Bible Abuse by Pastors

Ancient Ruins

Egyptian PedestalWay back in August I wrote an article on Bible Abuse by Pastors. The post was picked up on Facebook and favorably commented on there but not so much on the BLOG itself.

Recently, a visitor to the BLOG gave me a “tsk, tsk, tsk” (“Marty, Marty, Marty” actually) for calling out a fellow pastor’s misapplication of a favorite text. He, the tsk, tsk, tsker, seemed put off that I, a relatively unknown, would dare to question the interpretation of my better.

Now, on the particular, many, many pastors, perhaps most pastors of large churches are better communicators than me. But that doesn’t mean that I am always wrong when I disagree with them on the interpretation of a particular text.

Further, it is dangerous for congregants to put any teacher/pastor on a pedestal that removes them from the correction of others. Therefore, I responded to my disappointed BLOG-visitor with the following:

I’m sorry but I neither get your point nor understand why you object to my post. It was kind, positive and respectful of Craig as a man, as a communicator, as a leader, and as a pastor. It affirmed his wife in her respect and love for her husband and it acknowledged his positive responsiveness to her counsel.

Because Craig is a man of God, I suspect he would be one of the first to give the same warning that I give at the end of the post, namely, that congregants be careful to keep their fingers on the text whenever we (their pastors) speak. I included myself, by the way, in the warning. No teacher is above ever being questioned. Frankly, I think if Craig were to read the post, he would probably say something like, “you know, I think this no-name guy Marty has a point. I think I did misapply that text.”

And we would part as friends. He is a good man and I praise God for his ministry.

[His further question]
Now, on Elijah being a man of God. Elisha was a man of God, which is to say that he loved and served God. It is not to say that he made no mistakes. He is after all like Craig and myself, just a man.

Men and women, be careful. We live in a world of celebrity. Celebrity is simply popularity in high numbers on a national stage. Whether it is an actress or actor, a politician, a musician or singer, a TV personality or a celluloid hero or heroine, or even a pastor and theologian, celebrity is NOT a guarantee of veracity even when we like the celebrity of the hour.

Be careful of who you put on untouchable pedestals. Only God is worthy of worship.

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