Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded , you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. Matthew 23:15, NIV
Let's say some parents saved up to send their boy to college. Or a church took some of its wealth to send off a young man. Nothing unusual in this unless he is going to seminary.
I actually overheard an exchange from inside a church office about such a transaction.
"We're sending young so and so to seminary."
"Oh, which one?"
"I believe it is Gordon Conwell."
"Well at least it's not totally liberal."
By totally liberal I think they meant that this theological cemetery did not refer to God as "Her".
Amazing what you can hear while using a copier!
So why the reference to Santa? I am borrowing Mr. Claus for an illustration only. Imagine a family putting up a tree and sending their young one to bed with the expectation that he will soon get lots of toys. When the poor kid wakes up, he finds that Santa not only did not bring toys, but he stole the ones the child had.
This is what happens when some so-called outfits get through with a young preacher to be. What he once believed is taken from him and false ideas are implanted. Why, you hardly know the young man when he returns. Now he is prepared to make clones of himself by passing on lessons he learned in "How to lose your faith 101".
Think I'm exaggerating? Those inside the church know that places that once fitted men to take up the ministry, have become the number one place to lose your hope.
The church is the world's quietest battlefield. Example, Harvard. It was founded as a seminary, but soon became non or even anti-Christian. Yale was supposed to be its replacement, but followed the same course. Christian publications tell the story.
My drunken artist friend Vance said it well. "Take any religion as set forth by its founder, and you'll find it has been turned upside down."
Am I angry? I'm too sweet and loveable to get angry, but sometimes I make other people feel that way.