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