Stanton, Calif. – In a surprising move, an anonymous source in the Stanton Church of Christ said the Teachers and Main Teachers of Stanton affiliated congregations nationwide are planning to start referring to themselves as “Rabbis,” the Pharisaic teachers in Jesus’s day.
The source says this change took decades to come about.
“We started off referring to members who taught classes as ‘teachers,’ she said. “But we gradually elevated them from a position of honor to a position of authority. We then decided that every last decision in a member’s life be made with the counsel of teachers. Underwear choices, vacation plans, whom you can marry, whether you can relocate your family…everything.”
She says because every congregation has a teacher, it also became necessary to distinguish lay teachers from the clergy; i.e., the ones who really call the shots, the “Main Teachers.”
“We realized our Main Teachers were filling the same role of the Rabbis in Jesus’ day,” she said, “even to the point of making rulings for the entire brotherhood. We thought about calling them Bishops, as the Catholic Church does, but we felt that wouldn’t go well with our membership. But the commoners in the first century came to the very important Rabbis for all sorts of questions about interpretation of Jewish law. The Rabbis, of course, would just make up rules out of whole cloth based on their own opinions. So we figured Rabbis are a more Biblically accurate term for our Main Teachers.
The source says Stanton’s lack of elders in any congregation after over five decades in existence also necessitated this change.
“People naturally want leaders to tell them what to do, and we had no Biblical basis for Main Teachers at all in the first century, much less Main Teachers leading in lieu of elders,” she said. “Bible names for Bible things, we like to say. But if we use the term Rabbi, the problem is solved. We’re using a term that was around even before the church was established!” she exclaimed.
The source acknowledged that it may take some time for members to get used to the new terminology, but her judgment is that it’s for the best.
“Some have speculated that this move might keep members from noticing that we still don’t have a single qualified elder in any of our congregations,” she whispered.
“But I say it’s a badge of honor that our standards for elders are even higher than Paul’s! As Rabbis, we have every right to place burdens on people that no one can live up to. There’s more Biblical precedent for that than there is for Main Teachers, actually.”
“Furthermore,” she said, “we recently found out that Jewish Rabbis in the United States started appointing women to the rabbinical role back in 1972, 14 years after Merie was withdrawn from for causing division, and about four years after Merie started Spring Valley. So we’d like to think we paved the way for them!”
Filed under: Satire
Editor’s note: Thanks Mlong for some great editorial input.