Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Keeping pastors accountable

It always amazes me that in the church, where people are to be the safest possible, one can find some of the most horrendous abuses of the very people that the church is to keep safe!

Just look at the sexual abuse cases in the church, from Roman Catholic to Independent Baptist. It makes me sick to the stomach that men who were trusted by the church, family, friends and little children could sink so law as to molest little children.

While Jesus said to bring the little ones to Him in order to bless them, these men want the little chidren to come to them to see what these little ones have to offer!

On top of this, it is always kept quiet for years, even decades! Associates of these men just keep it quiet and try to manage the "problem!"

Why do these poor victims keep quiet for so long?

I believe that one of the problems for this silence is that pastors have become little despots, making sure that dissenting voices are dealt with speedily and unceremoniously. How many churches do you know where the pastor is humble enough to accept rebuke for false teaching or other indiscretions from a normal member of the church? I bet you can count that on one finger!

Pastors have put themselves on pedestals. They have become the rulers of their own "kingdoms" demanding obeisance and payment instead of being humble servants. In most cases pastors will dismiss Berean members of their churches because they simply didn't study at seminary like their pastors did! I wonder if the Bereans went to seminary? "Complainants" will simply be dismissed as ignorant sheep.

When will these so-called "men of God" realise that they are not to lord it over the sheep but rather to serve the sheep in all humility. These men think that they alone are a " chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession." (Pet 2:9)

Isn't it amazing that many pastors think that they are the only ones who hear from God and that their sheep need their input before making any decisions? Isn't that how the OT priesthood worked? However, that priesthood no longer exists! We are all part of the "royal priesthood."

"[1] So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: [2] shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; [3] not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock." (Pet 5:1-3)

Pastors need to shepherd the flock. Shepherding is very different to ruling. We have only one King, and He is Jesus Christ. Pastors, you are shepherds! Perform your duties with all the humility and earnestness that pertains to being a shepherd. And, by the way, the word "pastor" is not a title making you more important than others! It is a job description. Do it!

Pastors also need to exercise oversight over the flock, not under compulsion but willingly. It is amazing how pastors are not willing to pastor! They are under compulsion of some kind: money, honour, power trips. How many pastors will continue shepherding the flock if they no longer get salaries and can no longer control the sheep by misquoting some scripture text to bolster their own "authority?"

Pastors need to be accountable to their sheep and not become so important in their own estimation that they can simply dismiss the issues brought forward by members.

Pastors do not stand in the place of God, being able to do to the flock whatever they desire. They are stewards of the people of God. These people need to be treated as if they "really" belong to God, "
a people for his own possession." Once pastors realise in their hearts and grasp the importance of the fact that the flock are God's own people, then perhaps they will become men that are interested in shepherding once again and to feed the flock with "true" truth and not just psychedelic pop-theology!

But, then again, we all have dreams of perfect universes!

Just thinking...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for adressing this most serious problem in the body of believers. I pray others will read this and repent if they are the subject of your article. Humility is lacking in the shepherds and many false doctrines of devils are being preached to the people who are God's own.

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