Monday, March 16, 2015

Reason #22 - Professional Pastors Allow and Encourage the People to be Spectators

The church we see in the New Testament was active.

Was the N.T. church perfect? By no means. However, they generally lived out active lives for Christ. Part of this stems from all the one-another exhortations that we read in the epistles. This, in turn, comes from Jesus' teachings, such as those we see in the Sermon on the Mount. While Christ expects us to take spiritual rest in him, he also wants us to impact the world through his revolutionary priorities.

In light of the above, it seems that today's pastors would do all they could to inspire an active church. However, the opposite is actually the case. Professional pastors lead weekly ceremonies that keep the people locked and quiet. The folks in the pews are not encouraged to speak whatsoever; they aren't even supposed to move except to stand and sing. This entire situation brings about what we would expect: a passive church. The salaried men up front not only allow this, but also encourage it. If they thought it was a terrible thing (which it is), then they would certainly do something to change it.

But would they do something to change it? Since most people in the church have learned passivity through the years, they now expect it. The status quo is that the pastor will lead worship services. He will be the active one while the people sit silently. This is one of the main things the pastor gets paid for. Therefore, his paycheck depends on his encouraging passivity in the people. If he actually challenges this system, he could find himself on the unemployment line. He's not going to do that.

What we have in place is a largely quiet, dull, uninspiring church that lacks impact upon society. The laity have become spectators. The pastors lead the show. Week after week the church sits in a stupor while the paid experts lead the performance from the stage. This sad, pathetic situation will not change with salaried pastors in place. Therefore, they must resign. How about today?


(This is post twenty-two of the series 25 Reasons Professional Pastors Should Resign.)

3 comments:

Neil Braithwaite said...

Great series Eric!

This is one of the big reasons that deters most people from leaving the corporate church once they know the truth. It's also a big reason people feel lost when they do leave; because they have been programmed over their entire "religious" life to be spectators, and they have no clue what it means/takes to be participant - a true disciple within Christ's Ekklesia.

People become fearful and reluctant to change when they come to realize that actually being a a disciple requires a 24/7 - 100% commitment to following God's commands, seeking His Kingdom, and thinking more of others than you do yourself.

That kind of commitment requires much more effort and work than just being "told" you are a disciple by the paid pulpit master every Sunday morning.

Eric said...

Neil,

Thanks!

I hope this series doesn't come across as too negative, but I believe these things must be said. The body of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has such potential to impact this world for Christ. And yet, because of man's traditions, the body is sick.

Christ has given us a beautiful model in scripture for how He desires His people to live. If we would all just follow that model we would see wonderful things. My hope is that more and more Christians awaken to see just what God desires for His body!

Neil Braithwaite said...

"I hope this series doesn't come across as too negative..."

A little known unrecorded biblical fact:

In Matthew 23, after Jesus spoke to the Scribes and Pharisees he asked the disciples if they thought he came across too negative.