I recently read an article from CCC Discover entitled “5 Things You Should Know About Your Pastor”. Even before I read the article, I began to consider the definition of “Pastor” and how this would apply to the points made in the article. This is not unlike marriage. Whenever you mention the word “Marriage”, what comes to mind? Some will say “one man and one woman”. Some will say “an institution derived by humankind for the betterment of society”. Some will say marriage is just a social construct available for two people (regardless of sexuality) who love each other and want to share a lifelong bond. Regardless of the many definitions, it is obvious that marriage has multiple definitions that may or may not be all together truthful.
If you read this blog you will see that the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman for life (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9), and that the whole of Bible is a reflection of Christ’s love as depicted in the ceremony of marriage. Marriage can only end in death and is easy enough for a child to understand. There is no confusion in this definition, and those who adhere to this definition understand that the solution in understanding difficult marriages is the solution of understanding the things of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you read this blog you will also understand that the greatest threat to the definition of marriage is by those who call themselves “Pastors”. These “Pastors” are the same men and women who have redefined marriage simply by believing their titles give them the power to do so. So, what comes to mind when someone says “Pastor”?
The word pastor means “shepherd” and comes from a letter by Paul to the Ephesians.
(NIV) Eph 4:11 -13 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
If you notice in verse 11 that Paul says it is the Lord Jesus Christ gave a plurality of people for these roles in the body of Christ. What we should determine if any of these roles require additional training then what was already given by the Holy Spirit. Also, we must determine if these verses are a foundation of what we have today. Is there a plurality of shepherds in the local body of Christ, or is there just one man who was appointed by a process of ordination because he or she has special instruction from a bible college or seminary?
If you read the New Testament (NT) while under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you must and will question the validity of the current clergy/laity system of most evangelical churches. There is no place for this separation of clergy and laity in the NT. There is no such reference to ordination, vestments, church buildings, sermons, seminaries, or titles that we find in most evangelical and reformed churched today. In fact, prior to the Protestant Reformation, there is no indication in the NT that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) was the order of things for the body of Christ. In fact, there is very little difference in the polity of the RCC as compared to the Reformers since they merely replaced the titles of Priest, Bishop, and Pope with Minister, Vicar, and Pastor.
The very fact that these men pull a salary is an indication they are “hired” by men rather appointed by the Holy Spirit. This recent article by CCC Discover not only exposes these points, it also questions why would ever believe them in the first place. Why would we replace the clear instruction of elders and succession of elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 with the current hireling system which separates believers by “clergy” and “laity”?
The article lists five things you should know, but I question the understanding of the definition of pastor….
“Here are five things you should know about your pastor. (And if you can’t find any of this information about your pastor, or you can’t ever meet the head pastor, then it’s probably time for a new church.)”
I immediately ask what is the significance of a “head pastor” as compared to a “regular pastor”? Perhaps the author neglected to apply the capitalization of the “p” for us to determine that Pastor is a title rather than a position filled by Christ. We see the first question has assuming that “pastors” must have formal training from a seminary of Bible college.
1. Where did my pastor go to school?
“I realize that a seminary education doesn’t automatically create a good (or even decent) pastor. In some cases, it can create a monster, and if that has been your experience, I am deeply sorry.”
I would argue that EVERY seminary creates a monster since there is nothing in the NT that indicates men or women are to have formal “training” of any kind…as if the Holy Spirit would not give us significant power to equip the body but a seminary does??? I want to be very clear and say that there are very good and well-meaning men and women who have went through four, five, or ten years of seminary training and Bible college, BUT… a very big BUT! There is nothing in the NT that gives credence to their titles. Nothing! So, when I say there is men and woman who love the Lord and who believed they were “called” to be a hireling, they are only lying to themselves since there is no “calling” to be a hireling anywhere in the NT.
These men and woman were called into believing a lie. This has very significance to when they think it is in their power to administer vows of marriage, as if they have the power to bond a man or woman in a marriage after either man or woman divorced a living spouse if covenant. The very fact that their vocations are not a part of the body of Christ should give you an understanding as to how these clergy have misrepresented marriage.
The article then asks these questions under question 1…
So ask some honest questions:
- Is my pastor trained enough to know some of the most significant heresies and controversies in the history of the church?
- Does he know basic principles of interpreting the Bible?
- Can I trust him to care for my soul in the same way I trust a doctor to take care of my body?
If your pastor does not recognize that his or her profession in not the body of Christ, how can they recognize heresies? A pastor will only believe what he or she is taught by the professors of seminary, unless the Holy Spirit directs them otherwise. You will never hear from the seminaries or seminary presidents of those who dropped out of seminary or those who questioned the validity of the profession based on the Holy Spirit revealing that seminary is not necessary in equipping the body of believers.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”-Upton Sinclair
What you will see is thousands and thousands of articles like this by “Pastors” which attempt to tackle the problems of pastoral ministry without tackling the root of the problem that being the system IS the problem. To quote Upton Sinclair again: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
There really is no reason to list all the questions of this article since it can be determined that the first question assumes too much which is already not the truth. If there is no such thing as seminary training in the NT, then why would we believe there are such roles as hireling pastors? Again, there are many “Pastors” who teach sound hermeneutics on many subjects and genuinely care for the flock they believed they have been led to lead, but this does not take into the consideration they have already compromised themselves by believing their vocation is called by the Lord. They have also joined the many Reformers who have compromised the definition of marriage.
The truth is that many people have redefined the word pastor just as easily as they redefined marriage. The sad truth is that many assume that “Pastors” have the power to bond the marriage when that power comes ONLY from the Lord. The same ignorance of believing a Pastor can perform a ceremony of “remarriage” after one or both people divorced from a one-flesh covenant bond is the same ignorance of believing the Lord appointed pastoral ministry in the first place. Another lie is thinking your vow to remarry would supplant your vow of covenant.
What is even more disappointing is the fact that men like Martin Luther (a key proponent of the Protestant Reformation, and a key figure of retaining the “titles” of “Priest” by renaming them “Pastor”) simply handed marriage over to civil authorities. It was the Protestants writings of the Westminster Confession of Faith which redefined marriage and handed marriage to civil authorities that changed the course of history of marriage in the last 500 years. Same-sex marriage would never be an issue if Reformers would have repented of such lies…but here we are today…a nation of idolatry and adultery.
In conclusion, there is still hope for the Reformers and the authors of lies such as articles like these. The very same Lord they claim to serve is full of mercy and grace should these men of the cloth repent on what they believe about themselves and what they believe about marriage. A revival of this kind would require humility beyond understanding and that there would be a total repentance of “remarried adulterers” and a total repentance of men and woman who would dare to perform such evil ceremonies. This repentance would require these seminary professors to abandon their ungodly titles and to repent of ever thinking there was such a division of “clergy” and “laity”.
I have long since offered the steps of repentance for these “clergy”and those who are convicted of their sin of adultery. I only pray that there would be more and more voices lifted to define marriage as one man and one woman for life…instead on one man and one woman at a time. If you are in a one-flesh covenant marriage…speak the truth! If you are waiting for the repentance of a prodigal spouse…speak the truth…if you are a “Pastor” who has seen the deception…speak the truth. Marriage is and always be a representation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to deny this truth is to deny the Lord.
In Christ’s love,