A question for pastors

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by menageriekeeper, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Do you appreciate, allow, welcome or dislike questions from the congregation on your theological stance?

    Of course there is a reason I ask. Last night during the sermon our new pastor made some remarks that came very close to espousing the doctrine of election. But since it wasn't the main point of the sermon, he never made it entirely clear just how far across that line he was willing to go. Inquiring minds like mine, want to know!

    So, should I ask? And if I do, what is your preferred method of communication? I like e-mail, simply because I prefer written communication, it is less formal (and quicker) than a letter and both parties can write/respond as they have the time.

    Btw, since he is a really new preacher (5 weeks) and we have a fairly large church, we have never actually met.
     
  2. StefanM

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    Just ask him without sounding antagonistic, and it shouldn't be a problem.

    I would welcome questions (I've only received a few so far), as long as they didn't sound like..."Now, preacher, you don't believe _____, do you?"

    After all, a pastor rarely gets to teach theology by itself because sermons are bent toward application. He might welcome the opportunity!
     
  3. LeBuick

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    I agree, it would be nice to know one of the flock for one listens to the sermon and 2 studies a bit and recognizes doctrine. It would probably encourage him to pour on a bit more theology in future sermons.

    If you choose email be sure to send a picture of yourself. Nothing like sitting in the pulpit wondering who this is that is questioning my sermons... JK... He is still in the phase of putting faces to names...
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I love for people to ask about theological items. Now I will say that as in most things the tone of the question/conversation is crucial. If you sincerely want to talk about something that comes off much better than an arrogant "I am going to correct you" tone. Just a thought.

    You are aware that no matter what side of the fence you are on regarding election that there is a doctrine of election clearly taught in the Bible? So you should expect your pastor to have a theological stance regarding election.

    If you want to know, sincerely ask him to talk about it.

    My personal opinion here is that you should talk to him in person. Since you have never met this is a great opportunity to get to know him, not just determine his stance on election. Email can be a great way of communicating, however I would save that for after you have met him and know him a iittle better.

    I hope it goes well for you. Let us know what happens.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    Yes, you should ask since it was an issue for you.

    I agree, go in person. I'd rather discuss doctrinal issues face to face. So much can go wrong with written communication.
     
  6. Ulsterman

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    This is sound advice. Email is good if you know the correspondent, otherwise you pretty much have to impose your own inflections upon the tone of the question. By speaking face to face you will not only get to know your pastor better, but will ensure that your spirit is gracious in its tone. If this is his first pastorate (you said he was 'new' - new to your congregation in particular, or new to the ministry as a whole?), he may feel a little insecure in these early days - so be sure to be kind.
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    IF you want to know the truth, I'm not certain exactly where I stand on the issue of election, except to know that I don't believe God "picked and chose" a select few for salvation. (there's the line I wouldn't want crossed by my pastor) Aside from that, I've never really studied the issue in depth, though I do read the C/A debates some (to much debate, sometimes, and not enough scripture).

    Edited to say the pastor is new to us not new to the pastorate. A newbie would get eaten alive in our church.

    I'll have to see what chance I can come up with to talk with him in person. We have about 750 regular attenders here lately so it may take a while. :)
     
    #7 menageriekeeper, Sep 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2006
  8. Baptist Believer

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    When I was pasturing, I always enjoyed talking to members of the congregation regarding theology or the content of my sermons. On more than one occasion I learned something and I was able to also help the other person learn something. Furthermore, it opened open and honest communication, not only with individual church members, but the rest of the congregation as they discussed among themselves what each of us believe.



    If a pastor is preaching the scripture faithfully, you will hear many things that sound very much like Calvinism. You will also hear some things that sound Arminian. That’s because the seed of both of those theological systems is in the scripture.



    Since you don’t know him and he is new, I suggest speaking to him face-to-face. Otherwise, if he is not very confident of his relationship with the congregation, he might think that he is being set up by a faction in the church.



    E-mail is often very good for quick communication by people who know each other, but it is not so good for discussions that require great precision. Many people don’t know how to express themselves through a purely written medium, and many misunderstandings occur. (I think that probably at least 25% of our fights on Baptist Board have to do with people who are not communicating well, but are too proud to admit that they may also be misunderstanding other people.)

    Furthermore, it is very easy for a church member to maliciously modify a pastor’s response and then forward it to everyone in the congregation with a push of the button.
     
  9. El_Guero

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    Face to face

    Email is very easily misinterpreted - just think of some of the posts on the board . . .

    Good luck.


     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    In my personal opinion, I would forget the C/A debates on here. Do some study from the Scriptures on the doctrine of election. You will be in a much better position to share graciously with your pastor regarding his position as well.

    What about just calling up the church office and requesting an appointment? It does not seem that difficult to me. But maybe I am missing something.

    God bless.
     
  11. Hope of Glory

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    Well, if you remember that the elect are chosen from among the saved, and is not referring to spiritual salvation itself, then you will clear up a lot of issues that seem contradictory.

    As to the OP, our church is elder run at the moment, but I do preach there. I welcome questions and discussion, either via email or in person. Either way, don't be antagonistic and it will be much more fruitful. Also, I'm open to it being an open discussion, but after the sermon, and open to all who are interested in attending. IOW, don't start arguing during the sermon, wait 'til later.
     
  12. menageriekeeper

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    Okay, I started a thread on election up in the theology forum. Ya'll go teach me, I promise to be a good student.

    PSBC, I hate formal appointments. I tend to get kind of a panic attack and generally get so busy trying to control my physical reaction (much more than just nervousness) that I can't properly express myself or absorb the info I'm looking for. I have techniques I use to make things easier, but those start with getting to know a person in a more casual setting before having a formal meeting if possible. Plus, this seems to be such a small issue to be taking up the time of a busy man.
     
  13. El_Guero

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    If it is important enough to bring up on the WWW, then the pastor might want to clarify what you believe before a difference of opinion on interpretation might cause division.

    IMHO.
     
  14. PastorSBC1303

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    Why not just get your Bible and study on the doctrine yourself? Is it our job on here to teach you?

    If it is important enough for you to get on here and share it with all of us, I think it would be important enough to make a time to talk to your pastor about.
     
  15. SBCPreacher

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    I like questions. I don't think I'd like them during the middle of my message, but I do like the opportunity to do some one-on-one Q and A.

    IF your pastor doesn't like questions, now that might be a problem.
     
  16. StefanM

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    Important question:

    If your pastor turns out to be a Calvinist, what does that mean for you?
     
  17. menageriekeeper

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    Awww, you don't like folks interupting the service? LOL, I kinda figured this one out for myself. :laugh:

    Edited to answer Stefan: Depends on how many points he holds too. :D Really, since I can't/don't identify myself as either Calvinist or Armenian (did I spell that right?) from what I've been able to glean from the C/A debates, I'm not sure what having a Calvinist preacher will mean for me. That I'll have to think, study and pray on.
     
    #17 menageriekeeper, Sep 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2006
  18. gb93433

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    I always welcomed questions especially when I knew someone was studying. I never like the questions that seek to compare me to some famous preacher especially when I knew he was wrong in what he believed or knew he was not much of a student.

    What I found interesting is when someone told me they did not get much out of my sermon and then a new believer could tell me what I preached on and understood it.
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    That's a weird mistake!

    To clarify, I have never been sent out to pasture, nor am I pasteurized. :tongue3:
     
  20. Lagardo

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    I am a pastor and I am new (3 months), so I get lots of questions about my stance on theology and doctrine. I don't mind them at all, but it is nicer when someone is really interested in scripture rather than just trying to catch me with the "wrong answer."

    As for learning the doctrine of election, your pastor is a great way to start. Call and make an appointment.
     

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