Does the Pastor have any Spiritual authority over us?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Whey, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Whey

    Whey
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    I have recently gone thru a terrible time at my church. There is much strife there. There seemed to be a definite split in the membership. Each group would not interact with the other group. I tried to distance myself from the whole "taking sides" issue an am paying the price.

    Last Wednesday night in a public meeting the Pastor accused my family of "master minding an over throw" and moved to have my family excluded from fellowship. I was devastated. When we arrived the whole church was there (people that NEVER come on Wednesday night). The pastor said that I had called members to ask them to vote to have him removed. I did not do any such thing. I even asked for ONE person to raise their hand if I had phoned or in anyway solicited their vote. NONE did. NOT ONE PERSON. He still claimed that I did. It is like he just went over the edge.

    The church refused to have us excluded. He said it was us or him. BUT when he saw the church refusing to exclude us he backed down from that threat real quick. Many have left the church over this from BOTH of the warring sides. My family is definitely seeking a new fellowship.

    After this all occurred, several pastors called my family. They prayed with us. Offered us support and encouragement. (None were sheep stealing because two of the three lived over 100 miles away but had heard of our situation from other members.) One pastor told us to get under the protection of a pastor quickly. He said we needed the protection of a good man of God praying for us. He seemed to imply that we were in spiritual danger. Now for my question........Will my family fall under spiritual attack more readily than anyone else after this terrible experience? Does the old pastor still have any authority over us in his prayers? Would God continue to heed his prayers about us?

    Whey
     
  2. Ernie Brazee

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    From the information in your post, your pastor failed to apply Bible discipline. Had he done this you would not have been embarassed in front of the whole congregation.


    Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
    16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    It sounds as if you are already under spiritual attack. If what you have said is true, this pastor is worse than having no pastor at all because he is part of the attack against you. But you should find a new church as soon as possible so you can find the support of a church body. If you wait, you may become bitter against church in general. You need to have a good church experience quickly to affirm the importance of a Godly fellowship.

    No. Some influenced by Bill Gothard-type ideas might disagree, but I don't think the pastor has ever had "authority" over you in his prayers. He is responsible before God to serve you, but does not hold any mediating function between you and God. The moment he started falsely accusing you in public, he violated Biblical standards (just as Brother Ernie affirmed). You do not have to submit to the so-called authority of anyone who is doing something so blatantly evil.

    Absolutely not. God knows the truth better than any human being. He fully knows all the motivations of both of your hearts. God is not going to be persuaded to do evil based on the evil prayers of someone who is so obviously not being led by the Spirit.

    If things can't be reconciled very quickly, find a new fellowship where the pastor serves the people, not rules over them like a king.
     
  4. David Cooke Jr

    David Cooke Jr
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    Not if you are Baptist.
     
  5. hrhema

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    I have been in similar situations. The pastor of one church I attended in Houston, TX was killed in an head on collision. The church stayed pastorless for a few months but made a very bad mistake allowing the new pastor to come in when 50% of the church did not want him. He ended up running off nearly 400 people because he kept rebuking people for lack of giving and other things he claimed happened. He fired the Assistant Pastor who held the church together during the death of the Pastor to put his son in as Assistant Pastor.

    One night he got up before the congregation and told them that he had to rebuke me because I was lazy and would not hold a job yet I was not at the service because I had to work that night on my job. He lied. He got angry when the girl I was dating and I decided to call off our engagement and told me that I had no right to do this without his permission.

    I became very angry and bitter and it built over the years. Anytime a pastor made a mistake I was very critical and negative. I stayed away from any church for 7 and half years. It is still many years later hard not to feel the same way and I have had a hard time letting walls of protection down because of this.

    Bitterness and anger can negate your whole life over situations like this unless you rise up above it. Keep your eyes off men and only on God because if I had done this I would have been better off for it.
     
  6. FearNot

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    I am so sorry and saddened for your church, I have been in a church that had problems too (as many have). I think the devil is trying to cause problems for you. You and your family sound like you have been doing the right thing by refusing to war in church. Since the devil couldn't get you to fight, he is trying to attack you and break you. Stay strong, rely on the Lord for your strength and may God bless you.
     
  7. David Cooke Jr

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    Whey,
    I did not see the text of your post in my earlier reply. I pray that you find a congregation that will help you grow in your Christian walk and allow you to serve our Lord as he intended. Good luck God be with you.
     
  8. Optional

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    I counsel you do as BB said and find another church as quickly as possible. Brother Ernie called it right.
     
  9. Circuitrider

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    You might want to consider Hebrews 13:7,17 as a passage dealing with the spiritual authority of the pastor. A pastor does have some basis of authority by virtue of his teaching and preaching the Word of God (7). He also must watch for your soul and give account for it (17). However, your statement of what happened seems to indicate your pastor surrendered any right over you and your family by his personal attack. [​IMG] You do need to get into another good church for personal feeding and ministry. :(

    I knew a pastor in our area who believed that no one could leave his church unless he gave permission (which he had somehow come up with out of this Hebrews passage). I told him that he was "all wet" biblically and that God led people to his church to join and God would just as well lead people away when the time was right. Needless to say, we drove the people he had away and the church eventually closed. :rolleyes:

    However, Even Baptist preachers can get out of line bibically when they neglect to walk with God and feed on the Word. :eek: :eek: (and here I am a Baptist preacher saying that....) :D I better watch out!!
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    It's a very rare thing when this motley bunch agrees on a proper course of action! :eek:

    Now that you've heard from mere well-intentioned humans, ask God to confirm or correct what we have suggested to you. The LORD knows the best course of action.

    You're in a difficult situation and I (or anyone else) can know every aspect of your circumstances, but I have been in a situation where a pastor turned against me publicly (he would make snide remarks about "some people" from the pulpit that gave enough information for everyone to know exactly who he was talking about -- of course, he was never fair about what he said). After that didn't scare me away, he had the minister of education harass me with crazy allegations. After getting calling into the minister of education's office 2 or 3 times and having to set things straight, the minister of education finally relieved me of all leadership positions. When I was still attending and participating in church life two weeks later, he pulled me aside and suggested I should "go to a church where my gifts and callings could be used more effectively" -- the "Christian" way to tell me to leave. :mad:

    I left and never went back. I also didn't go anywhere else for nearly nine months because I was so disgusted with church life. No one would stand up to the pastor's abuse (I tend to ignore personal attacks on me when I have little respect for the attacker -- I would rather not answer a fool in his folly) and false charges against me.

    Finally, I healed enough to join another church where I knew the pastor (he was one of my former college professors) and stayed there for a few years. And then about six years ago I joined a fine church in Fort Worth where I have been very happy and active.

    Your church experience can and should get much better. Just follow God and He will lead you to a new place of worship/service/community. [​IMG]
     
  11. Whey

    Whey
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    Thank you all for your kind word and advice. When I read these responses I broke into tears realizing that there are Christians out there really do care.

    You are ALL absolutely right about getting quickly into another church. My family has many gifts (there are nine of us) and I do not intend to let this man stop our working for the Lord!!!

    And for each one of you who obviously have the gift of encouragement THANK YOU.

    Whey
     
  12. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Whey,

    I don't think I can improve on the good advice everyone has given you so far but I am praying for you and your family.

    Mike
     
  13. latterrain77

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    Hi whey. 1 Tim. 3 plainly describes the characteristics of church leadership. "Authority" within ANY congregation CANNOT occur without that standard being met. Furthermore, Eph. 1: 22, and Col. 1:18 make it clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is our true head - HE is our authority. When looking for a congregation, always be alert for the tell-tale signs of delusion, which can be found in many church hierarchies these days (2 Thess. 2: 11). Could it actually be WRONG to become "numbered" in a church (2 Sam. 24: 9-25) which membership has the effect of doing?

    True "gathering of the Saints" can occur just as easily at your local Starbucks with two or three other believers (Matt. 18:20), as it can in some "bricks & mortar" building overrun with hypocrites. The so called "pastor authority" is a vastly overstated concept that is heavily promoted by - guess who? - pastors! (for obvious reasons).

    latterrain77

    [ July 16, 2002, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: latterrain77 ]
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Hebrews 13:7,17 have to be among the most misused, mis-translated and mis-applied verses in the Bible. A whole generation of pastors have now been weaned on "totalitarian" leadership instead of "servant" leadership.

    If I were a member of the church (as accurately described in your comments) I would have asked for the pastor's dismissal. That kind of spirit should be "put out to pasture", not pastor.

    Lot of other bull out there . . . :eek:
     
  15. Whey

    Whey
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    I agree that this man should not present himself as a shepherd. But, I am wondering how much responsibility I have to see that he hits the road?

    A long time member called me to say that 5 people plus the Pastor's family attended church last night. AND that was for a revival. I am really doubting that God has any intention of saving this church. It looks to me like God is handling this one. Why not raise up another church in the area that has not profaned his name?

    I know one thing......I am OUT OF THERE.

    Got to run, it is Wednesday night and my family is beginning our journey to find a new fellowship. Keep us in your prayers.

    YSIC
    Whey
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    I must say I have never seen anyone use it for totalitarian leadership and false application/interpretation should not scare us away from right interpretation/application. However, you do get around much more than I do and I do not doubt the truth of your statement.

    1 Thess 5:12-13 is relevant here: But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.

    There is undoubtably an authoritative aspect to the NT elder/pastor/overseer. It can and has been abused all too often by too many men without accountability. But just as we do not let the excesses of some in certain doctrines drive us away from those doctrines, we should not let those with excesses here drive us away from the biblical model.

    Servant leadership is the way to go but don't forget its servant leadership.
     
  17. latterrain77

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    I must say I have never seen anyone use it for totalitarian leadership and false application/interpretation should not scare us away from right interpretation/application. However, you do get around much more than I do and I do not doubt the truth of your statement.

    1 Thess 5:12-13 is relevant here: But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.

    There is undoubtably an authoritative aspect to the NT elder/pastor/overseer. It can and has been abused all too often by too many men without accountability. But just as we do not let the excesses of some in certain doctrines drive us away from those doctrines, we should not let those with excesses here drive us away from the biblical model.

    Servant leadership is the way to go but don't forget its servant leadership.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Hi Larry. Great comments. I couldn't help but notice that you emphasized the word "leadership" in BOLD text, and did NOT emphasize or bold the word "Servant," in the last two words, of the last sentence, in your comment. In your ministry, do you emphasize your claim to LEADERSHIP over that of SERVANT?

    Your quote of the 1 Thess. 5: 12-13 text can only be viewed in light of, and AFTER, the pre-requisite of 1 Tim. 3 first being met. One cannot logically move to 1 Thess. 5, without first establishing the leadership requirement of 1 Tim. 3. Any leadership that is haughty, puffed up, not Labor based, not Servant based, and not fully based on the 1 Tim 3 pre-requisite, is NOT a leadership being "in the Lord" (as required by 1 Thess. 5:12-13).

    The LORD himself describes the dynamic of a "ruler" (Luke 22: 25-27) - Servantship! (similar to the "labor" style of leadership described in 1 Thess. 5: 12-13). Jesus referred to the religious rulers of his time as "children of the devil" (John 8:44). Was the LORD wrong to say this to religious rulers? If yes, why?

    latterrain77

    [ July 19, 2002, 09:00 AM: Message edited by: latterrain77 ]
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I try not to but since I am depraved I fail. My point was simply a response to Bob who rightly talked about servant leadership. But I wanted to point out that it is still leadership.

    You are right about leadership stemming from qualifications. I call it a mandate to lead or the ability to command attention and respect by the power of your life. It is something every minister (and in reality every person) should strive for. To me, it is summed up in the simple word "integrity." Everyone with integrity is not suitable for leadership but no one without integrity should be allowed to lead, especially in a church.
     
  19. latterrain77

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  20. Maverick

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    As a graduate of Gothard's seminars I would think that in this case, Bill would say that that Pastor is nuts and if you leave the church you have every reason to do so. As long as you tried Matt 18 and the guy still went bonkers. I might be wrong, but I don't think Bill would have a problem with you leaving.

    By the way, I worked with one of the "touch not God's annointed" and "don't go up against God's man" type for awhile. Most people that left he just cast off as unsaved or unable to maintain his standards. When I left, he had a problem. He ordained me and my standards were stricter than his. I was blamed for at least a year after that whenever anyone left that church. One of the deacons came by that had been my friend and asked me if I was trying to destroy that church. (I was attending 30 miles away) I said, no but the devil had already told me how to do it so if I had wanted to I would have done it months ago. It would have taken a short interview with the town newspaper in that Catholic town about the cultlike activities at that church and the man and church would have folded. Instead, I did the right thing and just moved on and enjoyed a better ministry elsewhere. Eventually, that church came to its senses and chunked him. He is pastoring in a church about 40 miles away from the previous church and hopefully he learned from the experience and changed.

    Your guy may as well leave now as his pastorate has probably been over for some time either by his incompetence or his paranoia. You can have 50 Absalom's in the street and if it is God's will for you to remain they will be gone and you will stay. If you have to use the touch not the annointed phrase it is way past time to leave.

    I hope you find a better place to worship and serve!
     

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