The Pastor King
The Exalted Pastor Over All
As shocking as this may seem, there is not one verse in the New Testament that speaks of a man over all the church called, “The Pastor”, who does most of the ministry, gets a regular salary and who acts as the head of the church. Rather, in the New Testament, we see the whole church ministering to one another in Christ who works effectually in all believers (Eph 4:11-16 , 1 Cor 14:26-38, 1 Peter 4:10,11) and we read of elders (plural) in every church (singular) who watch over and feed others spiritually (Acts 14:23, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1,2). They are not to Lord over others and control them in a supreme authority but are to be examples.
Paul said to the church, “Not that we have dominion over your faith but are helpers ..” (2 Cor. 1:24). The word “dominion”, here means “to rule: have dominion over, lord, be lord of...(from 2962),...supreme in authority, ie (as a noun) controller. By implication, Master (as in official title..)...” (Strongs Concordance. # 2961). Jesus also warned of such a false dominion and authority over others (Matthew 20:25-27), and said “it shall not be so among you”.
Yet in many gatherings today, this person called “The Pastor”, is exalted above all others as he stands on top a large platform behind a “pulpit”. He is the one who dominates and has preeminence over all others and does most of the speaking week after week. He generally rules in a large castle-like structure unbiblically called “the church” with lower ranked servants under him. Sometimes he has a sign outside with his name on it. Many flattering titles are given to him such as, “Reverend”, “Master of Divinity”, or “President”, and he uses expressions such as “My church” or “My people”. Scripture warns against one man in and exalted role having the preeminance over all in the church (3 John 9,10, 2 Cor 11:12,13,20, Acts 20:29-31, Col 2:8, Job 32:31,32) and Jesus said “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matt. 23:8,10).
Almost all of the activities in the assembly today are controlled by the Pastor and no one is permitted to speak or minister unless he allows it. There is rarely opportunity for anyone else to minister as Christ leads, for they are not on the man made programs in man’s order. Many are unaware of their freedoms in the body of Christ and even if they were, they would be afraid to speak as God leads them, fearing the disapproval and rebuke of the pastor. Many dangerously look to this one man alone for all their spiritual guidance in the assembly, rather than wait on God and to be led by the Spirit in mutual edification of one another in God’s order.
The Modern Pastoral Role is Unbiblical
The position that the modern Pastor holds today is unbiblical. It fights against the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5,9, Rev. 1:6, Rom. 12:1), the mutual edification of one another in the body of Christ as He leads, (1 Cor. 14:26-38, 1 Cor 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10, 11, Col. 3:15,16, Eph. 4:16) and it hinders Gods direct leading and working in all believers in the church (Heb. 13:20,21, 1 John 2:27, Eph 4:16,21, Col 3:15,16). The role of the modern Pastor over all often quenches the spirt in the rest of the body and hinders the very function and growth of the church.
This modern role of “The Pastor” today, sets him up to reign as a king (or Lord) over the body of Christ and exalts him (2 Cor. 11:12,20, Rom 12:3-5). His position as head of the church can usurp the headship of Christ in the meetings (Col 2:8, 19) and bind up the saints in the traditions and commandments of men that turn from the truth and fight against the commandments of the Lord (1 Cor 14:26-38, Col 2:8,19, Titus 1:14).
Paul warned us of such serious things and said, “Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8). The word ”spoil” implies, leading believers away and robbing them of their goods. The one modern pastor tradition does this in part and makes the word of God of no effect by this role (Mark 7:13). These controlling men don’t allow believers to edify one another in the gatherings as they are commanded to do in scripture and hinder them from being good stewards of their gifts from God (1 Cor 14:26,30,37, 38 1 Peter 4:10,11). But If any man reject God’s commands to do so they are ignorant and should not be listened to and withdrawn from (1 Cor 14:26,30,37, 2 Thess. 3:6).
If anyone examines scripture closely they will see that this modern Pope-like figure called the “The Pastor “ today does not come from scripture but rather comes out of the worldly traditions of men, mixed with an OT priesthood and pagan traditions. It stems from the (so called) “church fathers”, such as; Ignatius of Antioch, Cyprian and others, from Constantine, a false Roman Catholic hierarchy and from reformers who retained many of the Catholic priest roles and misunderstanding of Christ headship in the body ministry.
Many Gifts Not Just a Pastor Gift
We read in scripture that God ”...gave gifts unto men...he gave some, apostles; and some, and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”, (Ephesians 4:8,11,12) Notice that the word, “pastors” is in the plural form. We do not find the singular one man pastor over all in the New Testament. All of these gifts are needed in the body of Christ and not just pastors. But somehow through the traditions of man, this one “pastor” gift come to dominate over all the other gifts.
Though there are blessed pastor giftings in the body of Christ, (just as there are apostles, prophets, evangelist and teachers), the modern role of the exalted “Pastor” over all does not exist biblically and is a dangerous distortion spiritually to the church. Many of those in this unbiblical role may be true believers and loving men with sincerity and have many good qualities, Others may be seeking their own glory and reputation. But either way they are still in error in this exalted role and they still hinder the body from functioning in Christ.
Despite the confusion of many religious forms today and the multitude of believers who gather in them, with the exalted Pastor over all, their various spiritual moments, evangelistic aspects and some good ministration seen in many of these gatherings, there is still a great problem in the churches and it must be corrected and set in God’s order.
We see in many assemblies today a weak, dysfunctional body that plays church and cannot follow the leading of the Spirit in the assembly as good stewards in mutual edification. Instead they are forced to look at the back of each others heads and are drawn after the exalted man on the the platform. Is Jesus Christ outside of many gatherings today knocking and wanting to come into them and to “sup” with them (Revelation 3:16-20) and to participate with them, or is He ready to spew some out of his mouth, while they think all is well and they are rich and increased with goods and need nothing.
The reality is, that if this modern role of the Pastor today was taken away from most assemblies they could not function and would most likely be in a fearful panic and possibly collapse. But if you take away the modern one man Pastor role over all from a true biblical church gathering, they would still be able to use their gifts and edify one another and minister as God intended in His order.
God’s Order and Man’s Order
God’s order in the body of Christ is His spiritual working in every part as he leads and empowers believers in all things. Though hidden from the eyes of natural men, it is there nevertheless. This order begins in the spirit and the patient waiting on God as He leads into all gifts, ministry and fruits of the Spirit and sets the order in the gatherings, (Titus 1:5, Col. 2:5, Psalm 37:23, Eph. 4:15,16, 1 Tim 3:15, 1 Cor. 14:26-37, 1 Cor. 11:34, Heb 13:20,21, 1 John 2:27). No person can know this order unless they are in Christ, and walk in the spirit. But sadly, even many christians today are drawn away from God’s order and rule in their hearts into a religious form of man’s order and the dominion of exalted leaders.
Man’s order does not begin in the spirit, it begins in man’s carnal mind and human wisdom, and by what they know naturally ( 1 Cor 2, Jude 1:10) and is regulated by the modern pastor role, programs and traditions of men in the rudiments of the world.
Jesus said, “I will build my church” and he is fully able to do this by his power and might, which he has been doing all along. God’s order is very different than mans order and traditions in the church.
“Give us a King”
There is a story in the bible where God’s people said, “Give us a King, to judge us” (1 Samuel 8:6). God allowed it, but told Samuel, “they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:7). God also told Samuel to warn them that the king would bring them into bondage, take their goods and use them for his glory (1 Samuel 8:11-19).
Saul also had some of the Levites killed (1 Sam. 22:17,18). The Levites being a type of the priesthood of all believers. Similarly, as Saul had them killed and they could no longer minister, so the modern one man Pastor Lord also quenches the spirit in the body and hinders or cuts off the priesthood of all believers where they can no longer minister freely.
Today, similar to the story of Saul, you can almost hear the people cry, “Give us a Pastor, like all the other churches”, especially when they are looking for a new one. But by doing so, they may be rejecting God from reigning over them in the gatherings.
Body Ministry to One Another
The bible teaches that Christ is to lead in every part of the body as the head of the church, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). This is how Jesus Christ builds (or edifies) His church. Notice, that through Christ headship the whole body can edify one another, and not just rely on one man the Pastor. This should be allowed to happen every time the saints gather together in Christ and wait on the Lord.
When the church comes together all can have something revealed to them and share it (1 Cor.14:30). They can also have a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation and interpretation, (1 Cor.14:26); comfort and edify one another (1 Thess. 5:11); use all their gifts as they wait on God (Rom. 12:1-10); have a spiritual manifestation to profit all (1 Cor 12:7-); admonish one another (Rom. 15:14); teach one another (Col. 3:16); exhort one another, (Heb. 3:13); warn unruly (1Thess. 5:14); confess their faults one to one another (James 5:16); anoint the sick (James 5:14); prophesy to one another (1 Cor. 14:31); discipline erring brethren (1 Cor5:3-5, 6:1-6); pray for one another (James 5:14-); lead in prayer and song (1 Cor. 14:15); have a psalm, hymn or spiritual song (Col. 3:16); any man can speak or minister as God leads (1 Peter 4:10,11). We must follow after Christ who will lead us in this way, and not follow after man-made programs and dead rituals and the exalted Pastor role that quench the Spirit.