Our pastors have two very large adversaries living in everyone of their church members.
We are all rebellious against God by nature.
We are Americans.
Because we are rebellious against God by nature we hate being told what we can or cannot do. Because we are Americans we’ve made a doctrine out of “all men are created equal.” Therefore, many church members live in rebellion against the spiritual authority of their pastor. They like to claim the American doctrine of “Equality” and say, “He’s no better than me. He has no more authority than anyone else.” Some even turn to ministries that openly claim “The church is the enemy of the family.” and then are promptly swept up by a self-promoting cult leader.
Please understand, I do not believe in the perverted doctrine of “Father, Son and Holy Pastor.” Some pastors use the Bible to lord over their people in areas that are simply not their business. They insert themselves into family affairs and use, “I’m God’s anointed” to justify anything they do. In fact, some of the rebellion against the authority of the pastorate is an understandable reaction to this abuse.
Be that as it may, if you are a Bible believer you cannot ignore or deny that the Bible makes it plain that someone has authority over us. Hebrews 13:7 says to “Remember them which have rule over you,…” Oh! That’s right. That’s for Independent Baptists in the Tribulation! What about 1 Thess. 5:12? “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you,..” Which dispensation is that?! Someone is over us! Don’t say “government” or “parent/husband.” Both have scriptural authority, but this isn’t their verse. It’s your pastor’s verse.
Again, I know that some pastors are abusing their authority and inserting themselves where they don’t belong. They will be reviewed in detail by their “Boss” and dealt with accordingly. Woe be to him who has abused his authority for ego or personal gain! But that doesn’t negate their authority in the church. They have to answer for their ministry over a local church and have a mandate from God to preach against our sins and selfishness; our rebellion and slothfulness. Without preaching we will all naturally follow our flesh to our destruction. (I didn’t say “Hell.”) Preaching is the method God appointed to deal with our wickedness. You need to be in a church that occasionally “blisters” you instead of some limp-wristed Warrenite fellowship “to better learn how to cope with the difficulties of life.” You need to hear God-exalting hymns not carnal-pastor-approved rock & roll.
Some, hoping to sidestep God’s local church system, claim “God is done with the local church.” Nope. When we get to the last book in the Bible, just before the whole thing ends, we find God dealing with seven local churches. He will use local churches and their pastors right up to the end. We are spiritually bound to attend a local church. If a pastor is too abusive with his authority we have the right to “vote with our feet” and leave. We do not have the right to stop going to church or to undermine and attack the pastor. God put him there. God can get him out without your telephone. If you choose to attend a church but not join, you are just rebellious and refuse to have any authority whatsoever over you. Your main problem is your pride, not your preacher. Join up and “get with the program.”
Please understand, I hate to think a rebellious church member would use my letter as an excuse to attack his pastor. Also, I would hate for an ego-filled pastor to use my letter to abuse some innocent church member into subjection. But the fact is that God established local churches and the office of pastor. No amount of whining, complaining or sidestepping will change that. Don’t run from it. Grow up and deal with it. We’ll all answer for how well we did. (Romans 14:12)