Sunday, February 20, 2005

Where is "the pastor?"

Not in the Bible.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165

Without looking, do you know how many times the word "pastor" can be found in the New Testament? How often do you hear the term, "the pastor" spoken among professing Christians? Where and how did and does this lone pastor, a type of CEO, and in too many cases, a dictator/ruler over the flock of God, derive his power? I challenge you to prove all things and see if the modern day pastor position is not biblically unsubstantiated and therefore practically unsound.

The word pastor, in singular form, is nowhere to be found in the New Testament. The word "pastor", singular, is found once in the Old. The word pastor is found only one time in the entire authorized version of the Holy Bible. Yet these days, as often as one is confronted with the term, you'd think that "the pastor" was the only office in the bible. With all due respect for the true gift of pastoring, we are inundated with man, woman and his or her dog either claiming they are or aspiring to be "the pastor."

Now, I thought that the word pastors (plural) was at least twice in the New. Not so, one time only is the word pastors, plural, found.

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Ephesians 4:11

And that is it. That is the only place one can find the word pastors in the New Testament.

I thought it was also here: "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." I Cor 12:28

Where is the pastor? He is not in the bible. Teachers are there. But you won't find what Christiandom today refers to: a lone, solo, priest prototype or the misused term , "the pastor." He's just not there.

Why is it then, that a word found one time in the entire New Testament has become seemingly the only and particularly the most exalted ministry in modern religious circles? What does it mean to say, "Reverend so and so assumed the pastorate?" That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15 (the context is interesting.)

Could it be, that some, if not a vast amount of what we assume to be "just the way it is" is nothing less than false doctrine? Jesus said that some worship him in vain, teaching for commandments, the doctrines of men. Paul tells us "of your own selves" shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves. Paul went on to say, "Therfore watch and remember that by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears." Acts 20

For three years the beloved apostle ceased not to warn every true, Apostolic, born again of water and spirit, Christian. Night and day with tears he warned them that after his departing, men whom he described as grievous wolves would enter in, not sparing the flock, the Apostolic church of the Holy One of Israel.

Why is this so important you may say. Maybe you're content with your local church just the way it is. The bible says,

Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Psalms 119:104 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. Psalms 119:128

The lone pastor system is a false one. Anything we practice that can't be supported with scripture is a hindrance to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus bought the church with His own blood. The least we can do is strive to be what He paid for, for the sake of sinners and the saints.


Blogger FaithfulOne said...

Did you look up the dictionary definition of "pastor"?
The third one is "shepherd". Each pastor of a congregation is to be a good shepherd to his flock, as Jesus portrayed in the parable of the Good Shepherd. I am sure you are familiar with the story. Just because the exact term does not appear in the translation you use, does not mean it is anti-scriptural or somehow unchristian in usage, therefore it CANNOT be used.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Lori Ann in L.A. said...

Thank you for posting faitfulone.

The bible does speak of "pastors,"(plural.) But there is no pattern in scripture for the solo/lone or CEO type pastor or vertical hierarchy employed by Roman Catholicism or the many Protestant denominations.

The biblical pattern for leadership is that of biblically qualified elders shepherding the flock of God under the direction of the Great Shepherd, Jesus, who alone is the head of His church.

You might be interested in further study. One of many articles on the internet is "The Pastor: Where Did He Come From?" by Frank Viola

9:49 PM  

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