The Pastor – Chapter 8, Conclusion

If you have listened to this book, you know the author desires only to please YHWH and help Solaequip His people so we will not be tossed about by the whimsy of man. Here’s his wrap for the last chapter:

Having published this book, I know I shall be accused of denigrating both the biblical work of the gospel minister, and the man himself. Indeed, I knew it before I began. But I didn’t agree with it then, and I don’t agree with it now. Yet, if such a critique of an unscriptural title really has undermined what many regard as ‘the ministry ’, then something is seriously wrong with what we think of as ‘the ministry ’. And the sooner we find it out the better. In the 16th century, men like Thomas Cartwright and Robert Browne came to realise that the warrant to preach does not depend on a magistrate’s licence, and they had the courage to destroy the noxious bits of paper which pretended to make a man into a minister. We must show the same courage and the same spirit in our day. If an elder’s authority depends on the invention of an office, on Humpty Dumpty’s misuse of biblical words, or on the use of a title, we ought to recognise where we are – and the consequences of it. To accommodate the words of the Independent, Henry Jacob: A teacher in Christ’s church has a far ‘better original’ than calling him ‘Pastor’; or ought to have! Of course, we must honour all men to whom honour is due (Rom. 13:7). In particular, as I have repeatedly stressed, we should ‘respect’ our elders ‘who work hard among [us], who are over [us] in the Lord and who admonish [us]’, and we should ‘hold them in the highest regard in love
because of their work’ (1 Thess. 5:12-13), but this does not mean we should give them a title.
While we must not undervalue the gifts of Christ to his church, pastor-teachers among them, neither must we make little popes of them! Or big!

Chapter 8 is here.

Chapter 7 can be found here.

8 thoughts on “The Pastor – Chapter 8, Conclusion

  1. The choice is quite simple. It is between priest craft or the priesthood of all believers. It is between having the invisible Lord as our pastor shepherd or a visible human usurper. Catholics crave a priest to conduct mass. Protestants crave a pastor acting like a priest to conduct the communion. Catholics crave a priest to christen their babies. Protestants crave a pastors official baby dedication. The list of comparisons is almost endless. In the end goal as with all religious systems is to place a usurper between man and God. It quenches the spirit on a mass scale by suppressing the exercise and growth of the priesthood of all believers.

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  2. Miller – Do you deny that the Bible shows human elders in the local church who are to serve God and His people as teachers and shepherds under the lordship of Christ? You are flat out wrong that every such elder is aligned priestcraft. Your opinion is worthless, as is mine. It’s what Scripture says that we must confront. And YHWH has appointed elder/teachers to shepherd the fllock where He gathers them. This is not an excuse for the rogue methods common in churches, but sinful men do not give us excuse to ignore clear teaching in the Word.

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  3. “Miller – Do you deny that the Bible shows human elders in the local church who are to serve God and His people as teachers and shepherds under the lordship of Christ? ”

    I agree with TI MILLER and think he is just saying that elders / teachers as a one man Sunday morning show is not biblical. The elders I know (who coincidentally all meet house to house with the other saints) lead by example and regular teaching, but their teaching does not dominate the meeting. There is room for everyone to speak in order according to the instructions in the later chapters of 1 Corinthians. You would know who the elders are your first visit even though they don’t use titles or even because they are the primary speaker (some weeks they just listen to the others and correct or add to only if required).

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  4. Manfred,
    Excuse the miscommunication. In a nut shell, biblically qualified saints biblically serving, leading and shepherding coequal confirmed elders, emphasis on equal, good. Unbiblical top dog elder/pastor/CEO/big boss wannabe pope in charge with his singular name and title plastered everywhere, bad very bad. I have made several comments along these lines on the previous series of articles. In fact along with the rest of the misnamed pastoral passages I include 1 Cor. 14: 26-40. Who are we to just dismiss the Apostles instructions? Come together and worship in the manner he lays out. Obviously he denounces solo elder sermonizers. obviously he intends for the entire priesthood of all believers to develop and to exercise their gifts during the gathering so that all may be built up and edified by all. That’s how a healthy body works.
    The elders are to also exercise their God given authority to insure that all is done in decency and in order. Those who get carried away should respect heed and obey the elders. if they refuse then the elders with the backing of the body must carry out biblical church discipline measures.
    I am not a cessationist just very dismissive and skeptical and dubious of about 99% of what I have observed of modern versions of the sign gifts. The implication of Paul’s instructions is for all to participate rather than passively sit and be hearers rather than doers.

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  5. I agree with both ya’ll that celebrity and self-styled show-man types are not biblical. I do not hold 1 Cor 14 as the only commentary or instruction as to the structure and order and function of the New Covenant church; it is one of several passages that must be taken into account. I vigorously agree with this statement from Miller:

    “The elders are to also exercise their God given authority to insure that all is done in decency and in order. Those who get carried away should respect heed and obey the elders. if they refuse then the elders with the backing of the body must carry out biblical church discipline measures.”

    No elder or group thereof are to be authoritarians. Neither are they to be concerned with the temporal business of the local church.

    I betcha if the three of us were able to get around a table we would agree with one another on most of these things.

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  6. I betcha that we are, on the whole of the matter, in one accord. I focused on 1 Cor. 14 mainly because it has been dismissed and ignored by the clergy class ever since the state, (Constantine), legalized Christianity.
    It would seem that the RCC has deliberately directly defied Jesus in his directive concerning leadership. Catholics glorify those who adore the seat of honor and the praise of men.
    I praise God for the reformers but sadly they failed to fully excise all of the unbiblical RCC corruptions. (reminds me of the good kings of Judah who tore down 90% of the evil things yet they ” did not tear down the high places”). leaven is leaven.
    Under the old covenant an entire tribe was set apart for the work of the clergy. Membership and qualification and duty was by physical birth. When the veil in Temple was rent in half the clergy/laity distinction was ended.
    There is now one Lord one faith one baptism. We are one body functioning as one unit. With Jesus as our exclusive eternal high priest we have all become lessor but coequal priests, a kingdom of priests, by the new birth. This man made division between clergy and laity suppresses and strangles let alone quenches the Holy Spirit. It is not right to treat those exercising so called lessor gifts with less respect than we do teaching elders exercising their gift..

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  7. The only thing I would caution you in your last statement, Miller, is the blanket condemnation of all local churches since Constantine. Certainly, history DOES show a near-universal tendency of what you described – BUT GOD has always had a remnant in each generation, clinging to His Word, imperfectly, never bowing to the state church. History was written by the “victors” – which is why we must dig into what records there are to see God’s hand of kindness in spite of what the synagogue of Satan did, including the lingering effects on those reformers that some men idolize.

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