One of the most misunderstood aspects in true, New Testament Baptist Churches today is that of Pastoral authority. This “misunderstanding” has surfaced for several reasons…here’s just some:
1. The way many of our churches operate has changed.
Churches have become social clubs and the mission has changed. Instead of trying to win souls, feed saints, and glorify God, there are those churches who have evolved into entertainment centers for the unsaved and carnal members.
2. The “chain of command” in our churches has changed.
Many churches have become prototypes of other denominational churches that are operated by deacon and trustee boards. Many of these churches are characterized by “mob rule” and not “pastor-led”.
3. Many Pastors in our churches keep changing on a regular basis.
Some are voted out by the “once a year” evaluation of the Pastor’s ministry while many have Pastors who change churches more often than they change automobiles. God gets the blame for most of these moves when, in reality, it is because of either better salary and benefits or the Pastor has used up most of his sermons. When a Pastor believes it is the will of God to leave a church, it ought also to be the will of God for him to be honest with his present church and let them know BEFORE he goes.
4. The respect for the Office of Pastor in churches has degenerated.
The Office of Pastor has been brought down to a “supervisory” status, and we all know who most everyone complains about the “boss!” Pastors are now spoken to on a first-name basis instead of “Preacher” or “Pastor” I would never call my Pastor by his first name – it’s just respect.
5. The Office of Pastor has been corrupted by hirelings.
God-called men are getting fewer and further between. Men of character, conviction, compassion, and call once filled Independent Baptist pulpits. Has there been a change in the “quality” of men in the ministry? Are men standing for the things of God like our Baptist forefathers?
IT WOULD SEEM TODAY…
Many church members do not want a Pastor. They want a preacher to give a generic, “offend no one” message, and visit the hospitals and funeral homes. They want preachers who are “Yes-Men” and obedient to the will of the people. But God-called Pastors have God given authority.
1 Peter 5:2, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind”
Hebrews 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
The Pastor is not man-called, mamma-called, or daddy sent! He is not a volunteer! He is not self-elevated to the office! The Pastor is God-selected, God-called, God-anointed, God-equipped, God-led, God-chastened, and GOD-PROTECTED!
Listen…if a Pastor is worth his weight in salt, that man IS NOT trying to be “lord” over you: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” [1 Pet 5:3]. He is trying to fulfil his God-given responsibility and calling…he’s trying to complete and edify you [Eph 4:12] and bring you into the unity of the faith [Eph 4:13]. Do you have a problem with that?
Is there a problem with Pastoral authority in the church in which you are a member? Why…and with whom does the problem lie?