The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘Pastor’

Pastoral Authority

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 1, 2008

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?
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?

Posted in Devotional Thoughts, Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

A Crowd Ain’t a Church

Posted by Pastor Szekely on July 26, 2008

I received the following from Pastor Ken Blue of the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Washington. What do YOU think about it?

A guest speaker said, “A crowd ain’t a church“. I wonder what his intent for that comment was. Do crowds intimidate him? Is he opposed to promotions that might bring a crowd? Is he jealous of those churches that have a crowd?

Certainly, not every crowd constitutes a church; but every church should want a crowd.   Every pastor [along with every church member – me] should do everything he can to attract the largest crowd he can get. Then he must preach the gospel to them and [see] as many saved as he can. Common sense dictates, the greater the crowd, the greater the chances you will reach someone for Christ. A crowd may not glorify God, but neither does an empty building.

Jesus gladly preached to the crowds. He wasn’t fooled by them, nor was He foolish, thinking they were unimportant. The Lord instructed His servant to, “…Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23.

If we think the lost man will come to our church because of our alliterated outlines, our King James Bible, and our independent stand, we are mistaken. These things are imperative for us, but they will not attract a lost crowd. I can hear someone say, “I don’t believe crowds are important.” I say to you, “If you had one, you would believe it.” May God help us to be wise enough to know how to attract a crowd, and give us the message needed to reach them for Christ.

1.   We should do all we can to reach people for Christ
2.  We should thank God for those we have
3.  We should never become complacent

So what say you? Is this a point well-taken, or would “doing everything we can to attract the largest crowd” be considered a cross into compromise? I believe it to be a point well-taken…how ’bout you?

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Obadiah Holmes – Unmercifully Whipped

Posted by Pastor Szekely on May 14, 2008

Pastor Obadiah Holmes sufferingPastor Obadiah Holmes was the second pastor of the Newport Church in Rhode Island, the first Baptist Church in America.  In the following [copied from History of the Baptists, Armitage, BSB Publishers, 1887. pg 687-688] he and two of the brethren suffer much for the cause of Christ, but it was the blood of Brother Holmes that was the first to be shed in America for the sake of our Saviour.

On Monday they were removed to Boston an cast into prison, the charges against them being for ‘disturbing the congregation in the afternoon, for drawing aside others after their erroneous judgments and practices, and for suspicion of rebaptizing one or more amongst us’.

Clarke [this is John Clarke, first pastor of the Newport Church] was fined 20 pounds sterling, Holmes 30, and [James] Crandall 5 pounds sterling; and on refusal to pay they were ‘to be well whipped’, although [Governor] Winslow had told the English Government that they had no law ‘to whip in that kind’.

Edwards [historian] says that while ‘Mr. Clarke stood stripped at the whipping post, some humane person was so affected with the sight of a scholar, a gentleman, and reverend divine, in such a situation, that he, with a sum of money, redeemed him from his bloody tormentors’. Before this he had asked the Court, ‘What law of God or man had he broken, that his back must be given to the tormentors for it, or he be despoiled of his goods to the amount of 20 pounds sterling?’ To the which Endicott replied, ‘You have denied infant baptism and deserve death, going up and down, and secretly insinuating into them that be weak, but cannot maintain it before our ministers’.

Clarke tells us that ‘indulgent and tenderhearted friends, without my consent and contrary to my judgment, paid the fine’. Thus somenone paid the fine of Clarke and Crandall, and proposed to pay that of Holmes. The first two were released, whether they assented or not, but Holmes who was a man of learning, and who afterward succeeded Dr. Clarke as pastor of the Newport Church, would not consent to the paying of his fine, and because he refused, he was whipped thirty stripes, September 6, 1651. He said that he ‘durst not accept of deliverance in such a way’.

He was found guilty of ‘hearing a sermon in a private manner…and for suspicion of their having their hands in rebaptizing of one or more’. Bancroft [historian] says that he was whipped ‘unmercifully’, and ‘that for many days, if no some weeks, he could take no rest but upon his knees and elbows, not being able to sufferany part of his body to touch the bed whereon he lay’.

While enduring his torture, he joined his Lord on the cross and Stephen in praying that this sin might not be laid to the charge of his persecutors; and when his lacerated flesh quivered and blood streamed from his body, so powerfully did the Grace of the Crucified sustain him that he cheerfully said to his tormentors:


Posted in Baptist Echoes | Tagged: , , , , | 45 Comments »

Dr. Doomaflatchie

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 21, 2007

Okay…I’ll ask it: Why are there “Preacher Doctors”?

I can respect a man for spending 6-8 years or more in college, and for even spending thousands of dollars for education…I’m not against education ~ I are educated too! But why would a preacher even want to be called “Doctor”?

When a man is acknowledged as “Doctor”, that’s an acknowledgment that he has received the highest degree an institution of learning can give. But does it really need to be acknowledged? Must his signature read, “Dave Doomaflatchie, PhD, LitD, DMin, etc, etc, etc.” And must he be addressed as “Dr. Doomaflatchie”? Isn’t Preacher, Pastor, or Pastor Doomaflatchie showing respect and honor enough??? Will a “Doctor” be a better preacher and pastor [rhetorical question], and if so, shouldn’t every man strive for that title? Do we Baptists need this for the respect of the world, to have accredited colleges [to turn out more “doctors” and honorary docs], to sell more [25-page] “books”, etc?

Please excuse my good-natured ribbing, but I’d really like to know what you think on this…I’m not a doctor of anything…do I need to be…and if I as a pastor don’t, why would any pastor need it?

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Reservoirs vs. Water Pipes

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 11, 2007

[This is mostly for preachers, but I think anyone can “get in on it”!]

What do you think of when you hear the term reservoir? Webster’s 1828 says, “A place where anything is kept in store, particularly a place where water is collected and kept for use when wanted, as to supply a fountain, canal, or city“.

Now think for a moment what the difference is between a reservoir and a water pipe…still thinking??? This may help: A water pipe spreads abroad water as it receives it. The pipe delivers the water as it draws from another source. If that source is cut off, it soon runs dry. BUT a reservoir waits until it’s filled to overflowing, and from the overflow it supplies to others. If it’s source is suddenly cut off, it can continue to supply water for long periods of time until it is replenished.

PREACHER: Would you rather be a reservoir or a water pipe? May we preachers be more like great reservoirs than mere water pipes!

If the supply we’re receiving from God’s Word is immediately being passed on to the people in our ministry [water pipe], then we’ll always be depleting ourselves of precious resources needed to carry on God’s work. For example: some pastors’ weekly studies meet only their weekly needs for the sermons, Bible classes, etc. At the end of the week, those men are empty again, and they must scramble to find fresh supplies for the coming week. Unfortunately, this may be the pattern of too many preachers.

What should be happening is that we preachers ought to be filling up our reservoirs as we personally spend time with God in much prayer and study God’s Word for our own personal growth, and then allow the abundance to overflow to the people…just think about it…A preacher should use his weekly study and preparation of sermons to help fill up the reservoir, but that ought not to be his only supply!

Have you ever preached, and then at the end of the message, you [and even the congregation] got the sense that you could have given more than they received? Did you ever walk away from the pulpit saying to yourself, “I could have also said thus and thusthat would have been good!”, that there would have been even more wonderful streams of Truth flowing from the reservoir??? My brother…that’s Reservior Power!

There’s a difference between a reservoir and a water pipe. There’s a difference between a preacher who just prepares a sermon and a preacher who prepares his heart. E. M. Bounds in his classic work on prayer stated, “We have emphasized sermon preparation until we have lost sight of the important thing to be prepared – the heart. A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon.

Are you a reservoir…or are you a water pipe?

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »