I need to be honest, that I sat down a couple of days ago to write this post in anger. I found out some criticism (recent) said against me and it upset me. I talked with a couple of pastor friends who encouraged me and I forgave the person who was critical towards me. I think, though, that this issue of being critical of your pastor is not addressed in the church. We are all sinners, yes, that includes your pastor. We are people too, who suffer temptation just like you and fall, wait for it….. just like you. One of the common arguments that I hear (and has been used against me) goes like this: “But we pay him!” So that gives a person or persons the right to slander their pastor, wife, and his children? You pay your pastor for his Christianity? Is that it? If that is true then what’s your excuse for not living a Christ-centered life?
I know these statements seem like I’m angry. But I assure you that I’m not. I just want to try and raise awareness to this problem that plagues our churches today. If we are truly saved, born again believers in our Lord Jesus Christ then why do we serve Satan in our attitudes and behavior towards the pastor that the Lord brought to our churches?
James 3:9-10 states “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” – NIV (84)
1st John 4:20 states “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” – NIV (84)
Romans 13:9-10 state “The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does his neighbor no harm. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – NIV (84)
James, John, and Paul all restate what Jesus told us are the 2 greatest commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor. If you are being critical of your pastor, are you loving him?
Just because your pastor does not dress a certain way (I do not preach in a tie, I know…shocking right?) or stand in the back of the church after service and shake everyone’s hand; or doesn’t visit enough or in your mind “friendly” enough doesn’t mean they have to be fired or disciplined or slandered. Those are un-biblical expectations. Everyone has their own “ideas” or “expectations” of how a pastor should be. News flash: we can’t meet all your expectations! We were never intended to! All of these accusations are petty. If you constantly criticize your pastor because you think you know best how he is supposed to pastor the church you go to, let me ask you a personal question: why didn’t you put your resume in when your church was looking for a pastor?
The author of Hebrews states in chapter 13 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for which such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (15-17 NIV 84)
Obey your leaders so that their work in the Lord will be a joy, but it’s hard to obey when “you pay them.”