dear brother, i hope that you will be able to look at both sides of this issue. i appreciate you posting your thoughts as well..
no one here is disagreeing that the Lord gave some to be pastors.. the question is, is the modern role or title given to a man today called the pastor biblical?? that is the question before us..
the greek word for pastor is poimen which means shepherd.. pastor then is a metaphor describing the heart of a pastor- to tend to the flock with nurture and care..
pastor, elder, and overseer were not 3 different offices of the NT, but 3 different words for the same function.. pastor speaks of shepherding and loving the flock. elder in the greek means a more mature man.. it speaks to one who has been seasoned by God in his walk and because of his long, deep walk with God, he was an example to the younger brethren.. overseer or bishop is a term to describe how pastors (or elders) in the NT directed and guided the matters of fellowship, but by no means controlled them..
because of years of tradition (since constantine and a little before) we have been accustomed to looking at terms by our mindset instead of looking at how the true church functioned in the NT.
for example, deacon is not a position like a board member.. deacon in the greek means to be an attendent, to wait upon.. it carried the idea of a servant, a waitress or waitor, here to serve one another. because is that not what we believers in Christ are called to do??
while there is so much to say, let me go to one more point.. while in modern "church", the pastor is the "head". people will not state this doctrinally, but by their practice, he is.. all things ultimately run through him and he decides which way the service runs and what the Lord is saying a lot of the times..
power in the church runs in a top-down model.. much like a business has a top-down approach.. the top of the local church is the pastor, then either staff or elders or deacons and then the mass "lay" people.. but that is not how Christ told his disciples to be like..
matthew 20:25-28 "you know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and exercise authority over them. IT IS NOT SO AMONG YOU, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many".
leadership in the NT was not a top-down approach, but rather a down-up outline, where the leader is the greatest servant and the first is last.. today, sadly many pastors have the ultimate power and we are to submit to him, but who does he submit to..
i understand that many godly pastors have helped many people and been used of God to save many souls.. this sight is filled with great men used of God to preach the gospel and win the lost, but that does not negate us from looking at the Word and seeing if an office or position of a senior pastor is biblical or not..
| 2007/6/22 23:57||Profile|
pastorfrin, it is only God's mercy that He always blesses us and blesses His church in spite of what we are and in spite of what mistakes we make. I believe that the Lord expects us to live within the light that we have received. If God's clear shining within me - according to His word - says that pastorship as an office is unscriptural, then I would be living in grave error and disobedience not to drop it. Did not God, however, bless Brother Lawrence - even in the midst of the Catholic Church? Of course. Was not Brother Lawrence, then, "outside of God's will"? In a sense - yes, he was. However, aren't we all in some measure? Should I go to the Catholic Church because God blessed Brother Lawrence? Of course not. Should I not point out that the concept of pastorship is not Biblical just because the Lord blessed Charles Spurgeon? Of course not.
The point is that we have to go to see what the Scripture says. The Scripture shows churches with elders and deacons and a plurality of gifts and all as members functioning. The Bible does not show churches with a "pastor". This is an invention.
When I lead you to Christ, brother, am I not "pastoring" you? Am I not serving as a shepherd to bring you into a place of feeding? Is anyone any more a "pastor" than me just because he has presumes to take authority over a local church and use the word "pastor" with a capital "P"?
| 2007/6/23 0:30||Profile|
You can really get raked over the coals for asking this kind of question....
I like the conclusions many have came to in this thread. It seems to me that God has worked greatly through the current model (and by that, I mean like the pastors and churches here on sermonindex). I do think that the structure of meetings is given a great deal of freedom. I think that it is purposefully like that so that people can come together and worship no matter what circumstances they are in (culture, freedom/persecution, economic status, culture...).
But like many who are posting, I really really do not like what the role of pastor or other leadership is becoming to mean. Many endanger their spiritual health and the spiritual health of their congregations by trying to be something scripture doesn't tell them to be.
| 2007/6/23 0:38||Profile|
well said brothers,
God does bless and use pastors, but i believe it is not because of their "position", but in spite of it..
there are great heroes of the faith on this website, great men who stood and preach the gospel with unwavering boldness.. but should i disregard what scripture shows us because some of these men were senior pastors of churches?? shall i discount the word because a man of God was used to start a revival???
all we are trying to do on this thread is to see if the Bible shows us that a senior pastor is an office to fill, a certain position if you will.
and to that, i would say that i don't see that in the word.. i see multiple functioning pastors (elders) withing any given fellowship.. not pastors by title, but pastors by heart..
| 2007/6/23 9:57||Profile|
dear brother, i hope that you will be able to look at both sides of this issue. i appreciate you posting your thoughts as well.
Please read the thread below and then ask me if I am willing to look at both sides of the issue. Also you will find pretty much my life story on the pages of this forum, How about yours, who are you and tell us if you would your testimony, just thought it would be interesting to know. Just for a point of information, the little church we now shepherd had its beginnings in a home and from time to time we still do have our service in a home. It is not where you gather that matters but it is the reason you gather.
The thread is:
Some questions to those who would leave the sheep without a shepherd
It is about 42 pages long so get out your reading glasses.8-)
In His Love
| 2007/6/23 15:13||Profile|
| Re: Shepherds|
There are many many "pastors" but few Good shepherds.
Pastorfrin, it was you who raised my hopes that the latter still existed.
Just months after I left here last time, another Good shepherd entered my life.
He bore the 1000 lb weight I had been carrying of adversity for me. With the size of his Church, he does it for all of the sheep under his care.
If you had asked me a bit longer ago, I would have said, forget Pastors, do the best you can at home Churches ... in fact I did say something to that affect when first joining here.
See, it's never too late to teach an old 'whatever' new tricks. 8-)
Thank you for preparing the way (making me believe again), for me to find this local Pastor, who's a lot like you. Sincerely.
LORD lift you up, lighten the load and bring you very great joy in all that you do and protect your family for blessed (wings like eagles) days ahead.
In His Love.
| 2007/6/23 17:33|
what have i said that is against the word?? i just read all of the thread that you posted and i guess i'm still asking "what have i written that you seem offended"??
i am not against pastors, i just believe that the current modern "pastoral office" is unbiblical. i do believe that God gave some to be pastors, but the question is what is the role of a pastor?? is it an office to fill?? is it where one man is the "head" of the church??
once again, we are not saying that pastors are unbiblical, just the current office of the "Pastor" is..
have i or anyone here misquoted scripture?? please show us if we have.
would you like my testimony on this thread or in a private message?? if you would like to talk about this in person, i can give you my # and that way, we won't have to talk over the computer..
i look forward to your responses..love you guys.
| 2007/6/23 18:32||Profile|
Hey, I love Phil too.
You're a good brother Phil. I've enjoyed meeting you here.
I think, Pastors are, as you said, "Shepherds", so their job description is the same as a shepherd of the sheep.
In my Church and in many others, the people still vote them in or OUT.
In some denominations, the Elders rule and the Pastor is just a figure-head of sorts.
I can't agree with that form of Church government.
Some Churches, the elders decide everything and it's not brought before the people for a vote. That's wrong too. At least I think so ... not that that matters a hill of tacos.
You are right that the Deacons were table servers, but somehow, in some Churches, they Rule. Not good.
The people should choose their Pastor by vote and then he should be a shepherd to them.
But remember always ~ Even pastors have bad days.
So very much is put on the best of them.
The worst of them don't take "pressure" from anyone ... they just fleece the sheep.
They're humans ... even like you or me. Even the best of them.
LORD Bless you and see you when The One Great Shepherd of The Sheep Comes.
He loves all.
| 2007/6/23 18:49|
thank you grannieannie,
as i've already expressed to you, i appreciate meeting you and your different posts on this site. God bless you.
back to the topic at hand, have i said anthing that is mean or malicious about pastors personally?? i have re-read my posts and i do not believe i have.
what i am talking about is the "profession" of a "Pastor". in the NT, the pastors (plural) of a certain location were shepherds and were elders.. these are not 3 different roles, but 3 different words to describe the same function. i do believe that there are godly pastors in a church, because there are men who are mature in the faith that God has through trials and years, sesasoned them with grace and everyone in the fellowship know it..
i know that we look at words and read the Word through our given mindset, but has anyone truly studied how believers in the first century met after Christ went to heaven?? we tend to read the word pastor and immediately we conjure up our idea of a pastor based on our experiences and thoughts and other stuff we may have read.. but we need to look at what the authors meant when they used that specific word.. we need to know the background that the NT was written in when we want to know if a certain "office" or "role" is biblical in todays context.
i think if we really look at the NT with an open mind to see what was the heart of it and not what we may want it to say, we may have a different opinion..
| 2007/6/23 19:40||Profile|
No you have not offended me and please forgive me if I have said something to cause you to think I was.
If you read the entire thread then you know where I stand in regards to corporate pastors.
You also would have noticed I differentiate between pastor as a calling and a profession.
One problem I do have with the title of this thread is the word unbiblical. Are there pastors who abuse their office? Yes absolutely, but whos fault is it? What does the word say?
2 Tim. 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
This is why Paul charges Timothy a shepherd in:
2 Tim. 4:1-2
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Every true shepherd must also guard against this for it is truly here now.
God does bless and use pastors, but i believe it is not because of their "position", but in spite of it.
In light of:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Lets plug into your statement apostles, or prophets, or evangelist, and you tell me why or how such a statement as you made above can be justified.
The Lord gave pastors /shepherds the same as He gave apostles, prophets, evangelist and teachers.
What I am saying is this; you cannot throw all pastor/shepherds into the same category, because some are false does not take away the fact that the Lord has called true ones to that office.
We will not draw closer to the Lord by deleting those He has called and the church will not become stronger because of where or how we conduct our services. Only by making Him the reason for our gathering together to praise and glorify His name and to do His will no matter what the cost, only then will the Lord empower us.
We look everywhere but the one place we should for what is wrong with the modern day church and the one place is within ourselves.
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
I ask you Phil the same question I asked many times on the referred thread.
In His Love
| 2007/6/23 21:20||Profile|