Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reason #10 - Professional Pastors Can Easily Abuse Power

I firmly believe that most professional pastors do not abuse power.

Please allow me to repeat myself: I firmly believe that most professional pastors do not abuse power.

The big problem is that professional pastors are placed in positions where it is relatively easy to abuse power. They are elevated above the rest of the church family. They make most of the decisions. They perform most of what are considered the "sacred duties." Their sermons are viewed as special communication from God. They lead just about everything.

Ultimately, salaried pastors take Jesus' spot as senior pastor. Because of this situation, these men are in prime position to abuse power.

The irony in all this is that having power does not correspond to greatness within the Kingdom of God. Rather, it is servanthood that makes someone great. According to Jesus, leadership and service go hand-in-hand. The only person with power in the church is Jesus Christ himself.

As for professional pastors, they ought to resign today for multiple reasons. One of these is that the jobs they hold place them in situations where abuse of power is fairly easy. This temptation must go away now.


(This post is the tenth part of 25 Reasons Professional Pastors Should Resign.)

3 comments:

CTS said...

"I firmly believe that most professional pastors do not abuse power."

When any man uses his education and experience to command a salary or any kind of compensation before he will agree to "shepherd" or "minister" to a specific group of Christians, he IS abusing power.

“25 You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

On the other hand, the ministries of Jesus and the Apostles had everything to do with being called by God in faith to spread the gospel, and absolutely nothing to do with pursuing financial gain or lifestyle stability. And because their ministries did not pursue regular material or financial compensation, their commitment and motivation for preaching the gospel was always above reproach and could not be impugned by fellow believers, or those outside the church. As Paul clearly points out, the practice of preaching the gospel "voluntarily" mitigates the perception of being motivated by financial gain to preach the gospel, and eliminates any chance of that practice becoming a "hindrance to the gospel of Christ" and a "burden" on the Ekklesia. And yes, Paul said he would rather die than to allow even a hint of a perception that he sought material gain as a minister of the gospel. To help make his point in this, Paul stated eight verses later in that same passage, "I do ALL things for the sake of the gospel..." - and offering the gospel "without charge" definitely falls under the category of "all things."

Paul also said that preaching the gospel for monetary consideration reduces the act of ministry from pure "compulsion" to mere "stewardship" for that compensation. So the entrapment of today's corporate church model, and the yoke of a pastoral salary, reduces the service of a vocational pastoral ministry to mere stewardship of a legal contractual agreement, with the full reward for that stewardship being a paycheck.

Eric said...

CTS,

One of the main reasons I resigned from being a professional pastor was that, in light of scripture, I could no longer justify my receiving a salary.

Tim A said...

“I firmly believe that most professional pastors do not abuse power.” The rest of your article shows how they all systemically take more power to themselves than they should. Perhaps you should say you believe most professional pastors do not want to abuse power. Tragically they do not know that the system they think God called them to is a power abusing system even in it’s kindest, humblest form.

“The only person with power in the church is Jesus Christ himself.”
This is not the case. The same word used of Jesus when he said “all power is given unto me” is also used at least two times of all believers. The translators hide it from us.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The word power is the same exousia. Our sonship carries authority.

Mark 13:34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servantsfn in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake.
The word in charge is the same exousia. Jesus has left putting all his servants in charge with work and watching to be done by all.

These two scriptures are AMAZING.