permanent political class who have never been exposed to the workplace that most of us have navigated. That makes them unqualified to legislate for they have no real connection to the needs or concerns of the average citizen. They tend to become oligarchical elitists who amass fortunes, establish networks of influence and power, and view themselves as our Lords or Ladies with the right to rule over us. That is diametrically opposite of the view of the Founders of this Great Nation.
When the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, America was emerging from a war with the most powerful empire on the planet. It was operating under the Articles of Confederation that was too weak to sustain itself. That placed before the Founding Fathers the task to find a comprehensive, strong system of government yet maintain our individual liberties and keep us a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. That was no small undertaking.
The Founders did not include term limits for Congress as did the Articles of Confederation. They believed that those serving in Congress would serve a term or two and return to private life. They did not establish a salary that was lucrative enough to lure people into that arena permanently as professionals. That is certainly not the case today with the salary of almost $200,000 per year and the lucrative side benefits that come with the office draws those seeking to make politics a profession. What was lost in that equation is the needs of the people, the republic, and the ability to pass laws that they knew they too would live under.
The Founders made a mistake and visionaries like George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, and Mercy Otis Warren recognized the flaw and warned. “Nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation,” said Mason. Warren elaborated, “there is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of the office in the same hands for life; which by a little well-timed bribery, will probably be done.”
We have paid dearly at the hands of Professional Politicians including those like Joe Biden who have spent their entire adult life in politics never holding jobs in the private sector. Their fortunes and interests are their own, not the republic yet we keep electing them and giving them the keys to the kingdom. We have done this to our own hurt. Professional Politicians have destroyed the Republic.
The second area of destruction is Professional Preacher or Minister. That may anger some but hear my argument. Those have, in my view, destroyed or damaged the Church its mission and message. Frequently they seek to build their little kingdoms, amass their fortunes, and promote themselves as the end all and be all of their worlds. God spoke through Ezekiel in Ezekiel 34 regarding shepherds who had more interest in their profession than the people. God made it clear that He opposed those ministers and rejected them.
If you are a minister and view yourself a professional, I urge you to either rethink your calling. I won’t say you need to resign and find a profession to become a professional, but… I believe it is needful that a man or woman of God find it impossible to do anything but follow the call of God on their lives to proclaim the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that it must be a compelling desire and drive to attend to the needs of the flock of God. If God and people are not the focus and being a servant is not the heart, then please step aside. I asked when I acknowledged the call to preach, “Can you do anything else?” The question was not if I was capable but would the fire in my heart allow me to pursue other interests. The answer then and now was NO!
Professional Doctors have done incredible damage to healthcare. If medicine is just a job, then please walk away. We need doctors who consider it a calling and have a fire burning in their hearts to heal the sick and find ways to make the quality of life as good as possible for those they treat. Before you argue that a professional can do that, I say, Balderdash! If it is a profession the at some point you look at the bottom line not the need of the patient. Healing must be more important than money or you will fail to be the provider of care the patient needs. Decisions in healthcare must never be about profit but cure.
A final area that has provided a root of destruction is the Professional Educator. Professional teachers have ruined education and lost sight of the real purpose of education. Teaching like preaching must be a calling not simply a job or a profession to advance a career. You have been entrusted with the responsibility and privilege of shaping pliable minds to think and function in life. Anything less is harmful. You are not commissioned to instill your views in their hearts but to open their minds to truth and give them the tools to think critically with deductive reasoning. You are charged with opening the vast world of knowledge to them and equipping them to study, learn, and research.
Being a professional is not a bad thing in many areas of life but there are some places it has produced harm not good. Politics and the condition of our republic are reflective of that reality. The worldliness of the church and the absence of servanthood ministry is the result of professional preachers. The damage in medicine and education is easily traceable.
You may disagree with my assertions and that is your privilege. I long for a world where politics is handled by citizen representatives who consider it a temporary investment in our republic to serve in congress. I long for a world where preachers have the fire of being called of God rather than pursuing a profession. I long for medical doctors who consider it their calling to heal the sick and provide quality of life mentally, emotionally, and physically. I long for teachers who realize the incredible task before them and rather than pursuing a career they pursue a calling to shape the future through true educational principles. Is that a utopian view? Probably, but the professional in some areas has been detrimental to our nation, our family, our churches, and our world.
God bless you and God bless America!