Recently someone on Facebook posted in a group on obeying pastors. My initial response was that the logic behind that thinking led to so many travesties that could’ve been prevented if one had not simply “obeyed” their lord.
Correct, I said lord. Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;  nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;1 Peter 5:2-3 NKJV
Peter here warns of people trying to take advantage of church members. Today, members provide leaders with the perfect opportunity to take advantage by worshiping leaders and allowing compulsion and dishonest gain.
One guy specifically told me I didn’t know anything about the topic. I wanted to tell him, “man, I hold a degree in theology, been to two colleges, learned from seminary, works at an evangelistic ministry, and preaches/teaches at a local church.” But then I thought, “would that be bragging?” Often we find ourselves wanting to prove a point appealing to academic success. Granted, some things can be proven that way and it’s not always a fallacy. But most of the time, appeal to academic success will circle around to being a fallacy.
So I explained to him that the early church typically had two leaders, there was a council of elders, and there were many moving parts even in the little house churches (deacons, etc.). It’s weird to see modern Christianity not truly resemble the old way of life as the early church knew it. And even though I try countless times to explain to American Christians, they refuse to see it or accept it.
Ask yourself this, does your pastor:
- Ask that you tell him when you go somewhere?
- Another church?
- Visit family, friends, kids stay the night with close friends/family?
- Ask that you offer/give your children to him?
- Or ask that he is head over your children?
- Ask that you obey him in all that he says (or demands it via scripture)?
There’s a much larger list than this, but these are pretty common. These are major red flags that your “pastor” is not led by God and is just pretending they are. Many people fall for this because deep down, humans have a desire to follow the leader. Remember this, God is our leader. You can imitate other Christian leaders and even listen to their guidance and suggestions, but under no circumstances should you ever give your life over to man. You’ve already given your life to God through Christ. You are a slave to God and an adopted child of His. To give your life over to a preacher is telling God He isn’t good enough.
Have some common sense and stick to God, not man. And if your pastor doesn’t agree, have him come talk to me.
Funnily enough, the same guy who posted about obeying leaders also claimed that it was blasphemy to speak against a leader. Blasphemy is reserved for God. We cannot equate man with God, God with man. In fact, the Jews in John 10 felt the same way when Jesus said I am my Father are one. They were right, that if Jesus was simply a man claiming to be God, he would be committing blasphemy. But we know that’s not the case. Jesus is the one God revealed unto men by manifesting Himself as man. Though, if those same Jews had heard someone say to speak against a pastor is to speak against God and is blasphemy, they probably would’ve laughed. Even pastors do not speak word for word what God says. They aren’t God. And the longer we elevate them to a higher status, the longer it’ll take for our children to understand why pastors fail.