What has possessed you to boast of something you do not have and did not earn?
Some of the most caustic, acrid, flesh inspired letters we have received have been in response to a little article that was one of our first Taboo Topics. Your author wrote Preachers and Honorary Doctorates as a response to the great surge of preachers seeking these phony diplomas so they can be a "doctor." This practice is a blight on the face of Christianity. Christ hit very close to the motive of this practice with His words, "[They] love the upperemost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in synagogues and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi [Doctor, Doctor]" (Matt. 23:6-7), but these words seem to have no affect on their actions.
Once while doing a little more research on these phony doctorates we stumbled upon a website that clearly showed the harm this dishonest, deceptive practice is causing. Many of you are probably familiar with Walter Martin and his book "Kingdom of the Cults." We have had the book for years and it is a good reference on cults and their doctrines. However, someone was using some of Martin's material to confront some Mormons and their satanic cult and a Mormon apologist learned that Martin's degrees were honorary or "bought." [Martin claims to have gotten his "doctorate" from California Western University, but we can find no reference that such a school exists on the Internet.] This destroyed Martin's credibility, not only among some Mormons who may have been considering his words but others. Do you know what is really sad? These deceived Mormons who believe Christ and Lucifer are brothers and other outrageous heresies can clearly see the ethical deception promoted by Fundamentalist preachers and "scholars" in tauting their phony degrees! Look at some of the words of this Mormon which can be found in its entirety here.
me say, that
along with some Christians, I too am quite displeased, and
rather mad at the unethical behavior of the likes of Walter
Dee Jay Nelson among others for merely buying their degrees
bragging they have the legitimate goods...
The vaunted arrogance of simply buying a degree in lieu of actually doing the legitimate work necessary to have the accurate and honest knowledge is sad to me. I am supposed to be persuaded by those who unethically use that degree as some sort of authority to clobber my religion which I love....
If you Christians were sincerely trying to convert we Mormons, you could not, you would know without question that you would not do so by resorting to quoting and defending unethical Christian leaders who lie and cheat. If they lie and cheat in this degree business, they do so with what they write also."
It is a sad day when cultic Mormons have a better grasp of ethics, personal integrity, and morality than many born again Fundamentalist ministers. A very sad day.
Honorary and phony "earned" doctorates are easy to obtain. We have received several emails offering to give us a Ph.D "earned" by "life experience" for a fee. If a minister can't find a preacher-buddy who will give him one for free, he can always buy one of these. Click on this link to see what the World Net Daily, a conservative news site, has to say about phony degrees among government workers. They are a joke to the world, to the lost, and to cults, but they are as serious as the cross to many Baptists and Fundamentalists. There is no need to bring such pretense, deception, and reproach upon the work and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. No need except to feed the bloated egos of those like ...Diotrephes who loveth to have the preeminence (3 John 9).
Exposing the honorary doctorate deception among a growing number of Fundamentalist preachers has been eventful for us to say the least. We have received letters, phone calls, and emails expressing "concern" over my treatment of this issue. One preacher with an honorary doctorate from an unknown "institute" began to openly identify his "doctorate" as honorary. Good. Another said he did not want to put his "degrees" after his name anymore after reading the article and realizing it could cause an ethical problem. Better. But others wish to cling to their beloved "doctorate" with a passion. They don't worry about the harm their self-serving tactics may bring to the cause of Christ, their main worry is their secret may be exposed by a "nobody from nowhere" like us. So be it.
Think for a minute, brother. What does your Honorary Doctorate benefit but your pride and ego? Regardless of what you may think, it is of no benefit to your ministry (though that may be an excuse you used to get it); it is of no benefit to your congregation (the prudent will realize it is worthless); and it is fraud and deception to the lost (thus irrepairably damaging your evangelistic ministry). Why would any rational minister want something that is such a hindrance and can bring nothing but reproach upon the name of his Savior? When pride cometh, then cometh shame... (Pro 11:2)
The Bible teaches that pride deceives the heart (Jer 49:16), hardens the mind (Dan 5:20), brings contention (Pro 13:10), compasses about like a chain (Psa 73:6), and brings men to destruction (Pro 16:18). Do you think you are immune?
Fundamentalist Preacher, if you have an Honorary Doctorate, fine. But, please, for the sake of Christ and His ministry and for the sake of truth and honesty, don't pretend your honor is a true doctorate. You bring a reproach upon the work of Christ if you do. Just hang the diploma in your study, treating it as the novelty it is, and go on with your ministry. Don't let your ministry be marked with deception and pretense by calling yourself a doctor, because sooner or later, you will be exposed.
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jer 9:23-24)