This is a true story. Or two true stories, depending on how you look at it.
The way they tell the story in Kanto (East Japan) goes like this: Did you hear about the pastor who drives a BMW? No, seriously, there’s a pastor in one of the Free Evangelical churches in Kansai (West Japan) who goes around in this lovely, luxury BMW. I mean, I don’t know how much they pay those guys in their churches but you’d think they’d have more important things to spend it on than luxury cars. The rest of us make do perfectly well with our beaten-up old second-hand cars. A pastor in a BMW? It just sends the wrong impression.
The way they tell the story in Kansai goes like this: Did you hear about the pastor who drives a BMW? No, seriously, there’s a pastor in one of the Free Evangelical churches near here who goes around in this lovely, luxury BMW. What happened was that he had an old car, and he made do perfectly well with it, but the ladies in his church couldn’t stand it, so they clubbed together and bought a car, registered it in his name, and presented him with it, pretty much against his will. The reason was that their husbands were all businessmen and executives, and when he went to meet them to share the Gospel with them, they wouldn’t take him seriously because of his beaten-up old second-hand car. It just sent the wrong impression.
Lord, forgive me for the time that I’ve made judgements about people without knowing all the facts. Or realising that I can’t know all the facts.