Pastors....Too much power?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by shinninglight, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. shinninglight

    shinninglight
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    Why do I get the impression that Fundamentalist pastors have too much power? That their word is final without any rebuke from deacons who are usually family and friends. I'm sure most pastors are fine god loving men and truly pastors. But what about those pastors that run their churches "like a business" and invite trouble by wanting total control of church finances? I see serious problems with fundamentalist Baptist churches and the way they are run.
     
  2. sag38

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    You have a choice. You can support your pastor. Or, you can find another church.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    What if it is discovered the pastor has a very flawed character?
     
  4. shinninglight

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    As we know pastors are men, just as sinful as the next man. They can be very flawed. Thats why we need to have deacons that don't just "yes" all the time. All this does is it hurts the pastor,hurts the church members and hurts God. Deacons, even if they are family members or close friends(personally I think that having family members as deacons is a great conflict of interest) owe it to themselves, their church and their pastor to stand up for whats right.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    You deal with it scripturally by going to the person privately, then taking someon else with you, then bringing it before the church.

    But these steps are for dealing with sin, not because a person believes that fundamental pastors have too much power. Then you have the right to express your feelings and if the church agrees the pastor can be dismissed or his "power" limited. If the church doesn't agree, then the choice is to stay or leave. Personally, if you don't think the pastor is being wise and you tried to change the church's mind and they disagree, you ought to leave and find a church that will agree with you.

    I also don't think that deacons are some kind of Board. They are to be servants. A pastor is silly not to listen to men the church has accepted as servant leaders, but they are not a board of directors to say yes or no to the pastor. That's the church's repsonsibilty.
     
  6. sag38

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    Crabby, the poster didn't mention a flawed character or specifics. Rather it sounds like a power struggle. But, I could be wrong. We really need more information.
     
  7. Crabtownboy

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    That is possible. I took it as a general question concerning power within a church.

    There are two kinds of power;
    1. implied power
    2. real power

    I have seen pastors wanting lots of power and I have seen deacons seeking the same. It seems to me that both are missing the call that Christ makes to us all to be servants.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Shinninglight, Maybe in your Pentecostal Church the pastors have too much authority. It is not so in the Fellowship Baptist Churches. If the deacons choose, they can call for our demise any time. The deacons are chosen by the membership and not selected by the pastor.

    I had control over the spiritual guidance of the church and was an exofficio member of all committees, but didn't have a vote.

    We are there to guide and lead and not to dictate.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. shinninglight

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    As posted by Tom Bryant,

    " I also don't think that deacons are some kind of Board. They are to be servants. A pastor is silly not to listen to men the church has accepted as servant leaders, but they are not a board of directors to say yes or no to the pastor. That's the church's repsonsibilty. "

    The problem is that most deacons are "appointed by the pastor" not selected by the church members. Most members will agree with a pastors motion not wanting to show discourse. Besides, the majority of church members will not have an idea as to the inner workings of the church. Thats why you need deacons(who act as a collective group) to uphold pastors who stray from the good of the church. Listen, I'm not saying this for the sake of saying it, but the extra layer of checks and balances(provided by the deacons) goes a long way to reducing the sinful problems we have in our churches today. Thats the deacons responsibility.
     
  10. shinninglight

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    Jim1999, there's a big difference between Fellowship and Fundemental Baptist churches. I'm just suggesting that there are bigger issues to deal with in Fundementalist churches because of the lack of oversight. The Pentecostal churches have similar problems. Too much freedom for a pastor is a terrible thing.
     
    #10 shinninglight, Jul 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2009
  11. Tom Bryant

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    Your profile says you are a pentecostal, so what is your experience level in fundamental churches?

    I have been in ministry for 30 years and never in a Baptist church i know did the pastor pick the deacons. I and any other pastor suggests men but it is up to the church to choose the deacons.

    I also think you don't know what the Biblical office of deacon is all about. They are not checks and balances. They were called for the purposes of dealing with feeding the widows. They were chosen so that the Apostles could continue preaching and praying, not to provide oversight.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    Tom, In Canada, deacons play a very different role than in USA Baptist Churches. In the first place, the pastor provides a spiritual role and does not control the church. He answers to the deacons' Board and the church body.

    We take the attitude that the church "belongs" to the people and we are just passing through as pastors. We believe deacons do have a leadership role as well.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Nothing in scripture provides for the Deacons to be overseers. Now a days the deacons act much like a Union rep for fear of the Pastor and what he "might" do if he has to much "power". It is is a shame the church cannot trust Go and who he called. Or it may just be that God never called him the church just hired him and they do not trust themselves.
     
  14. Lux et veritas

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    In our churches (reformed baptist), there are both elders and deacons.

    The elders deal with the spiritual guidance and affairs of the church.
    The deacons deal with the temporal matters of the church.
    The pastor is an elder with no more or less authority within the church, except he also has the "authority of the pulpit".

    Pastors / elders are elected and then ordained to their office and can only be removed for doctrinal or moral failure.
    Deacons are elected and serve terms (generally 2 to 3 years). But they do not have authority to remove a pastor. That is the work of the elders.

    All men are voted into office by the congregation, but then they carry on their ministries and answer back to the people on a regular basis.

    This kind of church government is a good balance between "pastoral dictatorship" and "congregational (mob) rule".
     
  15. Jerome

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    Well said. The new Reformed Baptist governance scheme is indeed a balance of dictatorship and mob rule.

    This excellent article by John Reisinger describes the problems that arose with this innovation:

    "...some present-day Baptists (mostly Reformed Baptists) have departed from both the Bible and their Baptist forefathers. They have adopted the Presbyterian view of eldership..."

    "Some Reformed Baptists, as well as others, have attempted to wed two things that are totally opposite. These men have tried to put elements of Presbyterianism into a semi-Baptist framework and managed to destroy the strengths of both systems and exaggerate the weakness of both systems."

    "Several years ago a group of Reformed Baptist pastors published a book entitled Shepherding God's Flock. The book was specifically aimed at trying to correct a growing problem of abusive eldership within that movement. The very fact the book was written and published is testimony to the severity of the problem about which these men were concerned."

    "The book has one great weakness. None of the authors in the book makes any attempt to trace the problem to a root cause. They have purposely kept the theme of the book to one subject, namely the abuse of eldership. How and why that abusive attitude came into being, was nurtured, and allowed to grow is not discussed. All of the authors treat the tyrants against whom they are writing as aberrations of their own doctrine of eldership. We would suggest that it is possible that the tyrants are in reality the logical conclusion to that very view of eldership and as long as the same system of eldership is maintained tyrannical men will continue to arise in their midst."
     
  16. SeekingTruth

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    Have the rules changed? Are non-Baptists now allowed to post in the "Baptists Only" forums? I'm just curious.
     
  17. Lux et veritas

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    Ummm ... who are you specifically referring to?
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    He's referring to shinninglight, who lists his denomination as Pentecostal.
     
  19. shinninglight

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    "Seeking the truth" seems anxious about the topic. I have friends that attend a fundamental church and we have attended as well. My reason for starting the topic was that our friends seem concerned with this issue. I was curious if this was a real problem, thats all. I hope we don't have censorship like the Chineese or Russians on this topic, whoever posts it, because someone feels uncomfortable about the topic. I believe in open dialogue within reason. Too many Christians want to sweep the truth under the rug. "Seeking the Truth" should seek the truth.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    Nobody is trying to censor the topic. We're gently trying to tell you to read and follow the rules. You are posting in a Baptist-Only section. You are not a Baptist. There are plenty of places below that are open to all faiths. Help yourself there.
     

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