Excerpted from Leaves From the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic:
“Doesn’t this denominational business wear on one’s nerves? If I were a doctor, people would consult me according to the skill I had and the reputation I could acquire. But being a minister, I can appeal only to people who are labeled as I am. Yesterday that I professor I met asked me what denomination I belonged to. Being told, he promptly pigeonholed me into my proper place and with a superior air assumed that my mind was as definitely set by my denominational background as is that of an African Hottentot by his peculiar environment.
Perhaps if I belonged to a larger denomination this wouldn’t irk me so much. I suffer from an inferiority complex because of the very numerical weakness of my denomination. If I belonged to a large one I might strut about claim its glory for myself. If I give myself to religion as a profession I must find some interdenominational outlet for my activities. But what? Secretaries and Y.M.C.A workers are too inarticulate. They deal too much with machinery and too little with ideas. I don’t want to be a chauffeur. Does that mean that I am a minister merely because I am a fairly glib talker? Who knows?
But let us not be too cynical and too morbidly introspective. I may find something worth saying in time and escape the fate of being a mere talker. At any rate I swear that I will never aspire to be a preacher of pretty sermons. I’ll keep them rough enough just to escape the temptation of degenerating into an elocutionist. Maybe I had better stop quoting so much poetry. But that is hardly the point. Plenty of sermons lack both beauty and meaning.