Why Ministers Are Just Barely Above Used Car Salesmen

This is part of a meditation on Malachi 2 from D.A. Carson’s excellent For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering Treasures of God’s Word. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a one of a kind resource.

God despises faithlessness (Mal. 2:1-7). Within the postexilic covenant community of ancient Israel, some of the worst examples of such faithlessness were bound up with explicitly religious dimensions of the culture – but not all of them:

1) The lips of the priest should ‘preserve knowledge’ and ‘from his mouth men should seek instruction – because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty’ (2:7). The priest was to revere God and stand in awe of his name (2:5), convey true instruction (2:6), and maintain the way of the covenant (2:8). But because the priests had proved faithless at all this, God will cause them to be despised and humiliated before all the people (2:9). So why is it today that ministers of the Gospel are rated just above used car salesmen in terms of public confidence?