I used to think that the argument about whether to have paid clergy was a uniquely Pagan thing. So imagine my surprise when Pastor Phil brought it up in the context of the Christian Church on his synchroblog post from yesterday. Then I found a post by Adam Gonnerman detailing some of his own thoughts on paid clergy. (He’s for it, but with certain qualifications). It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend giving it careful consideration.
Beyond my own surprise at this discovery, I think that it’s important. Christians have had paid clergy for a long time now, and if they’re re-evaluating their own take on the matter, I think that we as Pagans would do well to pay attention and consider what they have to say. Even if Pagans, in part or as a whole, do decide to continue the quest for developing paid clergy, we can at least benefit from hearing the lessons people like Adam and Phil have learned through their own experiences and those of their predecessors. In effect, perhaps we can avoid a few mistakes by being attentive listeners.
Personally, I still have mixed feelings on the idea of Pagan getting paid (and especially full time) clergy. And I think I’m still against it in some ways (at least for my tradition, which I strongly feel calls for each member to be their own priest, which would make paid full-time clergy unnecessary and wasteful), but I don’t feel as strongly about it as I once did.