Friday, December 05, 2014
What follows is a profound statement by an unknown author.
Ministers are leaders in whatever their gifted areas might be. Leadership leads. But where leadership leads can be disastrous if people follow without question. Modern day ministers, as leaders, are making some huge mistakes in my opinion and I want to gently point out a few that I believe need to be examined carefully.
Were someone to ask how huge I believe these mistakes are, My answer is...big enough to write about them and that may be because I think too many leaders seem to be followed without question with too many people following without asking those questions.
The first huge mistake ministers AND congregations are making is viewing the role of the pastor as all important. The word "Pastor" only appears once [as a noun] in the scriptures [Elder and Bishop however appear over forty times each.] and out of all the letters written to churches none were addressed to the Pastor. They were generally addressed to the people as the church.
In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find group of people in the New Testament who would think of a single person as pastor [local fellowships had a plurality of shepherds] and they certainly would never make the mistake of thinking of a single person, including a pastor, as the head of the church. That place was reserved for the Lord Jesus Himself.
No one is disputing the need or purpose for having in the body some who shepherd the flock, but in the New Testament it was never to the point of one man/one teacher/one preacher in any gathered group. [Local Church]. That's a modern day mistake made by modern day pastors and the churches that follow them.
Where it has disastrously led us is to a completely unbiblical stance where a local body [church] is handicapped when they are "without a pastor" and cannot function in worship or training until one is "called" and sets out his "vision" for the church.
Do you see where this is going? We may not want to call a pastor the head of the church in Baptist theology, but we Baptists sure live like he is the head.
A second huge mistake made by modern day ministers and congregations is to think of political processes as the way to change people into what they ought to be. No one would disagree that things in America are in a mess socially. But attempting to change society into what it ought to be by legislating their particular Christian values and ethics through the legal processes is a colossal mistake.
In doing what I just described, Ministers/congregations are forgetting at best or even possibly purposefully ignoring the fact that New Testament believers lived under some horrible and oppressive political systems and yet never attempted to shame, condemn, change, or force their society to become what it ought to be by their Christian definition.
They spent their time in obedience to their Lord, in loving their enemies, doing good to those who used them and, rather than attacking their enemies verbally, with grace, they presented the message of redemption that can be found in the person and work of Christ who is Himself God's Son and who came for fallen human beings. Yet, by any way you choose to measure it, they turned the world upside down with that simple methodology.
I think the simple reason is they never thought of the church as a business to be developed. To them, they were the Church, and the scriptures always spoke of them as a Body, a Bride, a Temple, a Holy Nation, a peculiar people, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Word of God, belonging to God and strangers to this earth and any era of time.
There simply was no sense in forming protest groups or establishing lobbying groups to propagate biblical truth in order to change culture or society. That lay in the realm of a returning Lord who will make right all things in its time.