"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, April 29, 2011

Want to Start a Church? Then Get a Job, Pastor - But Only Until You Get Enough Followers to Pay You to Stop Working

In his blog post "How to Plant a Church With Little or No Outside Funding", Les Puryear gives 6 tips on how someone who feels led to start a church can do it without tapping into the SBC resources.

I commend Les for this kind of thinking. Yes, a church can be started without having to tap a financial straw into the SBC Cooperative Program. It can be done with putting no one's money at risk.

But as Les points out, it would require the church planter to do something they are not prone to do, and for which their years at seminary have left them completely unprepared:

They must get a real job. Or what Les calls a "secular" job.

1. Get a Secular Job" is Les's # 1 tip.

Les' plan is for the planter to start a "bible study" in the home, with the idea it will grow into a church plant. So toward this end, Les' offers his explanation about this "secular job", and how long the "planter" must endure it, and how to get out of it, and why it would be good for business:
"Don't take any salary from the new church until the church can meet its financial needs for startup costs and weekly expenses. Also, when you are in a secular job, you are actually around lost people. These are the people you are trying to reach with your new church plant."
Let me give you the Watchdog's "WIV" interpretation of that paragraph:
"Get yourself a real job, but only until you can get enough members into your home bible study to the point you can begin collecting money they earn in THEIR secular jobs, take that money, rent some space for your church, quit your real job, and then begin drawing an income as a "pastor". And in the meantime you can use the opportunity of rubbing elbows with lost people in your secular job to invite them to your bible study, where you can teach them tithing and they can begin contributing money toward the goal of quitting your job and becoming their pastor."
I know that is cynical. But if a pastor can get a "secular job", and if they are a solid bible teacher and have a bible study in their home, why must the natural progression be: get job - start bible study - collect money from those who do work - quit job - rent space - become pastor - have church?

Why can't a church planter just do what most committed Christians do: they have careers and families, and they serve the body of Christ for free as a part of their time away from work. I have seen the most committed Christians lay people work a full time job, AND be incredibly productive in ministry at a church for no pay at all.

I think Les' use of the word "secular job" is significant. I know he is using it to differentiate from a "religious" job such as a pastor...but let's be real. I wish pastors would stop viewing their jobs as ministers as something different or "special" from those who work in "secular" jobs. Their jobs as minister is "secular" every bit as much as a school teacher's or a doctor, or anyone else. They have a job, they have an employer, they have a boss to whom they are accountable, they have a job description, and they earn pay in exchange for their services. They get evaluated, and they earn raises based on their tenure and performance. I know pastors and ordained ministers say they were "called by God" into their ministry, but they are working stiffs like anyone else is. A pastor or a minister is not any more called into their profession than an engineer, doctor, or educator, or electrician, etc.

I also noticed that Les advocates "have your wife get a secular job" and putting the kiddos in public school. Yes, "have" her (make her, as she must obey you) go out and get a secular job, too. Les says she needs to be around "lost people", so get her out there to make a buck to help you start your church.

My advice for Les: keep your secular job, maybe even go to night school and re-educate yourself to get a better job, but keep your Bible study in your home. If you teach tithing to your attendees, have them tithe and imagine what good you could accomplish in your community helping people with that cash flow that does not have to go to buildings, utilities, and salaries. If the bible study gets too big, then sure, rent out the YMCA for your meetings. Or meet at a library or a conference room of one of your attendees' employers.

It is called "home church" or "organic church" - a church without a team of men who demand payment for their ministry services, and they are becoming more and more popular.

159 comments:

just some guy said...

I did a university project where I had to visit/study a church that was a different denomination or had significantly different practices than that of my usual church.
I decided to investigate a home church in my area. I expected to find a bunch of kooky weirdos who were anti pastor, anti church, anti everything but themselves.
What I found was something completely different. Something that blew my mind and made me reevaluate everything I had ever been taught and everything I had ever thought.
These people came together in ways that were amazing. They really knew each other, they took care of each other, they participated in their community, were active in charity work, and even were the sole supporter of a missionary over seas.
There were no paid staff, no plans for paid staff, no necessary plans for building projects, there was no 501c3 filing, no shadow of corporate america, and while there did seem to be a naturally occurring mentorship style pecking order that had built up over time, it was not the kind of hierarchy found in most churches, where positions are sought and bought.
I could say so much more, and know I am not doing them any justice in this short post, except to say that while most churches were preaching Christianity, these people were living out Christianity.
I have never been the same since that report. I agree with your article.
It seems to me that modern church planting gets its direction, not from any spiritual source, but largely from the Multi Level Marketing (MLM) industry.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 'some guy'. My first impression reading this was that this sounds like what Amway people tell you when they are recruiting.

Hey Les, Is your wife allowed to have male direct reports on her job? Piper says that is "unnatural". Perhaps if it pays well enough. I guess you want her in management so she can meet a better class of lost people who make more money.

My guess is that they do not know how they sound to those of us who have seen the organic verision of the Body.

cheezewhizchurch said...

I know what you mean about the superiority complex they sometimes get. They talk about being in "full-time Christian service." I call it professional Christianity.

MrChrisitian said...

Do it the way the first century church did - until you can afford to abandon that mode.

Anonymous said...

Check out this site for resources on the organic Body of believers

http://www.ptmin.org/

And read Pagan Christianity for information on how much we do and believe is traditions of men and not of Christ.

just some guy's brother said...

I agree with half of the sentiment of this article, partly because it's argument is based off of FBCJax's adding of words and sentiments to Les' article that simply aren't there. As a minister who works a "secular job," or what I would otherwise deem as earning a living without the church's money, I think there are many benefits to the work. However, at some point, the elders/ministers of a church are going to hit a point where they cannot serve the church and their employer without cheating one or the other, especially if a community of believers continues to grow.

But let's leave the country, because both sides argue from American perspectives and assumptions here, and let's look at a situation my church is monitoring in India. We are considering the support of 11 Indian pastors who have, since 2009, planted 45 churches (all through evangelism and no transfer growth). Some of these pastors have as many as 9 churches under their care and with baby believers, they are hard pressed to raise leadership that is spiritually mature. Furthermore, they have the "secular job" of farming to feed themselves and their families. For $150/month per pastor, we can fully compensate them so that they no longer have to farm and can invest their full energy into their ministry labors, which would include planting more churches, preaching the gospel (where it's clearly having an effect), and training leaders to multiply ministry.

Should we (the leadership in my church) send them a letter saying, "Pastors, stop being selfish and just get a 'secular job' like the Bible says (the exact verses will be sent to you as soon as we find them)?"

Perhaps a more well rounded (and biblical) argument would be this: "the laborer is worthy of his wages" (1 Timothy 5:18), or "the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14). I am saying that the issue has been made too simple because some pastors have abused it at the hands of an unbiblical leadership team.

A wise pastor will not purposefully make himself a burden to his flock, but a God-dishonoring flock will impose a burden upon its leaders. The sword cuts both ways, and I say this as a minister who has worked for five years outside of the church (which has simultaneously made me unavailable to the flock from 8-5 six days a week), and has NEVER earned a salary from a church above the poverty level as established by the IRS when he was being "lazy" and "greedy" working 75 hrs/week average.

Nevertheless, love this website and the conversations that come from it!

Anonymous said...

"However, at some point, the elders/ministers of a church are going to hit a point where they cannot serve the church and their employer without cheating one or the other, especially if a community of believers continues to grow."

Not at all. Time to plant another church. That is what elders are for, that is what discipleship is about. The people are maturing and new ones can be planted.

Get out of the numbers game and get into the discipleship and spiritual maturity of believers mode.

just some guy's brother said...

Wrong Anonymous. It is not a numbers "game" that I need to get out of. I'd have to get in it first.

There is such a thing as leaders being qualified, and this is not a rushed process, especially if people have little to no knowledge of Scripture. That disciple is first to progress beyond milk before he leads, and we are discussing leadership, not Ephesians 4 work of the ministry that is to be done by all at all stages of spiritual growth.

I'm in full agreement that it is about growing spiritual believers and leaders. I also agree that this does not require ownership of church buildings, campuses, office complexes, air conditioning, web sites, or heavy infrastructure. In fact, I would argue that churches in America generally spend far too much of their resources on upholding infrastructure that is not necessary at the expense of church responsibilities that are necessary.

Leadership, wise spiritual leadership, is one of those necessities, and a church that can afford to supplement their leaders' needs for the sake of receiving leadership and ministry training should offer to do so. To not do so when the means are available is to dishonor them, and you're going to have to do some serious hermeneutical gymnastics with 1 Corinthians 9 and 1 Timothy 5 to say otherwise, or to say that an elder is never worthy of earning financial support.

My argument is that the argument of this article is, if taken to its logical conclusion, throwing the biblical baby (financially supporting church leadership) out with the admittedly filthy bathwater of financial mismanagement.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

JSGB said:

"My argument is that the argument of this article is, if taken to its logical conclusion, throwing the biblical baby (financially supporting church leadership) out with the admittedly filthy bathwater of financial mismanagement."

You're catching on, and so are so many others. I think Les' article gives us a glimpse into the absurdity in America of there being so many "prefessional relgious men" who spend years at a seminary to get out and earn a living off of others who are working "secular jobs". I'm not saying there should be no churches or no full time pastors. But look at the logic here.

I will start a bible study in my home.

I and my wife will get secular jobs temporarily.

We'll invite people to our home to worship and study the bible. I'll probably teach them that we are a "church", or going to be a church, and thus they need to give 10% to the "church" (which is really a bible study for now).

When we get enough people in our study, and they are giving enough money, we'll stop our secular jobs and take their money and become their full time minister.

Then we'll get a building. And we'll join a denomination.

Then we'll pay utilities. And hire an administrator. And if we get enough, we'll hire a full time music guy. And a youth guy (no gals, just guys).

And it all started with a bible study. What is wrong with the bible study? Or breaking it into 5 bible studies? What is wrong with it is that it provides no income to a person who spent years and years at seminary to be a professional Christian minister.

just some guy's brother said...

Watchdog, thank you for interacting with my post. And for the record, I really am "just some guy"'s brother (spiritually and genetically).

I also grieve the professionalization of the office of elder and often wonder how they would feel if deacons decided to organize themselves into a guild. Those who lead the church are to do so because they are 1) biblically qualified - and the qualifications are for the most part earned through years of holy living, 2) appointed by the church - as opposed to self-appointed or appointed by "the guild's" institutions, and 3) continuing the work of leadership faithfully.

Somewhere, between the biblical model of first century church leadership and the 21st century American model, we have generally lost site of the leader's responsibility and the church's obligations. But, again, if the worker (and real elder-ing is work despite what people who don't elder assume) is worthy of a wage, he should receive it so that he can continue to do his work as it is clearly benefitting the church.

The pastor who tries to escape his need to sacrifice and sweat is a shame and the church that purposefully fractures into smaller entities simply to avoid showing honor to an honorable leader (dishonorable leaders should be publicly booted from leadership), is likewise shameful. A church that purposefully spreads (I don't say split) itself out for the sake of evangelization/making disciples is not in that category.

But what's the problem of breaking into 5 Bible studies from one growing study group? On the surface nothing, but in the future, everything could be wrong IF (big if) the teachers of those studies are not qualified. Paul's warning to the Ephesian elders and Timothy, Peter's warnings about false prophets/teachers, and John's strict caveats about false teachers (not to mention Jude) all seem to indicate that false teaching starts within a community, not from without. Elders are supposed to guard that teaching because they have the most experience with the Word both in study and practice (and this experience can legitimately be earned without going to seminary).

If leadership is not developed, heresy is. History is too ripe with examples for me to doubt it. The explosion of the house churches in the eastern hemisphere has not erased the reality that many pastors from these regions are dealing with many heresies as a result of untrained leadership (untrained in the Scriptures, not necessarily untrained in seminary).

To me, the issue is not salary or no salary, the issue is whether the leaders are ready, whether they are leading honorably, and whether the church is ready, however small, to show honor to whom it is due in this way. If not, the greed problem does not belong to the pastor and his hungry children. The problem falls on those who are looking for a technicality to escape what we are all called to do: be financially generous to those in need (as we give cheerfully and in accordance with our ability [not a set tithe per se]).

I'm longwinded and apologize. It's my seminary training that has made me this way! I enjoy your thoughtful articles and hope they keep coming.

Anonymous said...

That ain't no Church!

The Bible teaches you need a Pastor and he is worthy of his hire.

Do you want your Burger King Manager to be your Pastor??

That's stupid

You need God's man in God's house to open up God's book behind the sacred desk and declare "thus saith the Lord"!

Your "Burger King" Pastor will only declare to you....

"Do you want fries with that"?

NO I don't want your nasty food Mr. Manager... I want some spiritual food.

If you want to go to a "House" Church"....go....

are they baptizing people?
seeing people get saved?
doing missions?

No...they are just eating Chicken and potato salad and talking about how sorry Mac is...I don't need gossip like that in my life.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog this really is stepping on some toes. The seminaries are manufacturing units that must be protected. These institutions teach the students the essence of Christianity and more importantly the Greek. Where would the average pew sitter be if not being told what the English is in Greek. The entire Church building and monuments to men is the problem. Everyone is and should pastor within the secular world. The idea that a church has an overpaid pastor and subordinates is centerstage. It needs to be dismantled. We need to start all over again. A small group can meet and grow and even meet in schools or open areas. Getting the message out to a lost world should be done by all members collectively and all the other ministry forgotten as it is a total waste of time. We have too many committees, deacon boards, trustees, and clergy that actually get in the way of real Christianity...come and see the old Andrew way.

Jon L. Estes said...

Our church leadership team is praying and taking together about starting some home bible studies. One of our weaknesses is having enough people who have the time to do this on a weekly basis. By do this, I mean to make it more than a Sunday School type setting and a greater digging into the word time.

One of the advantages a pastor/preacher has is the time he is given (if he is given it) to prepare and pray over what God would have him bring to the body each week (Acts 6). If one multiplies this by at least three times a week there is much time given to preparation.

I like the idea of home bible studies but not so much as an either or when it comes to the established church but more as a both and. using this method as a means to pant a church is a wise move in many cases. Brother Les is not a greedy pastor trying to make living off of other peoples hard work. He comes from a family of hard working men and women and his dad taught him the lesson of working hard and working with integrity. Beyond that his dad taught him to follow God's call upon his life. His dad was proud of him and blessed of God to have God call Les into vocational ministry.

It might be safe to say that most of those men and women who have not been called into vocational ministry really do not comprehend that calling upon another persons life.

Is it safe to say that the church going folks who comment here and who love their church are not ready to go to their pastor and tell him to get a real job and to quit living off of the sweat and blood of real working people? maybe, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

If there were a Like button on these posts, just some guy would get a big LIKE click from me.

The biblical model IS the home church.

The modern day form of "church" has taken something pure and wonderful and natural, and organized it, compartmentalized it, monetized it, and corporatized it to DEATH.

Jon L. Estes said...

"The biblical model IS the home church."

It may be the model but nowhere in scripture is it mandated. Forsake not the assembling of yourselves... This could be in a house setting or a larger building with thousands of people, can't it? Two or more doesn't have a cap on it.

Acts, Hebrews and James talk about the assembly of the church.

"The modern day form of "church" has taken something pure and wonderful and natural, and organized it, compartmentalized it, monetized it, and corporatized it to DEATH."

This may be true in some or even many cases, we really don't know. which. It is this way, not because of the gathering but the wickedness of men. The same wickedness found in men in home churches.

Would you say it is possible or even probable that if we were in a home church type tradition that all would be wholesome. Some home church folk would be mad about something. Just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Many things are models in scripture that aren't mandated.

There is a much stronger case for the home church model in scripture than for multimillion dollar buildings, a "minister" of this and that church staff structure, and making the pastor the idol of the congregation or a media star.

Sure, people get mad about stuff in any setting. They did in the Corinthian church. But in my mind, the simpler the better.

I say this as one who served on a mega church staff for many years. The things I heard and saw go on were not anywhere close to spiritual in goal. They were about getting bottoms in seats and dollars in plates.

guesswho said...

Anonymous April 29, 2011 11:32 PM -

How do you know that people are not getting saved or that missions are no being done? How do you know they are not walking the streets and sharing Jesus? You do not! So please do not bash something you know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

Tell you what I do like that Puryear says, and that's for the wife to get a job.

What I've seen over and over in the church is that either the husbands or the churches they go to work for don't want the wife to work. But then people in the church buy and give them stuff, send them on trips, give their kids stuff - so they can live the lifestyle of the people in the church.

Totally whacked.

Jon L. Estes said...

"There is a much stronger case for the home church model in scripture than for multimillion dollar buildings, a "minister" of this and that church staff structure, and making the pastor the idol of the congregation or a media star."

I agree.

"But in my mind, the simpler the better. "

I'm all for simple church.

"I say this as one who served on a mega church staff for many years. The things I heard and saw go on were not anywhere close to spiritual in goal. They were about getting bottoms in seats and dollars in plates.'

I am sure this is the way it is in many churches but not all. I don't know if a case can be made for such churches being the majority.

"What I've seen over and over in the church is that either the husbands or the churches they go to work for don't want the wife to work. But then people in the church buy and give them stuff, send them on trips, give their kids stuff - so they can live the lifestyle of the people in the church.'

There are also churches out there that want to know what the pastors wife makes so they can reduce what they pay him.

Shame upon the pastor who makes more than he should and not have the integrity to correct it. Shame on the church who pays the pastor less that they should and has not the integrity to correct it. Both situations lead to trouble.

Anonymous said...

Dog just finished looking at a programmed I recorded a couple of weeks ago about the abuses of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches of which Trinity Baptist Church is affiliated with. As I was veiwing it the Bob Gray cover up came to mind!

Here is the google info:

A RELIGIOUS SUB-CULTURE MANY AMERICANS HAVE NEVER HEARD OF, YET ...Apr 6, 2011 ... Elizabeth Vargas' Yearlong Investigation Into The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, Airs On “20/20,” Friday, April 8, 10-11 PM ET ...
blogs.abcnews.com/.../a-religious-sub-culture-many-americans-have-never- heard-of-yet-has-thousands-of-churches-across-the-.html - Cached.

Anonymous said...

"What I've seen over and over in the church is that either the husbands or the churches they go to work for don't want the wife to work. But then people in the church buy and give them stuff, send them on trips, give their kids stuff - so they can live the lifestyle of the people in the church."

Or so they can live a higher lifestyle than many of the people in the church.

Anonymous said...

Shame upon the pastor who makes more than he should and not have the integrity to correct it. Shame on the church who pays the pastor less that they should and has not the integrity to correct it. Both situations lead to trouble.

April 30, 2011 2:50 PM

Shame on the person who views his relationship with Christ as a means to an income. There were no "salaried" positions in the NT Body of Christ/

Anonymous said...

I have been a part of a home church (averaged about 8-10 adults and 2-4 children) that was in our home. It was a close knit, strong spiritual community that served one another and had zero overhead so that our gifts to missions and the poor were fully received.

I have been a part of a mega church in Jackson Mississippi where there were over 4500 in attendance in worship. There were great programs for my teenagers and a strong emphasis on evangelism and going to international missions in India and Kenya.

I am now in a medium sized church, about 900 in worship. We know most everyone, at least by face, it is a strong home for my wife and I. There is great justice missions locally such as feeding the hungry, serving in a crisis pregnancy center and housing the homeless.

All of that to say, all three of these Christian communities were unique in their approaches, unique in their progams and unique in their Biblical strengths.

What if style, size and scope of churches didn't matter as long as they were led and filled with men and women who loved Jesus. What is home, medium and mega were all accomplishing the purpose of the Bride in a dark world as they glorify God together.

It seems at times that there are some on this blog who don't see the big picture of God's work in all sizes, many denominations, and all cultures. I think there are a lot more right things in His Church than wrong things...it would have to be if the gates of hell can't prevail against her.

Jason

Slow to speak said...

House Churches?

You ever seen anyone saved thru the ministry of a house church?

didn't think so

You ever seen missions carried out thru a house church?

ditto

You ever seen a house church really serve and bless the city?

No, they are too busy serving themselves chips and dip.

This whole house church thing is just a fad that dysfunctional people conjured up to feed their own insecurities.

The good thing though is you know the house churches will start new churches....they will start hating on each other and multiply very quickly

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jason - STS beat me to the punch.

What I was going to say was I see exactly what you are saying and I don't disagree with you a bit.

But it is the mega church pastors and their groupies who are the biggest crittics of the home or organic church. I have heard mega pastors put down these house churches using NT scripture. No question, it is the mega church pastors that take exception to your characterization. They believe the "church" in America must include a building, a pastor in charge, male trustees and deacons who agree not to drink, and people submitting to the authority of their pastor and the "elders".

Home church to them is not church at all.

elastigirl said...

Just Some Guy -- I will never forget your comment. What you describe is the 1st thing in years that doesn't make me want to hide the fact that I am a christian. In fact, it makes me proud of it.

What I see in the big, heavy machine of "church industry" is waste, waste, waste. On so many levels.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Shame on the person who views his relationship with Christ as a means to an income. There were no "salaried" positions in the NT Body of Christ/"

I know of no one in the pastorate who views their relationship with Christ as a means to an income. There may be some out there but I would think they are a small minority.

Paul tells the church to pay the preachers to support them financially. One of the blessings about autonomy is that each individual church can decide for themselves what is the best way to handle the support for their pastor. Paying too much or too little is not the best way.

I do think a case could be made that most pastors are underpaid, rather than overpaid (not counting those who are paid correctly). For anyone who thinks a pastor is not to be paid, they would disagree anyway.

Is it safe to say that the church going folks who comment here and who love their church are not ready to go to their pastor and tell him to get a real job and to quit living off of the sweat and blood of real working people? maybe, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

"I know of no one in the pastorate who views their relationship with Christ as a means to an income. There may be some out there but I would think they are a small minority."

It does not matter what they think. Many think wrong things. It is what they "do" that is viewed. They expect to be paid for their walk with Christ.

And how much is not the point. It is striving for and expecting a salary for ministry that is the problem. Whether you want to admit it or not, it is a "career choice".

Anonymous said...

"What if style, size and scope of churches didn't matter as long as they were led and filled with men and women who loved Jesus. "

The problem is the system. A mega church MUST maintain the system and that brings huge problems too lengthy to go into here. But think about this: There is a 10,000/mo electric bill that must be paid at the mega. There are many employees that must be paid. Can they afford to deal openly and honestly about problems in the church? No. And the system must be maintained no matter what.

No One Special said...

"Slow to speak said...

House Churches?

You ever seen anyone saved thru the ministry of a house church?"

I was.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Whether you want to admit it or not, it is a "career choice"."

Better a "Career Calling". The men I know would not have chosen this for their lives if it were not for the calling.

Anonymous said...

that is a fallacy, jon. it has been repeated so much for so many centuries that people do not even question the premise.

the truth is that every true believer is 'called' to 'ministry'.

Anonymous said...

all one has to do is start reading pastor type blogs and read the whining and arrogance that comes with their paid 'calling'.

the blogosphere is making known what was hidden from most before.

Anonymous said...

the NT church met in homes. They preached in synagoges and once paul rented a school because he was run off the grounds of the synagogue. but those are not instances of the 'body' meeting. people tend to confuse that.

Jon L. Estes said...

"the truth is that every true believer is 'called' to 'ministry'."

A truth I believe in. Most are not called into vocational ministry. the few of us who are understand God's calling upon our lives.

Anonymous said...

WD:

This subject certainly hit a raw nerve with FBCJ Pastor Brunson.

Now I know for certain that he reads this blog.

He blasted the home church in his sermon today and berated them for not having a pastor. Then he strongly voiced that HE was OUR pastor and that he would protect FBCJ to his death!

He went on to tell us (rather loudly) to not have any dealings with people trying to attack the church and to not read any of their writings.

Clearly a reference to this blog!!

Katie said...

I haven't read every single comment, so if I'm beating a dead horse, plese excuse.

I don't personally have any problem with churches that have a full time paid Pastor. Especially the large churches where a bi-vocational Pastor couldn't possibly meet all the demands of the congregants. We DO have some great role models who are serving.

However, I find it just a bit hypocritical of Les Puryear to be giving advice to any of us. He has demonstrated that he is willing to go behind the backs of other Christians to get his own way, which paled in comparison to him deleting the evidence. Sheriff Wade did the right thing in that circumstance. Of late Les ranted on about banning the 'Calvinists', from the SBC (he seems to be lacking in Baptist history) and then he promptly apologized after again, deleting the evidence. I accept his apology as sincere. But he hasn't shown me anything that demonstrates he is in a positition to be telling other Christians how they ought to start new churches. Les should probably spend some time in prayer, study and reflection of his own motives before he starts giving advice to others.

What irks me the most is that he encourages Christians to send their children to public schools. I realize that we do have some excellent public schools, but they are bastions of extreme liberalism. Anyone living in Massachusetts agree that children should be taught from Kindergarten up that homosexuality is just another lifestyle? How about the idea, that parents can't even opt out of such a teaching? California seems to be following Massachusetts into the last arena where children are now owned by the state and parents be damned.
Can any of you imagine your pastor telling you to subject your children to this? Les Puryear needs to close his trap until he has demonstrated that he understands just what he is advocating.

Anonymous said...

A truth I believe in. Most are not called into vocational ministry. the few of us who are understand God's calling upon our lives.

May 1, 2011 1:23 PM

Well, unless you are traveling around like Paul, etc, then there is no "vocational" ministry as YOU define it in scripture. Even then, Paul made tents to offset the cost and not be a burden.

Ministry IS the life of a believer. You are trying to defend the special caste system created by man that is nothing but tradition. You want us to believe your "calling" is more special and must be underwritten.

I was just reading a history of the NT not too long ago that spoke of Paul making tents would have brought him in contact with many lost people. Corinth and Ephesus were big trading centers and very cosmopolitan. Paul got "out there" amongst them to witness and preach. That is MINISTRY and everyone should be doing it. And they should not expect to be paid to do it.

Paul was not holed up in a building being the boss of the church and expecting a salary to do it.

Anonymous said...

"He blasted the home church in his sermon today and berated them for not having a pastor. Then he strongly voiced that HE was OUR pastor and that he would protect FBCJ to his death!"

They are scared. People are reading Pagan Christianity and other books about organic Body of Christ and they want it in their lives. More and more are seeing the "institution" is really only serving a few and is system that must be maintained. They are starting to ask why so much money and resources are being funneled into buildings and salaries.


Organic churches DO have those who "pastor". It is a verb. It is a function. Not a position. If you are a parent, you "pastor" your children. Hopefully. :o)

They just don't get paid to "pastor" and that sort of thing is a threat to guys like Brunson. So, he wants you to believe the traditional definition of "pastor" which is not biblical. It is also not a static function. People grow past the pastor to "pastoring" others if that is their gifting in the Body.

Some people even think that "preacher" and "pastor" are the same thing. They aren't.

When the author of "Quitting Church" interviewed people who were leaving the church, she thought they would be the nominal Christians. She found out she was wrong. They were the serious Christians. They could no longer support much of what they saw going on in the institution and wanted more authenticity in the Body of Christ. Not all the trappings and fakiness that goes along with the show on Sunday morning.

Anonymous said...

Brunson is the CEO of an organization that makes merchandise of the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

Jon Estes is right. The pastorate, is a specfic call to the Gospel ministry. You don't decide the call, it is made to you and one is miserable unless he obeys. Billy Graham gave advice once that if you could do anything else than preach, then do it...for that was evidence you were not really called.That is why Paul said: "Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel." Yes, everyone is called to ministry but Christ gave gifts in Ephesians 4:11-12 and those are specific gifted men. If anyone thinks that just a general call on a life equips them to preach then take it up. You will lay it down fast.

Pastor Russell said...

I have served as a pastor of the same small church for 10 years, sometimes with pay, sometimes without. The pay has never really been a concern of mine. ( I work ) Money has a tendency to become the focus(as with this blog) and Christ becomes nothing more then a second thought. When this happens, in a church or to a minister its time to quit. The church no longer honors Christ and becomes a house of reproach. (home or cathedral)

Pastor Russell said...

I have been the Pastor of the same small church for the past 10 years. I have at times received pay and other time have not, if the money was needed else where, we sent it there. Money has a tendency to become the focus(as with this blog)and over-shadows the work of Christ. When this happens either in a home church or a cathedral, to the congregation or the minister, its time to quit. Working out side the church has enabled me to stand in times I needed to, unconcerned about a pay check. On the other hand being compensated for the labor of the Gospel enabled me to be there for my church when I was needed. I disagree with the statement that being a Pastor is no more a calling from God than being a electrician, to Pastor is a privilege that carries greater judgment(James). Electricians demand pay.... A Pastor will pastor regardless of the pay.

Anonymous said...

"disagree with the statement that being a Pastor is no more a calling from God than being a electrician, to Pastor is a privilege that carries greater judgment(James)."

1 James 3 uses the word "teacher" (didaskaloi) which means instructor.

If teacher is the same as "pastor" then why does Ephesians 4:11 read like this:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,


Pastor means shepherd (poimenas) and is a care and protect function. Teacher is an instructor.

That does not mean a pastor cannot teach but we have to admit that scripture does not automatically combine the "teaching" function with the "pastor" function.

This is what I mean by the historical "redefining" of words in scripture. We must all be Bereans and not depend on the "pastors" to teach us.

Anonymous said...

"The pastorate, is a specfic call to the Gospel ministry."

Chapter and verse, please. There is no "pastorate". It is a function. Not a position.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"He went on to tell us (rather loudly) to not have any dealings with people trying to attack the church and to not read any of their writings."

Exactly. You have to shun such filthy people, and you mustn't read or listen to them and pollute your minds.

That is why you need a pastor in your life. He is "God's man". How can you know God's will for you life, without a "God's man" in your life?

"God's man" will tell you what to read, what not to read. God's man will tell you how much to give, too. He will tell you must give 10%. He will tell you when there isn't enough money in the church to do basic ministry that Jesus called the church to do, how much MORE to give.

Mac and Trey and Maurilio want 1% more. Money is short, and instead of asking you to ask the Holy Spirit how much you can give, they just tell you: give 1% more.

And shun people who criticize "the church".

I hope that when Rush starts Paramount Church in Columbus, Ohio, he doesn't use Brunson as his model for ministry and preaching.

Anonymous said...

Billy Graham gave advice once that if you could do anything else than preach, then do it...for that was evidence you were not really called.That is why Paul said: "Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel." Yes, everyone is called to ministry but Christ gave gifts in Ephesians 4:11-12 and those are specific gifted men. If anyone thinks that just a general call on a life equips them to preach then take it up. You will lay it down fast."

Every single true believer is given a gift to edify the Body.I suppose you are saying that Ted Haggard is a specifically gifted man who was "called" because he said he was "called"? Jim Jones? Both pastors.

Paul was 'slow of speech' and brought no great oratorical skills with him.

Billy Graham was not a pastor. But a preacher or evangelist. There is a difference between preacher and pastor. Most do not realize that because their "preacher" claims to be both.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Every single true believer is given a gift to edify the Body.I suppose you are saying that Ted Haggard is a specifically gifted man who was "called" because he said he was "called"? Jim Jones? Both pastors.'

The right or wrong actions by pastors is not what declares their calling. Called men will sin, some in ways they will forfeit their calling. Others is ways which can and should be forgiven.

When a church is in search of a pastor, due diligence into the life of the man they consider ought to be done thoroughly. If found to be within the parameter God sets, then they can proceed or move a different direction. It depends on how God leads them.

As I type this the TV is on in the other room and GodSpell is running. The scene of the pharisee and publican is happening. Interesting...

Anonymous said...

I cannot speak for Ted Haggard. He and Jim Jones proved to be false prophets.There is a specific calling to preach the word although each member is called to giftedness. I said nothing about oratorical skills. Paul had a call upon him however.
The reference in Ephesians to pastors and teachers is a reference to one position.The article "and" in the Greek makes it one position, thus Pastor-teacher. A good pastor is always a teacher. The refence in James 3:1, although using the word teacher indicates the primary teaching office in the church, thus elder, pastor.

It appears that many on these blogs wish to reduce the ministry of pastor to equal all else. That's fine, however those called to the pastorate will indeed have to give a greater account for their ministry. Hebrew 13:17

Anonymous said...

This is what I mean by the historical "redefining" of words in scripture. We must all be Bereans and not depend on the "pastors" to teach us.'

My only point was, that being a pastor and teaching false stuff or not having the "Call" will get you in trouble :) I would like to think God will hold the "show boaters" accountable in some way... ... I have never been a 10% er... more of a give from the heart New Testament style which sometimes is more than 10 if the Holy Spirit commands you (not the preacher or pastor).. I could type all that more scholarly," but you get the point.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I agree with the anon. There is no office of singular "pastor" in the bible. It is not a position, it is a ministry.

I'm also pretty sure there is no such thing as a "senior pastor" in the new testament, or that a man in the church should be referred to as "God's man" or "God's annointed".

"Pastor" is just our word in evangelicalism for "priest", who is the man of God that must be obeyed by the plebe.

I like what Viola and Barna say:

"Permit us to get personal. We believe the pastoral office has stolen your right to function as a full member of the body. It has distorted the reality of the body, making the pastor a giant mouth and transforming you into a tiny ear. It has rendered you a mute spectator who is proficient at taking sermon notes and passing an offering plate." (Pagan Christianity, page 136.)

And then this gem again from Viola and Barna:

"We expect doctors and lawyers to serve us, not to train us to serve others. And why? Because they are experts. They are trained professionals. Unfortunately, we look upon the pastor in the same way. All of this does violence to the fact that every believer is a priest not only before God, but to one another".(p. 137)

Any wonder why "senior pastors" like to be called "doctor"? They view themselves as the religious experts worthy of hire and high pay. Many pastors even will use "Dr." when all they have is an honorary degree from a seminary.

Of course as I have blogged previously, Brunson has gone after Viola and Barna from the pulpit for their views; as these views are a danger to the power and money of the "doctor" who holds the "senior pastor" position in a mega church.

Anonymous said...

Anon: May 1, 2011 2:14 PM

I thought the same thing with Mac's message today. The subject was filled with too many statements about the issue on this topic. He stressed to much on FBCJ being a caring church - every Sunday he brings up Dr. Lindsay's name as if to give credit - simply put Brunson has no idea the many hawks that are circling inside and simply don't like the man.

Jon L. Estes said...

I don't think scripture teaches us to financially support missionaries who go around the world and serve but yet we do, with gladness. Are we ready to tell those missionaries our financially support of them does not have a biblical basis so therefor we will cease our support?

Anonymous said...

"Paul had a call upon him however."

Yet, he was not a pastor. Apollos had a call, too. As did Judas. As did Mary M, Joanna, etc. Can you name the pastors in the NT? It must clearly say they are pastors of a church. thanking you in advance.

"The reference in Ephesians to pastors and teachers is a reference to one position.The article "and" in the Greek makes it one position, thus Pastor-teacher. A good pastor is always a teacher. The refence in James 3:1, although using the word teacher indicates the primary teaching office in the church, thus elder, pastor."

Now this is ridiculous. Nice try though. For those of you who are apt to believe this nonsense, go read an interlinear of this passage and see for yourself. So mucb that is claimed out there is such nonsense. And all the defend a paid ministry position.

"It appears that many on these blogs wish to reduce the ministry of pastor to equal all else. That's fine, however those called to the pastorate will indeed have to give a greater account for their ministry. Hebrew 13:17"

The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you. All are needed. Every gift is needed. No gift is more important than the other in the Body.

Where is "pastorate" mentioned in this verse? This is a horrible translation because it is one of the places the translators added a word that is no where in the Greek. They added "office". Which is not surprising considering that church and government became married around 400 AD. Many translators laboring under a "divine" king who was over the church. Like Henry the 8th. :o)

There is a great piece on exegeting this passage that everyone needs to read. If they are to "rule" then Jesus would have never said 'not so among you' when talking about the Gentiles who love to lord it over. Elders are described as those "among us" not over us.

Jesus rules over the Body. Not one single human does. He sent the Holy Spirit for a reason.

Here is a link and do your own homework on how the exact same Greek words were translated differently in other parts of the NT. If you notice, the Greek in that passage is not arche or exousia which is typically used for "rule". But the word is hegeomai which means more to think or esteem.

The translators used "obey" when the word is pietho which means to persuade, win over. (which Paul dida lot of!)

http://www.theexaminer.org/volume2/number4/rule.htm

Jesus said that the greatest among you must be the lowliest. The leader is really a servant. So many have tried to make it both. Does not work that way. Servant leader is an oxymoron. It was a way to sell authoritarianism to a culture that was becoming more egal.

So, if Hebrews 13:17 really means obey the rulers then if I happen to unwittingly join Jim Jones church back before he was an obvious nutcase then I must obey him...because that is what that ONE verse in Hebrews says. Yet, many other passages contradict that translatoin so the the translation must be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I don't think scripture teaches us to financially support missionaries who go around the world and serve but yet we do, with gladness. Are we ready to tell those missionaries our financially support of them does not have a biblical basis so therefor we will cease our support?

May 1, 2011 4:54 PM

Good point, Jon. But it is a red herring and appeals to tradition instead of the Word.

It all comes down to how we have redefined things. There are no "missionaries" in scripture. But what was Paul? Timothy? Mark? Those who traveled to spread the Gospel?

When Jesus sent some of his disciples out, one time he tells them to take money. Another time he tells them not to. (See Mark 6)

Some supported Jesus, like Joanna who traveled with Him, out of her own resources. Luke 8

Paul sought contributions for the church in Jerusalem who were not only being persecuted but in a famine. But not for himself. Was Paul a "missionary"?

Support for those evangelizing took different forms such as hospitality. Lydia is an example of this.

They had to depend on God. And Paul had a vocation of making tents.

I also support some missionaries but only those I know personally and with whom I have a relationship. I support them directly so no money goes to a bureacracy and high salaries for admin.

Anonymous said...

"Permit us to get personal. We believe the pastoral office has stolen your right to function as a full member of the body. It has distorted the reality of the body, making the pastor a giant mouth and transforming you into a tiny ear. It has rendered you a mute spectator who is proficient at taking sermon notes and passing an offering plate." (Pagan Christianity, page 136.)


AMEN! YOu will not grow spiritually listening to the same person week after week. Stop being a spectator and BE the Body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

"The right or wrong actions by pastors is not what declares their calling. Called men will sin, some in ways they will forfeit their calling. Others is ways which can and should be forgiven."

You must not be a Calvinist. :o)

Actually, you are claiming that a person paid to model and teach Christ can model sin for us. So, where is the line drawn. Which sins take away his "calling" and which ones don't and who decides?

After all, he is being paid to be a "professional Christian". A model to others.

Or, is he just another sinner saved by the same grace who wants a special title and position?

Anonymous said...

Mac's message today really hit home!

You can't call these glorified Potlucks a "Church"!

If you go to a house church I guarantee you it is because your Bitterness.

It's not "House" church

It is "Hate" church

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
What does the interlinear say about Pastor-teacher. All your arguments against my points are what you stated: I did not bring up "Obey" but was referring to the fact that those in pastoral leadership must give account. The universe operates under the authority of God, to whom He delegates in the church, the government and the home. Rebellion is liked unto witchcraft.

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

Let me get this straight. Pastor Brunson had Life Groups meeting in people's homes in Ponte Vedra, when the South Campus satellite church was getting started. Now, Brunson is saying we should shun those in favor of home churches? This seems hypocritical to me.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Long-Timer - how true. Of course we have to hear what Brunson said, but if he really took a swipe at home churches, how absolutely hypocritical. FBC Jax lured "unchurched" people into home churches in 2008 as a means to start their satellite. I believe these home churches operated for six months or more BEFORE they moved them over to the satellite location.

So home churches are bad, unless you're a mega church pastor who uses them to start a satellite, where you can teach people they must tithe, take their money, and then brag about "operating in the black", and how the satellite is "sending money downtown"....and who can forget the infamous "HA" Mac delivered.

The hypocrisy is breath-taking.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Actually, you are claiming that a person paid to model and teach Christ can model sin for us."

Not at all. i am saying that the called pastor / preacher is not Jesus so is not sinless.

"So, where is the line drawn. Which sins take away his "calling" and which ones don't and who decides?"

1st Timothy gives the guidelines which I think can easily be followed. None of the guidelines say these men are to be sinless. This does not advocate sin but clearly shows and reminds us there is only one God and we ain't He.

Slow to speak said...

Long timer, there is a difference between "house churches" and small groups.

A House Church has as their "Leadership" a roofer or a plumber or an insurance salesman.

A NT Church has a Pastor.

Try one of those "House Churches".

You will not get taught the Bible or have Worship but you can get your leaky roof fixed at a 10percent discount!

Arce said...

The NT model is church meeting in homes, with the members pastoring each other. The designation of a single person as the "pastor" of a church came much later. At some point during the late NT period, there was a "bishop", a leader of the church in a particular area or town. Traditionally, they all had another source of income, probably until after Constantine.

Anonymous said...

What does the interlinear say about Pastor-teacher. All your arguments against my points are what you stated: I did not bring up "Obey" but was referring to the fact that those in pastoral leadership must give account. The universe operates under the authority of God, to whom He delegates in the church, the government and the home. Rebellion is liked unto witchcraft.

May 1, 2011 6:23 PM

I have no idea what your first part means but you have some warped idea of authority between believers. I understand it because it has been taught that way for a very long time due to fleshly desires to control people.

When someone says 'rebellion' is witchcraft, I know what I am dealing with. You get to decide what is rebellion and you get it wrong.

Israel begged for a king and that made God angry because HE was their king. He gave them one anyway.

Christians around the world disobey their government for the Name of Christ and persecuted for it.

When someone says "rebellion is witchcraft" without giving specifics then "touch not thine anointed" cannot be far behind.

In fact, it is useless to have discussions with those that ignorant of the covenants.

BTW: Peter defied the Government.

Follow Christ. Not man.

Anonymous said...

"A House Church has as their "Leadership" a roofer or a plumber or an insurance salesman."

I know, it is horrible. Our Savior was only a carpenter! And Peter a smelly fisherman.

The Jews were looking for a rich fancy king to follow. Seems like you are, too.

Anonymous said...

1st Timothy gives the guidelines which I think can easily be followed. None of the guidelines say these men are to be sinless. This does not advocate sin but clearly shows and reminds us there is only one God and we ain't He.

May 1, 2011 9:15 PM

This is interesting Jon. Steve Gaines also called the qualifications in that passage, "guidelines", when he was confronted about keeping a pedophile minister of prayer on staff.

Anonymous said...

pastors have the greatest jobs! They get to tell people they are in sin if they do not pay for their salaries. Then they are paid by the same people who are told they must obey them because they have special anointing.

THEN....they get to teach that they are big sinners too and just because people have to pay and obey does not mean they should expect Holiness!

What a gig!

Jon L. Estes said...

"This is interesting Jon. Steve Gaines also called the qualifications in that passage, "guidelines", when he was confronted about keeping a pedophile minister of prayer on staff."

I have no problem using the term qualifications for the passage in discussion. why you want to bring SG's into the discussion makes no sense to me.

"they should expect Holiness!"

Expecting holiness is much different than receiving it. Holiness is not something a pastor, alone, should strive for. It is something every believer should. We must also be wise in when to throw stones, I think Jesus gave us the best example... Let the one of you without sin...

Here is what is scary... You are more like me than you might like. Imperfect - prideful - selfish - prone to sin - ...

As a pastor, I remind myself of these shortcomings throughout each day. I want to be so aware of these things that I can deal with them post haste. Striving for holiness is our target, missing it too often is our talent.

If holiness were the requirement for pastors then none of us could even pastor ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I went to a "House Church" recently.

They talked about how sorry the other Churches were and how "house churches" were getting it right.

We did open the Bible and we argued about the End Times and Calvinism.

There was no worship songs, no indication that there was a vision or purpose for the "House Church".

All I got out of the experience was a greater appreciation that I was a part of a Church that worshipped, that opened God's word and taught it, and that my Church was active in the Community to bless our City.

You folks try a House Church and then I will see you at a "real Church" the next week!!!

Anonymous said...

All I got out of the experience was a greater appreciation that I was a part of a Church that worshipped, that opened God's word and taught it, and that my Church was active in the Community to bless our City.

Do not place your self under any authority as Jesus did not. If you want authority there are places for you, The truth will not be heard there. Many who follow Christ know this to be true.

Anonymous said...

"house church" is a misnomer. Much abuse goes on in those veneues such as Doug Phillip's house church which is extreme authoritarian.

We should be focusing on Organic Church which is just another way to describe a group of believers being filled by and led by the Holy Spirit. Learning from one another because all are studying and praying. You will find this model fits closer to what Paul advised in 1 Corin 14.

When you have that, you don't need daddy type preachers. The worst thing one can do is listen to the same person week after week.

Anonymous said...

If holiness were the requirement for pastors then none of us could even pastor ourselves.

May 2, 2011 9:19 AM

Holiness is not a requirement but FRUIT from a true conversion. A truly Born Again person could not help but grow in Holiness.

(A good tree does not bear bad fruit)

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:20

They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12: 10

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12


(Living in peace is NOT ignoring wolves and hirlings that call themselves pastors. Jon wants us to believe that pastors continue in practicing sin)

Jon L. Estes said...

" The worst thing one can do is listen to the same person week after week."

A few years back I had a teenager in the church say this same thing about his relationship with his parents. I had to disagree with him then and you now.

God puts authority in all our lives for a reason. All is not equal and all is not fair.

Jon L. Estes said...

If the home church proponents here were to start a home church at their home, would you want me, as you know me, to be apart of it?

Anonymous said...

God puts authority in all our lives for a reason. All is not equal and all is not fair.


It is different when you place yourself in an authority seeking dominance such as shamful churches doing anything for money and influence. In a family relationship the child did not ask to be there, that child responsibility are the parents. It is true not every one behaves like the parents they should be, Maby too much TV or Crack or something. But what dose the church care as long as they get their money.

Ben Fuller said...

If the home church proponents here were to start a home church at their home, would you want me, as you know me, to be apart of it?

Good Question!

Anonymous said...

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts." Acts 2:46 // The early church did both large group and small group meetings...many of your arguments fall flat when you assume the home as the only place of worship in the NT...or the "model"

Anonymous said...

Anon said, "When you have that, you don't need daddy type preachers. The worst thing one can do is listen to the same person week after week."

say that to Jesus...to the Apostles...and to Timothy...and to those called to preach today...same difference

Jon L. Estes said...

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts." Acts 2:46 // The early church did both large group and small group meetings...many of your arguments fall flat when you assume the home as the only place of worship in the NT...or the "model"

Good comment.

Anonymous said...

Didn't David Koresh start with a "House Church"?

When you start taking a guy that works at AutoBell and let him be your Preacher, you will be in trouble!

This whole discussion is stupid, I don't believe that God wants me to be a Pastor of a Home Church. I know my neighbors are not qualified to be my Pastor either.

Some of you people don't like Pastors....is there a verse in the Bible that backs up your hatred of Pastoral Leaders?

I guess some things you just don't understand. But I do understand that I don't want my Spiritual Mentor to be the manager of Dollar General.

WishIhadknown said...

Jon L Estes
I would

Jon L. Estes said...

Wish I had known - Thanks for the kind word. Likewise, I'd be honored to worship Christ with you.

Anonymous said...

IF you are the Pastor of a House Church, can you take your home as a tax deduction?

I want to start a house church!

WishIhadknown said...

You would only be able to take that part that is used exclusively for church purposes.

Jon L. Estes said...

"IF you are the Pastor of a House Church, can you take your home as a tax deduction?

I want to start a house church!"

I believe there are a few other hoops to jump through first.

1 - Being ordained.
2 - Having your tax exempt church body vote on your housing allowance and pass it annually.

There might be more but I believe these two are required.

Anonymous said...

I am astonised that anyone would actually believe the living Body of Christ would even think of a tax status. How worldly.

Anonymous said...

Ordained: the laying on of hands and prayer. What are we, Catholics? We need approval from a Protestant Pope?

Anonymous said...

I am sure the house churches in China are worried about their tax status. sheesh!

Anonymous said...

so Jon thinks of his fellow adult believers who pay his salary as a bunch of teenagers.

WishIhadknown said...

“I am astonised that anyone would actually believe the living Body of Christ would even think of a tax status. How worldly.”

Believe it! It’s a big time concern.

Anonymous said...

there is a reason they were together in the temple court after pentecost. anyone know why?

timing has a lot to do with it........

WishIhadknown said...

“Ordained: the laying on of hands and prayer. What are we, Catholics? We need approval from a Protestant Pope?”

No, you have to meet the requirements as established in the tax code. If you’re interested you can research them at www.irs.gov

Anonymous said...

if tax status is a huge concern then it is not the Body of Christ.

Jon L. Estes said...

"if tax status is a huge concern then it is not the Body of Christ."

How are you defining "huge"?

Good stewardship will lead a Christian to take the available exemptions / deductions. Pastors and non pastors should do this for the sake of good stewardship.

Elastigirl said...

RE: Jon L. Estes said...

Good stewardship will lead a Christian to take the available exemptions / deductions. Pastors and non pastors should do this for the sake of good stewardship.

The way I see it, when "professional christians" opt for tax exemptions/deductions, they are intentionally requiring everyone else to cover their fair share of taxes.

Exploiting separation of church & state for as much personal benefit & gain as possible. Thereby putting the burden of yourself & your family onto everyone else.

Seems far from honorable.

WishIhadknown said...

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as
possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the
treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.
Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister
in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone
does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any
public duty to pay more than the law demands."


Judge Learned Hand

Anonymous said...

there is a reason they were together in the temple court after pentecost. anyone know why?

timing has a lot to do with it........

Anonymous said...

As Ed Young Put It " It's all about the money!" That was a funny video !!

He didn't know the truth he was speaking, house church or not.

WishIhadknown said...

Barnes' notes on the Bible says, "In the temple - This was the public place of worship; and the disciples were not disposed to leave the place where their fathers had so long worshipped God. This does not mean that they were constantly in the temple, but only at the customary hours of prayer - at nine o'clock in the morning, and at three o'clock in the afternoon."

It's just hard to break old religious habits and traditions.

Anonymous said...

let us know when this blog stops being the jon show.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Actually I don't mind Jon posting here as long as he is on topic. Yes, he has taken over posts, but hey...this a discusson forum and I don't moderate, and if you dislike Jon's posts, skip over them and read all but Jon's. To his credit he is using his name, and we don't know who the other anon's are or we might say they are taking it over.

Jeff H. said...

There is no such thing as a "house church" and a "normal" church. Being at a building doesn't make it a church, and gathering at home doesn't make it a church.

Pastorate is not a function, as though it is a verb, a pastor is a person, an elder, called of God to be an overseer/elder of a flock, of which Paul ordained in every church (assembly)as the Lord led him.

That flock may meet in a building they own, that flock may meet in someone's home. That flock may meet on a football field, at a restaurant, or a cow pasture. Where a "Biblical Church" or a "Biblical Assembly" meets has nothing to do with it's validity, and/or authority.

This idea that as long as there are saved people meeting together with Bible Study constitutes a New Testament Church, is not true, and does not rise to the level of a Biblical New Testament church.

I am a pastor, I am not afraid of "home church", nor am I worried about losing a "church". (The gates of hell will not prevail against it.) What I do stand against, is the redefining of the word, and New Testament concept of "Church."

It is a called out assembly of baptized believers in covenant together to carry out the great commission. Whether they meet in a bathroom, boardroom, or barn is categorically irrelevant.

There are two offices, and two ordiances. The office of elder/overseer/pastor (one or more), and the office of deacons. A church can exist without both. The two ordinances are The Lord's Supper and Baptism. The church is commanded to observe and practice both.

The church is directed to fund mission work. The church is directed to financially support those who labour in the word. The church is directed to call those men who fit the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3 to be their preacher/teacher/pastor/elder, whatever word you pick out.

Adrian Rogers often said, plainly and correctly, "you cannot use God's Words and your own dictionary." What does not rise to the level of New Testament instruction, does not rise to the level of New Testament function. Regardless of what men may say, or where men meet.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Jeff Haney - thanks for joining the conversation.

I'm getting a bit off topic here, but leading to my next post:

If "pastor" is not a function, but it is a person or office or "ordinance" as you say, can a woman hold that office? Why or why not?

Jeff H. said...

Hi Tom,

I have to say no because of 1 Timothy 2:12-3:7.

I know that some are going to point to Galatians 3:28, and to the truth of the "priesthood of the believer" to argue, and attempt to justify a different position.

However it was "priesthood believers" and "women in Christ." that Paul was referring to 1st Timothy.

All instructions in the New Testament for New Testament churches, are written to and for the priesthood believers, and men and women already in Christ. There are no instructions for lost people, only for people who are in Christ.

Being in Christ does not negate the gender specific instructions. In other words, 1 Timothy 2:12 was written with the people of Galatians 3:28 in mind, as well as the priesthood believers in Hebrews.

Second of all, this has nothing to do with a woman's ability. In fact many women have a greater knowledge of the Bible than men, and most women are spiritually stronger than most men. Most women are better able to communicate and instruct, than men. Ability has nothing to do with it.

The issue is Biblical Authority.
Ability is not Authority. Having the power to do something is not the same as having permission to do something.
Paul pointed to God's primal instruction of responsibility to the man, and to God's reaction to the fall. - Eve was decieved being in the transgression, as well as God's instruction to Eve in the beginning that her desre would be to her husband, meaning she would be yielded to him.

Thirdly, the remainder of the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3.
(1.) all male references
(2.) husband of one wife
(3.) headship of the home
(even as husband is head of the wife)
(4.) clear distinction within the language between men and women.

The Biblical New Testament instruction, example, and explaination, is what causes us to say no a woman cannot serve in the position as "elder"/Pastor.

There is nothing in the New Testament instruction to counter that.

Furthermore, the "silence" Paul mentions is directly in reference to the issue of "teaching men" or "authoritative speaking." It is not chauvenistic blanket command that women cannot utter langauge in the assembly. It is expressly speaking here of the issue of teaching.

No doubt someone will also bring up the same instruction given in 1 Corinthians 14:34 where Paul said "let your women keep silence in the churches." - The entire context of that passage is dealing with the issue of tongues, and with teaching; alone.

There are instructions for women who "pray" in the assembly, so it would be a schizophrenic overstatement to use 1 Timothy 2, and 1st Corinthians 14 to say woman cannot speak at all.

On both occasions, Paul had particular exercises in sight. One of which no longer exists, (tongues.)

Long answer, but tried to be thorough AND short at the same time.

I know that's not the popular position, but because of the text, I can take no other.

Jeff H. said...

Tom,

I reread your question again.

I think you misread my posting. I didn't say that the Pastor/Elder was an "ordinance" but an "office".

(I know that word OFFICE doesn't exist, but neither does the word rapture or missionary, but we understand those concepts)

The church "ordinances" are Baptism, and the Lord's Supper.

just for clarification.

Derek said...

Watchdog,

While I love your posts, this concerns me. While I see you recognize your cynicism, I would like some clarification. Are you saying that no pastor should get paid? I hear a lot of this on blogs, that pastors are only in it for the money.

In fact, I have a friend, who is the pastor, who was willing to get a part time job in order to no be a drain on the church budget. The church was delighted, but still wanted him to keep the same hours and do the same work, for half the money.

The reasons we have paid clergy is, not only because it is biblical, but because we, as pastors, are expected to do a lot. That requires are time to be free. Also, churches expect us to spend thousands on education that has no "secular" benefit in finding a job.

While I understand you're upset with the words he used, I think you are way off on this one.

Anonymous said...

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts." Acts 2:46 // The early church did both large group and small group meetings...many of your arguments fall flat when you assume the home as the only place of worship in the NT...or the "model"


This is an example of lifting some passages out of scripture without context. In this case, historical context really applies.

During Jesus time, there were about 60,000 people living in Jerusalem. During the Holy Festivals this would swell to anywhere from another 150,000 to even more. It was so crowded that people would pitch tents outside the city walls. Many would come and stay for several months. This was true for Passover and Pentecost (Festival of Weeks) which were several months apart. These were the diaspora Jews and by witnessing the crucifixtion and Pentecost, they went back to their homes and told of these incredible events.

Different historical writers have said that as many as 120,000 lambs were sacrificed during Passover and those sacrifices were going on while Jesus hung on the cross. Chilling.

The Temple was the social meeting center of Jerusalem and had many "courts". It even had a Gentile court. It was a place where people gathered.

It was destroyed in AD 70.

If you keep reading in Acts instead of proof texting, soon after that passage, Peter and John were arrested by the religious rulers and put in jail. Then Stephen was stoned after preaching to the religious leaders.

Saul was there for the stoning.

Also, the scripture says the Gospel is for the Jews first and then the Gentiles. This is why Paul always visited the Jewish places of worship first on his journey's.

Many mega's use the proof texting of Acts 2 to prove mega churches are scriptural. Problem is, it was for a very short time after Pentecost. The religious rulers did not allow it for long.

Anonymous said...

"Second of all, this has nothing to do with a woman's ability. In fact many women have a greater knowledge of the Bible than men, and most women are spiritually stronger than most men. Most women are better able to communicate and instruct, than men. Ability has nothing to do with it."

Then it must be the male appendage.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing what people do with "authenteo" which is only used once in the NT.

Lin said...

If anyone is curious about specific gender roles outlined in the Word, please check here:

http://coffeetradernews.blogspot.com/2011/01/biblical.html



I was a bit concerned that many pastors and Christian leaders speak often of specific gender roles but never list them. So, I started a list. Please feel fee to add but make sure it is from the Word.

Anonymous said...

(I know that word OFFICE doesn't exist, but neither does the word rapture or missionary, but we understand those concepts)

Thanks for making the point that "office" is not in the Greek. And yes, Pastor is a verb. It is a "care" function in the Body. Everything we have added is... well...tradition.

Anonymous said...

Paul was not qualified to be an elder according to your interpretation of 1 Tim 2. The elder MUST be married and have children.

Lin said...

"(3.) headship of the home
(even as husband is head of the wife)"

There is no "headship". Another made up word. That is like saying "armship". Or Bodyship.

Let us understand "kephale" as they did in the 1st century. The "head" was the source of life for the Body. (Food, smell, breath, etc)

The Greeks believed all decisions and thinking came from the heart. But that all "sources" for life were from the head to the Body.

If Paul had wanted to communiate a boss function here he would have used arche or exousia.

Instead he was using the metaphor that Christ supplies everything needed in "life" to the church to thrive. (Holy Spirit). Also the 1st century husband provided everything a wife needs to thrive in life. AFter all, she was legally his property. (See Roman/Greek Household codes and the Mishna)

This was a step up for her in the Body.

It is only the "flesh" that has interpreted this to have preeminance for males only and everyone conveniently ignores Eph 5:21. Or they claim it does not apply to certain males.

Anonymous said...

"In fact, I have a friend, who is the pastor, who was willing to get a part time job in order to no be a drain on the church budget. The church was delighted, but still wanted him to keep the same hours and do the same work, for half the money"

Derek, those people believed wrong things. And that is the reason paying someone to act as the Christian for you is so dangerous. All believers in the Body are to function as a "body". They want to pay someone to study the Word for them. Visit the sick for them, etc.

But it is tradition and people believe it is how it is done. It only keeps them spiritually immature.

Anonymous said...

"The reasons we have paid clergy is, not only because it is biblical, but because we, as pastors, are expected to do a lot."

Derek, there is no clergy/laity distinction in the New Covenant. All believers are "clergy" or "ministers" in the priesthood.

And the whining pastor stance gets old. Especially in this economy with so many getting laid off. Join the club. People are either losing their jobs or having extra responsiblities heaped on them to save the org money from having to hire.

The whine is getting old.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for all the church pastors here: if your church tomorrow informed you they would no longer pay you for pastoring them, would you still be the pastor?

D

Lin said...

"No doubt someone will also bring up the same instruction given in 1 Corinthians 14:34 where Paul said "let your women keep silence in the churches." - The entire context of that passage is dealing with the issue of tongues, and with teaching; alone."

So, where is this "law" referred to in verse 34? You have to show me the "law" clearly pointed out.

God is ALWAYS very clear about His LAWS. There is not one single prohibition to women teaching men in the OT. Yet, you want us to believe it is now a sin in the NT.

And the Greek for "silence" is total silence. NO talking or even singing!

Corinthians is full of quotes from letters and Paul is answering questions sent to him. Some translations even have quotation marks around some. even though there were no quotation marks in the Greek.

Verses 34 and 35 are almost word for word from the Mishna/Talmudic teaching. The oral law taught that women were to be totally silent in the synagogue.

The other problem you have is that the early church was made up of many widows. How were they going to ask their husbands?

What do you do with verse 36?

Paul negates the whole idea in verse 36. The KJV has one of the best translations: What? Paul is saying, "You can't be serious! Did the Word of God come ORIGINALLY from you?

More false teaching that haqs been in the works for centuries that are meant to hold on to some worldly preeminance.

Satan loves it when we shut up over half the Body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Women are not called to be Pastors....PERIOD!

If you don't like the way our Church is run....leave....we don't need trouble like YOU...PERIOD!

Churches need to take care financially of those who labor in the Word....PERIOD!

House Churches are for those who are ignorant of what the Scripture teaches about submission...PERIOD!

These are the Cold Hard Facts but many of you have a spirit of rebellion and a Jezebel Spirit and you will be chastised by a Holy God for your lack of respect for authority....PERIOD!!!!

No One Special said...

Slow to speak said...

" Long timer, there is a difference between "house churches" and small groups.

A House Church has as their "Leadership" a roofer or a plumber or an insurance salesman.

A NT Church has a Pastor.

Try one of those "House Churches".

You will not get taught the Bible or have Worship but you can get your leaky roof fixed at a 10percent discount!"

 Wow you ignorance is just an amazing thing to witness. As I mentioned before, I was saved in a home church, and the "Pastor" was a not a charlatan like Mac Brunson. Was he a graduate of some SBC college? No, but that is why I liked him, he was real, taught the true meaning of being a believer an never once preached on tithing. We gave from the heart, not by being berated by some over priced pinhead in an Italian suit. He preached for the pure joy of being a Christian, not to live in a million dollar house in a gated community.

WishIhadknown said...

Hey, good discussions everyone! Let's keep it up. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with House churches. We really are no bigger than a house church ourselves. House church or not someone will be in charge .. call him a Pastor or life coach or guru someone will take over .. If not very little will be accomplished. For the most part the ladies run the churches anyway when you get right down to it. No deacon will vote contrary to his wife's opinion and what Pastor doesn't turn to his wife for help. To say any different means your fooling yourself. But from scripture.. You have to get past the letter to Timothy to place a Wife at the helm. Some try to dance around it but its still quite clear. Most of these posts are thought loops and accomplish very little. It comes down to this ..In the end ..Were you Saved ...PERIOD :) .. if so were you obedient to God in following His will for your life in serving Christ.. Period..the rest is trivial mind games.. Pay the preacher or not call him Pastor or not ..Is a pastor a He or a She .. House church or Mega church .. all these people will give an account one day of their talents ... I see 100s of cars pass our church every Sunday going to our local Mega church. (400 yards from their entrance) .. And I cant help but to think are they following the will Of God for their lives but that's between them and our Lord. Same with women pastors ...The important thing is to be in fellowship with like minded believers in Jesus, doing your best to follow His will for your life. The reason some Pastors run away with the churches is because the people of God don't know God will for their Lives. Shepard's leading the flock astray (Jeremiah) . They did it in o.t. times and are still doing it today.

Ben Fuller said...

These are the Cold Hard Facts but many of you have a spirit of rebellion and a Jezebel Spirit and you will be chastised by a Holy God for your lack of respect for authority....PERIOD!!!!

Satan also has authority, be careful where you walk, it might seem like solid ground. The spirit of deception is in the air. At least, in a small group setting like a home, deception is not so gray if there is no abuse. Of course Jim Jones would tell you there was no abuse.

The fact is, the spirit of discernment is not coming from the Mega's. If any thing, Mega churches are becoming more like the world system as they try to invent there self. They preach that they need to be separate but become even more like the world.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Derek- no, I'm not saying no pastor should be paid.

I was merely pointing out the troubling mindset that says a church planter should get a "secular job", but only until he can get enough people to join a home bible study and give enough money for him to quit his job. My post was not meant to say pastors should not be paid, but to point out why some are leaving the churches that seem more interested in being places of employment for seminary trained men than they are of places of ministry. The post had the desired effect, as I found the discussion here to be quite interesting.

And more to come on women in ministry.

WishIhadknown said...

Not on topic but on a related note, over the years I have been a member of several men’s small groups. Always as the groups progressed within a few weeks the only ones that remained were the leader or leaders and me. Anyone have any thoughts on why men will not participate in a small group setting?

Jon L. Estes said...

"I have a question for all the church pastors here: if your church tomorrow informed you they would no longer pay you for pastoring them, would you still be the pastor? "

Your question is confusing. The term "would no longer..." would need to be addressed. Do they want me to continue to be pastor? It is not a choice only one side of the equation could make. If you would have used the word "could no longer..." it would bring a whole different approach.

As you state your question I would answer "yes" as long as they still wanted me to be pastor. I would continue to do so until the Lord or they say stop.

I was in a similar situation while in Nigeria. The group I was serving approached me with a "could no longer..." comment. It was total economics. Our commitment was to stay until God moved us. We did and He did.

Being without income in America is way easier than being without income in a small farm village in the countryside of Nigeria. It is moments like this God confirms His call upon ones life. Not enough time to tell the whole blessed story.

Tom - didn't mean to go slightly off topic but it seemed to be a fair question to the board I wanted to respond to show it is not all about money to us all.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Not on topic but on a related note, over the years I have been a member of several men’s small groups. Always as the groups progressed within a few weeks the only ones that remained were the leader or leaders and me. Anyone have any thoughts on why men will not participate in a small group setting?"

I have noticed this also. here is what I have gleaned:

1 - Men are afraid of being spiritual.
2 - Men are afraid of being exposed to their lack of knowing God.
3 - Men equate good living with right living and have become satisfied with less than the best in their Christianity.
4 - Their daddy's did not demonstrate a love for Christ beyond a cultural ideal.
5 - The culture has made the sacred common and they don't think it is needed.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

1. Men are not afraid of being "spiritual". You probably define "spiritual" different than I would. Some of the most godly men I know are shy, introverts, who aren't comfortable opening up in a small group. They are just trustworthy, faithful men who love their wives and families and do right.

2. Men are not afraid of "being exposed". Most men just don't like to express their feelings with other men.

3. Have no idea what you're talking about.

4. Their "daddys"? Say what? I don't need to prove the depth of my committment by sitting down in a small group of men. I'm not saying that is not a good thing...just saying that the depth of my love for Christ is shown by my love for my wife and my kids and other important aspects of my Christian life, not in how I peform in a small group setting with other men.

Many (not all) of my small group settings have been uncomfortable "feel good" sessions that did little to help me in whatever my struggles might be as a man, a husband, a father.

Jon L. Estes said...

"1. Men are not afraid of being "spiritual". You probably define "spiritual" different than I would. Some of the most godly men I know are shy, introverts, who aren't comfortable opening up in a small group. They are just trustworthy, faithful men who love their wives and families and do right."

The men I am referring to are those who do not long for the things of God. yes, they love their wives and families and they do good but they do not hunger and thirst for that which is righteous.

"2. Men are not afraid of "being exposed". Most men just don't like to express their feelings with other men.'

The men I am referring to don't like expressing their feelings with other men because they don't like being spiritually exposed. In my original comment I was not speaking of feelings, per say.

"3. Have no idea what you're talking about."

The men I am referring to think being good is being right. These are synonymous terms and they are not.

"4. Their "daddys"? Say what? I don't need to prove the depth of my committment by sitting down in a small group of men. I'm not saying that is not a good thing...just saying that the depth of my love for Christ is shown by my love for my wife and my kids and other important aspects of my Christian life, not in how I peform in a small group setting with other men."

The daddy's I refer to are those who did not demonstrate being sold out to Jesus was a value worth living. Men who refused to be iron which sharpened other iron, especially those precious lives God gave them as sons.

"Many (not all) of my small group settings have been uncomfortable "feel good" sessions that did little to help me in whatever my struggles might be as a man, a husband, a father."

If you have been in small group bible studies which were nothing more than "feel good" sessions then they carry a title but do not live up to it. I can now understand where your comments come from. My reference was to men who keep their distance from any spiritual growth with other men. no drums or shirtless men out in the wilderness grunting but men who are learning to study God's word, pray and love unconditionally.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jon - your post is exactly my point. I would not be comfortable in small group with you. You seem too pious, too cliche. I don't even really understand what you are saying.

Get off your high horse, and drop the Christian cliches. A man doesn't need to show up at a men's group and pray out loud, and share his feelings with other men to be "sold out for Jesus". I'm not really sure what "sold out for Jesus" means, really, it is a vague, overused cliche.

Your post is filled with cliches:

"long for the things of God" - LONG for them? You mean "want" them, desire them? What things?

"hunger and thirst for that which is righteous." Why hunger AND thirst? What is the difference in this cliche between hunger and thirst? And why say "that which is righteous". What are you referring to. See, this is what turns men off. No one talks this way in real life. No one goes to their boss and says, "Steve, I am hungering and thirsting after that which will...."

You say "The men I am referring to think being good is being right. These are synonymous terms and they are not. " Again, vague. This is Christianese, cliche. Being good, doing good, is good. It is being "right". What are you talking about Jon?

You say:

"The daddy's I refer to are those who did not demonstrate being sold out to Jesus was a value worth living. Men who refused to be iron which sharpened other iron, especially those precious lives God gave them as sons."

Again, filled with cliches'. How would my daddy show me he is "sold out to Jesus?" He tithes? He was at church everytime the door was opened? He shows me he is sold out to Jesus by being genuine, not phony, not perfect, loving his wife, being fair and loving with his kids.

And that Promise Keepers chiche: iron sharpened by iron...what do you mean by that? Again Jon, I just would not feel comfortable in a small group with you. I can't relate to you, and most men, lost and saved, can't. Be real, drop the cliches.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

But I will admit...my wife and I were in a small group bible study on marriage for about 6 weeks at the church we attend. It was great. The leader was the music minister/administrative pastor at the church. He is real. He is not phony. He doesn't try to be pious and use cliches or try to paint himself as perfect. And he's just a nice, regular guy.

And I think he's sold out for Jesus, but he doesn't work to try to prove it by using the right words all the time. He's just himself.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry, missed another cliche:

"The men I am referring to don't like expressing their feelings with other men because they don't like being spiritually exposed"

What in the h-e-double hockey stick does "spiritually exposed" mean? If you want me to be "spiritually exposed" or you want to "spiritually expose" me...well, that would disturb me and I'd pass on your group.

Jon L. Estes said...

"What in the h-e-double hockey stick does "spiritually exposed" mean?"

Maybe a better way to express it is being spiritually vulnerable.

I wouldn't do this in just any group and I think as a result a case against the home church without strong spiritual leadership can be a waste of time.

"Jon - your post is exactly my point. I would not be comfortable in small group with you. You seem too pious, too cliche. I don't even really understand what you are saying."

I do apologize. I thought the terms I was using would be understood by those who have been Christian a while. Let me simply state that I believe that any Christian group which meets, whether in big buildings or small rooms must have a focus of growing in Christ. Moving from where they are to a closer place, near Him. If this is not being done then there is a problem.

Anonymous said...

Guys, this is not about "house church" vs "building church".

It is about "organic church" vs institutional church".

The "house" church can be "institutional", too.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Being good, doing good, is good. It is being "right". What are you talking about Jon?"

A lost man can not do right (biblically or spiritually) except repent. Until then everything in his life is wrong. In spite of this he can do good... good things but none of that means they are right. You make this point in something else you state.

"He shows me he is sold out to Jesus by being genuine, not phony, not perfect, loving his wife, being fair and loving with his kids."

Here is the problem. Lost men can be good husbands. They can be genuine men, not phony, not perfect, loving their wife and being fair and loving with their kids but this does not make them sold out to Jesus or Christian. They can be good people but wrong, so wrong they spend eternity in hell.

I do not want to hijack this thread so I will end here in this thread since what I am saying is not being understood. I'll join the next one or one later.

Thanks for the questions and responses. I do understand where you are coming from.

Anonymous said...

The Strong spiritual leadership is Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. When the lowly sinners saved by grace come together to
seek Him in earnestness, that is all they need. They do not need paid performers who can use the biblish cliches.

Jon, your attempts at your new humility are falling quit flat. (fake)

Anonymous said...

Jon, You are not exactly a good example from your posts on this blog for years. Not only have you been snarky but you have promoted false teaching.

Anonymous said...

Jon said:
'Your question is confusing. The term "would no longer..." would need to be addressed. Do they want me to continue to be pastor? It is not a choice only one side of the equation could make. If you would have used the word "could no longer..." it would bring a whole different approach."

I purposely worded it that way, to encompass any/all reasons for not paying. Let's say they couldn't pay - what would you do then? Let's say they no longer thought they ought to pay - what then?

Thank you for responding to my question.

D

Jeff H. said...

Anon - "Paul was not qualified to be an elder according to your interpretation of 1 Tim 2. The elder MUST be married and have children."

You are absolutely correct. He was not. That is why he never did serve as an elder/pastor. He was an Apostle, but not a pastor. Great point.


Another Anon - "Thanks for making the point that "office" is not in the Greek. And yes, Pastor is a verb. It is a "care" function in the Body."

Not quite true. The "poimen" is a noun, with the definition of a person who is a "shepherd" or "shepherd like." The actual Greek structure found in the scripture is that it is used as a "masculine noun." You can check with the Dictionary of Biblical Languages, by Swanson a Concise Dictionary of Words in the Greek Testaments by Strong, and Word pictures of the New Testament by Robertson. The VERB form is "poimeino."

The word for Pastor as a Person/Noun is "poimen" as in Ephesians 4:11. The word for Pastor as "verb/function" is "poimeno" as in John 21:16 when Jesus told Peter to "Feed" / shepherd/ pastor my sheep.

Jeff H. said...

Lin - you said,

"So, where is this "law" referred to in verse 34? You have to show me the "law" clearly pointed out.

God is ALWAYS very clear about His LAWS. There is not one single prohibition to women teaching men in the OT. Yet, you want us to believe it is now a sin in the NT."

Lin - "as also saith the law" is tied directly to his instruction about the issue of "obedience" or "submission" not the silence. There is no "law" of silence, but the Old Testament law did teach "submission" - Genesis 3:16; Numbers 3:7-30 (Husband nullifying, or ratifying the vows of his wife)

Verse 34 is two thoughts, not one. The Instruction is for "silence" in direct relation to the issue of tongues, and the basis for such instruction is the teaching in the Old Testament that women were to defer to their husbands.

1 Timothy 2:12 constitutes the New Testament authority prohibiting New Testament churches from recognizing Women as teachers/preachers over men.

These teachings are textually clear. If they said otherwise, I would as well.
You attempt to tell me what I want you to believe, so I'll tell you. What I want, is for you to believe the New Testament, which plainly, and exegetically, says an umistakeable no to the issue. Time and culture do not change the interpretations, or meaning of a text. We are to conform to the authority of the text, rather than "modernizing" our way out from under it.

Again, this doctrine doesn't come within 10 time zones of striking a blow at the ability of women. Many women are tremendously superior to men at understanding the scriptures, and their ability to communicate those. Yet again, Power does not equal permission.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Lin - most baptist pastors are lying about what the Bible says about the inequality of men and women. If you want to know the truth about the role of women in the church, read Paul Zens book "What's with Paul and Women", and go to Wade Burleson's church's site and listen to the 8 part seminar that Paul Zens did at Wade's church last year.

If you have a daughter, watch the Paul Zens seminar with her, and go through the bible and see for yourself what it says about women. You will see that what Jeff H says is completely false.

I am absolutely disgusted that the SBC pastors have taught this nonsense about the inequality of women and men, and have used it to harm the body of Christ by not allowing women to exercise their God-given gifts in church. I won't even go down the road of how ridiculous Sheri Klouda's firing was, but I will be writing about that as well as I address this topic.

The problem is you can't listen to SBC pastors on this topic. They are not telling the truth about tithing, and they certainly can't tell the truth about the role of women in the church.

You have to go to credible bible teachers like Jon Zens that don't have a job to protect, and aren't afraid of retalliation from peers for telling the truth.

Thy Peace said...

Amen WD.

Jon L. Estes said...

D -

"I purposely worded it that way, to encompass any/all reasons for not paying. Let's say they couldn't pay - what would you do then? Let's say they no longer thought they ought to pay - what then? "

If they believed they ought not to pay and thought they no longer needed a pastor then I would have nothing to do but walk away. If they wanted me to continue to pastor without pay, I would do that as long as the Lord led. I have done that in the past while overseas. Waiting on God is a fun and learning experience I continue to be blessed as a result of.

Jeff H. said...

Tom,

No one said anything about an "inequality" between men and women. I certainly didn't.

In fact, all I did was quote the scripture as is, and defined the words as is.

You may charge a man with being mistaken, but to say that all SBC pastors, (of which I am not) are lying, is attempting to change the debate from content of the text, to the character of every man, and woman, that are convinced of these truths.

I'm not reading Paul Zens, I am reading Paul from Tarsus. I am not lying, I am holding to the scripture as it is presented.

The question is not "what's with Paul and women" the question is what is with "Scripture" and "the Holy Spirit of God" and with women.

The heart of this issue goes to a persons view of the scriptures themselves. The instructions given to New Covenant Christians then, are the instructions New Covenant Christians now. Whatever reason the scriptures had for forbidding women to usurp authority over a man, doesn't change it's authority over us today, regardless of how it's interpreted.

I understand that you being a lawyer, you think like a lawyer, and you read like a lawyer. But no amount of word wrangling can rightly remove, replace, re-explain or redefine 1 Timothy 2:12-3:7, or 1st Corinthians 14:34. They are set in place for the New Testament Assembly. Were they not, we would not be having this discussion.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeff - I find your comments disingenous. You are one who jumps through all sorts of scriptural gymnastics to say that Christians are obligated to tithe. It is not in the Bible, but you interpret the word to say something it does not say. You teach people the tithing doctrine that is not there. The people you teach it to should say to you: I don't need Jeff to teach me, I'll let Paul of Tarsus (or the Word) teach me.

And I would never recommend a pastor read Jon Zens on the women in ministry issue. It would be a complete waste of your time, as you are locked into your interpretation of what the scripture says, instead of what it ACTUALLY says. My message is to lay people like myself (I am not a lawyer), that they need to let the Bible speak for what it says, and Jon Zens does just that on this issue. And believe me, Jon Zens deals honestly with what Paul of Tarsus ACTUALLY says about women, not what Jeff Haney says that Paul of Tarsus says.

You are implying that the scripture says a woman is not to "usurp authority over a man". Sorry, but it doesn't say that. You've misinterpreted the Bible to say it says that.

But that is ok. Lay people will wise up and see, with the help of Christians who are not professionals who have a career and job on the line and must adhere to a certain doctrine out of tradition.

This will be a very interesting discussion.

elastigirl said...

Jeff H., what the bible, NT in particular, says concerning women is far from the simplistic, neat-&-tidy package of conclusions you've adopted.

Since you, with the good fortune of being born male as opposed to the unfortunate position of being born female, are not the one who has to face the hurtful blows to one's dignity that your conclusions present, you have no vested interest in delving deeper to see the inherent illogic & contradictions.

Thy Peace said...

Wade Burleson > The Connection Between Christian Patriarchy and Sexual Abuse in the Home

Jeff H. said...

Tom,

I'm sorry, I was told that you were a lawyer. No insult intended, just thought that's what you did for a living.

It does in fact say what it says. Now you may say It doesn't mean what it says, but it does in fact say those very words, you are saying it doesn't say.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1 Tim 2:11-13 (KJV)

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."

1 Cor 14:34 (KJV)

It is incorrect for anyone to say that the Bible doesn't say that, because it does.

You may say that it means something other than what it says, but it does say that nonetheless.

There is no loss of dignity, no injury, no wrong done to anyone who holds to the scriptures.

Someone may ABUSE others, by ABUSING the scriptures.

I am glad to discuss the TEXTS with anyone, at anytime. As long as the discussion stays with the text, and not the character of the ones doing the discussing.

I think clearly one difference here is that some are viewing these texts as "the writings of Paul" and others are reading these as the Writings of God the Holy Spirit.

Tom, if you don't agree with the tithe, then I don't lose any sleep over that. I do see it, and don't have to squint. I don't bear down on it. Been here 5 years, and preached one 3 sermon series on Stewardship. The Lord pays for what He orders.

You disagree with that. I accept that as honest disagreement, I do not accuse you of malevolent greed trying to get by giving less. The greed issue can go both ways. (preaching the tithe, AND refusing the tithe.) I have written about the deeper issues in given on my own blog. You may have seen it, you may not have.

The bottom line, is that there are a number of people who will always demand that the Bible allows women to pastor, and no amount illumination, explaination, or exegesis will convince them otherwise.

There are also a number of people (men AND Women) who will always hold to the teaching that the Bible does not allow good, strong, spiritually superior women, to pastor New Testament churches. The text will not, and does not support that. We are not liars, chauvenists, ill-willed, fearful, or any thing other than being honest about what we see.

You are honest about what you see. We are honest about what we see. We may just have to leave it at that, and the Lord will handle things according to His Will.

I'll move on.

WishIhadknown said...

“The Greek word translated pastors is poimenas. It means shepherds. (Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd.) Pastor then, is a metaphor to describe a particular function in the church. It is not an office or a title. A first-century shepherd had nothing to do with the specialized and professional sense it has come to have in contemporary Christianity. Therefore, Ephesians 4:11 does not envision a pastoral office, but merely one of many functions in the church. Shepherds are those who naturally provide nurture and care for God’s sheep. It is a profound error, therefore, to confuse shepherds with an office or title as is commonly conceived today.”

Anonymous said...

I wish you had known too.

it is with great sadness that I have to say that it is you who is in profound error. the scripture does say what you say it does not say, and it does not say what you are saying that it says.

(no sarcasm) God be with you.

Anonymous said...

WishIhadknown, I would like to commend you for seeking the truth, it is certain bible colleges are not looking for the truth or sharing the truth with only the selected... Please keep up the hard laborious work Jesus requires of his people.

WishIhadknown said...

“it is with great sadness that I have to say that it is you who is in profound error. the scripture does say what you say it does not say, and it does not say what you are saying that it says.”

Just calling it the way it is. I have no dog in this hunt so I neither seek to misuse scripture nor to use scripture for my own selfish self interests I look only for the truth. If it does not fit into what we have all been taught through the traditions of man that is too bad. Attacking me does nothing to contribute to the truth. This is a discussion board if I post something with which you disagree then by all means come, post your counter argument. Who knows I may come to agree with you or we may simply reach the point that we agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Jon Zen's latest book, "No Will of my Own:

http://www.amazon.com/No-Will-Own-Patriarchy-Personhood/dp/0982744633

See Wade's lastest post on the book. He wrote the forward.

Les Puryear said...

Tom,

It has been 9 months since we started Cornerstone Community Church. Two weeks ago we baptized 14 new believers. Our church continues to grow numerically and spiritually and we give all the glory to God.

The majority of giving is spent on reaching the lost. Less than 50% of our giving goes to rent and salary. I am still working in a secular job and intend to do so the rest of my working life. The church pays me $400 per month. When we add staff, we will require all of our staff to be bi-vocational as well.

This has always been our intention from the first day we met together. We will not build buildings and we will not have fulltime staff. We will use the majority of our money to reach the lost.

Nowhere in my article did I say that the pastor should work a secular job temporarily and then become a fulltime pastor. I said that one should not draw a salary from the church until they could begin to afford it. For the first five months of our existence, I took no money as salary. Then when we grew suffiently for the church to pay me a little, they did.

Now I hope to find a fulltime secular job so I can support my family. It's been difficult on $400 per month plus $800 per month in a parttime secular job and the little bit my wife receives in her parttime job. But God is fathiful as always. He continues to provide for all our needs.

I stand behind my article 100% and still believe this is the most effective and economical way to plant a new church. I will always be a bivocational pastor because it is biblical.

When you interpret my remarks in my article to say that one works a secular job only long enough to become a fulltime pastor, you have misunderstood my article and added things that I never said.

I hope this clears that up. BTW, you're wrong about tithing too. :)

Les

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Les - thanks for the update. I don't know if you've read about Jim Smyrl from FBC Jax, but he seems to be of the same mind as you regarding bivocational ministry.

Thank you for clarifying your intention of being bivocational, although drawing some salary from the church.

But I still have to press you on this....why draw ANY salary? Why can't you serve as a lay person, and work a full time job? The fact that your training or experience doesn't qualify you for the same income as what you may have received as a preacher doesn't mean the church should supplement your income.

Why can't you serve for free like other lay people have always done? I have known lay people at FBC Jax that serve as lay directors of a SS department, working easy 15 to 20 hours a week on top of their "secular" job (I hate that terminology by way, as though it is worldly, where as a minister has a "spiritual" job??) and let me tell you they don't get $400 per month, they don't get $100 per month.

So while I absolutely do commend you for being "bivocational", I still will push back and ask: "why take anything at all?"

Les Puryear said...

Tom,

I am a bivocational pastor. I am not a bivocational layperson. I have been called by God to be a pastor. I believe the biblical expression of that call is to be bivocational. I will continue to pastor bivocationally. As such, the church will provide some support as is biblically valid.

I have a request of you. I would like for you to publicly retract your statement that my intention is to work in a secular job temporarily and then return to fulltime pastoring. I never said that and for you to continue to make that statement, as I have seen in some other posts of yours, is libelous.

Kindest regards,

Les

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Les - in your post you used the phrase "Don't take any salary from the new church..." When I read "salary", I interpret that to mean a full time compensation, not hourly or part time. You were not advocating at all bivocational ministry in that post. You expressed frustration over not getting "secular" employment, so it is not unreasonable for me to assume you meant to get a secular job until you can return to "salary" with the church.

And I hardly think to say someone is wanting to get full time employment at a church is "libelous". I may have been wrong by interpreting your post incorrectly, but that just means I was wrong, not libelous.

But I do commend you for seeking to at least be bivocational. I wish you the best in your church.

And if you believe that a Christian is obligated to give a minimum of 10% of their income to their church else they are disobedient, then you are wrong. But you have a right to be wrong.

Take care...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

As far as publicly retracting my statement, how about a post with this headline:

"Pastor Les Puryear Admits to Being Bi"

:)

Les Puryear said...

Tom,

Ok I'll take that you admit you were wrong.

We'll have to agree to disagree about the tithing thing.

Cute headline. :)

Les