Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Pastors

House Churches and Full-Time Elders

Does the New Testament promote the idea of full-time elders (or pastors)?  I know of many of my friends on this blog and outside who not only hold that it does but also they are full-time pastors.  In almost all cases they applied for their pastorate like any other job complete with paperwork and interviews.  In fact, the modern pastorate often resembles a CEO of a company more than taking over a church of God.  In many cases the interviews are full of questions mainly about budgets, organization abilities, and of course, numbers.  Attendance is a big issue for institutional churches since they operate on budgets that must be met.  I know of one large church in my area that sent out their yearly budget that totaled over $7 million dollars.  Less than 3% of that was going to missions.  Most of that $7 million was salaries and their buildings.  Since numbers drive the institutional church, the potential pastor must show that they can produce large results through various ides and organization.  The masses have to be kept happy.

The house church is nothing near that.  First of all, we have no budget.  Each person can give their money to whatever they want.  We don’t want it.  We don’t need it.  Occasionally we might have a family who needs money or a church planter who needs funds but we don’t regularly need your money.  Second, we have no buildings to pay for.  We have no mortgage.  We have no bills.  We offer no work insurance.  We pay no taxes since we own nothing and receive nothing.  Third, we have no staff.  We don’t pay a pastor.  We don’t pay a youth pastor.  We don’t pay a music leader.  We have elders who led us but they are not paid.

So what do we want you to do with the money that God gives you?  We want you to do what He tells you to do with in the New Testament.  First, Jesus said to give to the poor (Matthew 6:2-4; Galatians 2:10).  Secondly, give to hurting Christians (Acts 4:34-35; 11:27-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2).  Third, give to supporting apostles or church planters or missionaries (1 Corinthians 9:8-14; Philippians 4:10-20).  There is no biblical mandate in the New Testament to tithe to a local church to support their paying bills, salaries, etc.  Tithing is biblical but under the theocracy known as Israel.  We are not a theocracy.  Not once in the Epistles do the writers exhort God’s people to tithe.  If failing to tithe brings one under a curse (as some teach from Malachi 3:8-10) then surely the New Testament writers would want to keep us from that curse.  Sadly, those who teach this “cursed” view of Malachi 3:8-10 fail to show it this applies to Galatians 3:13.

Yet does the New Testament teach that there should be full-time elders?  In Acts 20 we have Paul holding a pastors conference (v. 17).  Paul the Apostle teaches these elders various things but one interesting thing that he says is in verse 35.  The words here are ascribed to Jesus although the Gospels do not contain them.  Using the words of Jesus, Paul tells the elders that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Can you imagine hearing a prosperity preacher saying that to his TV audience today?  In fact, the thrust of Acts 20:33-35 is that Paul wants these elders to work and not seek money.  He point to his own example (Acts 18:1-4) as proof that he worked hard so that he could give his money to the weak (ESV).  In essence, Paul wanted these elders not to be full-time but to work so that they could give away their money.  What a radical concept for our time!

The other places we find the issue of money and elders is 1 Corinthians 9.  1 Corinthians 9 is not really about elders however.  In fact, elders are not found at all in 1 or 2 Corinthians.  Given how important the modern pastorate is in most churches, you would think that Paul the Apostle would address the elders to correct the troubles at Corinth.  He never does.  He expects the Spirit of God to lead His Church and for the people of God to obey the Spirit who leads them.  Not once in Corinthians does Paul address any leaders.  In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul deals with missionaries receiving money for preaching the gospel.  In verses 8-14 he makes the clear point that those who preach the gospel should live off the gospel.  Yet then Paul turns around and says that he has not done this despite his right to do so.  He tells the Corinthians that he didn’t want to be a stumbling block to them (vv. 15-18).  Paul could have asked for money but he gave up his right so that he could preach the gospel without hinderance.  In Acts 18:1-4 we find that Paul worked as a tent maker while preaching the gospel in Corinth.  He willfully gave up his rights to being paid so that he could work hard, give away his money, and preach the gospel.  How many modern pastors are doing that?

The final place we find elders and money is in 1 Timothy 5:17-18.  A couple of points are in order.  First, verse 17 does not use the word “money.”  I believe many read into verse 17 way too much about “double honor” as to teach that elders should be paid double what they would earn outside of the church.  The word “honor” here does not denote money.  The word is never used in the New Testament as a substitute for the word money.  Yet I have no trouble with honoring an elder who leads with much grace and ability in teaching the Word of God.  This honor can come in various ways including giving them money.  I don’t think we should isolate this verse and make it teach only money but we can give money to elders who fit this picture of verse 17.  Yet I don’t see in this verse that it teaches that elders should receive a regular salary.  Gifts?  Yes.  Salary?  No.  There is a big difference.

Frankly, I am weary of paying an elder very often since this could lead to one elder being exalted above others and can lead to this elder becoming a typical CEO type pastor only in a house church setting.  The plurality of leaders in the house church (Titus 1:5) helps to offset one elder dominating the others.  It also helps because elders are gifted in various ways other than teaching.  A full-time elder also would have a hard time fulfilling Acts 20:35 if in fact their income comes from the house church.

Lastly, if a house church is large enough to support a full-time elder, they are probably too large.  It’s time to split that house church.  House churches are strong because of personal relationships with one another.  This can’t happen if the house church is too large.  I recommend that house churches be no larger than a living room.  If everyone can comfortably be in a living room to worship God, pray, sing, eat, etc. then that is perfect.  Keep in mind that elders are to be among the people of God and not over them (1 Peter 5:1-4).

Hard work is something that we are scarred of in the West.  We need not be.  How wonderful it is to work hard and then to take our money and give it away to the kingdom of God through the poor, hurting disciples, or missionaries.  We are not to hoard up our funds but to give them away (Matthew 6:19-21).  Our treasure is not this world or money but the Lord Himself.  He is our delight and our reward.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/02/2012 at 10:52 AM

A Word To Struggling Pastors

Anyone who has kept up with my blog knows that by in large I oppose the clergy-laity system.  I oppose the idea that one person is to lead the church and to be a professional Christian who alone does most of the work of the ministry despite Ephesians 4:11-16.  However, I want to speak a work to struggling pastors.  I have been there.  I have had friends who were there and a few who are there now.  I want to give you some advice from one brother to another, from one who has been where you are and now is out of “the ministry” though I feel I am doing more now for the kingdom than before.  So here is my advice.  These are not written in any sequence.

1.  Be Faithful

Jesus told the disciples in Revelation 2:10 to be faithful unto death and He would give them the crown of life.  I would urge you, no matter what you face as a small time pastor to be faithful to Jesus.  Don’t worry about what others think of you.  Be faithful to Jesus.  Pray, seek Him, love Him, adore Him, worship Him, and most of all, preach Him.  Exalt Jesus.  Bless Him.  Make Him great before the people of God.  Let all that you do glorify Jesus (Colossians 3:16).

2.  Avoid Preaching For Money

If you must work, work.  Don’t compromise the gospel for money.  Don’t preach watered-down sermons that lack the fire of God, the passion for Jesus and His kingdom.  Don’t steal sermons from pragmatic churches.  Be faithful to preach the Word of God and don’t worry about money (Matthew 6:24-25; 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19).

3.  Avoid Pragmatism

I urge you to read John MacArthur’s book, Ashamed of the Gospel.  Here MacArthur reveals the error of pragmatism in the Church.  I have had talks with brothers who did things in their churches because they simply worked but not because they were biblical.  The “sinner’s prayer” is such an example.  I know of pastors who use the “sinner’s prayer” but have no biblical basis for it.  Don’t do things or worst, copy things from pragmatic churches because they are seeing results.  Be faithful to God and His Word and avoid being pragmatic.

4.  Pray

Pray in the secret place.  Pray while you drive.  Pray while you cut the grass.  Pray during the midnight hour.  Pray!  Jesus prayed often (Luke 5:16).  Paul said to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Charles Spurgeon said, “The best type of prayer is that which can be called nothing more than a cry.”  Cry out to Jesus.  Even if the enemy is attacking you and the finances are failing and the attendance is dwindling, pray!  Pray with an eye not on success but on God and His glory.  Pray that Jesus would be exalted in your life more than anything else (Philippians 1:20-21).

5.  Read Dead Men Who Were Faithful

I love reading dead men and women of God because they can’t fail me.  They have now completed their race and are in heaven rejoicing before God’s throne (Hebrews 12:22-23).  I can’t wait to meet the great saints of God from the dawn of time and into the future if Jesus should tarry.  I love to read the great writings of men such as John Wesley, Arminius, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, Francis Asbury, Frank Bartleman, David Wilkerson, Leonard Ravenhill, A.W. Tozer, D.L. Moody, R.A. Torrey, E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray, Alexander Campbell, Amy Carmichael, and so many more.  They were not all perfect but they all loved Jesus and sought to exalt Him completely with their lives (Hebrews 11:4).

6.  Make Scripture Your Final Authority

Don’t read a popular church growth book and then make that your standard.  Read the Bible and preach it faithfully.  Make the Scriptures your favorite book of all.  Quote them often.  Build your life and ministry on the authority of the Bible and not on anything or anyone else (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

7.  Preach Expository Sermons

Avoid preaching to the heart without preaching to the head.  Preach verse by verse through Scripture.  Avoid series preaching that is not biblically based upon verse by verse commentary of the Word of God.  Your duty as a Bible teacher is not to entertain people but to educate them in the Word of God.  Keep in mind also that your passion should always be to exalt Jesus and not you.

8.  Avoid Sin

Don’t play games with sin.  It has been said, “Idle hands are the devil’s hands.”  When you are in a small church, its easy to have too much time on your hands.  Don’t waste your life or time.  Pray, study the Bible, evangelize.  But don’t abide in sin.  Don’t dabble in pornography on the Internet, watch ungodly movies, or compromise when no one is looking.  Be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).

9.  Teach Your People How To Share Their Faith

Read books by Ray Comfort.  Read Charles Spurgeon’s book, The Soul Winner.  Read Leonard Ravenhill’s Why Revival Tarries?  Take your people through the Scriptures and teach them how to share their faith.  Preach on true salvation (Romans 1:16-17).  Preach on the power of the Holy Spirit in evangelism (Acts 1:8).  Preach on the sovereignty of God in salvation and how He uses the gospel to draw sinners to Himself and for His glory (John 6:44).  Teach your people how to pray for the lost (1 Timothy 2:1-6).

10.  Believe Acts 2:47

Believe that the Lord is the One who adds to His Church.  Not you.  Not your preaching.  Not your people.  Not your methods.  Jesus saves the lost as you exalt Him (John 12:32) and He will save sinners and add them to His Church by His own power.  In eternity, only Jesus will be exalted as the Savior (Revelation 5:9-10).

 

And there is much more I could write.  Oh how we need men of God who will be faithful to Him and exalt Him above all else.  We have so many preachers today who boast only in what they do and who they are and they want everyone to like them.  Don’t do that.  Love God.  Love people.  Hate sin.  And most of all, exalt Jesus in all that you say or do.  And if Jesus should shut the door, let Him shut it.  I am thankful that He did that for me.  When I left the ministry, burdens were rolled away and now I am closer to Jesus more than ever before.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/14/2012 at 10:00 AM

Pastors in Ephesians 4:11

The word “pastor” appears only in Ephesians 4:11 yet who is the name on the marquee of most churches?  The elevation of pastors to the role that we find them in in the modern Church is not based on the New Testament but human traditions.  The Protestant Reformation, while very good and needful, produced a system that went from one pope to many popes.  In some cases, the pastor of the local church is the star, the main attraction, the leader, the man of the hour, the man with all the answers, the priest who stands in the gap for the people of God, and the man who studies the Scriptures and helps us laity apply this mysterious Book to our lives.  The pastor often sets the agenda of the local church and he comes up with many of the ideas for the church to grow.  The pastor, according to normal evangelicalism, is to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-16 and help build up the body of Christ by teaching the saints of God about God from the Bible.

Yet none of this is based on the New Testament.  None of this is found in the examples of men or women in the New Testament.  A case can be made from the Old Testament about singular leaders such as David or Solomon or Moses but these applied to the theocracy of Israel.  The Church is not a nation.  The Church seeks to establish the kingdom of God but the kingdom is a kingdom led only by one, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

The word pastor is found in most English translations only in Ephesians 4:11.  The ESV correctly translates the word as “shepherds” as opposed to pastors.  Where did the idea of pastors in Ephesians 4:11 come from?  Much like the word “baptism” (Matthew 3:11; 28:19), the word pastor is simply a traditional translation.  The Greek word for pastor is the word Poimen and is translated 29 times in the New Testament.  In every case it is translated as “shepherd” or “shepherds” and most of the usage is aimed at Jesus.  For instance, Jesus is called the shepherd in John 10:11-16 and 1 Peter 2:25 and other places.  Jesus is called “the chief shepherd” in 1 Peter 5:4.  Using the traditional translation then of Ephesians 4:11, it would be proper to state that Jesus is our pastor.  No one is called “pastor” as a title or office in the New Testament other than Jesus.  Elders are to “shepherd” the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2) but notice the plurality and not the singular as we see in most churches today.  The idea of one “pastor” is not found in the New Testament at all.  Leadership is always seen in plurality in the New Testament (see Titus 1:5 for example or Acts 20:17, 28).  Hebrews 13:20 likewise calls Jesus the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (NIV).

Today we use the term “pastor” all the time.  We call people “Pastor Bill” as a term of their job.  The New Testament never uses titles for disciples.  The only title we find in the New Testament is Lord for Jesus Christ (Luke 6:46; Romans 10:9; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14).  Even Paul is never called, “the Apostle Paul” nor is Peter called, “the Apostle Peter” but Apostle refers to what Paul was doing and not some title.  Apostle means “sent one” (Matthew 10:1-5; Acts 13:4; 14:14).  Paul always uses this term to show what he was doing (see for example Romans 1:1-7 where Paul clearly builds his case for being sent out to preach the gospel).  In the New Testament you’ll never find titles for disciples but only for Jesus as disciples are merely slaves of the One who is worthy (Luke 17:10).

Why all this fuss then about pastors?  I am not trying to attack men of God who do passionately want to exalt Jesus.  I am merely trying to build a case that what we need for the Church is a return to exalting Jesus Christ above flesh.  Jesus needs to be exalted as the rightful leader of the Church (Colossians 1:15-20).  No man ever gave their life for the salvation of souls or to establish the Church of God like Jesus, the perfect Son of God (1 Peter 2:21-24; 3:18).  Jesus died to establish the kingdom of God.  Jesus died to reconcile us back to God the Father (Mark 10:45).  Jesus tasted death for every person (Hebrews 2:9) so that we might be righteous in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The true disciple of Jesus seeks to exalt Jesus by worshipping Him by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:2).  We have sadly elevated men to places Scripture never places them at and then we wonder why there is such a high burn-out rate among pastors?  They are doing something that God never intended them to do.  Jesus will lead His Church and we need only to follow Him (John 10:27-29).

So should there be leaders in the Church?  Absolutely!  But not one person.  The only One worthy to lead the Church is Jesus Christ through His Spirit (Acts 13:1-4).  I fear that we don’t trust the Word of God nor the Holy Spirit to direct the Church so instead we gather pastors to lead us but we ignore the Spirit of God.  Not so with the early disciples (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).  The Holy Spirit led the Church and they followed Him faithfully.

For more on church leadership and the New Testament model, see Frank Viola’s book Who is Your Covering? and also the article by Jon Zens,  Building Up the Body: One Man or One Another?  

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/10/2011 at 2:49 PM

How the Clergy/Laity System Hurts the Church

I once worked in a church.  I know the pressures that come from being in “full-time ministry” and I also know the liberation when you leave “full-time ministry.”  I now work a “secular” job and I love it.  I don’t always enjoy the work nor the time away from my family but I enjoy not being in “the ministry.”  I enjoy serving Jesus where I am.  I actually love to study my Bible now more than when I was a pastor and I love to pray now more than when I had prayer meetings at the church I served at.  I actually get to talk to lost people on a regular basis instead of always talking to “Christians.”  I get to take the monies that God gives me and give to whatever I want to give it to (missions, the poor, other disciples, etc.) instead of giving to a local church so they can their bills and support their staffs.

In 2001, while studying a book on house churches, I came to the conclusion that the clergy/laity system is wrong.  It is not biblically based.  It is based on human traditions but not upon the Word of God.  I noticed the lack of leadership in the New Testament.  There are elders mentioned (Acts 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-7) and deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13) but other than the Apostles, few leaders are mentioned.  Out of the Epistles, only one begins with an address to the leaders (Philippians 1:1) and even Jesus, in Revelation 2-3, never addresses the leaders but the entire church.  In fact, Matthew 20:20-28 gives a very low view of leadership from Jesus as compared to the worldly leadership system that the Jews had known.  This is not to demean leadership but to simply point out that the idea of a single pastor leading a church is not found in the New Testament.  While elder-led churches are seen, the elders are to serve “among” the people of God and not over them as so often found among clergy-led churches (1 Peter 5:1-4).

To me, the clergy-laity system hurts the Church.  How so?

1.  The Clergy-Laity System Divides the People of God

Galatians 3:26-28 mentions the people of God being one.  Jesus prayed for the Church to be one in John 17:20-23.  Ephesians 4:4 says there is only one body.  Not many.  1 Corinthians 12:27 says that the body of Christ is one even with many members being apart of it.  Yet the clergy-laity system makes a few people “professional” Christians while the rest work in the secular realm.  This makes the Church focused on what the professionals want and not what the Spirit wants (Acts 13:1-4).  The clergy are “paid” to study the Bible and to do the work of the ministry despite Ephesians 4:11-16 being poorly applied here.  The clergy are separate from the people and even some wear special garments to show that they are clergymen.  The laity show up to the building, listen to the professional Christians, give money to the professional Christians, and then go back home to their secular worlds.  This is a division not found in the New Testament.

2.  The Clergy-Laity System Nullifies the Priesthood of All Saints of God

It has been said, “We are equal at the cross.”  Not so with the clergy-laity system.  The clergy are closer to God since they are professional Christians and they pray, read their Bibles, teach us the Bible, etc.  Often the clergy are the ones who do all the “ministry” such as baptisms, marriages, prayer, etc.  The laity, perhaps once in a while, get to do stuff but nothing on the level of the professional Christians.

Yet 1 Peter 2:5, 9 and Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 all mention that disciples are priests unto God.  With the death of Jesus came a new way to God (Hebrews 10:19-20) and the old Jewish ways were gone (Hebrews 8:13).  This included the high priests and the whole priesthood.  Jesus fulfilled the Law completely (John 19:30) and now we all are equal before God.  We all have access through Him into God’s holy presence (Ephesians 2:11-22).  We don’t need priests because we have one in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:14).  Through Jesus we can come into the presence of God (Hebrews 4:14-16).  Every disciple of Jesus is a priest.  There is no special priesthood.

The clergy-laity system pays only some homage to that doctrine.  How many people in the Church are exhorted to pray and do the work of the ministry because they are priests?  How many are taught that God hears them just as He hears the pastor of the church?  How many are taught that the Holy Spirit will teach them the Scriptures just as well as He teaches the pastor and they too can hear from God through His Word on a regular basis?  We are taught instead to listen to sermons that the pastor gets from his study of Scripture.  To a degree the priesthood of the saints is honored but not to the point that the New Testament places on it.  Instead we are taught that some people are called to be special priests unto God while others are only laity priests unto God.

3. The Clergy-Laity System Never Fulfills Ephesians 4:11-16

Read Ephesians 4:11-16 and notice that the point of gifted people given to the Church is not to do the work themselves but to train others to do the work of the ministry.  This happens not by going off to seminary and learning how to parse the Greek text but from actually showing people by our examples how to serve Christ (Hebrews 13:7, 17).  Timothy was to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).  That is biblical discipleship at its best (Matthew 28:20) where disciples are teaching disciples and showing them how to serve Jesus through faithful prayer, evangelism, etc.

The clergy-laity system tells us that the professional Christians are there to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-16 but it never does.  It the premise was of this statement were true then the reason for the clergy would be to work themselves out of a job.  They never do.  The larger the church gets, the more it needs the lead clergy and even adds more clergy.  The church sits back and watches the show called church.  It never does anything.  The old 80/20 principle is very much true in the clergy-laity church.  80% of the work is done by 20% of the church which is largely clergy.  The clergy do all the preaching, all the teaching, all the discipling, all the singing, all the praying, all the baptizing, etc.  They can say that they are seeking to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-16 but they never do.  It’s an ongoing thing that never changes.

4.  The Clergy-Laity System Forces the Church To Water Down the Gospel

I know that some Bible teachers are bold in preaching the gospel.  Carter Conlon, for example at Times Square Church, preaches the true gospel.  John MacArthur preaches a hard gospel.  But sadly, the clergy-laity system causes many Bible teachers to teach for one purpose: church growth which in turn equals, for them, more money.  Some Bible teachers, perhaps, even despise doing goofy series preaching on watered down subjects but they know that they must fill the seats and to preach doctrine or repentance or prayer would not fill the seats.  A few know that they need to preach the hard gospel of Jesus (Luke 9:23-25; 14:25-35) but they can’t because they would drive out their biggest givers and supporters.  The clergy also fear their board of deacons who often control the clergy like a puppet on a string.

How thankful I was when I was pastoring a church and had to get a job because the church had dwindled down to the point that I needed to get a real job.  I remember the liberation of standing up and preaching the hard gospel of Jesus Christ and not fearing what anyone thought because Coca-Cola was paying my bills and not the board of deacons.  I preached with passion those last few months that I pastored a church because I was not controlled by money.  I was driven by the gospel.  I wanted people to repent of their sins.  I wanted people to be holy as God was holy.  I wanted to preach the entire Word of God faithfully and I did so those last few months that I pastored all because I didn’t receive a dime from the church.

Most clergymen are not in that state.  In most cases their income and the income of the church and their staff is based on keeping people happy in the seats.  This means preaching goofy series sermons that are lifeless and lack the power of God.  The church grows because of transfer growth from other more boring churches or even true churches where repentance is preached (people will run from true preaching).  The clergy-laity system makes the church focused on filling the seats for money instead of seeking make disciples of Jesus through faithful preaching of the gospel.  How many clergymen live in fear of losing their jobs or losing their key givers by what they say?  Not me!

5.  The Clergy-Laity System Misuses Money

I reject tithing.  I find nothing in the New Testament to suggest that disciples should tithe.  Tithing is biblical but it is biblical because the Jews in the Old Testament did tithe not just money but even their crops to support the Levitical priesthood system.  That is now gone with the coming of Jesus.  Not once in the New Testament are we told to tithe to a priest or to give to a local church.  1 Corinthians 16:1-2 must be read in the context of 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 where Paul was saying that the Corinthians were giving not to support a clergymen but to give to saints in Jerusalem.  They were helping hurting saints and not tithing!

How many times have I heard pastors exhorting people to give to the local church, to tithe 10% of their income?  Why?  Because the clergymen need money to live and to pay the bills of the church building.  The average salary of the lead pastor of a mega-church is $147,000 and as high as $400,000 per year.  85% of money that the American church receives goes toward buildings and salaries and less than 2% goes toward world evangelism according to K.P. Yohannan.  I remember in Bible college the boys would say that they would not take a church job unless they made more than $35,000 per year and that was the mid 1990’s.

Time doesn’t permit me to talk about what the Bible specifically tells us give to.  We are to give (Matthew 6:2) but what are we to give to?  In the Book of Acts we find the Church giving to the poor, hurting disciples, and church planters (Apostles).  That is it.  They didn’t tithe.  They didn’t support a full-time professional Christian system.  They gave to what they wanted to give to (2 Corinthians 8-9).  If I am required to give the tithe of my income, how could 2 Corinthians 9:7 make sense?  If Jesus delivers me from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13) then how could I fall under the curse of Malachi 3:8-10?  By the way, I have not tithed in almost ten years and am making more money today than when I was tithing.  How do you like those apples?

Conclusion

I know that some of what I have said could be perceived as harsh and that I am just angry as a former pastor but I am not.  I love my life outside of “the ministry.”  I do more for the glory of God today than when I was working full-time in a church.  What do I miss about “the ministry?”  The time to spend in studying and I do miss being able to sleep a lot.  Other than that, I don’t miss “the ministry” at all.  I am thankful to God for allowing that house church book to come my way ten years ago.  A great book to read is Jon Zens’ book, The Pastor Has No Clothes.  Zens’ articles about the clergy-laity system are right on.

My prayer is that God would help the Church to return to the New Testament and seek to be faithful to obey all that it teaches (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/09/2011 at 10:00 AM

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