Here is Why I Do not Trust Pastors
Are Pastors Cowards
The answer to if Pastors are cowards is 'it depends'. I get it, various people have different gifts but "boldness" is in the job description for all Believers! Among many reasons I, as a Pastor, do not trust other “pulpiteers”, is their lack of boldness. I will forgo qualifying of whom I am speak because an old preacher said: “just speak it and let it hit who it will”.
Even writing this, I am taking long pauses to determine how to best frame the rest of this article. It is, first, critical to reveal I have directly confronted, on many occasions, those of whom I speak. This is rarer than God’s people know! The cowardice in our ranks is stunning, with few loving others enough to confront their sin. Too often, it is only leaders that are no longer employed, who suddenly develop 'courage' to speak out. It is like someone who, while being bullied, refuses to stand up, Only after putting a city block of distance between themselves and the bully, do they suddenly turn around and get bold. More simply - they only speak when having nothing else to lose.
The mark of a true Christian is even when faced with losing something, speaking truth anyway. Jesus was murdered for truth, and most of His Apostles met the same fate yet we hide (behind grace of course). I meet with a Pastor who has apostolic gifts on a weekly basis. I am not saying he is an Apostle! However, I asked him: “why do Pastors not confront each other directly when they are in ongoing rebelliousness? As they do, he made the excuse of always “extending grace”. I guess they do not understand "grace is extending in discipline" as well.
That Jesus was confrontational and did not extend their version of grace at certain times is irrelevant I guess. I’ve never met a Pastor who, having shirked these duties, didn’t have a “reason” for doing so. The most often used is: "I just pray and let the Lord handle it." How do you trust someone who sees another walking towards a cliff, yet says nothing out of love?
Pastors Should be Servants Not Kings
Another reason I do not trust Pastors is they act like Kings, not servants. Although Jesus told us He came “not to be served but to serve”, the opposite is true today. We have become quasi-famous and enjoy these "trappings of success". As the Bible says: “they desire the highest seats in the synagogue and to be called a Rabbi”. Yet, if anyone dare treat them like a "servant" rather than royalty, persecution will result and quickly.
For example, I conducted a funeral at our church. Another “Rabbi” came in, and I directed him to sit on the front bench instead of entering the pulpit. Later, he told our Deacon: “I hated him and was disrespectful”. As he put it: “I am a Pastor just like him (me)”! I did not bother explaining that I don’t allow more than three (3) preachers in the pulpit for very practical reasons.
First, it is distracting and next, it serves no purpose except ego. Finally, I obey their church rules and expect the same. In effect, such demands allow someone else to dictate how our church operates! In African American church culture, Pastors are viewed that much more adoringly than may be true of others. People beg for our attention, watch every move, and hang onto every word we utter. In the most literal sense, it is the ultimate “fishbowl” experience!
Shepherds Don’t Recognize Biblical Church Governance
Imagine someone who believes they are immune to the spiritual authority of every other human being because the Lord said so. This is the profile of church Pastors who "cherry picks" scripture to avoid accountability. Church leadership mocks biblical church governance as outlined in the Book of Ephesians chapter 4. These sorts have done so to me, directly, when I challenge their penchant for rejecting any form of biblical accountability.
In Ephesians 4, there are five (5) offices for church governance: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. To avoid the very submission to authority we demand of the “flock”, it is preached that no other office exists except the “Pastor and Teacher”! Both of which, of course, they have been gifted. In fairness, many have pseudo-accountability partners with other leaders, but that authority is limited to "advisory" only. More simply - these unbiblical governance structures have "bark" but no "bite". This duty is left to "blind sheep" who follow these men. Yes, you read that correctly: blind sheep lead the shepherd who is supposed to lead them. Oh boy.
Think about the “Pastor having a Pastor” relationship as one between a counselor and patient. A counselor only suggests behavioral modification with no authority to enforce these demands. The office of Prophet, especially, comes with the authority to confront, prophesy against, and speak God's Will of correction. This is not to suggest some form of “supervisory” relationship exists, only that the Bible assigns levels of authority to edify the Body of Christ.
Both the Bible, as well as society, are established on relationships of enforceable accountability (human to human). Yet, church Pastors want you to believe they are accountable to no one except God? The only time, biblically anyway, this has been true was of the Old Testament Prophets. However, and even then, Jewish Kings had authority to seize, arrest, and kill them. In the New Testament, Prophets are subject to “apostolic” authority, and to be biblically confronted by any other Believer (Matthew 18:15-17). This extends to Pastors as well. No one is above the discipline of God's Word!
Church Leaders are Loyal to No One
Church leaders are loyal to no one who cannot directly benefit them. If they are not loyal to the Word of God with respect to governance, should be expect any less with His created likeness? Although they preach fellowship, it is not the same as the Bible commands. As was indicated in a previous section, there is a biblical hierarchy (Ephesians 4) they refuse to acknowledge as true.
Yet nothing has disappointed me more than the rampant and intentional disloyalty in our ranks. As a human being and man, I understand fear, anger, and even confusion. These sins are often unplanned, and upon us before we have a chance to rebuke them. I also understand killing and theft. For instance, if someone threatens to harm me, or my family, protecting them becomes paramount. Therefore killing, only as a defensive measure, may be necessary.
If my wife, or granddaughter, was starving and I had to feed them, stealing would be an option. That is real, and I make no apologies. Yet disloyalty to those who share the same “calling” is anathema to me. Unlike the other unplanned issues just mentioned, disloyalty is planned and deliberate but most of all, unnecessary.
Although it breaks my heart to even reveal this, I have never met a more disloyal group of people who claim dedication to a righteous cause. This disloyalty, selfishness, and greed quite frankly, is a faith issue. I admit to being somewhat biased in this area, however. As a United States Marine, I served with men in a cause higher than any of us individually. The attainment of this goal required something unheard of in civilian life: each Marine willingly dying for the other(s). On mission, disloyalty would have rewarded with DEATH and rightfully so.
Despite the cool commercials and their proclamations, Marines do not necessarily fight for our country - we do so for the Marine next to us! Nothing was more important than his life, and its preservation. This same lesson, in a sense anyway, was representative of Jesus willingly going to the cross to die for us. When serving with my brothers, I am reminded of Jesus’s words: “what greater love has anyone than they will lay down their life for their friend”? They watched over me when I slept, and I, them. Some were rampant racists but this never entered the equation when it came down to protecting one (1) another.
More plainly - I trust unregenerate Marines more than Church Pastors. This is not to impugn our Savior’s ability, Holiness, or commands. It is an indictment on us, His "supposed" followers. It is impossible to reconcile those who serve a lesser cause (Marine Corps), being more loyal to one (1) another than us serving the greatest (Jesus Christ). I don't get why murderers and killers would "die for me" and church leaders have tried to destroy me (and one (1) another).
May the Lord Jesus forgive us all in that day! Even as His Watchman, I do not struggle apart from the “captivity”. He called me to serve Him from “within”. Please, by the mercies of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ: Pastors, repent of your willing disloyalty to both the church and God’s people.
I am begging, please. I sit here broken, and much cast down, having witnessed all that is written by the Prophets (and Apostles) being true of YOU. I am one (1) of you (by office but certainly not spirit), and here I sit pleading for you to believe what you preach! Let me guess: “everybody has sin, and we should not judge”. May God judge you in that day for such apathy, and me if I be found as guilty!
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