Whose in charge of your church?
A pastor, a politician; or Jesus?
Col 1:18 And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church.Ē Col 2:10 ďand you are complete in Him (Jesus), who is the head of all principality and power.Ē
1 Cor. 11:3 ďBut I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Jesus Christ is to be the head of the church, the pastor is a shepherd under the chief shepherd. His main concern is to be the safety of the sheep; protection and growth. Notice that it also says Christ is the head of every man (believers in the church). This is a Scripture that is often neglected (sometimes on purpose), Jesus is not just the head over the pastor.
Acts 20:28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
1 Peter 5:2-3 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flockĒ
(overseers ĖGr: episkopos: to superintend, to set things in order, a guardian)
Some are in this position that have not been called of God, but as a job. They were appointed by another pastor who felt comfortable with them. Others have been called but have forfeited the position by neglect and their actions toward the sheep. Still others fear God and know that there is a stricter judgment for teachers, for those in position of leadership and are willing to do all in humility lest pride takes a hold of them in any area.
Political or Pastor
I have seen too many pastors abuse their position and power. Becoming a politician may be a better fit. As the definition found in Websterís dictionary states, 3. cunning; using artifice; politic; artful. Princetonís word net - a schemer who tries to gain advantage in an organization in sly or underhanded ways. You canít tell me that is not what the majority are on TV calling themselves pastors/ evangelists.
The church is supposed to be a safe place where you are under the protection of the shepherd. Not a place of abuse where you are taken advantage of. You are not there to give them your money for support. To get a blessing through them as you obey them! A pastor is the head servant of the sheep, he is not the focus, the sheep are.No pastor should be like a Pope, or like Moses. Churches are to be autonomous with a plurality of elders, and they are to be accountable. An elder is not picked just because othey have been coming to the church a long time, or how much they give, or if they obey only the pastor. a pastor does not need yes men, but yes and no men.
There are only a few pastors that I have come across that were actually called by God into the ministry. These are men that are sound in their relationships as they are in their doctrine.
The pride of tares
One things that identifies tares is that they do not have weight. A stalk of wheat bows the lowest when it is filled with fruit, illustrating a position of humility. The tares stand tall and are light; and are easily blown around in the wind (Eph.4:14). When you have a pastor who does not stand up for truth, tries to wiggle his way out of confrontation you have someone running from his duties.
These type of pastors want to please all the people, which they canít. They want to have peace among all the people, which they canít. Sheep rub against each other and they can be smelly at times. Itís just the way things are.
Their decisions, how they arrive at their decision shows their heart. Pastors who are ill equipped are often too prideful to ask for, or accept help in their deficiencies.
They should be listening to the concerns of the people, especially those who care and speak to them about popular false teachings that are circulating. Liberals will avoid confrontation, especially when it brings exposure. We are not to protect the guilty.
Prov. 28:5-6 ďEvil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.Ē
You can go to a pastor/elder and tell them something that is wrong. They may say ďI share your concerns, let me see what I can do.Ē They look into the matter superficially or they never get back to you. They know how to appease your concerns so that you do not get upset when they do not act as you would expect.
Too many pastors do not want to hear anything negative about someone they know and like (if they donít like them they are more willing to hear.) They may cut you off as if you are gossiping, when you are obligated to bring this to the pastorís attention.
Prov. 18:13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.
We should be willing to hear a personís complaints especially if it is about an elder (1 Tim.5:19) they must have witnesses. If they do there must be fair judgment.
We need to accept that there are tares are in the pulpit. How can you tell? There are those who say to just trust God and will put you in in harmís way, both emotionally and physically. Donít listen to them. If it is done in the Spirit it will be according to His way and will, they will seek uphold truth, doctrine and respect you as person that brought it to their attention.
Hereís the way to make progress with concerns. Do not approach leadership without another also being there that shares your concerns.
Have all your ducks in a row, the facts on paper. Make your concern as simple as possible with a few main scriptures. Before you name a person state what is being said wrong, ask them if it is right or wrong. Then name the person. In this way they have already made a correct judgment without favoritism.
The Pastor is supposed to know the Bible. They are to make their decision from the Bible not from friendship. Friendships can go only so far when they crossed the boundaries into false teaching and heresy. The pastors that choose friendship show they are either uneducated in the Bible or will purposely overlook it for their friendship. They will then make YOU to be guilty for bringing their attention to the matter.
I know what Iím a talking about because I have had all this happen to me.
Beware of those who are pastors or in ministry who have not shown wisdom to resolve matters and act in the flesh, or worse. Some have shown their hatred and disdain for certain sheep. Their pride of thinking of themselves as (always) right is more important than the person they hurt.
Prov. 25:8-10 ďDo not go hastily to court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor has put you to shame? Debate your case with your neighbor, and do not disclose the secret to another; Lest he who hears it expose your shame, and your reputation be ruined.Ē
This is happening more and more. This is important as pastors remove people from church or bring sheep to court to keep their reputation intact, to protect their image.
And they go and tell others to ruin their reputation and protect theirs (Prov. 18:8). But all will soon be exposed.
We have this example in 1 Cor. 6:1-8 ďDare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?
v.5 ďI say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!Ē
When they do this they show they have no wisdom and are unspiritual men who should not be elders; they are disqualified. They poke their finger in Godís eye by doing this. As God is for the down trodden, the sick and hurting Too many fall victim to those who try to control them and the church.
Let us not forget Prov. 19:5, 9 ďA false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.Ē
The level of deception and lies I have ever seen from pastors, leaders and ministries is the most grievous I have seen not only in all my years as a Christian, but from those in the world. Some have cultic tendencies where they act as if they are above the word and have their elders gather around them as if they are obeying God. They have learned how to manipulate (some call it motivate) the people to side with them. They make decisions as if there is no God watching or to answer to. They are playing a religious game that they will lose in the end unless they repent.
Pride is the enemy of all who want to serve the Lord. When you see this taking place, donít walk away, run. God WILL judge, it is always in his perfect timing.
The bottom line, if you have a pastor who lacks or refuses to exercise discernment and integrity, this is dangerous to the sheep they are entrusted to protect. The church is their spiritual family.
We canít vote a pastor out (though some do in certain denominations) but we can vote by our feet. But no one should leave without trying to meet the leadership accompanied by another to voice their concerns or write a letter why they are leaving. So many just leave because they know it will not be received. But we are to have integrity in our decisions even if they donít. Lest do what is right before the Lord even if they refuse to do the same.