Last Thursday I posted this about cynicism and wanted to not just present a problem, but bring a solution. So here’s some steps to overcoming cynicism and taking off the shades!
1. First Step: Look in the mirror. The first mistake so many cynical people make is that they think their opinion matters.The truth is it doesn’t. Now for those that just flipped out and are throwing things at the screen right now – calm down, let me explain. In matters of how to do ministry and what church should look like, scripture is farely vague. Scripture does not give practical insight (how to’s), but rather it gives principles (why to’s). So with scripture giving principles and not specifics on how we do church, who decides that? That’s where we flash back to the Old Testament. As God leads the people of Israel through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, God ordained an individual to lead them – Moses. Moses was the Lord’s anointed – he was the individual God gave direction to (the how to’s) for the nation of Israel. So back to your opinion not mattering. Maybe a better way to say that would be your opinion does matter, but ultimately it’s what God shares with the Lord’s Anointed (Your Pastor) that matters. Now that you’ve looked in the mirror, we’ll move onto the next step…soon. 🙂
Excellent point, Nick. Oftentimes it is only a few in congregation who groan when something happens that they don’t like, but they groan loud enough to be heard. I like what one man said – A leader knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way. (And let the naysayes groan!)
This is how I interpret what you are saying Nick: The Bible doesn’t tell us how to do ministry in the Bible. He only tells His chosen person (the Pastor). So basically how I read this is you are saying, “Shut up, I’m the pastor. God has given me the vision. We’re going to do what I say because I’m God’s anointed.”
In regard to the Bible not giving “how tos”, what about a lot of Paul’s writings? Corinthians, the Timothys and Titus to name a few. Do they not give us many how-tos?
Finally, we are taught by Scripture to know Scripture. We are taught to identify false teachers and combat them – With rebuke and correction. So if a pastor is teaching a false doctrine or doing ministry in a way that doesn’t line up with scripture then are we to just “shut up and obey God’s anointed?”
nightwing – a few things. One, I am definitely not saying “Shut up, I’m the pastor.” What I was saying was God gives ‘direction’ & ‘vision’ FOR THE CHURCH through the pastor. As far as direction for a person’s individual life, that’s between them and God, but does often invovle the pastor.
As far as the ‘How to’s’, the Bible really doesn’t give ‘How to’s’ for church. We know from the book of Acts as well as a number of other books that we should incorporate prayer, fellowship, worship, among other things, but those are all principles of ministry and not specifics. What I meant by that is that God gives us the general direction we are to go in when we do church, but He leaves the creative specifics up to us. I think that’s a pretty amazing God to trust us enough to be creative!
And finally, as it says in scripture, a person should always check to see if things line up with scripture. If a pastor’s preaching something contrary to scripture than by all means they should be exposed. I am not saying pastors are on some high pedestal that they are above correction or above their congregation, it is just their role that is different than the congregation. They are the key vision communicating agent within the church.