Bruce Gerencser reprises a point I’ve made many times over the years — many preachers undoubtedly know they’re preaching untrue and sometimes harmful nonsense but, once in, leaving the ranks of the clergy is almost impossible and comes at the cost of tremendous upheaval.
In many ways, these defenders of inerrancy are similar to atheist pastors, people who have invested their lives in promoting and defending Evangelicalism. Admitting that what they teach is untrue would quickly and viciously destroy their livelihood. When men have spent their lives pastoring churches or teaching seminary classes, how will they earn a living if they suddenly lose their job? So, Evangelical and atheist pastors alike continue to promote the inerrancy myth, hoping to run out the clock before they are exposed. For some of them, the personal and ethical costs are too high, so they out themselves, causing tremendous heartache and loss.
Just as many parents groom their sons from infancy to be pastors, many little girls are raised to be a pastor’s wife. The cost of leaving, with a set of skills ill-suited for any work but preaching, can be staggering.