Pastoral Theology

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Pistos, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Pistos

    Pistos
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    The Bible says... "remember them that have the rule over you" ... "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account...."

    How is your pastor being treated in your church?
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Our pastor is treated with love and respect. One reason is that although we recognize his authority,and he exercises it, he does it with love for his people and with wisdom. There is quite a difference between ruling (or leading) and "lording it over" the people.

    There is also quite a difference between demanding obedience and commanding it.
     
  3. drfuss

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    In considering these type scriptures, we should remember that the leaders are always referred to as plural. In the N.T. church, the church was governed by a group of elders and not a single or leading elder. On course if there was an Apostle amoung them, he was the leader.

    The church government system that most churches have now is very different than that for the N.T. church. Leadership abuse is less likely with multiple elders that with just one leading elder; there is some safety in nimbers. This difference should be considered when applying these type scriptures to our churches today.

    Of course we should respect and follow our church leaders today as they follow the Lord.

    More on plurality of elders can be found in: http:www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=414.
     
  4. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Can you give specific scripture references? I don't recognize that wording, so you're probably using a translation that's unfamiliar to me.
     
  5. AresMan

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    Here it is from the KJV:
    Agree.

     
  6. Pistos

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    so you mean there's a boundary of your obedience to your pastor...then what is 'considered' boundary ? or any bible basis regarding your statement?

    Is the pastor has the right to give command and demand about it?

    Please explain Demanding Obedience and Commanding and its difference?
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    Demanding obedience suggests to me the analogy of parent-child conversation. "You better not do that Why? Because I'm the parent and I said so."

    Sorta like, " You'll do what I say beause I'm the pastor of this congregation and that's all you need to know."

    On the other hand, here's a definition of command:

    To deserve and receive as due; exact: The troops' bravery commanded respect.

    This suggests that respect--or obedience--is willingly given

    Wouldn't it be better to obey our rulers willingly because they command our respect and obedience than to do it grudgingly because they demand that we do so? It's one thing to obey because the office requires it; it's another to follow because we have confidence in the one who holds the office.

    Neither definition sets a boundary on our obedience.
     
    #7 Tom Butler, Dec 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2006
  8. Pistos

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    Didn't the pastor deserved to receive due respect because he a pastor called by God WHO EVER HE MIGHT BE? why, don't you see your pastor as 'your-pastor' or something else?

    The position was NOT GIVEN by men NOR APPOINTED by men but by God. Though the bible speaks clearly of the requirements of being a man-of-God (1 Tim. 3:2-5) . But the Word of God didn't suggest to put down His 'under-shepherd' to be at the judgment of his members or deacons. If the pastor has something to confess it must be first between him and God then followed by his public apology to the members. Remember it is God that gave the principle of Authority -- in Government, in Church, in Family -- but this authority will be judge accordingly by God.

    Some members of the church become 'sour-graping' with their pastor because maybe --
    (1) The pastor is younger than they or naive in preparing sermons.
    (2) Mishandling of funds (offerings)
    (3) The pastor's wife & children are not showing as an example of 'followship'
    (4) Sin of Adultery

    and many more... But the issue still, how a pastor may be able to avoid such failure if the members are doubtful or full of reservation in helping him. In the New Testament, these kind of people were branded as busy-bodies. That's why I asserted the 'Remember them...' -- it means in our prayer, support morally, being kind to his family and making ourselves partner with his vision in the ministry.
     
  9. Bartimaeus

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    In Acts 15 there is a plurality in discussion. There is a plurality in opinion. There is no plurality in the final decision. James made the decision. James finalized the issue. James only, stated what would be done about the problem that all discussed. There was no plurality.

    Elder leadership is a protestant doctrine.

    Thanks Bart/Ky/Look Away!
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    Oh, I agree that in the final analyis, the pastor is called by God, appointed by God and accountable to God.

    But I don't believe you really mean that the congregation, out of respect for the office, should ignore pastoral adultery or mishandling of church funds.

    I also don't believe you really mean members should blindly follow the pastor, nor do I believe you actully mean that the pastor has no accountability to his congregation. I 'm sure you don't mean the pastor should never listen to his deacons, consider their view or those of anybody else in the congregation.

    I don't want to put words in you mouth about what you think. I think we can clear it up for good if you'll say if the pastor has total authority over his church, and can exercise that power anytime he wishes.
     
    #10 Tom Butler, Dec 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2006
  11. Tom Butler

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    I read it differently. The council met in Jerusalem. Peter made his case to the council, not just to James. Paul and Barnabas made their case to the council, not just to James.

    Then James gave his opinion. And then James said that the council should write letters saying that Gentile Christians should abstain from eating meat offered to idols, and from "blood." Nothing else.

    Verse 22 says basically the council and the whole church was pleased.

    It was the council's decision. In the following verses the letter does not say James has decided this. It says v.25 "...it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord.."


    V. 27 "We, therefore, have sent Judas and Silas..."

    This is not a very good passage to argue for either pastoral authority or elder rule.
     
    #11 Tom Butler, Dec 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2006
  12. drfuss

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    Tom writes:
    "Oh, I agree that in the final analyis, the pastor is called by God, appointed by God and accountable to God."

    The Pastor is called by the church to be their spiritual leader. The pastor, church officers and members are responsible to God to perform their duties to the church as agreed upon by the church in the constitution and bylaws.

    The N.T. church was governed by a plurality of elders. The constitution and bylaws are the agreed upon operational procedures to provide balance between the plurality of elders system and the senior pastor system we have today. Both pastors and members should live up to their agreed upon responsibilities.
     
  13. mountainrun

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    Bartimaeus, you say that elder leadership is a protestant doctrine.
    However, we see that Paul told Titus...

    Titus 1: 5. The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

    MR
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    This is not the thread to debate the question of elder rule, so otherwise I agree with you.

    Oh, there is one thought. I doubt if anyone disputes that there was a plurality of elders in the early NT times. Perhaps the reason is that they met in homes--thus a plurality of preaching stations, thus the need for a plurality of elders.

    And this comes to mind: Those churches large enough to have a senior pastor by definition have other pastors on the staff. And in the NT, all pastors are elders. So they do have a plurality of elders--just not like the Presbys.

    And although we agree that our pastors are ultimately appointed by God, I don't see any preacher walking into a church and telling the congregation, "God has appointed me to be your pastor." Nor, do I see any man walking into the church saying, "God has told me that I am to be a member of your elder board (or deacon body for that matter). The human process of selecting pastors, deacons or elders ususally starts with the congregation.

    Ideally, the Holy Spirit guides the process on both ends.
     
  15. Bartimaeus

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    Bro. Tom,
    Vs 19 says, "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble them not.......

    If that is not one person making the final decision, then I've never seen it before! James (I believe he was the pastor) closed the discussion and gave the final answer and advised the remedy. When the judge says, "Wherefore my sentence is....." that is the last word on the subject.

    Yes, the church, (we) did send Judas and Silas, as we (our church) sends missionaries today. This point does not present elder rule and to say it does reaches very, very far to do so.

    Thanks Bart/Ky/Look Away!
     
    #15 Bartimaeus, Dec 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2006
  16. pinoybaptist

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    Bro. Tom :

    Help me avoid jumping half-cocked into the discussion.
    Are you saying the pastor and/or elders, in commanding the respect and obedience of the congregation, must earn this respect and obedience first, before the scriptural order to "remember them that have the rule over you" can be applied to them ?
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    Right now, I am not a member of any church where I am, and I am not pastoring, either, but, let me answer.

    If I believe that the church I am part of is descended or closely related to the first New Testament church that the Savior founded, then whoever is pastoring commands my respect and obedience because the Bible commands me to "remember" him/them, not because he earned it, and not because I decided to give him/them my respect and obedience.

    This is because I believe that the leadership of a New Testament church was given and decided upon and chosen by the Holy Spirit, who is the Administrator, and therefore any disrespect or disobedience I show to the leadership is a disrespect to the Holy Spirit.

    However, having said that, there is nothing in the Bible that tells me that I am to swallow hook, line, and sinker everything that is said from the pulpit, nor am I to follow the leadership blindly, even if I see that they no longer follow Christ, because the very same Paul to whom we attribute the Scripture "remember them that have the rule over you ....." is the very same Paul who under inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, "follow me as I follow Christ".

    I part ways with the pastor and the leadership of the church if after much prayer and searching I find that (1) the doctrines being taught do not conform to what the Scriptures teach, (2) the practices being instituted is extra-Biblical. As for adultery, once proved, the door is where I head, and no drama.

    Likewise, if the leadership and the pastor are upright in their walk with the Lord, and faithfully expound, espouse, and practice what the Bible teaches, and the church is rebellious, the door is where I head, because the final judge and arbiter in the church is the Holy Spirit.

    So, back to the OP. In every church I and my family have been members of, we treat the pastor and leadership with love and respect, whether or not they know us, and whether or not we know them, because the Bible tells us to do so, not because they "commanded" our love and respect.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Actually, I like the answer you gave to your own question in post #17.

    Let me try it this way with a military analogy:

    As a soldier (sailor, marine, any of them), you are required to obey the orders of your superiors. You may hate their guts but you obey them because of their rank.
    You will also salute the officers, even if you can't stand them, because you are required to have respect for the uniform they wear and the rank they hold.

    Obedience and respect are demanded and given.

    On the other hand, there may be some superior officers whom you have high regard for because of their leadership style, their brilliant military minds, their bravery, any number of things. The respect demanded of you is earned from you, not only because of rank and uniform but also because of the things I mentioned.

    Either way, those who have the rule over you will get obedience and respect.

    Your pastor should get the obedience his office and calling require. You can respect his office and calling without respecting or loving the pastor. The ideal is that we should love and respect him because he has earned them, not just because of the office he holds.
     
    #18 Tom Butler, Dec 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2006
  19. Tom Butler

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    I supposed that it's possible that Pastor James made the decision unilaterally. Makes me wonder, then, why they had a council, why the elders, apostles and the whole church were involved. Luke carefully records that the apostles, elders and the whole church agreed with James.

    In your next sentence, are you agreeing or disagreeing with me on the elder rule question? The "we" in my previous post referred to all those at the council, including the whole church as well as apostles and elders. So on that, we agree, I think.
     
  20. drfuss

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    Tom wirtes:
    "Let me try it this way with a military analogy:
    As a soldier (sailor, marine, any of them), you are required to obey the orders of your superiors. You may hate their guts but you obey them because of their rank.
    You will also salute the officers, even if you can't stand them, because you are required to have respect for the uniform they wear and the rank they hold.
    Obedience and respect are demanded and given.
    On the other hand, there may be some superior officers whom you have high regard for because of their leadership style, their brilliant military minds, their bravery, any number of things. The respect demanded of you is earned from you, not only because of rank and uniform but also because of the things I mentioned.
    Either way, those who have the rule over you will get obedience and respect."

    Tom,
    I have heard this analogy before, and I don't think it applies here. In the military, you do not have a personal relationship with the Commander-In-Chief. In the Christian life, you not only have a personal relationship with the Commander-In-Chief, but you should be personally communicating with Him each day. Not so in the military.

    We should respect and follow our Christians leaders as they follow the Lord, but not take orders from them as in the military. IMHO.
     

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