“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –
It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised”! by Greg Gordon. The following discusses the role of pastor.
The professionalization of the pastorate is a sin and needs to be repented of.
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Galatians 2:6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message.
As a result of these man made qualifications for a ‘pastor’ (by the way, pastor is only mentioned once or twice in the New Testament!), and the responsibilities we pile on that position outside of what the Bible addresses (such as running the affairs of an industrial church), the role of spiritual leader of the church has become, by necessity, a professional role. The Bible teaches us that we should support those in our ministries who work full time to support the church. However, the idea of a professional spiritual leader does not quite fit with the word of God.
There must be repentance for the ambitious desire and idolization of the celebrity pastorate.
3 John 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us.
Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 12:22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
In Florida, I often drove by billboards advertising churches. On them, I often saw pictures of the pastor, sometimes with his wife or family. This blew me away. How could someone avoid becoming prideful when their picture is plastered all over the city? Could we imagine Paul or Peter agreeing to have their image held so high in the eyes of man? Never!!
Even in smaller churches, the pastor’s name appears on the boards outside the church, on the programs, etc. In all of the churches I attended, I rarely new the name of any of the ‘elders,’ but I always knew the name of the pastor. When a guy gets up in front of hundreds (or thousands) of people every , single week, he cannot avoid becoming a celebrity of some sort. Pride creeps in. It happened to David, who God loved most in the Old Testament.
The answer to this, and many of the concerns brought up in this list, would be smaller groups. In a small group, pride has little room to grow as people know each other more intimately. More people participate in smaller groups, as well, so everyone learns from one another. Even the pastor, or leader can learn from a child in a small group. In many third world countries, forced into smaller, home based groups, many of these problems never come about.
By His Grace,