Nothing so clearly illustrates the radical difference between the believing Christian and the non-Christian as the concept of what a priest should be: a man of faith or a man who can choose it for a career, like law. A priest or bishop without belief is as false as, quite precisely, hell to the one and a nearly innocent careerist to the other.

The element of need that may persuade the non-believer to go into the church might offer a clue to the not-altogether-dissimilar phenomenon of unbalanced people, even nuts, becoming psychologists. At all events, men’s need for faith as well as the view of the church as a career like any other presumably explain the unbelieving priests and bishops—shepherds of the flock!—who do the church so much harm yet feel no need to resign, and appear to be almost blind to their own dishonesty

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Posted by Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).