07-24-2009, 01:28 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2009 02:14 PM by pastor_chris.)
I understand your concern about this verse being abused, I agree that this can and does happen. I also must say that the verse is written to the congregation to remind them to remain submitted to the leadership of the God called leaders in their assembly. What you dont know is that most pastors never even refer to this verse in their churches for fear that people will accuse them of "lording over them". We are accussed of being dictators frequently. If I have $100 for every time I was told I was a dictator I would be able to buy myself a new car. Am I a dictoator? Not at all! I am in a conregationally ruled church. I couldn't be even if I wanted to. Every time that is uttered what it really means is "I don't like your decision and I want to be in charge now, I would have made a better choice". No one has more accountability than the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church. The church has the right to remove me at their own whim. Now of course most SBC (or congregational) churches dont just throw pastors out for no reason, but it does happen. And actually it happens in about 20% of our churches, way to much.
Pastors spend alot of their time doing things that they weren't really called to do because of the desire of the church body. Most of our American churches have groups of people who are quite rebellious and oppose and authority. Even if it is biblically mandated. The scripture tells us to "Obey our leaders" because God is a God of order. Someone has to lead the congregation in a pastoral role. This is why Jesus asked Peter to "feed my sheep". I think that there is a considerable amount of dislike for the Pastoral role in established churches on here. I think this attitude is mostly unfounded although may have some validity.
OH!! The Verse.... lets take a look real quick:
It says to "obey" or listen to those who "rule" or "command" or "govern" over you. Clearly this is a very obvious statement that there are to be leaders who exercise a certain amount of authority and command a certain repsect.
-it also says that They watch over your souls as those who will give an account
This means that they will be held accountable for your spiritual health. This means that God holds Pastors/leaders accountable, not disgruntled church members. At least this is God's model according to Hebrews. Then it basically says to make sure their job is not one that causes "grief". In other words, dont give them heartache while they are "watching over your souls".
Sorry but this verse is clear, pastors or elders are leaders with God given authority in the church. They are to held accountable by God. It is also true that the scripture teaches they are not to "Lord over" the people. The people are to willingly submit. If either the pastor Lord's over or the church member rebels then the paradigm breaks down. The reason why American Christianity is in such disarray is because too many pastors "Lord over" and too many church members make their pastors job one of "grief" rather than joy. This is a two way street. But honestly as a pastor I will tell you the anti-authoritarian attitude in our churches is one of the biggest problems. If pastors were allowed to correct those in open sin without repurcussion and if they were allowed to lead as a servant leader with the God given authority they were divinley imparted much of the churches ills would cease. In the same vein churches should have some way to reign in an elder who "lording over" without hurting the dignity of the pastoral office. Unfortunately most churches ignore these problems and allow them to perpetuate.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NKJV)
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Again Paul tells the churches to recognize those who are "over you in the Lord" and to "esteem them very highly in love"
1 Corinthians 16:14-18 (NKJV)
14 Let all that you do be done with love.
15 I urge you, brethren--you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints--
16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.
17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied.
18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
In the above verse Stephanus had obviously been set apart for ministry Paul asks the people to submit. I highly encourage a study of the greek word for "submit" in the scriptures, in means what it says.
Hebrews 13:7 (KJV)
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.
Again he uses the phrase "rule over you" teaching that Pastors/elders have God given authority. By the way this is one of the reasons you ought to be in a local assembly, to submit to the teaching of the word and so that a God called man of God can watch over your soul.
1 Timothy 5:17-18 (KJV)
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
And again Paul teaches that Pastors who teach and preach and (rule well) should receive "double honor" . He goes onto say not to "muzzle the ox", clearly he is taking about pastoral compensation. The verse in context seems to be saying that those who rule well should be "doubly compensated". Whether or not you are comfortable with this or not the scripture teaches that Pastors who teach the Word well and rule well should be compensated well. What that means is open for debate but a paid ministry is absolutely taught.
And again Paul teaches clearly that those who live preaching the gospel should make their living from their labor. In other words they should be compensated for their hard work. Again he uses the illustration of "not muzzling the ox". The early church obviously struggled with a "paid ministry" just like many of you do today.
1 Corinthians 9:9-14 (KJV)
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Let me close with this. Why is it wrong for a pastor to earn his living from his lifes work? Doctors, lawyers, school teachers etc. all earn a wage for their labor, why is it wrong for a minister? Many here resent the paid ministry but it doesnt make sense. None of you would go to a job where you were not compensated. Sure pastors also are serving the Lord, but isnt God as good of an employer as the hospital or the school? I believe the resentment of paid pastors smacks of jealousy. Maybe I am wrong but we do an honorable thing and it is worthy of a living wage and if we do it well it is worthy of double honor, just as you who work hard at your jobs get raises when you do well.
The Pastorate is an honorable calling, and yes an honorable way to make a living:
1 Timothy 3:1 (KJV)
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
|Messages In This Thread|
RE: Tithing - strefanash - 02-04-2009, 12:54 AM
RE: Tithing - pastor_chris - 07-24-2009 01:28 PM
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