Pastors Who Find Themselves in Scripture

Brothers and sisters I have made a new discovery! This morning in my prayer closet I opened up my Scofield and to my surprise and delight I discovered that the Scripture are actually all about ME!

Where it talks about obedience it means to obey MY rules and regulations.

As it speaks of love it means to love ME more than your family, friends, or neighbors.

Whenever it talks about giving it means that you need to give to MY church.

If you read of reaching out to the world it means showing up to MY programs, projects, and fulfilling my plans.

And when it talks of giving glory to God, well of course you know that he is best honored when you honor ME on his behalf.

Humility means treating ME with due deference. Mercy means forgiving MY faults. Justice means giving ME what I’m owed.

This is my gospel. This is my testament. “These very Scriptures speak about me.”

68 thoughts on “Pastors Who Find Themselves in Scripture”

    1. Good reminder.

      I was thinking that while some pastors ACT like Darrell described above, they wouldn’t put it that way, and then you reminded me: someone has.

      It’s so incredibly ironic because Jesus Himself clearly stated that the leader must be a servant and Paul clearly describes pastors as being humble and gentle men.

      1. And then these preachers think something is wrong with you when you glorify God more than you do them. Or, when you start living out what’s actually in the Bible versus what they try to tell you to believe

    2. Oh my, just found Dr. Jack Trieber’s SFL of July 2011, The Pastor is My Shepherd! So typical of a Jack Hyles’ protege! The old false teacher would be proud!

  1. My Mog preached that the verse that says “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” meant rebelling against the Mog. Even though the context seems to indicate that it is referring to rebellion against God’s commands.

    1. Yeah, I saw that verse misused in one of Paul Chappell’s many “Truth For Today” devotionals. These guys are so self involved.

  2. “Whenever it talks about giving it means that you need to give to MY church.” — I have heard this said. We were discouraged from giving in any other way, especially to “compromising” organizations like Salvation Army or Samaritan’s Purse.

    “If you read of reaching out to the world it means showing up to MY programs, projects, and fulfilling my plans.” — They would say “the church” not “MY” but, yeah, this one was heard all the time. In some churches, we were so busy with church programs that we never had time to reach out to those outside the church which is actually the opposite of what Jesus commanded.

    1. “The tithe belongs to the church you attend whether you agree with how the money is spent or not. Once you give the tithe, it is no longer yours and those God has given for leadership should make the decision. Part of submitting to your leaders is giving even when you disagree with what they use the money for.”

      *gag*

      1. Could we say the same thing about taxes? No doubt there are MOGs who would love to see the Tithe just as mandatory as Taxes. :twisted:

    2. Yes, PW, we were told the same thing – EVERY bit of giving was supposed to be through the local church. If we wanted to give to a missionary that our church didn’t support, we were to designate an offering so, and they would take care of it.

      Control much?

  3. “As it speaks of love it means to love ME more than your family, friends, or neighbors”. I have seen so many families break apart because they LOVED the MOG more than their family. Now they don’t have a family.

  4. “And when it talks of giving glory to God, well of course you know that he is best honored when you honor ME on his behalf.” I don’t think I’ve seen this better demonstrated then while I was at Crown. It seemed like every other word (or there about) out of Dr. Pastor Sexton’ mouth was honoring him or his wife. It was always how he need to be encouraged and how you couldn’t do this, this, and this because it didn’t bring encouragement to him. His henchmen were also to be encouraged.

    1. As a truism, I’d say that a man who constantly has to pull the ‘honor the elders’ verse out of his hat is probably not a very honorable man. A good pastor should be easy to show respect to.

      1. The church my wife and I attended right after leaving the IBF had pastors who were so easy to respect because they didn’t demand it from anyone. And because they were honest, trying to honor God with their lives and who didn’t put on a front to hide the true them.

  5. “MY WAY”

    And now, end times are here
    And so we face the great apostasy
    My friends, I’ll say it clear
    I’ll state my case, with great ferocity
    I’ve preached the altar full
    I traveled ev’ry hedge and highway
    And more, much more than this, I did it my way

    Regrets, I’ve had a few
    But then again, too few to mention
    I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
    I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
    And more, much more than this, I did it my way

    Yes, there were times, I had to yell
    Stomped on your toes, Saved you from Hell,
    But through it all, without a doubt
    I preached hard and spit it out
    I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

    I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
    I’ve sermonized on giving tithes
    And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
    To think I did all that
    And may I say, not in a shy way,
    “Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way” </i?

    For what is a MOG, what has he got?
    If not himself, then he has naught
    To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
    The record shows I took served the blows and did it my way!

    Yes, it was my way

    *my sincere apologies to Frank Sinatra

  6. Its not just IFB pastors! It sounds like the United Methodist pastor at the church I used to work at. It was all about her. That is why she would get mad when people would praise things I did, because it wasnt her. You were not to question her thoughts, ideas – mine where always wrong. If you wanted to be a good Christian you were to give to the church and be at all its projects, and how dare you have alternative plans the weekend of the holy sacred turkey supper!

    We love our new church, where the pastors are sincere, and don’t pressure you. The directing pastor pops in to various events. He was at the Happy Birthday Jesus party, where Santa Claus paid a visit. He was standing behind parents making funny faces and dancing to get the kids to laugh during pictures. My 7 year old looked at me and said, “Daddy he smiles and looks like he is having fun. As opposed to some other pastor we know who never smiles and is mean.” Out of have mouths of babes.

    1. Oh, it’s definitely not just IFB pastors. Someone above mentioned the demand that the people tithe without being concerned about what the pastor does with the money. Well, my goddaughter spent 23 years in a spiritually abusive, controlling “ecumenical charismatic covenant community” (about 60% Catholic, 40% Protestant). The “heads” demanded tithes — in fact, my goddaughter’s family had to pay even more because the husband was a physician and presumably “could afford it.” The heads then turned around and used some of the funds for junkets to Europe and the Holy Land — trips the ordinary members couldn’t afford. Grrrr. grrrr, grrrr.

        1. supernova, you raise a good point. It probably is illegal, but the sheeple in this case put up with it because the “heads” were supposedly doing Spiritual Stuff during their overseas jaunts (e.g., attending charismatic conferences).

          My goddaughter’s “covenant community” was (still is) in the deep South, but there’s a more famous case involving a similar community in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Google “Mother of God Community Washington Post” for an absolutely fascinating series of WAPO articles about a notorious community that had spiritual abuse down to a science. :cry:

      1. There is a 19 year old college student, who was “talked into” joining the church. During the stewardship campaign, each family was given a sheet with places that they could volunteer to help with and a spot at the bottom for a financial pledge for the year. The above pastor told her because she was a college student to skip the volunteering stuff, just fill out the financial spot. The student said to me, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

  7. This is the worst trap a pastor can fall in to. Unfortunately, too many have. The pastor who abused me had fallen into this trap. And, unfortunately, I and my family believed he was next to God. It took so many years after getting out of that church to get out of the cult mentality of “Pastor is God.”

    1. After reading your reply and reading Darrell’s hover text above, I now want to do a spoof of Black Sabbath’s “Ironman.” I hear “I Am god-Man.”

      Don’t even have to change too many of the lyrics:
      “Has he lost his mind?
      Can he see or is he blind?…”

  8. Yup, Darrell. This.

    Reminds me of this sentence I heard bellowed from the pulpit: “Follow your pastor as *he* follows Christ (not you follow Christ yourself…oddly Catholic, that sentiment…) and then, this terrifying gem: “Your pastor is God On The Earth to you!”

    smh…

    P.S. Don, that Sinatra parody was sheer brilliance. Loved it for the wit, hated the truth contained in it…

      1. Yes, I heard similar things from a former “MOG” — he used 2 Tim 3:16 to say that the Bible was written for the pastors to lead the people, and the pastor is God’s gift to the people.

        (it was one of some outrageous messages that helped open my eyes, praise the Lord!)

  9. Its funny how it is considered heresy for the Pope to be proclaimed the Vicar of Christ, but yet many fundamentalist pastors, consider their personal will and commands to be God’s will as if they were the Vicar of Christ themselves. We don’t need no stinkin priesthood of the believer!

    1. Yeah, I’ve noticed that, too. ;) And while Catholic doctrine teaches that the pope speaks infallibly only under certain very rare and strictly delimited conditions (formally and publicly re faith or morals for the instruction of the Church Universal, to protect the faithful from serious error), some fundy pastors seem to labor under the delusion that they speak infallibly every time they open their mouths. :mrgreen:

  10. ugh.
    This is one of the major reasons we left our fundy church. The people there literally idolize the pastor. Every testimony service ends up being full of “thank you Pastor so so much for starting this church and changing my life”‘s. It is all about him, although he would never admit it. He acts humble but never ever cross him.

    1. Oh, the testimonies!! I remember those too.

      “If it weren’t for the pastor and this church, our family would be: Lost; not faithful; marriage would have fallen apart; kids would have run astray, etc.

      They credit the wrong Person!

      1. In the churches I’ve gone, while they do give praise to the pastor in that way, they praise the church itself more than anything. “If it wasn’t for First Baptist Church, I would have stayed lost forever. I would have not given up on drinking and drugs and long hair.” They’re still not crediting Jesus in any way saying this.

    2. The idolization and unquestioning allegiance to the Pastor is the same reason I quit going to my IBF church. The whole church revolves around the Pastor to the point that it seems almost cult like. I’m starting to question what the role of a pastor is in our modern day assemblies and if it is even scriptural. Even if I was a pastor I wouldn’t want to be addressed as such because I’m certain it would lead me to the sin of pride.

  11. And this is, really, why people stay with abusive Mog’s and get abused over, and over, and over. Once the mog convinces people that he speaks for God, he can do anything and the people will still follow him, and he can do great damage to people’s faith. :cry:

    1. I hated that. When I came to Christ, one of the things that drew me was the openness of the one who was speaking. He said “Check out everything I say. Don’t believe me if God says otherwise.”

      1. Yep. I remember more than one pastor of mine through the years say “Check what I say against scripture!” And one pastor was (gasp!) an Assembly of God pastor! :grin:

  12. The best is when they say “touch not the Lord’s anointed.” I want to take a step backwards and say, “OK, YOU compared yourself to King Saul, not me!”

  13. Dear SFL Reader:

    Pastors who find themselves in [seriously studying] Scripture …

    May soon find themselves estranged from their flocks.

    Christian Socialist

  14. It seems that the Levitical priesthood has been replaced with the priesthood of the pastor. Just as the ancient Israelites preferred to have a king rule over them rather than the Lord it seems modern day Christians have basically committed the same error by preferring a pastor over the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Nowhere in scripture is one man given that much authority over the church. I for one am suspicious of anyone who attaches the prefix “pastor” to their name.

    1. Just to clarify my remarks I do not mean to cast aspersions on Godly Christ centered men who dedicate their lives to the service of the Lord. I for one am the worst of all sinners and the least of all saints. It’s just that I see so many things going on at my IBF church that I don’t see as scriptural or biblical. I am just very confused about what the role of a pastor is and how New Testament churches should be run and operated.

    2. Good comparison with the Israelites wanting a king. I definitely think there are people who don’t want to think for themselves or wrestle with spiritual things themselves, who prefer a checklist given to them by a leader.

      Our church has gone to elder-run in the last year in an effort to be more biblical and less man-centered.

  15. I am a firm believer in the old axiom that Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think the elder-run system is an excellent idea and is a more biblically correct way of operating the local church. That would provide a system of checks and balances to prevent abuses of power. Thanks much for your reply.

  16. Come to think of it to use a psychological term I was projecting my bad experiences with a couple of IFB pastors onto all pastors in general. That was wrong and sinful of me. I’m sure there are many good, Spirit filled pastors out there who aren’t so dictatorial and controlling in their approach to pastoring.

    Words of wisdom. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    1. Why would you want to give a man a fish or teach a man to fish, when you can sell a man a fish from your book table set up in the back?

  17. “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

  18. The thing is, scripture IS about me– but no more about me than it is about you and everybody else in the world.

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