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Letter: Questions To Ask The Pastors

Questions To Ask The Pastors

Dear Editor,

Since its inception, I have read Ask a Pastor regularly and with interest. I reasonably inferred that these essays are pastors’ answers to questions the title of the article invites readers to submit. So about four years ago I sent the pastors a question via their provided email address. One pastor, and only one, emailed me a lengthy answer from, but only after opining that the nature of my question indicated that my mind was already made up. Neither my question nor the pastor’s answer appeared in the paper.

I shared this experience at the time with another pastor who told me that I was the only reader ever to have submitted a question. Another source I consider reliable more recently informed me that the pastors apparently respond in the paper only to questions they ask each other or to questions submitted by members of their congregations. I suspect the former, because questions printed in the article are ones I think a seminary professor might pose.

Unless I’ve been misinformed, very few readers (perhaps only one) have asked the pastors anything. If no readers want to Ask a Pastor anything, no contact information is needed; and, indeed, the pastors no longer provide it. I feel certain that the pastors do not wish to support subterfuge. Therefore, in consideration of this evidence of little if any reader interest in Ask a Pastor, perhaps the article should be discontinued.

However, if the pastors wish to continue the article, I would suggest two honorable alternatives: (1) Rename the column something like, This Week’s Christian Sermonette, to more accurately reflect the article’s content and intent; or (2) Maintain the current title, but publish Ask a Pastor only when a legitimate question has been submitted from the readership at large. If the pastors choice is (2), they can count on me for numerous authentic, current, relevant, important questions the pastors’ answers to which I believe would interest Nashville News readers.


Don Burr


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