So...! What do we expect from our Pastor?

Mark Anthony's picture

Posted as a reply in the "Interactive Daily Devotional Journal" I thought it was a good topic for the General Forum, to see what you all think. Grace! Tony G. BDST & IDDJ Lead

Persons Comment: General concern about how a Pastor should have acted.

Impact: Questions? How much weight am I putting on my Pastor? I mean to say, is my faith based on him and his life? Am I getting the messenger confused with the message? Am I getting this wrong? Where have I learned it from? What have I learned from the Bible on this? What can I with a certain contentment believe about this topic?

My Reply:

The spirit and inthusiansm of a Pastor Ebbs and Flows. It's hard work with little reward at times. I know of many honest people who thought they were following God's will by becoming a Pastor only to fizzle out years later, sometimes 5, 10 or 15 years later.

I think for my experience, it's not good to place to much weight in a Pastor. I mean to some, following a charismatic figure is more important than what they believe in the bible. I've seen it go that way. This is bad because when the Leader is gone, as the Calvary Chapel Church Movement may soon find out, the people will likely fade as well. As much as I think Chuck Smith would like it otherwise, he has certainly been a faithful teacher, the nature of those who are camp followers, tend to leave once the main attraction is gone.

So much better to follow what has been carefully taught. I used to kind of spurn the creeds ignorantly and pridefully, thinking they were part of a failed old church tradition. It wasn't until I has humbled by God and searching to be re-anchored as a christian that I looked at church history as saw the good, the bad and the ugly.

I had to decide to use the good, loose the bad and realize the ugly.

There is much good in the churches history, trials, persecutions and false teachers helped to form three of our first church creeds. The Apostle's, The Nicean and Athanatius Creeds. These creeds in a simple format form the basic teachings of the gospel in a nutshell.

I tend to loose all the ultra-distinctive traditions that make the various denominations themselves. I tend to focus on the gospel and leave all other non-gospel items where they belong. They may be interesting and even useful, but they stand in line behind the gospel.

The ugly are those things that are counter to the gospel. Things like much of our Christian self-help methods, self based (centering) exercises. Mysticism in any form that turns the attention away from God and redirects it to self, in an endless witch hunt for sin. (If the enemy can keep your attention on your own sin, then he not only can keep you discouraged, but can keep you from the only person that can seperate you from your sin, Jesus!)

As a rule any teaching that places the emphasis on self, whether in a positive or negitive light is in it's essence a rudiment of "worldly elemental doctrine". This kind of teaching never looks beyond the physical. (Even though it uses the spiritual as an excuse).

Paul warns the Colossians of such things. His answer to these teachings was simple. "Set your mind on things above!"

The root correction to these false teachings is found in I Cor 2:2, "Determine to know nothing except Jesus and Him crucified"

Paul would say in Colossians three, "set you mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth", "seek those things above where Christ is seated"

Simple breakdown:

Seeking self fulfillment leads to being taken captive by every self-help-esteem teaching that comes through the publishing houses and television. They involve philosophy and socialogical traditions as old as time. They are called by Paul "the elemental spirits of the world, controlled by spiritual rulers and authorities (fallen angels).Col 3:8-23.

Seeking those things above move us forward in a fulfilling relationshiip with our savior. We are growing, maturing and being continually built up towards the goals of our Lord.

Where the self-esteem-help people keep us locked in a debilitating and ugly cycle of sin and failure on this muddy earth, the cross exalts us into a heavenly realm, where sin has been dealt with and we move freely on in maturity towards the Kingdom of God.

Maturity doesn't mean sinlessness as the self-help people have taught (that is a old eastern religious philosophy not associated with Christians teachings), but the ability to realize sin for what it is (a offense against God), and turn that weakness over to Jesus remembering the cross and God's love towards us to dispose of that sin by trusting in the work of His Son on the cross.

I guess the bottom line of this tyraid is: If you are seeking those things above and realize your Pastor is holding a office to teach and preach, of which he was called to by the Lord or His church (us!) then you can cut him some slack, he's human just like us. Praying silently for him is sometimes the most neglected thing we do for our Pastors. We may pray openly and sometimes to embarrass our Pastors, this is very wrong! But how scant are the honest and quiet prayers of those really concerned. We would find in heaven how many ship wrecks were averted by the prayers of a single humble soul.

Qaulifier... I am not a Pastor, but have worked closely with several, going through some pretty ugly stuff.

Micah 6:8

Julabee Jones's picture

The better question might be, "Is the Church under any O.T. law?

To which the answer would be an unqualified, No! Jesus is the end of the law...."For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth". Romans 10:4. In Christ, those who believe are, "....not under the law, but under grace". Romans 6:14b, which is of course, why sin has no dominion over us, Romans 6:14a.

Romans chapter seven, verses 1-6 (Please read this passage several times) makes it clear that anyone who would attempt to be under the law (married to the law), and attempt at the same time to live under grace (married to Christ) is an adulterer, a spiritual adulterer.

"So then if, while her husband (the law) liveth, she be married to another man (grace/Christ), she shall be called an adulteress: But if her husband (the law) be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man (Christ/grace). Rom 7:3.

For not only is the law dead to us, but we also are dead to the law, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto Christ. Rom 7:4.

He that is dead cannot sin (Romans 6:7), therefore cannot be held under the law, any law.

And the law is dead to us, "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." Romans 7:6. That's important, for Paul straitly informs us, "....the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life". 2 Cor 3:6b. The law kills those who attempt to keep it, while Christ gives life to those who accept Him and the law of His grace.

The specific point in time when the law ceased speaking, and when grace began speaking to us, is found in both Matthew 11:13, and Luke 16:16, with,

"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John". Mt. 11:13. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:3, that, "....he that prophesieth speaketh unto men...." The law and prophets stopped prophesying, that is, speaking unto men, with the advent of John's ministry.

But Luke goes further, with, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." Luke 16:16. The authority of the law over our lives (the lives of Christians that is) lasted only until John. Since John, the gospel of the kingdom of God (which is grace, grace, grace) is preached, and those pressing to enter into the kingdom of God must enter by way of this sole, singular door of the sheepfold.

There are in total 69 New Testament references that tell us the law no longer relates to us in anything more than the role of schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, for we are no longer under the law, or the schoolmaster, "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed...But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:23-25.

Now, a caveat or two. The law, the prophets, the psalms (Luke 24:44), in short, the Old Testament, is the Word of God, and as such it is given to our profit, and we do venerate it properly. However, the Old Testament is God's speaking to the father's, by the prophets, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets...." Hebrews 1:1 There is much profit for us, in God's speakings to the fathers by the prophets.

But today, realistically, God doesn't speak to us by the prophets, nor are we the fathers (of Israel). He speaks to us today, that is to Christians, in these last days, by His Son, Jesus Christ, "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son....' Hebrews 1:2. The New Testament is God's speaking to us today by His Son.

Recall one of the most important commandments given by Almighty God Himself, from God's mouth personally? It was on the Mount of Transfiguration, where God (not Jesus, not Moses, not Elijah), said to Peter, James and John, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him". Matthew 17:5. Note carefully the admonition is to "hear ye him", not to hear Moses, not to hear Elijah, nor any element of the Old Testament Law, but Jesus Christ alone, by whom God speaks to us today.

Tithing is an integral element of the law which is no longer in effect, which has been done away with, to be replaced with something much better, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death". Romans 8:2.

That the law of sin and death is the Old Testement law, with the Ten Commandments singled out here, is made clear in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, where it is called both, "....the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones...." 2 Cor 3:7, and the 'ministration of condemnation'. "For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory." 2 Cor 3:9.

Giving today, must be done out of a willing heart, and must have no tinge of law placed upon it. God does not acknowledge giving under the law, or the 'tithe', while He abundantly acknowledges giving under love, and grace, by returning unto us life and blessing. If ten percent is what you choose to give, do so only out of love, never out of any misguided concept of law whereby you hope to be justified,. That can't happen, for the law is no longer.

And finally, why do pastors teach tithing? Even though it is in clear contradiction to scripture? They have a vested interest in their pocketbooks and bank accounts, and are willingly ignorant of the fact that, "And the law is not of faith....", Galatians 3:12, and that too, "....for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23b.

He who preaches the gospel should do so by faith alone. It is not a gospel energized by faith to preach a 'guaranteed' 10 percent tithe, and "....whatsoever is not of faith is sin".

So give, give, give! But don't be found caught under the law of tithing, for it is truly said that, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Galatians 5:4. And being fallen from grace is no fit place for a Christian with hope of heaven in heart.

God bless!

Humbly, I am and remain sincerely yours,

Julabee Jones