Christian Love?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Phillip, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    Has anybody ever seen a pastor who gets mad every single time a person questions him in a business meeting? He is so mad at a good Christian brother that he and his wife and not talking to him because he wrote an e-mail to a deacon's wife asking her some questions regarding a vote in a business meeting.

    They pulled him into a room where the lady chewed him out for about ten minutes in front of two witnesses. Now the pastor won't even look at him, his wife or his daughter and after he appologized to the deacon the deacon won't talk to him.

    This seems like a big case of misplaced Christian love. I'm not hiding any situations that make this a two sided story.
     
  2. Trotter

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    I used to have a pastor similar to that. While there wouldn't be any bushwhacking, he would become visibly angry if he was disagreed with during a business meeting.

    Actually, you couldn't call it a business meeting, as it was just a formality. The business meeting actually took place the sunday evening before in the mens' meeting, which consisted on the pastor and his cronies... uh, supporters... uh, friends... giving the rest of the attendees a layout of what was going to be discussed and how it would be decided.

    Gotta love that kind of stuff.
     
  3. Major B

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    They must be baptists...
     
  4. MRCoon

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    But at least we are able to balance that "love" by gossipping on the Baptist Board, eh?!

    So are you asking us to pray for the situation or just being ugly. Because I'm afraid I don't see any better "Christian Love" in the original post or the responses.

    Seriously, I will pray for you and your church. There is obviously more to the story that a couple of sentences can't adequately share, but whatever it is...it is definitely a wrong situation and one that causes a bad spirit. I'll pray that the Pastor and his staff/deacons have the right spirit when dealing with people and that they will have the wisdom when to correct and when to edify. I'll also pray that others involved (you or whomever) will not use this as an opportunity to tear down anyone especially one in a Pastoral position. David should be our example...remember he never did take action against Saul because right or wrong Saul was in a position God established.

    I'll pray that all of us who may be wronged now (or in the future) would be wise to keep the matter in our prayer closets instead of "air-ing" it on the BB. God will bless us, our patience, and our wisdom accordingly.
     
    #4 MRCoon, Sep 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2006
  5. LeBuick

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    ROFL... Do I smell a split?
     
  6. Phillip

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    I wasn't talking about my church. In fact, this situation occurred many years ago. You sound like you could be one of those people who do not want anybody to disagree with you.
     
  7. StefanM

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    The church is given authority to hold elders accountable as long as there is sufficient witness to the issue.

    The elders do not get carte blanche...ever.
     
  8. bobbyd

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    A little off subject here...but what would it be like if we spent more time in communion around the Lord's table than we do in church business meetings? I'm just saying...
     
  9. MRCoon

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    What was the Bible reference for this basis?

    I'm not sure I know where God/The Bible gives us the authority to question God's Man...whether that man is actually godly or not does not allow us to question even retaliate against God's appointed man.

    By the way, God's big enough to fight His own battles and judge His own leaders!!
     
  10. tinytim

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    Wasn't Apollos "corrected" over his beliefs?
    Wasn't Peter "corrected" by Paul?
    Didn't the Bereans search the scripture to make sure what was taught was true?

    We as pastors are not perfect... (well some of us:laugh: )
    It would not bother me for a member in our church to correct me if I was in the wrong. Of course, their attitude should have the same love that I would show them if I were to correct them.

    We are all in the same boat. I am no more special than the Choir director, or janitor.

    Just because God called me to pastor, doesn't mean I'm perfect... just ask my wife!!! :laugh: :laugh: :thumbs:
     
  11. StefanM

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    1 Tim. 5

    19Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

    The implication is that accusations can received, but only on sufficient grounds.

    Unquestioned authority might make my ministry easier, but it wouldn't make it biblical.
     
  12. MRCoon

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    Ok so my statements that this thread and others like it...do not count as biblically correct rebuke of the elder before witnesses. So this thread and many other "let's have pastor for dinner" kind of conversations are not authority for the church to "correct" a pastor. So let's do it right and do it biblically!!

    I would tend to take David's position that God can take care of the man and I need to take care of myself...this is not meant to be an ostrich approach to trouble but a let God correct His man and for me to not try and stand in judgment or accusation of a pastor. God bless us as we strive to serve Him!!
     
  13. StefanM

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    I think we shouldn't nit-pick the pastor, but to allow a pastor to continue in his position whenever he needs to be corrected is plain negligence.
     
  14. MRCoon

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    Ok with further reading of Timothy and Titus. I find that you have taken these two verse out of context. While your quote is accurate your use of them and subsequent assignment of them to allow anyone to correct a "elder" (pastor or deacon) is wrong. Paul is specifically assigning this authority to Timothy a bishop/pastor. He is telling Timothy to not receive an accusation or a lone gossiper unless this is verified by 2 or 3 witnesses and then it tells him (Timothy the pastor) to rebuke them that sin. Please pay special attention to the authority and the sequence for rebuking/correcting an elder (pastor/deacon).

    So this is slightly different than your assumption that anyone can rebuke an elder if they are wrong or in sin and I believe the Bible is clearly giving this authority to the bishop/pastor. If a pastor is the one at fault then it should be another pastor to correct him not a lay person in the church. I would ponder if a deacon or elder board even have the authority to confront a pastor...I would say that multiple witnesses need to contact a pastor and explain the problem and then ask that pastor to confront their pastor. This puts the leadership on notice to do things right and is in no way a means to empower the church members over the church leadership. The pastor is the undershepherd...correct? The church members are the sheep...correct? Then how does a sheep tell a shepherd what to do or if that shepherd is doing it wrong? They don't!!

    We as pastors are to be above approach...we are to be blameless...we are not given carte blanche to do as we please but we also are to be corrected/rebuked by senior or like authority not by junior or subordinate persons. Remember I'm a former Marine so I don't intend to use these words as though church members are inferior or idiots but to clarify that the authority to pastor is from God and if a person squanders that authority with sin, absue, etc then God the authority will take care of it.

    I say again not just to hear myself but to warn all of us that we commit a far greater sin when we try to "correct the preacher" whether he needs it or not. We have taken ourselves out from under his authority and ultimately from under God's authority. This does not mean that we can not leave the church and find another or better place to worship and serve at...maybe we should...but it does mean that we CANNOT/SHOULD NOT confront the pastor or spread gossip (no matter how truthful) about that pastor. It is not our place and we don't have the authority to do it...period!! Tha tis why my example of David is perfect. He was already annoited as the King and would have been right to replace Saul but David was right that he would have dishonored his own authority by taking action against Saul, the King that was given by God to the nation. Saul was at one time empowered by God and blessed by God but after his sin and lack of repentance God removed His blessings and protection and Saul ultimately was removed and David assumed power in the right way at God's appointed time. We should operate this way...instead of gossipping or complaining or empowering ourselves to "correct the preacher" we should be doing more praying for our pastor and church leadership!!! God will resolve alot more alot quicker that way!! God Bless!!
     
    #14 MRCoon, Sep 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2006
  15. StefanM

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    The average baptist system does not allow for a truly contextual application of this passage.

    Ideally, someone in authority should handle the problem. Unfortunately, baptist churches have jettisoned plural eldership (though many have created de facto elders with a deacon board). With plural elders, the problem could easily be handled.

    With more episcopalian church polity, the problem could easily be addressed as well (though I don't advocate this system).

    Even so, when you don't have plural elders, we have to do the best we can.

    Let's look at a hypothetical situation.
    Are you honestly telling me that if the pastor sleeps with his secretary and if the church finds out about it that the church should sit down and shut up or just leave the church? Should they just let the church go on like that?

    As far as keeping in context, I wouldn't stress the David story too much. Pastors are not kings. The king of Israel had far greater authority than we could ever think of having as pastors. Also, there is a big difference between killing and removing from a pastoral position.

    The pastor is not an apostle. The pastor is not a king.

    EDIT: If you are suggesting that a pastor from another church should come in, how could they have ANY authority in that church?
     
    #15 StefanM, Sep 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2006
  16. MRCoon

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    I enjoy how we will except the contextual argument on one side and yet disregard another another biblical statement and declare that it does not apply!!

    As a Pastor my calling is not from a mere prophet (Samuel to David) but as Shepherd to undershepherd or as a Herald of the King of Kings...so yeah my position as a pastor or associate pastor is more important and more accountable (to God) than a mere national King. A King decides laws and rules for society and my work can decide/influence the damnation or blessing of man's soul. I'll assume that you agree like this and so we'll move on and say that a pastor's responisibility is more than to be a ruler or polity leader.

    No matter how independent we think we are as Independent Baptists nearly all of us have some association with another church or organization. So there is always some one who can be used to approach or correct a pastor. Your example is a gross example of the situation as we are discussing. We are refering to possible or unnamed, assumed attitudal (is that a word?) sins...where a pastor is perceived to have wronged a man in the church and instead of repairing the relationship this Pastor is aggravating the situation and causing more discord towards this wronged brother. Or maybe this brother wronged the pastor and has been gossiping or slandering the pastor and they have a strained/discordant relationship...either way this is a sin but the issue is who rebukes the pastor if the pastor is wrong in this situation?

    The example of an adulterous pastor we can assume that both agree that the church body needs to resolve this and as is the case in nearly all situations such as this the pastor is usually quitting/resigning in shame instead of the church having to conduct church discipline and/or firing him because he won't leave.

    But the issue I have been focusing on is more of a "we don't like how our pastor is doing things" or "he wronged me and I'll correct him"...this is a dangerous approach to have. And to use scripture out of context to condone or encourage this is wrong. We need to pray for our pastor because while we expect him to live the better more victorous christian life (as he should by the way) we also need to temper our expectations with the reality that the devil is after our pastor a whole lot more than he is someone just sitting in the pew. Because while a Sunday School Teacher or deacon has a certain sphere of influence and will affect some adversely if they fall...a pastor who falls affects not just one church but other local churches, any affliated churches, and even the view of the unsaved against God and christianity.

    So while I'm all for having pastor over to dine with...I'm screaming at the top of my literary lungs to warn against having the pastor for dinner!! I only say these remarks because this thread felt like it started in this direction and failed to be righted in the correct direction. Your pastor, my pastor is just a man but by position, authority, and spiritual leadership he is a prime target for attack from many fronts let's be certain that we are allowing him to be human and supporting him in the battle fro men's souls!!

    May God bless us all as we strive to serve Him even more!!


    Ps. a word study shows that I Tim 5:19 - the witnesses are not people to witness someone being rebuked but are validating witnesses to the accusation that has been levied against an elder. So we are not to hear or receive (word study uses accept or believe) an accusation unless that accusation is confirmed by others as witnesses...be careful of heresay or heresy!! So Paul starts this chapter with reubke not an elder...but then in these later verses confirms a time when to rebuke one but understand that Timothy is already a bishop...a church leader...he is not a casual lay person in the pew. Some food for thought!!
     
    #16 MRCoon, Sep 13, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2006
  17. StefanM

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    I don't support your assumption that pastors are more important than Israel's king was. Now, if we are talking about the monarch of Britain, then you probably have a case, but the king of Israel was both a religious and a political leader. He was required to uphold true worship of the one true God.

    My belief is that we should follow Matthew 18, even when dealing with a pastor.

    I'm the only pastor at my church, and I do not want to have unquestioned authority. If I am not faithfully executing my ministry, I would like to be told about it. Of course, I would want to be approached privately and not just gossiped about. Even so, I think pastors need accountability.

    I think that churches often abuse their pastors, but I think we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    One of the problems I'd have with involving another church's minister is that you can get into all manner of gossip in that scenario. Is the solution worse than the problem?

    I think we have to answer a serious question here: what does the church have the authority to do?

    Does the church even have the authority to vote to bring in a minister? (see Titus 1:15)

    If we must defer to another minister for correcting a pastor, why not in calling one?

    P.S. I'm SBC.
     
  18. El_Guero

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    Did you mean split or church plant?

     
  19. Phillipians121

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    Reminds me of a passage taken from a book on spiritual abuse.

    Unspoken Rules

    “‘You know we must never disagree with the pastor on his sermons—and if you do, you will never be trusted and never be allowed to minister in any capacity in this church.’ In this case, the unspoken rule is: Do not disagree with the church authorities —especially the pastor—or your loyalty will be suspect. Rules like this remain unspoken, because examining them in the light of mature dialogue would instantly reveal how illogical, unhealthy and anti-Christian they are. So silence becomes the fortress wall of protection, shielding the pastor’s power position from scrutiny or challenge.”
    In some churches there is “an unwritten and unspoken rule that said, ‘It is better to be nice than honest’.”

    “If you speak about the problem out loud, you are the problem.”

    “The truth is, when people talk about problems out loud, they don't cause them, they simply expose them.”
    “Too many churches communicate this kind of shaming message: ‘The problem is not that your boundaries were crossed and violated, the problem is that you talked. If you would not have made such a big deal, everything would still be fine.’ If a person accepts that message, they will stop talking.

    The real problem, however, is that if a Christian who feels violated stops talking, then the perpetrator will never be held accountable for his behaviour.”
     
  20. Phillipians121

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    Great post :thumbs:
     

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