Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pastor 2

The Pastor. He is the fundamental figure of the Protestant faith. He is the chief, cook, and bottle-washer of today’s Christianity. So prevailing is the Pastor in the minds of most Christians that he is better known, more highly praised, and more heavily relied upon than Jesus Christ Himself!

Remove the Pastor and modern Christianity collapses. Remove the Pastor and virtually every Protestant church would be thrown into a panic. Remove the Pastor and Protestantism as we know it dies. The Pastor is the dominating focal point, mainstay, and centerpiece of the modern church. He is the embodiment of Protestant Christianity.

But here is the profound irony. There is not a single verse in the entire NT that supports the existence of the modern day Pastor! He simply did not exist in the early church.

I majored in Bible in college. I went to the seminary and I majored in the only thing they teach there: the professional ministry. When I graduated, I realized that I could speak Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and the only thing on earth I was qualified for was to be Pope. But someone else had the job.

-Anonymous Pastor



dinsy said...

There is too much in this article to comment on so I picked the thing that shocked me the most.

Said Luther, “ . . . It is a wonderful thing that the mouth of every pastor is the mouth of Christ, therefore you ought to listen to the pastor not as a man, but as God.”

What an over-inflated opinion of himself, and his order - at least the Catholics only think the Pope is infallible! Presumably Luther did not believe that pastors are human? How totally open to abuse this is, and it explains the arrogance of the clergy who still believe this in our day and age.

We seem to be more like the Anabaptisits in our life, good job Luther and Calvin are dead!

Dave said...

I have never seen that qoute from Luther before, but I will check it out. Seems odd when it was the reformation that exalted the 'priesthood of all believers'.
In many ways the pastor should be the mouth of Christ, speaking what he hears Christ speak and not his own fanciful ideas.
Whatever Calvin or Luther believed the sad fact is that many (very many) in our day raise the pastor to ridiculous levels of unquestioned trust.

Shieldsy said...

There seems to be quite a bit of 'pastor' knocking & church knocking doing the rounds at the moment.

Personally I think the current problem isn't with people exalting their ministers onto pedastals, but just the opposite ... looking for opportunitires to criticise & debunk & debase. I think there is some of the "spirit of the age" in that. People are a lot less likely to respect authority simply because of the title or position. Church ministers being no exception.

There is some merit in that but I personally think the pendulum has now swung too far the other way. Huge amounts of clerics are retiring or jacking it in is becuase of the demands of their congregations. I know that first hand.

Most people (IMHO) don't become ministers to laud it over people, it's because they (rightly or wrongly) wish to serve God and feel it is some sort of vocation or calling on their life.

If you want to see your pastor turned around ... here's the best way to do, guaranteed: Thank him/her for the sacrifices they've made to lead the church, ask them to tell you about the time God called them into ministry, thank them for prepating their talk (whether you agree with it or not), ask them if their is anything you can do to serve him/her and the church, send them a card, cook them a meal ... and not just as a one of, but habitually.

The vast majority of church leaders that I encounter (including those who seem to have it 'all together') are suffering from chronic discouragement not inflated ego's.

Meg said...
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Anonymous said...


Dinsey is right, and as a modern day Anabaptist, I must agree with all Viola has to say. We have learned much from his writtings and those of Alexander Strauch over the years - what God has built as a result will, I pray, last for many generations.

"Even so, come Lord Jesus"

Dave Wade

dinsy said...

Dave, you say "In many ways the pastor should be the mouth of Christ, speaking what he hears Christ speak and not his own fanciful ideas."

Does this apply solely to the pastor, or to the "ordinary" people in the church too? Are we not all called to speak what we hear Christ speak? What when the pastor is clearly talking contrary to what Christ says? Do we assume Christ has changed His mind?

You are arguing both sides of this at the same time Dave - if we assume the pastor does speak as Christ, then we would "raise the pastor to ridiculous levels of unquestioned trust." Would you not place utmost trust in anything Christ said? (If you knew it was Christ speaking!) And yet you condemn people for their ridiculous levels of trust.

Shieldsy, don't think the article is pastor bashing, just saying there is no NT justification for the office, and that God never wanted His servants to be treated the way you oint out a lot of pastors are.

Dave W. - do you know reliable sites where I can find out more about Anabaptists? Thanks.

Dave said...


My thoughts were that if the pastor or teacher is not speaking the words they hear christ speak then what are they speaking.
We should all speak this way as we teach one another, the fact that there are many pastors who are not pastors does not alter that pastors should speak the word of christ.

If the teacher or pastor is speaking words contrary to christ then they are preaching a false gospel from their own imaginations.

dinsy said...

The trouble is that a pastor speaking what he will say is the word of Christ is filtering it through that pastor's own life experience, belief set etc. Which is one reason why we get so many "over my dead body" attitudes in our churches.

The church has created an office, chosen someone to fill it, and told them they are speaking the word of Christ. What a burden to lay on someone! Why can't we just accept that our pastors are simply human, with a gift/calling, more training and knowledge, but not in any way "special" or "extra christlike" or more holy than the rest of us?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dinsy,

It would be a rare experience to find a typical Anabaptist in this medium. The Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites eschew all modern facilities. That is not to say some extremely liberal sects don't use the internet, but then their theology would probably be compromised beyond recognition.

Our USA circle of 50+ congregations is a loosely joined body that share pulpits and Bible school agendas. Mission outreach is usually coordinated therein. The youth intermingle and frequently marry within this circle. All congregations home school
avoid TV.

We call ourselves Anabaptist only because it is the best description of our theology - basic Bible. Many of our members came from that legalistic background and were dissatisfied after their salvation.

Oversight is voluntary and temporary barring apostasy in new congregations. Local oversight is typical. No hierarchy or paid ministry is evident and all share in preaching and teaching. All decisions are made at monthly brothers meetings.

This is as close to a first century Christian church as I have ever seen.

Try this link - and pray for us all as you are led to.

Following Him,


Dave said...

We are maybe looking at this differently, I for one attempt to only speak Christ's words as a 'pastor'. Whether I do or not is up to others and God to judge, but as I have no current claim against me for teaching antichristian teaching I must assume all is well in that area.

I for one make every opportunity to allow debate over my words, this blog being one place where I open my heart.

The church has created an office, but in my experience it was the calling to be a pastor that apprehended me rather than me laying hold of it.
I mean there I was enjoying my life when Jesus burst in and said 'I want you for my kingdom'

dinsy said...

Dave/doc - thanks for the info on your fellowships, and the link, there is some interesting looking stuff on there. I have bookmarked, and will investigate further.

Dave, the difference seems to be in that you seek to follow a calling rather than to achieve an office.

Thanks both for staying with me on this thread. May God bless you both.

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