Raising children so they will go to church as adults

This has been out for awhile, but I just came across it in the course of some research.   Basically, if fathers go to church, their children will when they grow up.  If fathers don’t, even if the mothers do, the children won’t.

In 1994 the Swiss carried out an extra survey that the researchers for our masters in Europe (I write from England) were happy to record. The question was asked to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. The result is dynamite. There is one critical factor. It is overwhelming, and it is this: It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goes up from 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity, indifference, or hostility.

Before mothers despair, there is some consolation for faithful moms. Where the mother is less regular than the father but attends occasionally, her presence ensures that only a quarter of her children will never attend at all.

Even when the father is an irregular attender there are some extraordinary effects. An irregular father and a non-practicing mother will yield 25 percent of their children as regular attenders in their future life and a further 23 percent as irregulars. This is twelve times the yield where the roles are reversed.

Where neither parent practices, to nobody’s very great surprise, only 4 percent of children will become regular attenders and 15 percent irregulars. Eighty percent will be lost to the faith.

While mother’s regularity, on its own, has scarcely any long-term effect on children’s regularity (except the marginally negative one it has in some circumstances), it does help prevent children from drifting away entirely. Faithful mothers produce irregular attenders. Non-practicing mothers change the irregulars into non-attenders. But mothers have even their beneficial influence only in complementarity with the practice of the father.

In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children never darken the church door. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent!

via Touchstone Archives: The Truth About Men & Church.

Yes, this is a study of Switzerland, which has many cultural differences from the United States.  In Europe, women have been taking the lead in church-going, and this may explain the relatively sudden secularization of that once-Christian continent.  The study is from 1994.  Still, the results are fascinating.  In your experience, do you think the study applies here?

It may be that the Lord has made it easy for fathers to carry out their calling to bring their children up in the instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  All you’ve got to do, dads, is take your kids to church.  Can you do that?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Acroamaticus

    I’ve long suspected this to be the case.
    As a matter of interest, how do you think the ordination of women impacts upon male church attendance? Not aware of any studies, but I’m inclined to think it’s a negative.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Acroamaticus

    I’ve long suspected this to be the case.
    As a matter of interest, how do you think the ordination of women impacts upon male church attendance? Not aware of any studies, but I’m inclined to think it’s a negative.

  • Larry

    I can “testify” to this first hand. I love my dad but he never went to church. In his defense, though, he grew between the legalistic/moralistic preaching of the Methodist and Baptist churches (another story).

    However, I recall specifically me and my brother not wanting to go with mom to church, eventually, “because dad didn’t go”. We wanted to stay home with dad and watch Star Trek Sunday morning.

    Even when I converted to Christianity at the late age of 33 I wanted my dad to be there at my baptism and he was, though his support was a bit shy and still is (again in his defense he grew up hearing pretty much ZERO gospel – when you can get him to talk about it in a round about way, Dr. Rosenbladt’s piece on those angry at the church alumni pretty much nails that one).

    So I would caveat it, “Yes dad’s do take your kids to a real and true church even if you have to drive hours to find it (not much real inconvenience to receive the Gospel, Christ’s body and blood).” Otherwise, if its a false church, dad won’t matter in the end. For either dad or dad’s children will burn out on the “hamster wheel” of hidden works righteousness.

    My favorite excerpt from the confession is this, “…the greatest comfort is given from the doctrine that in the Gospel the HIGHEST worship is the desire to RECEIVE forgiveness, grace and righteousness…” (paraphrased from memory). If that’s not going on, might as well stay home and watch Star Trek.

  • Larry

    I can “testify” to this first hand. I love my dad but he never went to church. In his defense, though, he grew between the legalistic/moralistic preaching of the Methodist and Baptist churches (another story).

    However, I recall specifically me and my brother not wanting to go with mom to church, eventually, “because dad didn’t go”. We wanted to stay home with dad and watch Star Trek Sunday morning.

    Even when I converted to Christianity at the late age of 33 I wanted my dad to be there at my baptism and he was, though his support was a bit shy and still is (again in his defense he grew up hearing pretty much ZERO gospel – when you can get him to talk about it in a round about way, Dr. Rosenbladt’s piece on those angry at the church alumni pretty much nails that one).

    So I would caveat it, “Yes dad’s do take your kids to a real and true church even if you have to drive hours to find it (not much real inconvenience to receive the Gospel, Christ’s body and blood).” Otherwise, if its a false church, dad won’t matter in the end. For either dad or dad’s children will burn out on the “hamster wheel” of hidden works righteousness.

    My favorite excerpt from the confession is this, “…the greatest comfort is given from the doctrine that in the Gospel the HIGHEST worship is the desire to RECEIVE forgiveness, grace and righteousness…” (paraphrased from memory). If that’s not going on, might as well stay home and watch Star Trek.

  • SKPeterson

    Switzerland does have some parallels for the United States that might make it applicable. It is multicultural – French, German, Italian and Romansch. It is religiously plural, Calvinists, Roman Catholics and some Lutherans as well as other Protestant groups. They are a republic and have had little truck with the social trends sweeping through much of the rest of Europe. They retain a vital work ethic, and they are on par with us in terms of family and individual wealth. So, many of the demographic characteristics are quite close to the American experience. In many ways, the Swiss are the closest to the United States of any of the mainland European countries for comparison purposes.

  • SKPeterson

    Switzerland does have some parallels for the United States that might make it applicable. It is multicultural – French, German, Italian and Romansch. It is religiously plural, Calvinists, Roman Catholics and some Lutherans as well as other Protestant groups. They are a republic and have had little truck with the social trends sweeping through much of the rest of Europe. They retain a vital work ethic, and they are on par with us in terms of family and individual wealth. So, many of the demographic characteristics are quite close to the American experience. In many ways, the Swiss are the closest to the United States of any of the mainland European countries for comparison purposes.

  • Booklover

    “If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers. . .”

    “Where neither parent practices, to nobody’s very great surprise, only 4 percent of children will become regular attenders. . .”

    So it looks like, if the father does not attend church, it is best for the mother to stay home with him rather than go to church; to achieve the end of having children who regularly attend church.

    As the mother of four sons, I agree wholeheartedly that the father has so much influence. My husband is one of the tiny percentage who continues to attend church regularly even though his father never did.

    I am amazed at the number of women who want to “wear the pants” even when it comes to spiritual issues.

    Having said all that, and after reading Larry’s good comment, we have to realize that we do not know precisely all the various kinds of churches this study encompassed. Perhaps the child’s neglect of church had less to do with the mother than with the type of church the mother would attend.

    It think this is a nice summarizing sentence:
    “But mothers have even their beneficial influence only in complementarity with the practice of the father.”

  • Booklover

    “If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers. . .”

    “Where neither parent practices, to nobody’s very great surprise, only 4 percent of children will become regular attenders. . .”

    So it looks like, if the father does not attend church, it is best for the mother to stay home with him rather than go to church; to achieve the end of having children who regularly attend church.

    As the mother of four sons, I agree wholeheartedly that the father has so much influence. My husband is one of the tiny percentage who continues to attend church regularly even though his father never did.

    I am amazed at the number of women who want to “wear the pants” even when it comes to spiritual issues.

    Having said all that, and after reading Larry’s good comment, we have to realize that we do not know precisely all the various kinds of churches this study encompassed. Perhaps the child’s neglect of church had less to do with the mother than with the type of church the mother would attend.

    It think this is a nice summarizing sentence:
    “But mothers have even their beneficial influence only in complementarity with the practice of the father.”

  • Booklover

    “It think” should be “I think.”

  • Booklover

    “It think” should be “I think.”

  • WebMonk

    I know that I’ve heard of several studies carried out here in the US that confirms the results of the Swedish study as accurate for the US as well.

  • WebMonk

    I know that I’ve heard of several studies carried out here in the US that confirms the results of the Swedish study as accurate for the US as well.

  • Josh Kittleman

    I’ve seen this ‘phenomenon’ in my eight years of ministry to students/families… more so with fathers & sons (but I’m sure it can apply to fathers / daughters as well).

    I would say a couple of things. Although the study seems to focus on church attendance, I would caution parents to not become lackadaisical in the spiritual upbringing of their kids. Parents should talk about faith with their children, share their faith in their homes, serve together, pray together. No family will be perfect in this, but kids NEED to see their parents living out their faith beyond Sunday or there could be a disconnect as they grow older.

    Ultimately though, God is in charge, and human research only goes so far. Women of faith who are unequally yoked – and single mothers – should not distress! Instead, they should continue to take their kids to church and share their faith with their children.

    Finally, I pray that men in our churches today would come alongside children w/o a Christian dad and model for them a love for Christ.

  • Josh Kittleman

    I’ve seen this ‘phenomenon’ in my eight years of ministry to students/families… more so with fathers & sons (but I’m sure it can apply to fathers / daughters as well).

    I would say a couple of things. Although the study seems to focus on church attendance, I would caution parents to not become lackadaisical in the spiritual upbringing of their kids. Parents should talk about faith with their children, share their faith in their homes, serve together, pray together. No family will be perfect in this, but kids NEED to see their parents living out their faith beyond Sunday or there could be a disconnect as they grow older.

    Ultimately though, God is in charge, and human research only goes so far. Women of faith who are unequally yoked – and single mothers – should not distress! Instead, they should continue to take their kids to church and share their faith with their children.

    Finally, I pray that men in our churches today would come alongside children w/o a Christian dad and model for them a love for Christ.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Webmonk – you have just earned the wrath of Bror. Swiss, not Swedish.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Webmonk – you have just earned the wrath of Bror. Swiss, not Swedish.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webmonk,
    Mind boggling. Could someone here please explain to me why Americans routinely mix up Swedish and Swiss? There is quite a difference between these two countries, and their cultures. Swiss would mean that the study was done in Switzerland, where the people are reformed or catholic depending on the Canton, and speak German, Italian or French also depending on the Canton.
    Swedish would mean the study comes from Sweden which is not an alpine country, but a Scandinavian country, located on the Scandinavian peninsula, and not part of Continental Europe. The tend to be Lutheran (although, church attendance is pretty low, maybe due to the fact that too many father’s were lost in the wars they fought protecting Europe from the Russian Bear, and Roman Catholicism) and they speak Swedish.
    Get out a map and look it up. I suggest you also look up the differences between Austria and Australia before you book travel hoping to see Kangaroos, and end up with nothing but Mozart Balls.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webmonk,
    Mind boggling. Could someone here please explain to me why Americans routinely mix up Swedish and Swiss? There is quite a difference between these two countries, and their cultures. Swiss would mean that the study was done in Switzerland, where the people are reformed or catholic depending on the Canton, and speak German, Italian or French also depending on the Canton.
    Swedish would mean the study comes from Sweden which is not an alpine country, but a Scandinavian country, located on the Scandinavian peninsula, and not part of Continental Europe. The tend to be Lutheran (although, church attendance is pretty low, maybe due to the fact that too many father’s were lost in the wars they fought protecting Europe from the Russian Bear, and Roman Catholicism) and they speak Swedish.
    Get out a map and look it up. I suggest you also look up the differences between Austria and Australia before you book travel hoping to see Kangaroos, and end up with nothing but Mozart Balls.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Acroamaticus,
    Churches “pastored” by women tend to have fewer men. There is a book out called “Why Men don’t go to Church” and it studies this phenomenon. I can’t remember exactly what it says, but it is something to the effect that you aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear another woman nag at them. They normally get enough of that all week long, either at home or at work these days.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Acroamaticus,
    Churches “pastored” by women tend to have fewer men. There is a book out called “Why Men don’t go to Church” and it studies this phenomenon. I can’t remember exactly what it says, but it is something to the effect that you aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear another woman nag at them. They normally get enough of that all week long, either at home or at work these days.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    here I have many mothers that bring their children to church, and fathers that are jack mormon for the most part, or have sworn off religion, but the demon they got rid of normally comes back with seven… This is a chronic problem in Utah. And it is very hard for the mothers to cope and even be faithful themselves in coming to church. But I always remember the example of St. Monica, who was married to a pagan, and didn’t have much influence over her son, but whose priest said that a woman that prayed as much as her would not be ignored. Her prayers were thankfully answered and her son saved Christendom as we know it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    here I have many mothers that bring their children to church, and fathers that are jack mormon for the most part, or have sworn off religion, but the demon they got rid of normally comes back with seven… This is a chronic problem in Utah. And it is very hard for the mothers to cope and even be faithful themselves in coming to church. But I always remember the example of St. Monica, who was married to a pagan, and didn’t have much influence over her son, but whose priest said that a woman that prayed as much as her would not be ignored. Her prayers were thankfully answered and her son saved Christendom as we know it.

  • WebMonk

    Uh oh! Duck and cover!!! *explosions sound all around me*
    :-D
    Huh, I thought the article had said a Swedish study. My mistake.

    I suspect it’s the relatively close proximity (~600 mi) of the two countries (compared to Austria/Australia) and the common “Sw” sound at the beginning of their names.

    Back to the article, I admit I was more interested by the ending statements from The Churches Are Losing portion on down, than I was in the rehashing of the SWISS study. :-)

  • WebMonk

    Uh oh! Duck and cover!!! *explosions sound all around me*
    :-D
    Huh, I thought the article had said a Swedish study. My mistake.

    I suspect it’s the relatively close proximity (~600 mi) of the two countries (compared to Austria/Australia) and the common “Sw” sound at the beginning of their names.

    Back to the article, I admit I was more interested by the ending statements from The Churches Are Losing portion on down, than I was in the rehashing of the SWISS study. :-)

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    As a pastor we can almost predict to the person which child will continue after confirmation by who their parents are and it fits with this study. Barna has done a similar survey in the US, btw, with similar results. It is one of the reasons in our youth ministry overhaul we have brought in the Faith Legacy series, so we can equip parents in general fathers specifically to share the faith with their kids.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    As a pastor we can almost predict to the person which child will continue after confirmation by who their parents are and it fits with this study. Barna has done a similar survey in the US, btw, with similar results. It is one of the reasons in our youth ministry overhaul we have brought in the Faith Legacy series, so we can equip parents in general fathers specifically to share the faith with their kids.

  • Tom Hering

    “… you aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear another woman nag at them.”

    You aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear a man nag at them, either. Especially if he nags with a Swedish accent. Unbearable. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “… you aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear another woman nag at them.”

    You aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear a man nag at them, either. Especially if he nags with a Swedish accent. Unbearable. :-)

  • Larry

    I can trace it multiple times in our own two families (mine and my wife). My mom, continued in church and her dad went even though her mother hardly ever did. My dad on the other hand dropped out, his dad, as far as I know never went, but his mom did. This goes back generations as far as I’m aware of such. Close friends I knew, Methodist, baptist, RC (Lutheran wasn’t in our realm). Nearly all that had fathers that attended continued but those that didn’t, whether the mother did or didn’t have not. Two RC friends, one’s dad always went, so does he and all his brothers (3). The other friend his dad did not, none of his siblings continued (that I’m aware of last I heard), three of them, one brother and one sister (though their mother continued devoutly). In fact the only friends I knew who maintained active participation in their churches were the one’s whose dad’s went regularly or at least semi-regularly. My wife and her sister, continued, again their dad continued. One of my best friends a baptist minister, his dad always continued despite troubles in the church.

    It’s a pretty predicable thing.

    The one exception I’ve noted is the child, usually male, who went the way of the prodigal most visibly in some form of open rebellion or another who has a later in life dramatic conversion. They usually had a dad who was either uninvolved in their life at all (religious or secular) or uninvolved in church at all.

  • Larry

    I can trace it multiple times in our own two families (mine and my wife). My mom, continued in church and her dad went even though her mother hardly ever did. My dad on the other hand dropped out, his dad, as far as I know never went, but his mom did. This goes back generations as far as I’m aware of such. Close friends I knew, Methodist, baptist, RC (Lutheran wasn’t in our realm). Nearly all that had fathers that attended continued but those that didn’t, whether the mother did or didn’t have not. Two RC friends, one’s dad always went, so does he and all his brothers (3). The other friend his dad did not, none of his siblings continued (that I’m aware of last I heard), three of them, one brother and one sister (though their mother continued devoutly). In fact the only friends I knew who maintained active participation in their churches were the one’s whose dad’s went regularly or at least semi-regularly. My wife and her sister, continued, again their dad continued. One of my best friends a baptist minister, his dad always continued despite troubles in the church.

    It’s a pretty predicable thing.

    The one exception I’ve noted is the child, usually male, who went the way of the prodigal most visibly in some form of open rebellion or another who has a later in life dramatic conversion. They usually had a dad who was either uninvolved in their life at all (religious or secular) or uninvolved in church at all.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    It is impossible for a man to nag. In order to nag you have to be a hag.
    Men, though, can be legalistic and effeminate neither bodes well for the attendance of men.
    I also think men’s attendance drops when church becomes gimmicky.
    As for Swedish accents, it’s the closest one can get to speaking the language of heaven while still speaking English. And Bo Giertz is testimony to the fact that the gospel is conveyed best in that language :).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    It is impossible for a man to nag. In order to nag you have to be a hag.
    Men, though, can be legalistic and effeminate neither bodes well for the attendance of men.
    I also think men’s attendance drops when church becomes gimmicky.
    As for Swedish accents, it’s the closest one can get to speaking the language of heaven while still speaking English. And Bo Giertz is testimony to the fact that the gospel is conveyed best in that language :).

  • Tom Hering

    “… the child, usually male, who went the way of the prodigal most visibly in some form of open rebellion or another who has a later in life dramatic conversion. They usually had a dad who was either uninvolved in their life at all (religious or secular) or uninvolved in church at all.”

    I can confirm this, as every bit of it is my own story.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the child, usually male, who went the way of the prodigal most visibly in some form of open rebellion or another who has a later in life dramatic conversion. They usually had a dad who was either uninvolved in their life at all (religious or secular) or uninvolved in church at all.”

    I can confirm this, as every bit of it is my own story.

  • Tom Hering

    “As for Swedish accents, it’s the closest one can get to speaking the language of heaven while still speaking English. And Bo Giertz is testimony to the fact that the gospel is conveyed best in that language.”

    If you’re speaking of the general population up there, i.e., the hoi polloi, I agree. Closer to the Throne, you’ll hear the martyrs praising God with Polish accents. Nobel prize-winner Henryk Sienkiewicz (Quo Vadis) is testimony to the fact that stories of martyrdom are conveyed best in that language. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “As for Swedish accents, it’s the closest one can get to speaking the language of heaven while still speaking English. And Bo Giertz is testimony to the fact that the gospel is conveyed best in that language.”

    If you’re speaking of the general population up there, i.e., the hoi polloi, I agree. Closer to the Throne, you’ll hear the martyrs praising God with Polish accents. Nobel prize-winner Henryk Sienkiewicz (Quo Vadis) is testimony to the fact that stories of martyrdom are conveyed best in that language. :-)

  • Caleb

    I had the good fortune to hear Synodical President Matt Harrison preach at Kramer Chapel in Fort Wayne this morning. Now there’s a man who preaches the manly gospel of repentance and free salvation. He can also play the banjo better than anyone I’ve ever heard.

    If only we had a hundred men like him preaching…

  • Caleb

    I had the good fortune to hear Synodical President Matt Harrison preach at Kramer Chapel in Fort Wayne this morning. Now there’s a man who preaches the manly gospel of repentance and free salvation. He can also play the banjo better than anyone I’ve ever heard.

    If only we had a hundred men like him preaching…

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Regarding this study, it’s as if Jesus and the Apostles actually meant it when they addressed the Father, and when they specified men for church and family leadership. Who would have thunk it?

    Regarding churches with women pastors, just look at membership of the United Methodists, Anglicans, or ELCA over the past few decades. Not a pretty sight!

    And regarding Bror’s comments; Bork bork bork.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Regarding this study, it’s as if Jesus and the Apostles actually meant it when they addressed the Father, and when they specified men for church and family leadership. Who would have thunk it?

    Regarding churches with women pastors, just look at membership of the United Methodists, Anglicans, or ELCA over the past few decades. Not a pretty sight!

    And regarding Bror’s comments; Bork bork bork.

  • DonS

    I believe the study has validity. In my experience, our family all regularly attended church and all three of the children (middle aged now) still do, although my sister was a bit irregular in her younger adult years. My uncle, on the other hand, rarely attended and was openly antagonistic toward Christianity, though my aunt and cousins attended regularly. As adults, all of my cousins fell away from the faith, as did, unfortunately, my aunt after the kids were gone.

    Regular attendance by both parents is no guarantee, however. I have seen numerous parents heartsick and on their knees as their young adult children stray from the faith and stop attending church. I think part of the problem is that in many evangelical churches high school youth go to “youth service” rather than the regular service, at least for the sermon, and also for some of the worship time. This is a huge mistake. Families should worship together, imo. There is absolutely no reason why a child cannot attend an hour or hour and a half long church service, in its entirety. My kids love it, and so far our three adult children are vibrant and growing Christian young people, for which we praise our heavenly Father and His grace and mercy.

  • DonS

    I believe the study has validity. In my experience, our family all regularly attended church and all three of the children (middle aged now) still do, although my sister was a bit irregular in her younger adult years. My uncle, on the other hand, rarely attended and was openly antagonistic toward Christianity, though my aunt and cousins attended regularly. As adults, all of my cousins fell away from the faith, as did, unfortunately, my aunt after the kids were gone.

    Regular attendance by both parents is no guarantee, however. I have seen numerous parents heartsick and on their knees as their young adult children stray from the faith and stop attending church. I think part of the problem is that in many evangelical churches high school youth go to “youth service” rather than the regular service, at least for the sermon, and also for some of the worship time. This is a huge mistake. Families should worship together, imo. There is absolutely no reason why a child cannot attend an hour or hour and a half long church service, in its entirety. My kids love it, and so far our three adult children are vibrant and growing Christian young people, for which we praise our heavenly Father and His grace and mercy.

  • bkw

    Bror -
    As a female who once contemplated visiting your congregation here in Utah, your posts have helped me to decide otherwise. Particularly this one. Your broad generalizations of women in this post – even if you meant them in jest, (hard to tell), – are highly offensive to me. I get the hierarchy of men/women in the church, but I don’t get this. I know this site if frequented by mainly men, but I just don’t get this line of humor. I know you’ll probably toss me aside and label me as one of those “nags”, but it would be nice if you would humbly acknowledge that you have indeed offended someone.

  • bkw

    Bror -
    As a female who once contemplated visiting your congregation here in Utah, your posts have helped me to decide otherwise. Particularly this one. Your broad generalizations of women in this post – even if you meant them in jest, (hard to tell), – are highly offensive to me. I get the hierarchy of men/women in the church, but I don’t get this. I know this site if frequented by mainly men, but I just don’t get this line of humor. I know you’ll probably toss me aside and label me as one of those “nags”, but it would be nice if you would humbly acknowledge that you have indeed offended someone.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Look at it from a Darwinian point of view, and in light of the two world wars. The men who had the traits of fidelity, courage, and assertiveness, would have been the first to do their duty, go over the barbed wire, and get mowed down by the millions. Their timed buddies survived the war, went home, had kids and sent them off to church while they stayed home thankful that there are no beliefs worth dying and killing for. So, Europe has undergone a part sociological, part biological process of feminization. (more Wormtongues fewer Striders)

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Look at it from a Darwinian point of view, and in light of the two world wars. The men who had the traits of fidelity, courage, and assertiveness, would have been the first to do their duty, go over the barbed wire, and get mowed down by the millions. Their timed buddies survived the war, went home, had kids and sent them off to church while they stayed home thankful that there are no beliefs worth dying and killing for. So, Europe has undergone a part sociological, part biological process of feminization. (more Wormtongues fewer Striders)

  • helen

    bkw @ 22
    Don’t get excited. For some men, “nag” only means telling them the truth they know but don’t want to hear.

    OTOH, I don’t want a woman in the pulpit either.

    RE the children’s church going habits: women had better choose wisely from men who grew up active in the church, if you believe this study.

  • helen

    bkw @ 22
    Don’t get excited. For some men, “nag” only means telling them the truth they know but don’t want to hear.

    OTOH, I don’t want a woman in the pulpit either.

    RE the children’s church going habits: women had better choose wisely from men who grew up active in the church, if you believe this study.

  • bob

    Larry @ 2. Was glad to see your name pop here again as I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful posts about a month back that I have read several times. I believe the heading was who split the church and prompted a discussion about switching churches. We continue to work through it. Thanks for your help.

  • bob

    Larry @ 2. Was glad to see your name pop here again as I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful posts about a month back that I have read several times. I believe the heading was who split the church and prompted a discussion about switching churches. We continue to work through it. Thanks for your help.

  • Joe

    Bror – Swedish is close to the language of heaven only because Sweden is next to Norway. :)

  • Joe

    Bror – Swedish is close to the language of heaven only because Sweden is next to Norway. :)

  • WebMonk

    Bror 20, “Regarding churches with women pastors, just look at membership of the United Methodists, Anglicans, or ELCA over the past few decades. Not a pretty sight!”

    Don’t go throwing too many stones at other denominations’ membership roles. The LCMS numbers have been dropping through the floor too, in fact dropping much, much faster than those denominations you mentioned.

    The UM have dropped by about 8.6% in the last 30 years.
    The ELCA has dropped by about 7% in the last 23 years.
    Episcopal church down by about 4% in the last 30 years.
    The LCMS has dropped by about 12.6% in the last 30 years.

    If you’re suggesting that those other denominations have dropped in size so much because of their women pastors, then the LCMS must be putting in almost twice as many women pastors as they are!

    (I know the LCMS isn’t doing that, but I’m just pointing out that your statement about the drop in membership of those other denominations was an exceeding baseless statement.)

  • WebMonk

    Bror 20, “Regarding churches with women pastors, just look at membership of the United Methodists, Anglicans, or ELCA over the past few decades. Not a pretty sight!”

    Don’t go throwing too many stones at other denominations’ membership roles. The LCMS numbers have been dropping through the floor too, in fact dropping much, much faster than those denominations you mentioned.

    The UM have dropped by about 8.6% in the last 30 years.
    The ELCA has dropped by about 7% in the last 23 years.
    Episcopal church down by about 4% in the last 30 years.
    The LCMS has dropped by about 12.6% in the last 30 years.

    If you’re suggesting that those other denominations have dropped in size so much because of their women pastors, then the LCMS must be putting in almost twice as many women pastors as they are!

    (I know the LCMS isn’t doing that, but I’m just pointing out that your statement about the drop in membership of those other denominations was an exceeding baseless statement.)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    That was me, actually, WebMonk, not Bror.

    Regarding the LCMS (JOKE here), don’t their pastors often wear a dress (robe)? People just might be confused…… :^)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    That was me, actually, WebMonk, not Bror.

    Regarding the LCMS (JOKE here), don’t their pastors often wear a dress (robe)? People just might be confused…… :^)

  • WebMonk

    Wow, today is just not my day! First I mix up the Swiss and the Swedish, and now I mix up Bike and Bror!

  • WebMonk

    Wow, today is just not my day! First I mix up the Swiss and the Swedish, and now I mix up Bike and Bror!

  • bob

    The faith legacy series referenced by Dr. Luther in the 21st century @13. So you have been more intentional about reaching the men of your church, the dads. Would you call this discipling? Is it a Bible study or a class or mentoring type program or ?Do the Lutherns do a lot of this type of thing or just it all happen naturally through Word and sacrament on Sunday morning? Just curious.

  • bob

    The faith legacy series referenced by Dr. Luther in the 21st century @13. So you have been more intentional about reaching the men of your church, the dads. Would you call this discipling? Is it a Bible study or a class or mentoring type program or ?Do the Lutherns do a lot of this type of thing or just it all happen naturally through Word and sacrament on Sunday morning? Just curious.

  • bkw

    Thanks for that David. It speaks volumes to me that no one else has commented on the subject. One thing I want to reiterate is that while I understand the hierarchy of the church, I see no need for the comments to devolve into such disrespect towards women. What a shame.

  • bkw

    Thanks for that David. It speaks volumes to me that no one else has commented on the subject. One thing I want to reiterate is that while I understand the hierarchy of the church, I see no need for the comments to devolve into such disrespect towards women. What a shame.

  • bkw

    I apologize – Helen did comment.

  • bkw

    I apologize – Helen did comment.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    bkw,
    Probably would have responded earlier, but just got back to the office from doing catechesis, in yet another situation where women are interested and the men are not. And then doing hospice chaplain work where I did not have access to a computer.
    In any case, Sorry. My sarcastic humor often gets the best of me. And I could have expressed the thoughts in a less offensive way. You are right. I by no means meant to imply that all women nag, or are hags.
    But the findings of the book were particularly poignant to the effect that men are typically not inclined to take direction in general, much less spiritual counsel from women.
    I do think that women’s ordination is of the devil, and don’t carry much sympathy for women who ignore God’s word and enter the pulpit. I do think it is ultimately a detriment to the church.
    I have, though nothing but great respect for faithful women who struggle to bring their kids to church and teach them the faith. As I said earlier I have many of those whom I minister to here.
    I have also noticed that well meaning women will often harry their husbands, if that is a batter word than nag, to go to church, and this has a tendency to drive the men the opposite way. But those women who take the quiet and prayerful approach tend to have more success in bringing their men around.
    I hope that addresses that which has offended you.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    bkw,
    Probably would have responded earlier, but just got back to the office from doing catechesis, in yet another situation where women are interested and the men are not. And then doing hospice chaplain work where I did not have access to a computer.
    In any case, Sorry. My sarcastic humor often gets the best of me. And I could have expressed the thoughts in a less offensive way. You are right. I by no means meant to imply that all women nag, or are hags.
    But the findings of the book were particularly poignant to the effect that men are typically not inclined to take direction in general, much less spiritual counsel from women.
    I do think that women’s ordination is of the devil, and don’t carry much sympathy for women who ignore God’s word and enter the pulpit. I do think it is ultimately a detriment to the church.
    I have, though nothing but great respect for faithful women who struggle to bring their kids to church and teach them the faith. As I said earlier I have many of those whom I minister to here.
    I have also noticed that well meaning women will often harry their husbands, if that is a batter word than nag, to go to church, and this has a tendency to drive the men the opposite way. But those women who take the quiet and prayerful approach tend to have more success in bringing their men around.
    I hope that addresses that which has offended you.

  • forty-two

    bkw @ 32:

    Thanks for speaking up yourself. I found that statement very offensive, but didn’t speak up because I could think of no easy way to do so that wasn’t going to have me come across as, well, a hag. Cowardice and laziness =(.

    I reluctantly accept that there is something about men and women that makes male leadership somehow more effective, that for whatever reason, all else being equal, men naturally command respect in a leadership sort of fashion in a way that women have to work at. I don’t particularly *like* it, but it is nevertheless real, in a way that transcends societal expectations. But it is very frustrating to see most American Christian conversations about male leadership, necessary as it is, focus more on how women need to diminish themselves instead of men needing to elevate/expand themselves (no matter how they start, that is where they inevitable end).

    I’m not always a fan of fantasy writer Robert Jordan’s depiction of women and male/female roles, but one of his characters, who believed rather strongly in male headship, made a point I’ve found very striking – that strong women need even stronger men, men so strong that they aren’t threatened by their woman’s strength. That a strong woman diminishing herself so as not to overpower a weaker man is just as contrary to the way things should be as a strong woman running roughshod over a weaker man. But the standard American Christian approach is to insist that poor, downtrodden men just *can’t* possibly be leaders unless the strong women currently fulfilling those roles diminish themselves first. What kind of leaders are we looking for, if the only way they can lead is if their followers first weaken themselves?

  • forty-two

    bkw @ 32:

    Thanks for speaking up yourself. I found that statement very offensive, but didn’t speak up because I could think of no easy way to do so that wasn’t going to have me come across as, well, a hag. Cowardice and laziness =(.

    I reluctantly accept that there is something about men and women that makes male leadership somehow more effective, that for whatever reason, all else being equal, men naturally command respect in a leadership sort of fashion in a way that women have to work at. I don’t particularly *like* it, but it is nevertheless real, in a way that transcends societal expectations. But it is very frustrating to see most American Christian conversations about male leadership, necessary as it is, focus more on how women need to diminish themselves instead of men needing to elevate/expand themselves (no matter how they start, that is where they inevitable end).

    I’m not always a fan of fantasy writer Robert Jordan’s depiction of women and male/female roles, but one of his characters, who believed rather strongly in male headship, made a point I’ve found very striking – that strong women need even stronger men, men so strong that they aren’t threatened by their woman’s strength. That a strong woman diminishing herself so as not to overpower a weaker man is just as contrary to the way things should be as a strong woman running roughshod over a weaker man. But the standard American Christian approach is to insist that poor, downtrodden men just *can’t* possibly be leaders unless the strong women currently fulfilling those roles diminish themselves first. What kind of leaders are we looking for, if the only way they can lead is if their followers first weaken themselves?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bkw,
    Also, maybe this is just getting into excuses now. But rereading my post, at least the one I think you are referring to. I noticed that I used some harsh terms that are maybe best not used. But I do fail to see how it was a broad generalization of women. Especially considering the fact that I praised many of them.
    It would be almost as if I took David’s comments to mean that really all evangelical men dislike women. Actually, in my experience I have met few evangelical men who dislike women. And I got the impression from some of the late Spencer’s post that the only reason men oppose women’s ordination is that they don’t like women. And that was a great set up to paint with a broad brush.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bkw,
    Also, maybe this is just getting into excuses now. But rereading my post, at least the one I think you are referring to. I noticed that I used some harsh terms that are maybe best not used. But I do fail to see how it was a broad generalization of women. Especially considering the fact that I praised many of them.
    It would be almost as if I took David’s comments to mean that really all evangelical men dislike women. Actually, in my experience I have met few evangelical men who dislike women. And I got the impression from some of the late Spencer’s post that the only reason men oppose women’s ordination is that they don’t like women. And that was a great set up to paint with a broad brush.

  • bkw

    “you aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear another woman nag at them. They normally get enough of that all week long, either at home or at work these days.”

    “It is impossible for a man to nag. In order to nag you have to be a hag.”

    Bror –
    These are your quotes. I realize you were paraphrasing from a book in the first comment, but you chose to do so. “Aren’t” means are not. “Impossible” means not capable. Seems pretty broad to me. I know you are referring to the idea of the portrayal of ALL women in your post as being the broad stroke, but I still think you did a good job of being all inclusive even if you say that’s not what you meant.

    Do you really think that your “praise” towards many women justifies the pejorative terms you used? I know you said you were sorry – but it would have been nice if you left it at that. Instead, you chose to justify yourself. And that’s why I don’t necessarily believe your intention.

  • bkw

    “you aren’t going to get men to go to church and hear another woman nag at them. They normally get enough of that all week long, either at home or at work these days.”

    “It is impossible for a man to nag. In order to nag you have to be a hag.”

    Bror –
    These are your quotes. I realize you were paraphrasing from a book in the first comment, but you chose to do so. “Aren’t” means are not. “Impossible” means not capable. Seems pretty broad to me. I know you are referring to the idea of the portrayal of ALL women in your post as being the broad stroke, but I still think you did a good job of being all inclusive even if you say that’s not what you meant.

    Do you really think that your “praise” towards many women justifies the pejorative terms you used? I know you said you were sorry – but it would have been nice if you left it at that. Instead, you chose to justify yourself. And that’s why I don’t necessarily believe your intention.

  • bkw

    forty -two –

    And thank you for speaking up also. I really like what you said here:

    “That a strong woman diminishing herself so as not to overpower a weaker man is just as contrary to the way things should be as a strong woman running roughshod over a weaker man. But the standard American Christian approach is to insist that poor, downtrodden men just *can’t* possibly be leaders unless the strong women currently fulfilling those roles diminish themselves first.”

  • bkw

    forty -two –

    And thank you for speaking up also. I really like what you said here:

    “That a strong woman diminishing herself so as not to overpower a weaker man is just as contrary to the way things should be as a strong woman running roughshod over a weaker man. But the standard American Christian approach is to insist that poor, downtrodden men just *can’t* possibly be leaders unless the strong women currently fulfilling those roles diminish themselves first.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    bkw,
    The two lines you quote. Does it say all women? Did I say all women are … or all women …? No. and I do point out that men can do things just as offensive, indeed I prove my point with the terms I chose.
    But it was to go after the nature of the word, when I said men are incapable of doing it. Men are capable of doing similar things infact the same thing. But the word in question is a word that carries connotations as to the gender of the person doing it. That is what I meant when I said men are incapable of it.
    perhaps I am just trying to justify myself, and that would speak to the guilt I now have for using the terms I used. And I do feel guilty for them. Sorry.
    At the same time, I do not think it is justifiable from what I wrote to think I was trying to describe the actions of all women, or women in general. It was not my intention when writing what I wrote, nor is it what I wrote.
    I’ll probably leave it at that though. I’m in the wrong. Sorry.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    bkw,
    The two lines you quote. Does it say all women? Did I say all women are … or all women …? No. and I do point out that men can do things just as offensive, indeed I prove my point with the terms I chose.
    But it was to go after the nature of the word, when I said men are incapable of doing it. Men are capable of doing similar things infact the same thing. But the word in question is a word that carries connotations as to the gender of the person doing it. That is what I meant when I said men are incapable of it.
    perhaps I am just trying to justify myself, and that would speak to the guilt I now have for using the terms I used. And I do feel guilty for them. Sorry.
    At the same time, I do not think it is justifiable from what I wrote to think I was trying to describe the actions of all women, or women in general. It was not my intention when writing what I wrote, nor is it what I wrote.
    I’ll probably leave it at that though. I’m in the wrong. Sorry.

  • WebMonk

    Bror, I’m a late-comer here, just checking in before I head home, but I would have to say that the quotes bkw pulled out do indeed sound just like they were intended to apply to everyone of the female gender.

    Perhaps you didn’t mean for them to be so universal, but that is certainly what was communicated to me by the quote (and apparently also to bkw, forty-two, David, helen, etc).

  • WebMonk

    Bror, I’m a late-comer here, just checking in before I head home, but I would have to say that the quotes bkw pulled out do indeed sound just like they were intended to apply to everyone of the female gender.

    Perhaps you didn’t mean for them to be so universal, but that is certainly what was communicated to me by the quote (and apparently also to bkw, forty-two, David, helen, etc).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I feel compelled now to address another issue that has been brought up. What is the strong Christian woman leader? What is meant by that? I have my suspicions.
    So many women see women standing up in the pulpits and usurping a role not meant for them as leadership. And when men bulk at it, they praise the woman for being a strong leader, and criticize the men for being weak, or misogynists. The men are to blame for bulking at something they instinctively know is not right. Other women look at a woman henpecking her husband as being a strong leader. But in neither of these situations is leadership being displayed on the part of women. I’ve even heard women praising other women for divorcing their husbands as this is somehow showing strength and individuality etc. These women are looked at as leaders for yanking their sons and daughters from their fathers.
    And sure there are times when women need to divorce their husbands. But the premise of “Eat, Love, Pray” makes me want to puke. And the popularity of said movie makes me think that we have a seriously flawed idea of what it means to be a “strong” woman. And yet, no doubt, someone lurking here will think that this is just another “weak” man eating sour grapes, and probably a misogynist.
    Then there is the woman who upholds the Christian ideal. She loves her husband, and is patient with him, as he is patient with her. She doesn’t presume to get bossy and controlling, yet gives her husband plenty of reason to love her and listen to her. And she is depicted as weak because she is more inclined to forgive as she is forgiven, and then learn to love even when she doesn’t always feel love. What takes more strength? I’ll tell you which one gets more husbands to church.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I feel compelled now to address another issue that has been brought up. What is the strong Christian woman leader? What is meant by that? I have my suspicions.
    So many women see women standing up in the pulpits and usurping a role not meant for them as leadership. And when men bulk at it, they praise the woman for being a strong leader, and criticize the men for being weak, or misogynists. The men are to blame for bulking at something they instinctively know is not right. Other women look at a woman henpecking her husband as being a strong leader. But in neither of these situations is leadership being displayed on the part of women. I’ve even heard women praising other women for divorcing their husbands as this is somehow showing strength and individuality etc. These women are looked at as leaders for yanking their sons and daughters from their fathers.
    And sure there are times when women need to divorce their husbands. But the premise of “Eat, Love, Pray” makes me want to puke. And the popularity of said movie makes me think that we have a seriously flawed idea of what it means to be a “strong” woman. And yet, no doubt, someone lurking here will think that this is just another “weak” man eating sour grapes, and probably a misogynist.
    Then there is the woman who upholds the Christian ideal. She loves her husband, and is patient with him, as he is patient with her. She doesn’t presume to get bossy and controlling, yet gives her husband plenty of reason to love her and listen to her. And she is depicted as weak because she is more inclined to forgive as she is forgiven, and then learn to love even when she doesn’t always feel love. What takes more strength? I’ll tell you which one gets more husbands to church.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But the findings of the book were particularly poignant to the effect that men are typically not inclined to take direction in general, much less spiritual counsel from women.”

    Did it discuss whether women were inclined to take direction in general, much less spiritual counsel from women?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But the findings of the book were particularly poignant to the effect that men are typically not inclined to take direction in general, much less spiritual counsel from women.”

    Did it discuss whether women were inclined to take direction in general, much less spiritual counsel from women?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Thanks Webmonk, as always… again, little confused by that. But then I shouldn’t be. You accuse me of being Bike, and confuse Switzerland with Sweden because they both start with Sw.
    I’ll just reiterate here. I was not meaning to impugn all women. I was meaning to impugn those guilty of a certain type of behavior. I am sorry for the word’s I chose, and realize now that they invoked a strong emotional response in some readers that was not intended, and yet understandable. I’m guessing that emotional response clouded what was actually said, and facilitated the idea that I was blanketing all women. I can see that, though it isn’t actually there, and it was not meant to be. Something I thought would be obvious from the rest of what I said.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Thanks Webmonk, as always… again, little confused by that. But then I shouldn’t be. You accuse me of being Bike, and confuse Switzerland with Sweden because they both start with Sw.
    I’ll just reiterate here. I was not meaning to impugn all women. I was meaning to impugn those guilty of a certain type of behavior. I am sorry for the word’s I chose, and realize now that they invoked a strong emotional response in some readers that was not intended, and yet understandable. I’m guessing that emotional response clouded what was actually said, and facilitated the idea that I was blanketing all women. I can see that, though it isn’t actually there, and it was not meant to be. Something I thought would be obvious from the rest of what I said.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg,
    I don’t know that it did. I think it did mention that women are much more willing to take direction from a woman than a man is, and on the flip side that they are also more inclined to follow the leadership of a man, than a man is from a woman. But whether or not they would prefer to take leadership from another woman over a man or vice versa I don’t recall being addressed.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg,
    I don’t know that it did. I think it did mention that women are much more willing to take direction from a woman than a man is, and on the flip side that they are also more inclined to follow the leadership of a man, than a man is from a woman. But whether or not they would prefer to take leadership from another woman over a man or vice versa I don’t recall being addressed.

  • Porcell

    The truth is in general terms that too many men have abandoned their roles as fathers, especially in terms of their religious influence. Bror is right that all too many women are forced to assume the sort of religious leadership that has been abandoned by their men.

    Many contemporary men, cuing in on delusive contemporary trends, enjoy their work, sports, affairs, et al, while largely avoiding responsibility as Christian fathers.

    Underneath this trend is the intent of the secular liberal elite to destroy the family that is regarded as too “patriarchal.”

    The problem in my view is that both boys and men in contemporary culture are uncertain as to their important roles as men, husbands, and fathers. Given this uncertainty, men and boys tend to do their own thing and try to pleasantly avoid their responsibilities.

  • Porcell

    The truth is in general terms that too many men have abandoned their roles as fathers, especially in terms of their religious influence. Bror is right that all too many women are forced to assume the sort of religious leadership that has been abandoned by their men.

    Many contemporary men, cuing in on delusive contemporary trends, enjoy their work, sports, affairs, et al, while largely avoiding responsibility as Christian fathers.

    Underneath this trend is the intent of the secular liberal elite to destroy the family that is regarded as too “patriarchal.”

    The problem in my view is that both boys and men in contemporary culture are uncertain as to their important roles as men, husbands, and fathers. Given this uncertainty, men and boys tend to do their own thing and try to pleasantly avoid their responsibilities.

  • Tom Hering

    I know! Let’s hit men with the Law, and use the Bible as a masculinity handbook, Promise Keepers style. Yeah, that’s what men need.

  • Tom Hering

    I know! Let’s hit men with the Law, and use the Bible as a masculinity handbook, Promise Keepers style. Yeah, that’s what men need.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    This important discussion has gone off the rails. Thank you Porcell for an enlightened comment.

    I think it is hugely important that we strengthen in whichever way we can male leadership in spiritual matters. There is not a Christian woman out there who would not love to have that happen.

    In the church, too, there is something natural about male leadership. I am sorry–there is automatically something more authoritative, more dignified, more

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    This important discussion has gone off the rails. Thank you Porcell for an enlightened comment.

    I think it is hugely important that we strengthen in whichever way we can male leadership in spiritual matters. There is not a Christian woman out there who would not love to have that happen.

    In the church, too, there is something natural about male leadership. I am sorry–there is automatically something more authoritative, more dignified, more

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    I did not want to add that last bit. But now it’s there.

    Whenever I’ve heard a female in the pulpit, in my experience, there is this theme of “inclusion”, which gets carried beyond scriptural mandate. First of all there is the theme of why it is ok to have a female pastor, and then we go on to helpfulness and inclusion of all kinds of other categories.

    One easily thinks of the homosexuality issue. But this was demonstrated to me in a different way the other day. This was at Remembrance Day service. I did tell Bror about this. The huge gymn was filled to the brim with civilians, who filled the chairs and the hall lined with all the local military, many of whom had seen action in Afghanistan. The reading was Isaiah 52 and the suffering servant. It turned out in this sermon that suffering servant is the soldier, not Christ! The soldier returns from the battle field only to be ignored, even ridiculed and scolded. The soldier carries the sins of the nations, as he has to go to war that has been started by others and often in folly. The soldier deserves out care, respect and listening ear.

    I just could not believe it. This is the kind of supportive attitude a soldier could get from his mother. It was not preaching Christ crucified for sinners, such as the soldier, nor strength and fortitude in all kinds of trials.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    I did not want to add that last bit. But now it’s there.

    Whenever I’ve heard a female in the pulpit, in my experience, there is this theme of “inclusion”, which gets carried beyond scriptural mandate. First of all there is the theme of why it is ok to have a female pastor, and then we go on to helpfulness and inclusion of all kinds of other categories.

    One easily thinks of the homosexuality issue. But this was demonstrated to me in a different way the other day. This was at Remembrance Day service. I did tell Bror about this. The huge gymn was filled to the brim with civilians, who filled the chairs and the hall lined with all the local military, many of whom had seen action in Afghanistan. The reading was Isaiah 52 and the suffering servant. It turned out in this sermon that suffering servant is the soldier, not Christ! The soldier returns from the battle field only to be ignored, even ridiculed and scolded. The soldier carries the sins of the nations, as he has to go to war that has been started by others and often in folly. The soldier deserves out care, respect and listening ear.

    I just could not believe it. This is the kind of supportive attitude a soldier could get from his mother. It was not preaching Christ crucified for sinners, such as the soldier, nor strength and fortitude in all kinds of trials.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    In my experience woman largely fill the void left when men lose the sense of righteous duty in the Church.

    Men need to know their duty and do it. Whether that is impolite, mean or misogynistic, God commands it.

    Doing so has gotten my family tossed out of two Churches who valued getting along and being nice more than the Gospel. What is it about many Churches that makes them intolerant of men who stand up for the Gospel.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    In my experience woman largely fill the void left when men lose the sense of righteous duty in the Church.

    Men need to know their duty and do it. Whether that is impolite, mean or misogynistic, God commands it.

    Doing so has gotten my family tossed out of two Churches who valued getting along and being nice more than the Gospel. What is it about many Churches that makes them intolerant of men who stand up for the Gospel.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I know! Let’s hit men with the Law, and use the Bible as a masculinity handbook, Promise Keepers style. Yeah, that’s what men need.”

    Man, guys can’t win. Some say they need to let women have some expanded roles, then they are told they need to step up and lead. All the confusing admonitions make sleeping in look good.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I know! Let’s hit men with the Law, and use the Bible as a masculinity handbook, Promise Keepers style. Yeah, that’s what men need.”

    Man, guys can’t win. Some say they need to let women have some expanded roles, then they are told they need to step up and lead. All the confusing admonitions make sleeping in look good.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    sg, you know that in real life relationships don’t follow prescriptions. Each marriage is different. Each family is different. You work it out with your wife or husband utilizing different talents and strengths. Yet, the man should not shirk his duties in the rearing and teaching of his children in all areas. He needs to demand a certain respect for his leadership, show some care and courage, and the wife needs to step back a bit in appropriate ways at appropriate times and grant him this respect.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    sg, you know that in real life relationships don’t follow prescriptions. Each marriage is different. Each family is different. You work it out with your wife or husband utilizing different talents and strengths. Yet, the man should not shirk his duties in the rearing and teaching of his children in all areas. He needs to demand a certain respect for his leadership, show some care and courage, and the wife needs to step back a bit in appropriate ways at appropriate times and grant him this respect.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 50, I’m a little confused by your statements.

    “… men lose the sense of righteous duty in the Church … Men need to know their duty and do it … men who stand up for the Gospel.”

    What does masculinity have to do with the Gospel? Isn’t it of the Spirit and not the testicles?

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 50, I’m a little confused by your statements.

    “… men lose the sense of righteous duty in the Church … Men need to know their duty and do it … men who stand up for the Gospel.”

    What does masculinity have to do with the Gospel? Isn’t it of the Spirit and not the testicles?

  • Abby

    This article and discussion has caused me (again) to give thanks to God for the wonderful gift of my husband. I knew as a teenager that I would only marry a Christian. My husband was a believer but came from a church that did not value Christian education. He agreed to become Lutheran upon the birth of our second child. He grew in the Lord through Bible studies and service–becoming very active. He very much loved the expressions of the Lutheran church. My husband was head of our home, happily for me. (He passed away–too young.)

    Our children grew and chose Christian spouses. Each of their husbands are active in their churches (LCMS) and all the grandchildren attend LCMS schools. I am now hoping and looking forward to their lives continuing the same way. The girls are strong women in their professions and their husbands are heads of their homes.

    I myself would always reject a woman in the pulpit and I don’t prefer one even as a Bible study leader. There are many other gifts women can and do bring to the church.

    I’m not saying these things pridefully. We had many challenges along the way as well. My husband was an answer to much prayer. I was able to contemplate on these amazing blessings today as a result of this article. It seems that following this order of things
    does “work”. As a widow, I am happy now with God as my husband.

  • Abby

    This article and discussion has caused me (again) to give thanks to God for the wonderful gift of my husband. I knew as a teenager that I would only marry a Christian. My husband was a believer but came from a church that did not value Christian education. He agreed to become Lutheran upon the birth of our second child. He grew in the Lord through Bible studies and service–becoming very active. He very much loved the expressions of the Lutheran church. My husband was head of our home, happily for me. (He passed away–too young.)

    Our children grew and chose Christian spouses. Each of their husbands are active in their churches (LCMS) and all the grandchildren attend LCMS schools. I am now hoping and looking forward to their lives continuing the same way. The girls are strong women in their professions and their husbands are heads of their homes.

    I myself would always reject a woman in the pulpit and I don’t prefer one even as a Bible study leader. There are many other gifts women can and do bring to the church.

    I’m not saying these things pridefully. We had many challenges along the way as well. My husband was an answer to much prayer. I was able to contemplate on these amazing blessings today as a result of this article. It seems that following this order of things
    does “work”. As a widow, I am happy now with God as my husband.

  • bkw

    Bror said, “I’m guessing that emotional response clouded what was actually said, and facilitated the idea that I was blanketing all women. I can see that, though it isn’t actually there, and it was not meant to be. ”

    Um, no. It wasn’t an emotional response – an emotional response would have been: It’s no wonder the LCMS Lutheran church in Utah in faltering.

  • bkw

    Bror said, “I’m guessing that emotional response clouded what was actually said, and facilitated the idea that I was blanketing all women. I can see that, though it isn’t actually there, and it was not meant to be. ”

    Um, no. It wasn’t an emotional response – an emotional response would have been: It’s no wonder the LCMS Lutheran church in Utah in faltering.

  • bkw

    should be IS faltering

  • bkw

    should be IS faltering

  • bkw

    And where is ‘strong Christian woman leader’ mentioned? I read forty-two’s post regarding a strong woman, but that’s not the same thing. What am I missing?

  • bkw

    And where is ‘strong Christian woman leader’ mentioned? I read forty-two’s post regarding a strong woman, but that’s not the same thing. What am I missing?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bkw,
    Tell you what. Accept the apology, or wear the insult if it fits. I’m done explaining and or apologising.
    And as for the lutheran church, its doing quite fine in myneck of the woods.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bkw,
    Tell you what. Accept the apology, or wear the insult if it fits. I’m done explaining and or apologising.
    And as for the lutheran church, its doing quite fine in myneck of the woods.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Can we just for a minute forget what Bror said or didn’t say or meant?

    Women worry about a lot of things, take responsibility automatically for many things. This worry and care translates in some people’s hearing into nagging. Nobody likes to be nagged and the results are generally useless. It’s God’s way for women to realize that the fall had real results and that they need to pray and trust God. However, a male nagged by a female is usually even more resented than other combinations of nagging. The same thing goes with correction. A male will rarely take correction from a woman gladly where he might have accepted it from a respected male. Whenever possible and in a serious situation, a male should be corrected and guided by a male. Would this not be common sense from basic knowledge of the male species? A woman also might not be forceful enough in correcting (resorting to nagging and pleading and, gasp, perhaps even crying) having more irenic tendencies.

    Churchill said: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” I have often envied that a male will automatically by his nature carry a bigger stick, automatically has some more power. The woman might then be tempted to resort to talking more and perhaps more shrilly. But it is just a temptation and it can be resisted.

    This is said just in respect to the “nagging”.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Can we just for a minute forget what Bror said or didn’t say or meant?

    Women worry about a lot of things, take responsibility automatically for many things. This worry and care translates in some people’s hearing into nagging. Nobody likes to be nagged and the results are generally useless. It’s God’s way for women to realize that the fall had real results and that they need to pray and trust God. However, a male nagged by a female is usually even more resented than other combinations of nagging. The same thing goes with correction. A male will rarely take correction from a woman gladly where he might have accepted it from a respected male. Whenever possible and in a serious situation, a male should be corrected and guided by a male. Would this not be common sense from basic knowledge of the male species? A woman also might not be forceful enough in correcting (resorting to nagging and pleading and, gasp, perhaps even crying) having more irenic tendencies.

    Churchill said: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” I have often envied that a male will automatically by his nature carry a bigger stick, automatically has some more power. The woman might then be tempted to resort to talking more and perhaps more shrilly. But it is just a temptation and it can be resisted.

    This is said just in respect to the “nagging”.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Bror,
    Seeing as forty-two is my wife, I think I can write with assurance. She isn’t looking to put a woman in the pulpit. She accepts that is not God’s intended role for women.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Bror,
    Seeing as forty-two is my wife, I think I can write with assurance. She isn’t looking to put a woman in the pulpit. She accepts that is not God’s intended role for women.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #53 “SAL @ 50, I’m a little confused by your statements.”

    That is certainly apparent.

    “What does masculinity have to do with the Gospel? Isn’t it of the Spirit and not the testicles?”

    The Word of God in Romans:
    16:17
    “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #53 “SAL @ 50, I’m a little confused by your statements.”

    That is certainly apparent.

    “What does masculinity have to do with the Gospel? Isn’t it of the Spirit and not the testicles?”

    The Word of God in Romans:
    16:17
    “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Dl21,
    Thanks for the clarification.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Dl21,
    Thanks for the clarification.

  • bkw

    Bror –
    Truce. I would just encourage you to be less inflammatory in your posts. You do represent the congregation you serve.

  • bkw

    Bror –
    Truce. I would just encourage you to be less inflammatory in your posts. You do represent the congregation you serve.

  • Booklover

    I love truces! Here, pass these Christmas cookies and hot chocolate all around. I’ll get out that simulation game that some of you like to play, and the rest of us shall sing carols around the piano.

  • Booklover

    I love truces! Here, pass these Christmas cookies and hot chocolate all around. I’ll get out that simulation game that some of you like to play, and the rest of us shall sing carols around the piano.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Booklover, I think Bror wants a beer summit, and none of that Bug Light the President was drinking, either! :^)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Booklover, I think Bror wants a beer summit, and none of that Bug Light the President was drinking, either! :^)

  • Booklover

    I wasn’t giving him any Bud Lite; those are mine. Unless we go to Angry Hank’s; then I’ll take a Blondie. :-)

  • Booklover

    I wasn’t giving him any Bud Lite; those are mine. Unless we go to Angry Hank’s; then I’ll take a Blondie. :-)

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  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Seems to me, these fathers who do NOT go to church,
    are a lot more biblical then those who do. ;-)

    When you use the word “church” – Which “church” are we talking about?

    1 – “The Church of God?” Where Jesus is the head of the body,
    (The ekklesia, the called out one’s), The Church? :-)

    2 – the church of man? Where the 501 (c) 3, non-profit,
    tax $ deductible, Religious $ Corporation? Is called the church? :-(

    Where man takes many “Titles” NOT found in the scriptures.
    Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Holy Reverend, Senior Pastor,
    Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, Cardinal, Pope, etc., etc… etc…

    In the Bible, can you name anyone with the “Title” and “Position”
    of *Today’s* “Pastor/Reverend/Leader” leading “The Church of God?” :-(

    Seems, in the Bible, “The Church” The Ekklesia, the called out one’s,
    refers to people, now the house of God. ;-)

    Did Jesus shed “His Blood” for – An organization? An institution?
    A building? A denomination? Or a $ Corporation?

    Should “Disciples of Christ” call a Corporation – “The Church of God?” ;-)

    Don’t know if you ever checked or not but…
    In the Bible…

    NO one ever joined “A Church,”
    NO one ever went to “A Church.”
    NO one ever “Tithed” to “A Church.”
    NO one ever brought their children to “A Church.”
    NO one ever applied for membership in “A Church.”
    NO one ever gave silver, gold, or money, to “A Church.”
    NO buildings with steeples and crosses called “A Church.”
    NO – Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews. ;-)

    In my experience… that’s what happens in the church of man. Yes?
    In the Bible… Believers become “the Church of God.” :-)

    Seems to me, these fathers who do NOT go to church,
    are a lot more biblical then those who do,
    Because, NO one ever went to church in the Bible. ;-)

    What is popular is not always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is not always popular.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Seems to me, these fathers who do NOT go to church,
    are a lot more biblical then those who do. ;-)

    When you use the word “church” – Which “church” are we talking about?

    1 – “The Church of God?” Where Jesus is the head of the body,
    (The ekklesia, the called out one’s), The Church? :-)

    2 – the church of man? Where the 501 (c) 3, non-profit,
    tax $ deductible, Religious $ Corporation? Is called the church? :-(

    Where man takes many “Titles” NOT found in the scriptures.
    Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Holy Reverend, Senior Pastor,
    Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, Cardinal, Pope, etc., etc… etc…

    In the Bible, can you name anyone with the “Title” and “Position”
    of *Today’s* “Pastor/Reverend/Leader” leading “The Church of God?” :-(

    Seems, in the Bible, “The Church” The Ekklesia, the called out one’s,
    refers to people, now the house of God. ;-)

    Did Jesus shed “His Blood” for – An organization? An institution?
    A building? A denomination? Or a $ Corporation?

    Should “Disciples of Christ” call a Corporation – “The Church of God?” ;-)

    Don’t know if you ever checked or not but…
    In the Bible…

    NO one ever joined “A Church,”
    NO one ever went to “A Church.”
    NO one ever “Tithed” to “A Church.”
    NO one ever brought their children to “A Church.”
    NO one ever applied for membership in “A Church.”
    NO one ever gave silver, gold, or money, to “A Church.”
    NO buildings with steeples and crosses called “A Church.”
    NO – Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews. ;-)

    In my experience… that’s what happens in the church of man. Yes?
    In the Bible… Believers become “the Church of God.” :-)

    Seems to me, these fathers who do NOT go to church,
    are a lot more biblical then those who do,
    Because, NO one ever went to church in the Bible. ;-)

    What is popular is not always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is not always popular.

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  • Tom Hering

    A. Amos Love @ 67, it sounds like you’re part of the house church movement. But arguing that no one in the Bible ever went to church is like arguing that none of the Pilgrims ever went to a Thanksgiving Day parade. Facts like that don’t convince me that parades aren’t worthwhile gatherings, or that my church isn’t the place to find the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.

    Do you have a better argument you’d like to try out?

  • Tom Hering

    A. Amos Love @ 67, it sounds like you’re part of the house church movement. But arguing that no one in the Bible ever went to church is like arguing that none of the Pilgrims ever went to a Thanksgiving Day parade. Facts like that don’t convince me that parades aren’t worthwhile gatherings, or that my church isn’t the place to find the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.

    Do you have a better argument you’d like to try out?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Hi Tom @68
    No, I’m not part of the house church movement.
    Can’t seem to find anyone’s house called “A Church” in the Bible. ;-)
    Can’t find anyone going to “A House Church” in the Bible either. ;-)
    All I can find is people called “The Church.”

    I do find “the body of Christ,” the ekklesia, the called out one’s,
    “The Church of God,” assembling in believers homes and other places.

    Over the years I have been a part of a number of corrupt movements. :-(

    You give the impression that going to “A Church” is important.
    Even though NO one in the Bible went to “A Church.”

    If the Bible is not our standard, or a guide? – What do you recommend?
    And, which church would you recommend – Let’s see…

    We have the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America”
    How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining?
    Seems same sex marriage for their clergy is okay now. Tsk. Tsk.
    Seems they are splitting again. Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders.
    In the Bible, I can’t find “a special class” of christian called “Clergy.”

    We have the “Episcopal Church of America”
    How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining?
    Seems same sex marriage for their clergy and Bishops, is okay now.
    Seems they are splitting again. Some aren’t happy with elder/leaders.
    Can’t seem to find the “Clergy – Laity” divide in the Bible.

    We have the “Catholic Church of Rome”
    How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining?
    Seems their priests/elders/overseers have been getting caught. ooops.
    Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders, popes and priests.

    How do you, Tom, determine, which 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible,
    Religious $ Corporation – has…
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”???

    Mark 7:13, Jesus warned us, “Traditions of Men” “Nullify” God’s Word.
    KJV – Making the word of God of **none effect** through your tradition…
    ASV – Making **void** the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you **nullify** the word of God by your tradition…

    There are thousands of denominations – they all disagree about something.
    These “Corrupt Religious Systems” create “Titles” NOT found in the Bible.
    Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Holy Reverend, Doctor, Senior Pastor,
    Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, Cardinal, Pope, etc., etc… etc…

    Can we just make up “Titles?” Is that okay?

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Hi Tom @68
    No, I’m not part of the house church movement.
    Can’t seem to find anyone’s house called “A Church” in the Bible. ;-)
    Can’t find anyone going to “A House Church” in the Bible either. ;-)
    All I can find is people called “The Church.”

    I do find “the body of Christ,” the ekklesia, the called out one’s,
    “The Church of God,” assembling in believers homes and other places.

    Over the years I have been a part of a number of corrupt movements. :-(

    You give the impression that going to “A Church” is important.
    Even though NO one in the Bible went to “A Church.”

    If the Bible is not our standard, or a guide? – What do you recommend?
    And, which church would you recommend – Let’s see…

    We have the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America”
    How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining?
    Seems same sex marriage for their clergy is okay now. Tsk. Tsk.
    Seems they are splitting again. Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders.
    In the Bible, I can’t find “a special class” of christian called “Clergy.”

    We have the “Episcopal Church of America”
    How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining?
    Seems same sex marriage for their clergy and Bishops, is okay now.
    Seems they are splitting again. Some aren’t happy with elder/leaders.
    Can’t seem to find the “Clergy – Laity” divide in the Bible.

    We have the “Catholic Church of Rome”
    How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining?
    Seems their priests/elders/overseers have been getting caught. ooops.
    Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders, popes and priests.

    How do you, Tom, determine, which 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible,
    Religious $ Corporation – has…
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”???

    Mark 7:13, Jesus warned us, “Traditions of Men” “Nullify” God’s Word.
    KJV – Making the word of God of **none effect** through your tradition…
    ASV – Making **void** the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you **nullify** the word of God by your tradition…

    There are thousands of denominations – they all disagree about something.
    These “Corrupt Religious Systems” create “Titles” NOT found in the Bible.
    Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Holy Reverend, Doctor, Senior Pastor,
    Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, Cardinal, Pope, etc., etc… etc…

    Can we just make up “Titles?” Is that okay?

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom

    In my experience…
    “Titles” become “Idols”
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

    Ezek 14:1-11, warns us about “Idols” of the heart.
    Mat 23:10, Jesus tells “His Disciples” NOT to be called “Master”
    for you have “ONE” “Master” the Christ.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom

    In my experience…
    “Titles” become “Idols”
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

    Ezek 14:1-11, warns us about “Idols” of the heart.
    Mat 23:10, Jesus tells “His Disciples” NOT to be called “Master”
    for you have “ONE” “Master” the Christ.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    A.Amos,
    That is the most ignorant reading of the Bible I have ever heard. Sorry to be blunt, but that is just ignorant. At best it is a half truth.
    When Christians talk about going to church they are talking about that institution which grew out of the habit of going to Synagogue, which Jesus did, and Paul did quite regularly. And so we call our synagogue church, to distinguish it from the Jewish house of prayer, the principle is still the same.
    Yet we go to our church to gather together so we can do those things spoken of in Acts 2;42
    “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42 (ESV)
    And though I wish there weren’t so many different churches it is still true that one needs to be a member of a church in order to be part of the church, because no one is a Christian on their own, no more than a hand can remain a hand without being part of the body of Christ, and we are all representatives of different parts of the body, working together. And in order to do that we must needs come together.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    A.Amos,
    That is the most ignorant reading of the Bible I have ever heard. Sorry to be blunt, but that is just ignorant. At best it is a half truth.
    When Christians talk about going to church they are talking about that institution which grew out of the habit of going to Synagogue, which Jesus did, and Paul did quite regularly. And so we call our synagogue church, to distinguish it from the Jewish house of prayer, the principle is still the same.
    Yet we go to our church to gather together so we can do those things spoken of in Acts 2;42
    “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42 (ESV)
    And though I wish there weren’t so many different churches it is still true that one needs to be a member of a church in order to be part of the church, because no one is a Christian on their own, no more than a hand can remain a hand without being part of the body of Christ, and we are all representatives of different parts of the body, working together. And in order to do that we must needs come together.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    You write…
    “That is the most ignorant reading of the Bible I have ever heard.”

    With you holding that big gun in the picture…
    You can call that reading anything you want. ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    You write…
    “That is the most ignorant reading of the Bible I have ever heard.”

    With you holding that big gun in the picture…
    You can call that reading anything you want. ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    Sounds like, the way I read the Bible, needs some improvement. ;-)

    Today there are over 3000,000 buildings or institutions called church.
    But, In the Bible, NOT one building or institution is called church. :-(

    And most of the 501 (c) 3, Religious corporations, are “led” by a Pastor.

    Maybe you can help…

    In the Bible, How many people are… “called” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the ”Title” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… “ordained” as a Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a Pastor/Reverend?

    In my ignorant reading of the Bible :-)
    I find NO churches “Led” by “Pastors/Reverends.”
    I find NO Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching to – People – in Pews.
    I find NO “Disciple of Christ” calling another “Disciple” “Pastor.”

    Who started that?
    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

    Be blessed in your search for truth… Jesus. :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    Sounds like, the way I read the Bible, needs some improvement. ;-)

    Today there are over 3000,000 buildings or institutions called church.
    But, In the Bible, NOT one building or institution is called church. :-(

    And most of the 501 (c) 3, Religious corporations, are “led” by a Pastor.

    Maybe you can help…

    In the Bible, How many people are… “called” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the ”Title” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… “ordained” as a Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a Pastor/Reverend?

    In my ignorant reading of the Bible :-)
    I find NO churches “Led” by “Pastors/Reverends.”
    I find NO Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching to – People – in Pews.
    I find NO “Disciple of Christ” calling another “Disciple” “Pastor.”

    Who started that?
    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

    Be blessed in your search for truth… Jesus. :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    “You write…
    “When Christians talk about going to church they are talking about
    that institution which grew out of the habit of going to Synagogue,
    which Jesus did, and Paul did quite regularly.”

    Is that in the Bible? Where believers went from “going to synagogue?”
    “To Going to A Church?” Maybe, but I can’f find that in the Bible.

    Seems, often, when Jesus and Paul spoke the “Truth” in the Synagogue.
    They were asked to leave, or were beaten, or were crucified. Ouch!!!

    History declares… “Christiandumb” is often a bloody sport. :-(

    I haven’t suffered unto blood yet by “The Corrupt Religious System” but
    when askeing questions that challenge their Power, Profit, and Prestige,
    “the Religious Leaders” of today often get pretty ugly defending their turf.

    In my experience with “Pastor/Reverends”…

    No matter how loving, eventually…
    No matter how humble, eventually…
    No matter how much a servant, eventually…

    They will “Exercise Authority” and try to “lord it over” God’s sheep.
    That’s always the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.”

    “Pastor/Reverends” = Exercise Authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    Kinda like when you tried to put me down with…
    “That is **the most ignorant reading** of the Bible I have ever heard.”

    Or, maybe that was a compliment? And I need to ask your forgiveness?
    Like when “The Corrupt Religious Leaders” called the
    “Disciples of Christ” ignorant and unlearned men in Acts 4:13…

    Acts 4:13
    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
    and perceived that they were *unlearned* and *ignorant men,*
    they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
    that they had been with Jesus.

    So, thank you for the compliment.

    I’m in agreement with David – The Lord is my Shepherd – Jesus…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    “You write…
    “When Christians talk about going to church they are talking about
    that institution which grew out of the habit of going to Synagogue,
    which Jesus did, and Paul did quite regularly.”

    Is that in the Bible? Where believers went from “going to synagogue?”
    “To Going to A Church?” Maybe, but I can’f find that in the Bible.

    Seems, often, when Jesus and Paul spoke the “Truth” in the Synagogue.
    They were asked to leave, or were beaten, or were crucified. Ouch!!!

    History declares… “Christiandumb” is often a bloody sport. :-(

    I haven’t suffered unto blood yet by “The Corrupt Religious System” but
    when askeing questions that challenge their Power, Profit, and Prestige,
    “the Religious Leaders” of today often get pretty ugly defending their turf.

    In my experience with “Pastor/Reverends”…

    No matter how loving, eventually…
    No matter how humble, eventually…
    No matter how much a servant, eventually…

    They will “Exercise Authority” and try to “lord it over” God’s sheep.
    That’s always the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.”

    “Pastor/Reverends” = Exercise Authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    Kinda like when you tried to put me down with…
    “That is **the most ignorant reading** of the Bible I have ever heard.”

    Or, maybe that was a compliment? And I need to ask your forgiveness?
    Like when “The Corrupt Religious Leaders” called the
    “Disciples of Christ” ignorant and unlearned men in Acts 4:13…

    Acts 4:13
    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
    and perceived that they were *unlearned* and *ignorant men,*
    they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
    that they had been with Jesus.

    So, thank you for the compliment.

    I’m in agreement with David – The Lord is my Shepherd – Jesus…

  • Tom Hering

    Amos, you still haven’t convinced me that my church isn’t the place to find the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered. Sorry.

  • Tom Hering

    Amos, you still haven’t convinced me that my church isn’t the place to find the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered. Sorry.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    I think you either need a new Bible or need to read yours more carefully. It matters little what it is called as far as “church” goes but what is done there. 1 corinthians might be a place I’d start when looking for admonition that christians are to gather together to hear god’s word and participate in the sacraments.
    Again withe the Pastoral office” it matters little what the man holding this office is called. But it becomes apparent that men are called to do these things when one reads Titus, and first and second timothy 1 Cor. 4. And acts 14 :23, which blows even your first argument about churches up, and these elders are told to pastor or shepherd their flocks in 1 Peter chapter 5.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    I think you either need a new Bible or need to read yours more carefully. It matters little what it is called as far as “church” goes but what is done there. 1 corinthians might be a place I’d start when looking for admonition that christians are to gather together to hear god’s word and participate in the sacraments.
    Again withe the Pastoral office” it matters little what the man holding this office is called. But it becomes apparent that men are called to do these things when one reads Titus, and first and second timothy 1 Cor. 4. And acts 14 :23, which blows even your first argument about churches up, and these elders are told to pastor or shepherd their flocks in 1 Peter chapter 5.

  • Tom Hering

    “In the Bible … NO one ever joined ‘A Church.’ NO one ever went to ‘A Church.’ NO one ever ‘Tithed’ to ‘A Church.’ NO one ever brought their children to ‘A Church.’ NO one ever applied for membership in ‘A Church.’ NO one ever gave silver, gold, or money, to ‘A Church.’ NO buildings with steeples and crosses called ‘A Church.’ NO – Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews.” – Amos @ 67.

    In the Bible … NO one had a Bible. The New Testament canon, as we know it today, didn’t exist before the African Synod of Hippo convened in 393. So I guess the Bible is unbiblical.

  • Tom Hering

    “In the Bible … NO one ever joined ‘A Church.’ NO one ever went to ‘A Church.’ NO one ever ‘Tithed’ to ‘A Church.’ NO one ever brought their children to ‘A Church.’ NO one ever applied for membership in ‘A Church.’ NO one ever gave silver, gold, or money, to ‘A Church.’ NO buildings with steeples and crosses called ‘A Church.’ NO – Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews.” – Amos @ 67.

    In the Bible … NO one had a Bible. The New Testament canon, as we know it today, didn’t exist before the African Synod of Hippo convened in 393. So I guess the Bible is unbiblical.

  • Tom Hering

    I mean really, Amos, where do you get off correcting us – using a Bible that the Christians in the Bible didn’t use?

  • Tom Hering

    I mean really, Amos, where do you get off correcting us – using a Bible that the Christians in the Bible didn’t use?

  • Booklover

    A. Amos Love said, “Over the years I have been a part of a number of corrupt movements.”

    That would explain a lot of what you have written. When you have found a church in which the pastor is a shepherd and not spiritually abusive, and in which the people love you and realize that the whole congregation are sinners saved entirely by grace, and in which all focus is on the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; your search will all be worth it.

    May the Lord hasten that journey.

  • Booklover

    A. Amos Love said, “Over the years I have been a part of a number of corrupt movements.”

    That would explain a lot of what you have written. When you have found a church in which the pastor is a shepherd and not spiritually abusive, and in which the people love you and realize that the whole congregation are sinners saved entirely by grace, and in which all focus is on the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; your search will all be worth it.

    May the Lord hasten that journey.

  • Tom Hering

    If Booklover is right about your experience, Amos, I say “amen” to his hope for you.

  • Tom Hering

    If Booklover is right about your experience, Amos, I say “amen” to his hope for you.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    Booklover and Tom are right. I don’t knwo what your past experiences were, I imagine pretty bad. I hear horror stories about this sort of thing all the time.
    But there are churches that do a better job, and pastors that take their job seriously. (and sometimes get a bit defensive about it…)
    I think the thing is when you take your experiences and extrapolate that that is the way it is everywhere in every church with every pastor, well you paint with too large a brush.
    There is command to be church, there is command to gather together to celebrate the sacraments and hear God’s word preached, and therefore also to have a pastor.
    However, there is no command to go to a building where God’s word is not preached or it is twisted, or to subject yourself to tyranny under the guise of pastoral care. But that you have been subjected to that type of thing in the past does not give you permission to do the same in the opposite direction either.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    Booklover and Tom are right. I don’t knwo what your past experiences were, I imagine pretty bad. I hear horror stories about this sort of thing all the time.
    But there are churches that do a better job, and pastors that take their job seriously. (and sometimes get a bit defensive about it…)
    I think the thing is when you take your experiences and extrapolate that that is the way it is everywhere in every church with every pastor, well you paint with too large a brush.
    There is command to be church, there is command to gather together to celebrate the sacraments and hear God’s word preached, and therefore also to have a pastor.
    However, there is no command to go to a building where God’s word is not preached or it is twisted, or to subject yourself to tyranny under the guise of pastoral care. But that you have been subjected to that type of thing in the past does not give you permission to do the same in the opposite direction either.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    You write…
    “Amos, you still haven’t convinced me that my church isn’t the place to
    find the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”

    And I asked you…
    “How do you, Tom, determine, which 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible,
    Religious $ Corporation – has…
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”???

    I’m familiar with – Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, Russian Orthodox,
    Baptist, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Charismatic, Independent,
    Mega Congregations over 2,000, And small congregations 25 – 50.

    And they ALL administer *the so called* sacraments differently.
    And believe differently about *the so called* sacraments. Oy Vey!!!
    So Tom, help, which one “rightly” administers “the so called” sacrements?

    All say they are “rightly” dividing the word of truth – “The Word of God.”
    ALL disagree about something and preach against the others beliefs.
    And most fail to teach what Jesus taught. They shall be ALL taught of God.
    ALL rely on their different “Traditions of Men” that nullify ‘God’s Word.’
    And, when you disagree about the tradition most just ask you to leave.
    So Tom, help, which one has… “the Word rightly preached.”

    So Tom, How do you know the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible,
    Religious $ Corporation, you support, $$$, on sunday mornings has
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered?”

    So Tom, you seem to mock the use of the Bible to figure this all out.
    If the Bible is not our standard, or a guide? – What do you recommend?
    And, which church (Religious $ Corporation) would you recommend?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    You write…
    “Amos, you still haven’t convinced me that my church isn’t the place to
    find the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”

    And I asked you…
    “How do you, Tom, determine, which 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible,
    Religious $ Corporation – has…
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”???

    I’m familiar with – Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, Russian Orthodox,
    Baptist, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Charismatic, Independent,
    Mega Congregations over 2,000, And small congregations 25 – 50.

    And they ALL administer *the so called* sacraments differently.
    And believe differently about *the so called* sacraments. Oy Vey!!!
    So Tom, help, which one “rightly” administers “the so called” sacrements?

    All say they are “rightly” dividing the word of truth – “The Word of God.”
    ALL disagree about something and preach against the others beliefs.
    And most fail to teach what Jesus taught. They shall be ALL taught of God.
    ALL rely on their different “Traditions of Men” that nullify ‘God’s Word.’
    And, when you disagree about the tradition most just ask you to leave.
    So Tom, help, which one has… “the Word rightly preached.”

    So Tom, How do you know the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible,
    Religious $ Corporation, you support, $$$, on sunday mornings has
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered?”

    So Tom, you seem to mock the use of the Bible to figure this all out.
    If the Bible is not our standard, or a guide? – What do you recommend?
    And, which church (Religious $ Corporation) would you recommend?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    You write…
    “elders are told to pastor or shepherd *their flocks* in 1 Peter chapter 5.

    Your example, 1 Pet 5:1-7, “pastor/shepherd” is a verb, to feed, an action.
    NOT a”Title” or an ”Office.” NOT an elder who has a “Title” “Pastor.”

    And it’s NOT “their flocks,” elders are to feed “The flock of God. ;-)

    1 Pet 5:1-3 KJV
    1 – The elders which are among you I exhort… (among you – NOT over)
    2 – Feed (some versions use shepherd) the flock of God among you,
    taking the **oversight thereof, (**look after, care for) not by constraint,
    but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    3 – Neither as being **lords over God’s heritage,**
    but being **ensamples to the flock.**

    I really like v 5 where elders are to *submit* to non-elders. Don’t you?

    5 – Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
    Yea, “ALL” of you **be subject one to another,**…

    *Subject* is the same Greek word as *submit.*

    Submit, Subject, both are Strongs #5293 hupotasso.

    KJV – put under 6, be subject unto 6, be subject to 5,
    submit (one’s) self unto 5, submit (one’s) self to 3, be in subjection unto 2,

    Strongs – to subordinate, to obey, be under obedience. (one to another)

    Thayer’s – to arrange under, to subordinate, to subject one’s self, obey,
    …….. to submit to one’s control, to yield to one’s admonition or advice.

    In my experience with “Pastors/Reverends/Elders”…
    They seem to have a real hard time with submiting to a non-elder. ;-)
    Lot’s of teaching about how to “obey” the “Pastor/Reverend” and elders.
    But, NOT much teaching about submiting to one another. Hmmm?

    In my experience…
    “Titles” become “Idols’
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror

    You write…
    “elders are told to pastor or shepherd *their flocks* in 1 Peter chapter 5.

    Your example, 1 Pet 5:1-7, “pastor/shepherd” is a verb, to feed, an action.
    NOT a”Title” or an ”Office.” NOT an elder who has a “Title” “Pastor.”

    And it’s NOT “their flocks,” elders are to feed “The flock of God. ;-)

    1 Pet 5:1-3 KJV
    1 – The elders which are among you I exhort… (among you – NOT over)
    2 – Feed (some versions use shepherd) the flock of God among you,
    taking the **oversight thereof, (**look after, care for) not by constraint,
    but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    3 – Neither as being **lords over God’s heritage,**
    but being **ensamples to the flock.**

    I really like v 5 where elders are to *submit* to non-elders. Don’t you?

    5 – Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
    Yea, “ALL” of you **be subject one to another,**…

    *Subject* is the same Greek word as *submit.*

    Submit, Subject, both are Strongs #5293 hupotasso.

    KJV – put under 6, be subject unto 6, be subject to 5,
    submit (one’s) self unto 5, submit (one’s) self to 3, be in subjection unto 2,

    Strongs – to subordinate, to obey, be under obedience. (one to another)

    Thayer’s – to arrange under, to subordinate, to subject one’s self, obey,
    …….. to submit to one’s control, to yield to one’s admonition or advice.

    In my experience with “Pastors/Reverends/Elders”…
    They seem to have a real hard time with submiting to a non-elder. ;-)
    Lot’s of teaching about how to “obey” the “Pastor/Reverend” and elders.
    But, NOT much teaching about submiting to one another. Hmmm?

    In my experience…
    “Titles” become “Idols’
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

  • Tom Hering

    Well, Amos, okay. All these different churches divide the word of God differently and administer the Sacraments differently. Now let’s add you to that list – you who understand the Bible and Baptism and the Lord’s Supper differently. How do you know you’re right? Hmm? How do you know?

  • Tom Hering

    Well, Amos, okay. All these different churches divide the word of God differently and administer the Sacraments differently. Now let’s add you to that list – you who understand the Bible and Baptism and the Lord’s Supper differently. How do you know you’re right? Hmm? How do you know?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror – You write… “elders are told to pastor.”

    Didn’t Paul give some tough **qualifications** to recognize a true “elder?”

    Yes, the Bible talks about “elders and overseers.”
    And **qualifications** for “elders and overseers.”

    You can’t have one with out the other – can you?

    The first **qualification** for “elder/overseer” is * Must Be* **Blameless**

    1 – A bishop (overseer) then *must be* **blameless**… 1 Tim 3:2
    2 – For a bishop (overseer) *must be* **blameless**… Titus 1:7

    **Hmmm? “Elders/Overseers” *Must Be*…

    That *must be* is the same Greek word as: …
    You *must be* born again. John 3:17.
    Seems to be a small word – but very important. Yes?

    *Must Be* is Strongs #1163, die. – It is necessary (as binding).
    Thayer’s – necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.

    “elders/overseers, *must be.* Hmmm? Very important or…?

    **Hmmm? **Blameless**… How important is this word?

    Strongs #423 – anepileptos – inculpable, blameless, unrebukeable.
    Thayer’s – that cannot be reprehended, rebukable, reprovable,
    cannot find fault, not open to censure, irreproachable.

    Dictionary – Without fault; innocent; guiltless; not meriting censure.
    Synonyms – faultless, guiltless, innocent, irreproachable, spotless.

    1 Tim 3:2 ASV – The “bishop” therefore *must be* without reproach…
    1 Tim 3:2 NIV – Now the “overseer” *must be* above reproach…
    NLT – For an “elder” *must be* a man whose life cannot be spoken against.

    How many, who honestly examine themselves,
    seriously considering this one **qualification,** (*Must Be* **Blameless,**)
    can see themselves as **Blameless,** without fault, above reproach,
    and thus qualify to be an “elder/overseer/pastor/reverend?”

    And if you can see yourself as **blameless:**
    Is that pride? And no longer without fault?

    The Bible talks about “elders/overseers.”
    And **qualifications** for “elders/overseers.” (*Must Be* **Blameless,**)

    Can you have one without the other? Hmmm?

    This is only one of many tough qualifications.
    And there are tough **qualifications** for the children also.

    Ever meet anyone, with their children, who fulfills ALL the qualifications?

    I’m Blest – I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror – You write… “elders are told to pastor.”

    Didn’t Paul give some tough **qualifications** to recognize a true “elder?”

    Yes, the Bible talks about “elders and overseers.”
    And **qualifications** for “elders and overseers.”

    You can’t have one with out the other – can you?

    The first **qualification** for “elder/overseer” is * Must Be* **Blameless**

    1 – A bishop (overseer) then *must be* **blameless**… 1 Tim 3:2
    2 – For a bishop (overseer) *must be* **blameless**… Titus 1:7

    **Hmmm? “Elders/Overseers” *Must Be*…

    That *must be* is the same Greek word as: …
    You *must be* born again. John 3:17.
    Seems to be a small word – but very important. Yes?

    *Must Be* is Strongs #1163, die. – It is necessary (as binding).
    Thayer’s – necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.

    “elders/overseers, *must be.* Hmmm? Very important or…?

    **Hmmm? **Blameless**… How important is this word?

    Strongs #423 – anepileptos – inculpable, blameless, unrebukeable.
    Thayer’s – that cannot be reprehended, rebukable, reprovable,
    cannot find fault, not open to censure, irreproachable.

    Dictionary – Without fault; innocent; guiltless; not meriting censure.
    Synonyms – faultless, guiltless, innocent, irreproachable, spotless.

    1 Tim 3:2 ASV – The “bishop” therefore *must be* without reproach…
    1 Tim 3:2 NIV – Now the “overseer” *must be* above reproach…
    NLT – For an “elder” *must be* a man whose life cannot be spoken against.

    How many, who honestly examine themselves,
    seriously considering this one **qualification,** (*Must Be* **Blameless,**)
    can see themselves as **Blameless,** without fault, above reproach,
    and thus qualify to be an “elder/overseer/pastor/reverend?”

    And if you can see yourself as **blameless:**
    Is that pride? And no longer without fault?

    The Bible talks about “elders/overseers.”
    And **qualifications** for “elders/overseers.” (*Must Be* **Blameless,**)

    Can you have one without the other? Hmmm?

    This is only one of many tough qualifications.
    And there are tough **qualifications** for the children also.

    Ever meet anyone, with their children, who fulfills ALL the qualifications?

    I’m Blest – I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom

    No fair… I asked you first…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom

    No fair… I asked you first…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    And Tom

    Maybe you can help… No one wants to answer these questions…

    In the Bible, How many people are… “called” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the ”Title” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… “ordained” as a Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a Pastor/Reverend?

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    And Tom

    Maybe you can help… No one wants to answer these questions…

    In the Bible, How many people are… “called” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the ”Title” Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… “ordained” as a Pastor/Reverend?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a Pastor/Reverend?

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  • Tom Hering

    Amos @ 86, I’m being perfectly fair in asking you questions, as you’re the one making assertions. If you’re going to claim you’re right and others are wrong, you’re going to have to defend yourself. Or be dismissed as a crank. So man up, mister, and show us what you’ve got. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    Amos @ 86, I’m being perfectly fair in asking you questions, as you’re the one making assertions. If you’re going to claim you’re right and others are wrong, you’re going to have to defend yourself. Or be dismissed as a crank. So man up, mister, and show us what you’ve got. ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    Gee, and I thought I defended my assertions. My fingers hurt. :-)

    Didn’t you re-read “ALL” the comments? Maybe you should? ;-)

    But you haven’t defended your assertions when you say at “My Church,”
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”

    I asked you how do you know? What’s your evidence? From the Bible?
    Are you Berean? More noble? Checking the scriptures? Acts 17:10-11
    I really would like to know – How you know?

    That “Your” church has the Word “rightly” preached?
    That “Your” church has the Sacraments rightly administered?

    Did a human give you that information? Or did it come from Jesus?

    Jesus said in John 6:45.
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be “ALL” taught of God.

    If you re-read the comments you’ll see “right or wrong” never mentioned.

    What is pointed out is… What is challenged is…
    “Traditions of Men” making “void” God’s Word. Mark 7:13
    “Traditions of Men” that many believers accept and do NOT question.
    “Traditions of Men” NOT found in the Bible, taught and practiced.
    And what is “in the Bible” is often – overlooked, avoided, twisted. :-(

    Haven’t you ever wondered why, in the Bible, NOT one person ever
    went to church? or joined a church? Or brought their children to church?

    Haven’t you ever wondered why, in the Bible, there is NOT one person,
    with the “Title” and “Position” of *Today’s* “Pastor/Reverend/Elder?”

    Jesus said we’re all brethren. NO special class of christian called “Clergy?”

    Haven’t you ever wondered why, in the Bible, there are very tough
    “qualifications” to be appointed as an “Elder/Overser?” And today
    those “qualifications” are – overlooked, avoided, twisted? :-(

    I’ll do my best to defend my assertions.
    And I know you’ll do your best. Thank you Jesus…

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    Gee, and I thought I defended my assertions. My fingers hurt. :-)

    Didn’t you re-read “ALL” the comments? Maybe you should? ;-)

    But you haven’t defended your assertions when you say at “My Church,”
    “the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.”

    I asked you how do you know? What’s your evidence? From the Bible?
    Are you Berean? More noble? Checking the scriptures? Acts 17:10-11
    I really would like to know – How you know?

    That “Your” church has the Word “rightly” preached?
    That “Your” church has the Sacraments rightly administered?

    Did a human give you that information? Or did it come from Jesus?

    Jesus said in John 6:45.
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be “ALL” taught of God.

    If you re-read the comments you’ll see “right or wrong” never mentioned.

    What is pointed out is… What is challenged is…
    “Traditions of Men” making “void” God’s Word. Mark 7:13
    “Traditions of Men” that many believers accept and do NOT question.
    “Traditions of Men” NOT found in the Bible, taught and practiced.
    And what is “in the Bible” is often – overlooked, avoided, twisted. :-(

    Haven’t you ever wondered why, in the Bible, NOT one person ever
    went to church? or joined a church? Or brought their children to church?

    Haven’t you ever wondered why, in the Bible, there is NOT one person,
    with the “Title” and “Position” of *Today’s* “Pastor/Reverend/Elder?”

    Jesus said we’re all brethren. NO special class of christian called “Clergy?”

    Haven’t you ever wondered why, in the Bible, there are very tough
    “qualifications” to be appointed as an “Elder/Overser?” And today
    those “qualifications” are – overlooked, avoided, twisted? :-(

    I’ll do my best to defend my assertions.
    And I know you’ll do your best. Thank you Jesus…

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    Which is it there aren’t supposed to be elders pastoring the flock? or in your humblest of opinions there isn’t anyone worthy enough to do it.
    You see normally I feel kind of sorry for guys like you that have been put through a ringer of legalism. I don’t doubt that your experience in “corrupt” movements and with “pastors?” has been any less than terrible. But that is a two way street. And I’m beginning to think based on your troll like behavior here that their experience with you wasn’t so great either. By the way, You experience isn’t definitive. God’s word is. Your experience doesn’t over ride it.
    The fact is there are men qualified to be pastors and who go out of their way to be good pastors. And they are blameless, as all Christians are blameless in Christ. But you can go and have your Jesus, made in your image, I don’t want to have anything to do with him.
    Myself I think I’m going to go find another pastor, and hear the words of Christ through him, if I can make it through the snow.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    Which is it there aren’t supposed to be elders pastoring the flock? or in your humblest of opinions there isn’t anyone worthy enough to do it.
    You see normally I feel kind of sorry for guys like you that have been put through a ringer of legalism. I don’t doubt that your experience in “corrupt” movements and with “pastors?” has been any less than terrible. But that is a two way street. And I’m beginning to think based on your troll like behavior here that their experience with you wasn’t so great either. By the way, You experience isn’t definitive. God’s word is. Your experience doesn’t over ride it.
    The fact is there are men qualified to be pastors and who go out of their way to be good pastors. And they are blameless, as all Christians are blameless in Christ. But you can go and have your Jesus, made in your image, I don’t want to have anything to do with him.
    Myself I think I’m going to go find another pastor, and hear the words of Christ through him, if I can make it through the snow.

  • Tom Hering

    Amos, is that the best you’ve got? Repeating the same assertions, in the same way, over and over again?

    Well, let me repeat myself, too. The Bible is your standard, right? Very good. It should be. But how was the Bible given to us? Did it it drop from the sky? Or was it – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – assembled by the Church, and put into its final form by the Church, 393 years after the birth of Christ? How then can the Church be unbiblical?

    I await your response, though I know you’re just going to re-list all your assertions. Wake me up when it’s my turn again. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    Amos, is that the best you’ve got? Repeating the same assertions, in the same way, over and over again?

    Well, let me repeat myself, too. The Bible is your standard, right? Very good. It should be. But how was the Bible given to us? Did it it drop from the sky? Or was it – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – assembled by the Church, and put into its final form by the Church, 393 years after the birth of Christ? How then can the Church be unbiblical?

    I await your response, though I know you’re just going to re-list all your assertions. Wake me up when it’s my turn again. ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Booklover

    Thankyou for the kind words and thoughts. Much Appreciated.

    Yes, I left “The Abusive Religious System” awhile ago…
    thru much pain, tears, and “Spiritual Abuse.”

    But, Jesus always has a higher way. ALL does work together for good.
    The “Spiritual Abuse” caused me to ask different questions of Jesus.
    And to question “the System” that promotes, and creates the “Abuse.”
    NOT the people that are in “Bondage” to “The Traditions of Men.”

    I was there. I was ordained, I was in “Leadership,” I “exerised authority”
    like the gentiles and “lorded it over God’s heritage.” Oy Vey!!! :-(
    “Spiritual Abuse”is rampant in the 501 (c) 3, Religious Corporations.

    I have seen the dangers of “Titles,” of “Pastors,” and of “leaders.”
    “Spiritual Abuse” for both the “leader” and those “being led.”

    I’m not not new to “ministering healing” to those who
    have been “Spiritually abused” by “Pastor/Leaders.”

    Folks who’ve been *burnt,* * burnt out,* *kicked out,*
    or *crawled out* of “the corrupt religious system.”
    With it’s leaders, submission to authority, tithes and offerings,
    and other unbiblical “heavy weights” put on folks shoulders.

    I also spend a fair amount of time with “pastors,”“so called leaders,”
    who can’t do it anymore. “Pastor Burnout” is also rampant today.

    50% of new pastors leave the ministry in five years. Oy Vey!!! :-(
    80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. :-(
    77% say they do “not” have a good marriage. :-(

    Trying to please the denominational leaders,
    the congregation, and it’s leaders, their family,
    and of course Jesus.
    Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

    So many masters, that’s tough; Yes?

    Preaching every week… and it better be good, being the CEO,
    the team leader, counciling, marrying, burying, smiley face. etc. etc.

    Is any of that in the Bible? No wonder the system is NOT working.

    When they realize that the “Position” “Pastor/Reverend/Leader”
    is not in the Bible – the healing begins.

    They return to the Shepherd and Bishop of their soul… Jesus…
    And Jesus heals the broken hearted…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Booklover

    Thankyou for the kind words and thoughts. Much Appreciated.

    Yes, I left “The Abusive Religious System” awhile ago…
    thru much pain, tears, and “Spiritual Abuse.”

    But, Jesus always has a higher way. ALL does work together for good.
    The “Spiritual Abuse” caused me to ask different questions of Jesus.
    And to question “the System” that promotes, and creates the “Abuse.”
    NOT the people that are in “Bondage” to “The Traditions of Men.”

    I was there. I was ordained, I was in “Leadership,” I “exerised authority”
    like the gentiles and “lorded it over God’s heritage.” Oy Vey!!! :-(
    “Spiritual Abuse”is rampant in the 501 (c) 3, Religious Corporations.

    I have seen the dangers of “Titles,” of “Pastors,” and of “leaders.”
    “Spiritual Abuse” for both the “leader” and those “being led.”

    I’m not not new to “ministering healing” to those who
    have been “Spiritually abused” by “Pastor/Leaders.”

    Folks who’ve been *burnt,* * burnt out,* *kicked out,*
    or *crawled out* of “the corrupt religious system.”
    With it’s leaders, submission to authority, tithes and offerings,
    and other unbiblical “heavy weights” put on folks shoulders.

    I also spend a fair amount of time with “pastors,”“so called leaders,”
    who can’t do it anymore. “Pastor Burnout” is also rampant today.

    50% of new pastors leave the ministry in five years. Oy Vey!!! :-(
    80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. :-(
    77% say they do “not” have a good marriage. :-(

    Trying to please the denominational leaders,
    the congregation, and it’s leaders, their family,
    and of course Jesus.
    Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

    So many masters, that’s tough; Yes?

    Preaching every week… and it better be good, being the CEO,
    the team leader, counciling, marrying, burying, smiley face. etc. etc.

    Is any of that in the Bible? No wonder the system is NOT working.

    When they realize that the “Position” “Pastor/Reverend/Leader”
    is not in the Bible – the healing begins.

    They return to the Shepherd and Bishop of their soul… Jesus…
    And Jesus heals the broken hearted…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Booklover

    How about if a definition of “Abuse” is given?

    1- treat a person with cruelty or violence. Physical or emotional.
    …. treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm. Call someone names.

    Sometimes “Spiritual Abuse” is outright ugly. Google “Spiritual Abuse.”
    In this case, often, the “Abused” defends the “Abuser.” I did… :-(
    Thought I deserved it… was told I was rebelious… to submit to authority…
    Not to touch the head of “God Ordained Authority”…

    But many times “Abuse” is subtle, not noticed until pointed out.
    If the “Abuse” is subtle, is constant, over a long period of time,
    passed on from one generation to another,
    people don’t know it as “Abuse.” Yes?

    Abuse also means…
    2 – use (something) to bad effect, misuse.

    Hmmm? Bad effect? Misuse? Subtile? Generations?

    No one in the Bible had the “Title” Pastor. “Title” Reverend.
    What does that do to people after generations of thinking that’s okay?

    Oh yea, Jesus warned us about “The Traditions of Men.”
    Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition…
    Mark 7:13

    So by calling someone pastor when NOT one person in the Bible
    had the “Title” pastor could make the word of God of *none effect.*

    Now that’s the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse” to me.

    In the Bible, there are no spectators watching
    Pastors – in pulpits – preaching – to people – in pews.

    In the Bible everyone participates.
    Everyone has a living Christ within. Everyone can receive revelation.
    Everyone can hear “the Voice” of the shepherd and teach

    1Co 14:26
    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
    every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
    hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.
    Let all things be done unto edifying.

    By not allowing “The Body of Christ” to participate under
    the leadership of Jesus whenever you come together…

    There is a “Bad Effect” and “Misuse” of the gifts
    that God wants to work through in every believer.

    Today, they mostly sit in the pew becoming spectators.

    It’s like locking up a child in a closet.
    They get no exercise. (using spiritual gifts)
    They get no light. (revelation directly from Jesus)

    Now that’s “Abuse” to me.

    People now think it’s the pastors job to teach.

    Jesus told “His Disciples” Not to be called Rabbi, teacher,
    for you have one master the Christ. Mat 23:8.

    Jesus taught “His disciples” then and He does so now.

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice,
    that “He might instruct thee:”

    Psalms 32:8
    I will “instruct thee” and “teach thee”
    in the way which thou shalt go: I will “guide thee” with mine eye.

    By not telling people that Jesus will teach you ALL truth,
    they look to man. How has that worked for 1700 years. Oy Vey!

    Now that’s “Abuse” to me.

    Jesus loves me and forgives me all my sins.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Booklover

    How about if a definition of “Abuse” is given?

    1- treat a person with cruelty or violence. Physical or emotional.
    …. treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm. Call someone names.

    Sometimes “Spiritual Abuse” is outright ugly. Google “Spiritual Abuse.”
    In this case, often, the “Abused” defends the “Abuser.” I did… :-(
    Thought I deserved it… was told I was rebelious… to submit to authority…
    Not to touch the head of “God Ordained Authority”…

    But many times “Abuse” is subtle, not noticed until pointed out.
    If the “Abuse” is subtle, is constant, over a long period of time,
    passed on from one generation to another,
    people don’t know it as “Abuse.” Yes?

    Abuse also means…
    2 – use (something) to bad effect, misuse.

    Hmmm? Bad effect? Misuse? Subtile? Generations?

    No one in the Bible had the “Title” Pastor. “Title” Reverend.
    What does that do to people after generations of thinking that’s okay?

    Oh yea, Jesus warned us about “The Traditions of Men.”
    Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition…
    Mark 7:13

    So by calling someone pastor when NOT one person in the Bible
    had the “Title” pastor could make the word of God of *none effect.*

    Now that’s the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse” to me.

    In the Bible, there are no spectators watching
    Pastors – in pulpits – preaching – to people – in pews.

    In the Bible everyone participates.
    Everyone has a living Christ within. Everyone can receive revelation.
    Everyone can hear “the Voice” of the shepherd and teach

    1Co 14:26
    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
    every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
    hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.
    Let all things be done unto edifying.

    By not allowing “The Body of Christ” to participate under
    the leadership of Jesus whenever you come together…

    There is a “Bad Effect” and “Misuse” of the gifts
    that God wants to work through in every believer.

    Today, they mostly sit in the pew becoming spectators.

    It’s like locking up a child in a closet.
    They get no exercise. (using spiritual gifts)
    They get no light. (revelation directly from Jesus)

    Now that’s “Abuse” to me.

    People now think it’s the pastors job to teach.

    Jesus told “His Disciples” Not to be called Rabbi, teacher,
    for you have one master the Christ. Mat 23:8.

    Jesus taught “His disciples” then and He does so now.

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice,
    that “He might instruct thee:”

    Psalms 32:8
    I will “instruct thee” and “teach thee”
    in the way which thou shalt go: I will “guide thee” with mine eye.

    By not telling people that Jesus will teach you ALL truth,
    they look to man. How has that worked for 1700 years. Oy Vey!

    Now that’s “Abuse” to me.

    Jesus loves me and forgives me all my sins.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, I’m really having a hard time understanding what, exactly your complaint is. It kind of seems like you’re honestly just complaining about the use of the English word “pastor” to refer to certain people. And “church” to refer to certain organizations. And a bunch of other specific words. Which … well, sorry, makes no sense.

    I mean, am I to understand that everything would be better (for you) if those leading congregations just didn’t call themselves, or others didn’t call them, “pastor”? Or if Christians meeting together didn’t call such meetings “church”? I hope not, because that’s to boil this all down to semantics, without addressing any underlying issues.

    But to the point you seem to be harping on most, yes, the word “pastor” is found in the Bible, and yes it is applied to common men. Of course, to realize that, you’d have to know what “pastor” means (it might help if you like eating at taquerias). It means “shepherd”. Is that word ever used in the Bible? Yes! Is it applied to people who aren’t literal shepherds? Yes! Is it applied to people other than Jesus? Yes!

    After all, what does Paul say in Acts 20 in his farewell to the Ephesians?

    I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

    Huh. He tells the “elders of the church” to be shepherds — pastors! — and overseers. Sounds like there’s authority going on there! They are to protect their flock, too! And yes, Paul warns that some “shepherds” will distort the truth and lead their flocks astray. But it is clear that not all so-called “shepherds” will do that — thus his exhortation to the elders, the shepherds, the pastors.

    And what did Peter say “to the elders among you” in 1 Peter 5?

    To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders.

    Huh. God “wants them to be” shepherds — pastors! And he wants the younger people in the flock to “submit” to these elders, these pastors!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, I’m really having a hard time understanding what, exactly your complaint is. It kind of seems like you’re honestly just complaining about the use of the English word “pastor” to refer to certain people. And “church” to refer to certain organizations. And a bunch of other specific words. Which … well, sorry, makes no sense.

    I mean, am I to understand that everything would be better (for you) if those leading congregations just didn’t call themselves, or others didn’t call them, “pastor”? Or if Christians meeting together didn’t call such meetings “church”? I hope not, because that’s to boil this all down to semantics, without addressing any underlying issues.

    But to the point you seem to be harping on most, yes, the word “pastor” is found in the Bible, and yes it is applied to common men. Of course, to realize that, you’d have to know what “pastor” means (it might help if you like eating at taquerias). It means “shepherd”. Is that word ever used in the Bible? Yes! Is it applied to people who aren’t literal shepherds? Yes! Is it applied to people other than Jesus? Yes!

    After all, what does Paul say in Acts 20 in his farewell to the Ephesians?

    I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

    Huh. He tells the “elders of the church” to be shepherds — pastors! — and overseers. Sounds like there’s authority going on there! They are to protect their flock, too! And yes, Paul warns that some “shepherds” will distort the truth and lead their flocks astray. But it is clear that not all so-called “shepherds” will do that — thus his exhortation to the elders, the shepherds, the pastors.

    And what did Peter say “to the elders among you” in 1 Peter 5?

    To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders.

    Huh. God “wants them to be” shepherds — pastors! And he wants the younger people in the flock to “submit” to these elders, these pastors!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, as to your complaints about “a church”, again, for someone urging us all towards Bible-based truth, your statements do not appear to jive with, well, the Bible.

    You say, “NO one ever went to ‘A Church.’” But in Hebrews 10, we hear the exhortation, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

    You say, “NO one ever gave silver, gold, or money, to ‘A Church.’” But in 1 Corinthians 16, Paul exhorts them:

    Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

    So, as I read your comments, you seem misinformed when it comes to what the Bible actually says. Now, I’m interested to know how you read the above Bible passages (and the ones in my previous comment), because I have to assume you’re familiar with them, and yet, there are your comments. Which seem to contradict the Bible. I have to assume that I’m misunderstanding your actual issue. Is it really all about what labels we apply to certain people or groups of people?

    I mean, if my fellow Christians and I meet together, who cares what label we use? Isn’t the point that we meet together, baptizing and teaching everything Jesus commanded, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, meditating on God’s Word and delighting in it, encouraging each other? And so on? But you seem surprisingly antagonistic towards our doing just that. Why?

    I did find this series of questions from you interesting, however: “Did Jesus shed ‘His Blood’ for – An organization? An institution? A building? A denomination? Or a $ Corporation?” Trick question! He shed it for the sins of the whole world!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, as to your complaints about “a church”, again, for someone urging us all towards Bible-based truth, your statements do not appear to jive with, well, the Bible.

    You say, “NO one ever went to ‘A Church.’” But in Hebrews 10, we hear the exhortation, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

    You say, “NO one ever gave silver, gold, or money, to ‘A Church.’” But in 1 Corinthians 16, Paul exhorts them:

    Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

    So, as I read your comments, you seem misinformed when it comes to what the Bible actually says. Now, I’m interested to know how you read the above Bible passages (and the ones in my previous comment), because I have to assume you’re familiar with them, and yet, there are your comments. Which seem to contradict the Bible. I have to assume that I’m misunderstanding your actual issue. Is it really all about what labels we apply to certain people or groups of people?

    I mean, if my fellow Christians and I meet together, who cares what label we use? Isn’t the point that we meet together, baptizing and teaching everything Jesus commanded, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, meditating on God’s Word and delighting in it, encouraging each other? And so on? But you seem surprisingly antagonistic towards our doing just that. Why?

    I did find this series of questions from you interesting, however: “Did Jesus shed ‘His Blood’ for – An organization? An institution? A building? A denomination? Or a $ Corporation?” Trick question! He shed it for the sins of the whole world!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, you must also realize the apparent hypocrisy in complaining about “pastors” who “lord it over” others (which equals “abuse” “always”, according to you @74). Yes?

    I mean, here you are, telling us all we’re wrong. The very thing you complain about when pastors do it to you, apparently. And where do you claim the authority to teach and correct us? On what basis? And why is your authority any better than my pastor’s? Especially given that my pastor(s) trained me well enough in the Bible to quickly find the Biblical passages that gainsain your apparent points. If anything, they would appear to have authority (over and against your teaching, at least) simply by virtue of their knowledge and understanding of Scripture.

    And then there is this argument from you, which I have heard many times from others, not that it makes any more sense to me:

    I’m familiar with – Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Charismatic, Independent, Mega Congregations over 2,000, And small congregations 25 – 50. And they ALL administer *the so called* sacraments differently. And believe differently about *the so called* sacraments. Oy Vey!!! So Tom, help, which one “rightly” administers “the so called” sacrements?

    First of all, regardless of what we call them (“sacrament” is just a helpful label we use to refer to baptism and the Lord’s Supper), these things are clearly found in the Bible, with clear teachings for each of them.

    But since when does the fact that people disagree about something mean that everyone is therefore wrong? People disagree about the divinity of Jesus. Should we therefore stop teaching about that? Throw up our hands and say, “We can’t know?” Or should we just join your new church, your new denomination, whatever it is (though, doubtless, you won’t let us call it anything, or else then you’d be evil by your own argument)?

    Anyhow, how can you tell which church rightly administers the sacraments? I don’t know, maybe try comparing people’s teaching to Scripture? Think that might work? Might even help you figure out whether the Christians you’re meeting with (ssh, don’t call it a “church”!) are actually teaching everything Jesus taught his disciples. You think?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, you must also realize the apparent hypocrisy in complaining about “pastors” who “lord it over” others (which equals “abuse” “always”, according to you @74). Yes?

    I mean, here you are, telling us all we’re wrong. The very thing you complain about when pastors do it to you, apparently. And where do you claim the authority to teach and correct us? On what basis? And why is your authority any better than my pastor’s? Especially given that my pastor(s) trained me well enough in the Bible to quickly find the Biblical passages that gainsain your apparent points. If anything, they would appear to have authority (over and against your teaching, at least) simply by virtue of their knowledge and understanding of Scripture.

    And then there is this argument from you, which I have heard many times from others, not that it makes any more sense to me:

    I’m familiar with – Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Charismatic, Independent, Mega Congregations over 2,000, And small congregations 25 – 50. And they ALL administer *the so called* sacraments differently. And believe differently about *the so called* sacraments. Oy Vey!!! So Tom, help, which one “rightly” administers “the so called” sacrements?

    First of all, regardless of what we call them (“sacrament” is just a helpful label we use to refer to baptism and the Lord’s Supper), these things are clearly found in the Bible, with clear teachings for each of them.

    But since when does the fact that people disagree about something mean that everyone is therefore wrong? People disagree about the divinity of Jesus. Should we therefore stop teaching about that? Throw up our hands and say, “We can’t know?” Or should we just join your new church, your new denomination, whatever it is (though, doubtless, you won’t let us call it anything, or else then you’d be evil by your own argument)?

    Anyhow, how can you tell which church rightly administers the sacraments? I don’t know, maybe try comparing people’s teaching to Scripture? Think that might work? Might even help you figure out whether the Christians you’re meeting with (ssh, don’t call it a “church”!) are actually teaching everything Jesus taught his disciples. You think?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, looking over the discussion I’m replying to as I go, I see that some of my points have already been made by others (sorry, I’ve been sick or I would have replied sooner). I still don’t get your points, though, Amos.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, looking over the discussion I’m replying to as I go, I see that some of my points have already been made by others (sorry, I’ve been sick or I would have replied sooner). I still don’t get your points, though, Amos.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    As to your reasoning, Amos (@85), about “elders” needing to be “blameless”, again, it doesn’t make sense. The way you appear to be reading it, no one could possibly qualify to be an “elder”, because no one is truly “blameless”. And yet, it is clear from Scripture (including passages I quoted earlier) that there were elders who nonetheless qualified. How is that? Were those people sinless? Or what? How do you explain the presence of elders in Scripture? For that matter, how do you explain Scripture’s rather lengthy discussions on qualifications for “elders” if nobody could possibly meet them? For that matter, what do you make of the the priesthood system, established by God, in Israel?

    I also find it a little odd being asked “Did a human give you that information? Or did it come from Jesus?” by a man making constant reference to the works of Strong and Thayer. Are you basing your arguments on the testimony of men or of God, Amos? Or is it okay for us to learn from other men about what God has explained in his Word? Judging by your actions, it would seem okay. Judging by your words to Tom (@89), not so much.

    I was sorry to hear (@92) that you “left ‘The Abusive Religious System’ awhile ago … thru much pain, tears, and ‘Spiritual Abuse.’” But where are you now, and why is it free from spiritual “abuse”, or error? And why is it not a church or denominiation? Because you say so? Who teaches in your gatherings, and how does anyone correct another person when he goes against Scripture?

    “‘Spiritual Abuse’ is rampant in the 501(c)3, Religious Corporations.” Perhaps so. But it is certainly rampant outside of them as well. So what’s the solution?

    “In the Bible, there are no spectators watching Pastors – in pulpits – preaching – to people – in pews.” So you’re arguing that no one preached to a group of gathered people in the Bible? And you’re trying to educate us on what’s in the Bible? That’s going to be a hard sell.

    “Everyone can receive revelation.” And what does that mean, specifically, to you? And what does one do if someone else’s proclaimed “revelation” contradicts God’s Word?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    As to your reasoning, Amos (@85), about “elders” needing to be “blameless”, again, it doesn’t make sense. The way you appear to be reading it, no one could possibly qualify to be an “elder”, because no one is truly “blameless”. And yet, it is clear from Scripture (including passages I quoted earlier) that there were elders who nonetheless qualified. How is that? Were those people sinless? Or what? How do you explain the presence of elders in Scripture? For that matter, how do you explain Scripture’s rather lengthy discussions on qualifications for “elders” if nobody could possibly meet them? For that matter, what do you make of the the priesthood system, established by God, in Israel?

    I also find it a little odd being asked “Did a human give you that information? Or did it come from Jesus?” by a man making constant reference to the works of Strong and Thayer. Are you basing your arguments on the testimony of men or of God, Amos? Or is it okay for us to learn from other men about what God has explained in his Word? Judging by your actions, it would seem okay. Judging by your words to Tom (@89), not so much.

    I was sorry to hear (@92) that you “left ‘The Abusive Religious System’ awhile ago … thru much pain, tears, and ‘Spiritual Abuse.’” But where are you now, and why is it free from spiritual “abuse”, or error? And why is it not a church or denominiation? Because you say so? Who teaches in your gatherings, and how does anyone correct another person when he goes against Scripture?

    “‘Spiritual Abuse’ is rampant in the 501(c)3, Religious Corporations.” Perhaps so. But it is certainly rampant outside of them as well. So what’s the solution?

    “In the Bible, there are no spectators watching Pastors – in pulpits – preaching – to people – in pews.” So you’re arguing that no one preached to a group of gathered people in the Bible? And you’re trying to educate us on what’s in the Bible? That’s going to be a hard sell.

    “Everyone can receive revelation.” And what does that mean, specifically, to you? And what does one do if someone else’s proclaimed “revelation” contradicts God’s Word?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    Welcome to the conversation. Appreciate the comments – All of them.
    Sorry you’ve been sick. Sorry you don’t understand “my points.” @97
    I’ll try to explain what I’m seeing and what I’ve experienced.

    I was also frustrated and angered when challenged with these thoughts.
    Was ordained. Was “Leadership.” An elder who “Exercised Authority.” :-(

    When I realized I didn’t meet the *qualifications* of an elder, it was tough,
    I was troubled, How can this be? They ordained me? But, I don’t qualify.

    It took over four years but eventually I ripped up my papers. And left
    the power, profit, prestige, glory, honor, reputation, recognition, to others.
    The liberty, to be a “Servant of Christ” a “Disciple of Christ,” is wonderful.

    These are important and sensitive topics for the body of Christ, the Church.

    Don’t believe I ever said you, or any one here, is wrong.
    Just pointing out “Traditions of Men” that can nullify “The Word of God.”

    I believe there is value in bringing them up for discussion.
    Iron sharpens iron. The wounds of a friend. In love “warn” one another.

    Rom 15:14
    And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren,
    that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
    able also to admonish (warn) one another.

    2Thes 3:15
    Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish (warn) him as a brother.

    None of this was discussed when I was a part of the 501 (c) 3,
    non-profit, tax deductible, Religious Corporations. The Religious System.
    I went along with the crowd and was in “Bondage” to “Traditions of Men”
    that were NOT in the Bible and made “void” the Word of God.

    I’ll try to explain again as I go. If one question is more important to you
    then another please interrupt and ask the question.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

    Be blessed in your search for truth… Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    Welcome to the conversation. Appreciate the comments – All of them.
    Sorry you’ve been sick. Sorry you don’t understand “my points.” @97
    I’ll try to explain what I’m seeing and what I’ve experienced.

    I was also frustrated and angered when challenged with these thoughts.
    Was ordained. Was “Leadership.” An elder who “Exercised Authority.” :-(

    When I realized I didn’t meet the *qualifications* of an elder, it was tough,
    I was troubled, How can this be? They ordained me? But, I don’t qualify.

    It took over four years but eventually I ripped up my papers. And left
    the power, profit, prestige, glory, honor, reputation, recognition, to others.
    The liberty, to be a “Servant of Christ” a “Disciple of Christ,” is wonderful.

    These are important and sensitive topics for the body of Christ, the Church.

    Don’t believe I ever said you, or any one here, is wrong.
    Just pointing out “Traditions of Men” that can nullify “The Word of God.”

    I believe there is value in bringing them up for discussion.
    Iron sharpens iron. The wounds of a friend. In love “warn” one another.

    Rom 15:14
    And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren,
    that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
    able also to admonish (warn) one another.

    2Thes 3:15
    Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish (warn) him as a brother.

    None of this was discussed when I was a part of the 501 (c) 3,
    non-profit, tax deductible, Religious Corporations. The Religious System.
    I went along with the crowd and was in “Bondage” to “Traditions of Men”
    that were NOT in the Bible and made “void” the Word of God.

    I’ll try to explain again as I go. If one question is more important to you
    then another please interrupt and ask the question.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

    Be blessed in your search for truth… Jesus

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    Did you seriously go about becoming a pastor for glory, fame, authority, profit, and recognition etc? What possessed you? Sounds like a serious case of Simony, see Acts 8. You did know what happened to Jesus. He does warn that the student cannot expect better than the teacher.
    In any case I’d have to agree with your self assessment that you are not qualified for the office since you seem incapable of teaching sound doctrine or refuting those who contradict it.
    But not everyone who enters the pastoral office does so for the same nefarious reasons you had. In fact I’ve known many that left much better paying jobs, and more glamorous positions to be humble pastors.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Amos,
    Did you seriously go about becoming a pastor for glory, fame, authority, profit, and recognition etc? What possessed you? Sounds like a serious case of Simony, see Acts 8. You did know what happened to Jesus. He does warn that the student cannot expect better than the teacher.
    In any case I’d have to agree with your self assessment that you are not qualified for the office since you seem incapable of teaching sound doctrine or refuting those who contradict it.
    But not everyone who enters the pastoral office does so for the same nefarious reasons you had. In fact I’ve known many that left much better paying jobs, and more glamorous positions to be humble pastors.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    In comment 94 you write about 1 Pet 5. I also like 1 Pet 5 – A lot – see @ 83.
    “And what did Peter say “to the elders among you” in 1 Peter 5?”

    Then you record 1 Pet 5:1-5, and write your understanding of the verses…

    “Huh. God “wants them to be” shepherds — pastors!
    And he wants the younger people in the flock to
    “submit” to these elders, these pastors!”

    My question to you is – Why record only the first half of verse 5? Why? ;-)
    Why did you leave off the rest of verse 5? Why?
    Is that what you were taught? By your “Pastor/Reverend/Leaders?”

    This is what I’ve seen abusive “Pastor/Reverend/Leaders” do often.
    What *IS* “in the Bible” is often – overlooked, avoided, twisted, :-(
    to prove their point, control you, and get you to “submit” to them.

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    The whole of 1 Peter 5 verse 5 reads in the KJV…
    “ 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
    Yea, “ALL” of you be **subject one to another,** (subject = submit)
    and be clothed with humility:
    for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

    Why do abusive leaders leave off the rest of verse 5?
    Where it says we “ALL” are to “submit” one to another.?
    Ever try showing that to a “Senior Pastor? Ouch!!! :-(

    Here is “what you left out” in the New King James Version…

    Yes, all of you be **submissive to one another,**
    and be clothed with humility,
    for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

    I never said shepherding does NOT exist in the Bible. all I pointed out is…
    In the Bible, NO one has the “Title” Pastor/Reverend/Leader.

    Only Jesus has the “Title” Shepherd. And He is the only “Good Shepherd.”
    The is none good but God. Yes?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

    Be blessed in your search for truth… Jesus. :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    In comment 94 you write about 1 Pet 5. I also like 1 Pet 5 – A lot – see @ 83.
    “And what did Peter say “to the elders among you” in 1 Peter 5?”

    Then you record 1 Pet 5:1-5, and write your understanding of the verses…

    “Huh. God “wants them to be” shepherds — pastors!
    And he wants the younger people in the flock to
    “submit” to these elders, these pastors!”

    My question to you is – Why record only the first half of verse 5? Why? ;-)
    Why did you leave off the rest of verse 5? Why?
    Is that what you were taught? By your “Pastor/Reverend/Leaders?”

    This is what I’ve seen abusive “Pastor/Reverend/Leaders” do often.
    What *IS* “in the Bible” is often – overlooked, avoided, twisted, :-(
    to prove their point, control you, and get you to “submit” to them.

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    The whole of 1 Peter 5 verse 5 reads in the KJV…
    “ 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
    Yea, “ALL” of you be **subject one to another,** (subject = submit)
    and be clothed with humility:
    for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

    Why do abusive leaders leave off the rest of verse 5?
    Where it says we “ALL” are to “submit” one to another.?
    Ever try showing that to a “Senior Pastor? Ouch!!! :-(

    Here is “what you left out” in the New King James Version…

    Yes, all of you be **submissive to one another,**
    and be clothed with humility,
    for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

    I never said shepherding does NOT exist in the Bible. all I pointed out is…
    In the Bible, NO one has the “Title” Pastor/Reverend/Leader.

    Only Jesus has the “Title” Shepherd. And He is the only “Good Shepherd.”
    The is none good but God. Yes?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – Jesus

    Be blessed in your search for truth… Jesus. :-)

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Amos, we all know and agree that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, the way, the truth and the life, ect. But you should also deal with the passages Todd has cited to you.

    Your own experience with church is not normative and you cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater because you feel hurt. Our own hurt is such a thing. We become bitter and blind. In the season of advent it also behooves you and us to consider our own sins not so much those of others. What is it that you have done wrong?

    It may or not fit here entirely, but I want to draw attention to a lecture given by the esteemed and beloved Dr. James Nestigen on the topic of Confession and Absolution recently. Here you see the authority of the church exercised properly and explained well, including the authority of individual members.

    Below is the link where one will find the Timothy lecture at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton. It does not start right away. You have to find the beginning and scroll through pauses.

    http://www.livestream.com/concordialutheranseminary/video?clipId=pla_6aa07ddc-655f-4251-8d32-7524919f22ad&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Amos, we all know and agree that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, the way, the truth and the life, ect. But you should also deal with the passages Todd has cited to you.

    Your own experience with church is not normative and you cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater because you feel hurt. Our own hurt is such a thing. We become bitter and blind. In the season of advent it also behooves you and us to consider our own sins not so much those of others. What is it that you have done wrong?

    It may or not fit here entirely, but I want to draw attention to a lecture given by the esteemed and beloved Dr. James Nestigen on the topic of Confession and Absolution recently. Here you see the authority of the church exercised properly and explained well, including the authority of individual members.

    Below is the link where one will find the Timothy lecture at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton. It does not start right away. You have to find the beginning and scroll through pauses.

    http://www.livestream.com/concordialutheranseminary/video?clipId=pla_6aa07ddc-655f-4251-8d32-7524919f22ad&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    In my experience…
    “Abusive Pastor/Reverend/Elders” want you to pay, pray and “obey.”
    But don’t spend a lot of time with…

    1 – 1 Pet 5:3
    Neither as being “lords over God’s heritage,”
    but being ensamples to the flock.

    2 & 3 – Php 2:3
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
    but in “lowliness of mind” let each “esteem other better than themselves.”

    4 – Eph 5:21
    “Submitting yourselves one to another” in the fear of God.

    5 – Rom 12:10
    Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
    in honour “preferring one another.”

    You’ll often hear the “Spiritually Abusive” teach…
    “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.”

    6 – 1Pet 5:5
    But leave off the rest…
    Yea, **all of you** be subject **one to another,** (subject =submit)
    and “be clothed with humility:”
    for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

    Then jesus told “His Disciples” NOT to exercise authority…

    7 – Mark 10:42-45
    …they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles
    “exercise lordship” over them;
    and their great ones “exercise authority” upon them.
    But so shall it NOT be among you:…

    If some one, Preaches from a pulpit, you should “submit” to them?
    Check them out and see if they live up to these **Qualifications?**

    1 – Are they living examples of – NOT lording it over “Disciples of Christ?”
    2 – Are they living examples of – lowliness of mind?
    3 – Are they living examples of – esteeming others better than themselves?
    4 – Are they living examples of – submitting “One to Another?”
    5 – Are they living examples of – preferring others before themselves?
    6 – Are they living examples of – being clothed with humility?
    7 – Are they living examples of – NOT exercising authority over “Disciples?”

    In my experience with “Pastor/Reverend/Elders”…

    No matter how loving, eventually…
    No matter how humble, eventually…
    No matter how much a servant, eventually…

    They will “exercise authority” and “lord it over” God’s sheep.

    That’s always the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.”

    “Pastor/Elders” = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    I’m in agreement with David – The Lord is mt Shepherd – Jesus…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    In my experience…
    “Abusive Pastor/Reverend/Elders” want you to pay, pray and “obey.”
    But don’t spend a lot of time with…

    1 – 1 Pet 5:3
    Neither as being “lords over God’s heritage,”
    but being ensamples to the flock.

    2 & 3 – Php 2:3
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
    but in “lowliness of mind” let each “esteem other better than themselves.”

    4 – Eph 5:21
    “Submitting yourselves one to another” in the fear of God.

    5 – Rom 12:10
    Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
    in honour “preferring one another.”

    You’ll often hear the “Spiritually Abusive” teach…
    “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.”

    6 – 1Pet 5:5
    But leave off the rest…
    Yea, **all of you** be subject **one to another,** (subject =submit)
    and “be clothed with humility:”
    for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

    Then jesus told “His Disciples” NOT to exercise authority…

    7 – Mark 10:42-45
    …they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles
    “exercise lordship” over them;
    and their great ones “exercise authority” upon them.
    But so shall it NOT be among you:…

    If some one, Preaches from a pulpit, you should “submit” to them?
    Check them out and see if they live up to these **Qualifications?**

    1 – Are they living examples of – NOT lording it over “Disciples of Christ?”
    2 – Are they living examples of – lowliness of mind?
    3 – Are they living examples of – esteeming others better than themselves?
    4 – Are they living examples of – submitting “One to Another?”
    5 – Are they living examples of – preferring others before themselves?
    6 – Are they living examples of – being clothed with humility?
    7 – Are they living examples of – NOT exercising authority over “Disciples?”

    In my experience with “Pastor/Reverend/Elders”…

    No matter how loving, eventually…
    No matter how humble, eventually…
    No matter how much a servant, eventually…

    They will “exercise authority” and “lord it over” God’s sheep.

    That’s always the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.”

    “Pastor/Elders” = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    I’m in agreement with David – The Lord is mt Shepherd – Jesus…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Hi Bridgitt – nice to meet you.

    I’m in the process now of answering tOOD’s questions. Your questions are
    welcomed. I’d be glad to share what I’m seeing since leaving the system.

    You say my “experience with church is not normative”
    Uh – yes it is – With thousands upon thousands who are leaving in droves.
    Just google “Spiritual Abuse” and see the horror stories. :-(

    And – that depends on which church we’re talking about.

    1 – The Church of God.
    2 – the church of man.

    I love “the Church of God,” “The Body of Christ,” “The Ekklesia of God,”
    “The Called Out One’s,” The People of God.”

    My experience with these people of God have been a great Joy.
    I meet with them often. With NO special class of christian called – Clergy.
    Can’t seem to find the seperation of “Clergy from Laity.” In the Bible.
    Jesus said we’re all brethren. Mat 23:8.

    It’s the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible, Religious Corporation,
    most today call church. But in the Bible “People” are “the Church.”
    NOT a building, a denomination, or a corporation.

    God does not dwell in temples made with the hands of men. ;-)
    God dwells in “His Ekklesia.” “His Called Out One’s.” You and me. :-)

    Acts 7:48
    Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; …

    Ac 17:24
    God that made the world and all things therein,
    seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth,
    dwelleth not in temples made with hands…

    It’s Christ in us the hope of glory. We are – the house of God.
    The temple of the Holy Spirit. Sons of God led by the Spirit – NOT man.

    Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Hi Bridgitt – nice to meet you.

    I’m in the process now of answering tOOD’s questions. Your questions are
    welcomed. I’d be glad to share what I’m seeing since leaving the system.

    You say my “experience with church is not normative”
    Uh – yes it is – With thousands upon thousands who are leaving in droves.
    Just google “Spiritual Abuse” and see the horror stories. :-(

    And – that depends on which church we’re talking about.

    1 – The Church of God.
    2 – the church of man.

    I love “the Church of God,” “The Body of Christ,” “The Ekklesia of God,”
    “The Called Out One’s,” The People of God.”

    My experience with these people of God have been a great Joy.
    I meet with them often. With NO special class of christian called – Clergy.
    Can’t seem to find the seperation of “Clergy from Laity.” In the Bible.
    Jesus said we’re all brethren. Mat 23:8.

    It’s the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible, Religious Corporation,
    most today call church. But in the Bible “People” are “the Church.”
    NOT a building, a denomination, or a corporation.

    God does not dwell in temples made with the hands of men. ;-)
    God dwells in “His Ekklesia.” “His Called Out One’s.” You and me. :-)

    Acts 7:48
    Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; …

    Ac 17:24
    God that made the world and all things therein,
    seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth,
    dwelleth not in temples made with hands…

    It’s Christ in us the hope of glory. We are – the house of God.
    The temple of the Holy Spirit. Sons of God led by the Spirit – NOT man.

    Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bridgitt

    Now if you want man to lead you… And NOT God…
    God often gives you what you ask for – and… “A Little Bit Extra.”

    Hmmm? Was the idea of having a King rule over the people God’s idea?
    Or man’s idea? Seems God gave the people kings because
    they didn’t want God ruling them. Oy Vey! ;-(

    1 Sam 8:7
    And the LORD said unto Samuel,
    Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:
    for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,
    that I should not reign over them.

    And how did having Kings turn out for Isreal? My.. My… Tsk… Tsk…

    1 Sam 8:11
    This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you:
    He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
    and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

    Your King will take your sons.
    Your King will take your daughters.
    Your King will take your fields.
    Your King will take your vineyards.
    Your King will take your oliveyards.
    Your King will take the tenth of your seed.
    Your King will take your menservants.
    Your King will take your maidservants
    Your King will take your asses.
    Your King will take the tenth of your sheep.
    and you shall be the Kings servants…

    Every “Servant – Leader” I’ve met – really thought they were –
    “Leaders” of the “Servants.”

    1 Sam 8:19
    Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
    and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us…

    Kings don’t look like such a good idea now, do they?

    And Jesus refused when they wanted to make Him King.

    John 6:15
    When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

    One definition for “king” in this verse is “leader of the people.” Hmmm?
    Oh, and where does it say “Overseer =Leader in the Church?”
    Jesus told “His Disciples” NOT to be called “Master/Leader.”

    Why isn’t what Jesus said important? :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bridgitt

    Now if you want man to lead you… And NOT God…
    God often gives you what you ask for – and… “A Little Bit Extra.”

    Hmmm? Was the idea of having a King rule over the people God’s idea?
    Or man’s idea? Seems God gave the people kings because
    they didn’t want God ruling them. Oy Vey! ;-(

    1 Sam 8:7
    And the LORD said unto Samuel,
    Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:
    for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,
    that I should not reign over them.

    And how did having Kings turn out for Isreal? My.. My… Tsk… Tsk…

    1 Sam 8:11
    This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you:
    He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
    and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

    Your King will take your sons.
    Your King will take your daughters.
    Your King will take your fields.
    Your King will take your vineyards.
    Your King will take your oliveyards.
    Your King will take the tenth of your seed.
    Your King will take your menservants.
    Your King will take your maidservants
    Your King will take your asses.
    Your King will take the tenth of your sheep.
    and you shall be the Kings servants…

    Every “Servant – Leader” I’ve met – really thought they were –
    “Leaders” of the “Servants.”

    1 Sam 8:19
    Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
    and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us…

    Kings don’t look like such a good idea now, do they?

    And Jesus refused when they wanted to make Him King.

    John 6:15
    When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

    One definition for “king” in this verse is “leader of the people.” Hmmm?
    Oh, and where does it say “Overseer =Leader in the Church?”
    Jesus told “His Disciples” NOT to be called “Master/Leader.”

    Why isn’t what Jesus said important? :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    You write @ 98 …
    “As to your reasoning, Amos (@85), about “elders” needing to be “blameless”, again, it doesn’t make sense.”

    Just to keep the record straight – Maybe I didn’t explain myself properly…
    That’s NOT my reasoning about qualifications for “Elders/Overseers.
    That’s Paul’s reasoning, “qualifications,” writing to Timothy and Titus.
    I’m just a messenger. Please don’t kill the messenger. :-)

    Here’s most of the “qualifications from 1 Tim and Titus combined…

    1 – **blameless** — unrebukeable, without fault.
    2 – husband of one wife — married, male.
    3 – rules well his own house — have a family, children.
    4 – not greedy of filthy lucre — Not greedy for money.
    5 – vigilant — no excessive wine, calm in spirit.
    6 – sober — of a sound mind, self controlled.
    7 – of good behavior — modest, unassuming, reserved.
    8 – no striker — not quarrelsome, contentious.
    9 – not a brawler — abstaining from fighting.
    10 – not self willed — not self pleasing, not arrogant.
    11 – not soon angry — not prone to anger.
    12 – temperate — having power over, restraining.
    13 – **holy — undefiled by sin, free from wickedness.
    14 – **just — righteous, virtuous, innocent, faultless.

    And their children must qualify also…
    “having *faithful children not accused of *riot or *unruly”

    15 – faithful — believing, one who trusts in God’s promises.
    16 – not accused of riot — Strongs – asotia — unsavedness.
    ………an abandoned dissolute life, lost to principle.
    17 – unruly — disobedient.

    Now, that’s a tough list qualifications. Yes?
    Children not accused of *riot or *unruly.” Got any teenagers? Oy Vey!!! ;-)

    If you think you qualify… Male or Female…
    Try measuring up to “1 – Blameless,” “13 – Holy,” and “14 – Just.”
    ( I couldn’t. I was convicted. Had to remove myself, tore up my papers.)

    If someone thinks they qualify?
    Is that pride and thus NOT without fault? NOT blameless? Hmmm?
    When they recognize they don’t measure up?
    Will they remove themselves? ;-) I’ve met a few.

    The Bible talks about elders/overseers…
    and qualifications for elders/overseers…
    Can you have one with out the other? Well can you? ;-)

    Which one’s aren’t important? Which qualifications can we overlook? ;-)

    If some one says they are an “elder/overseer”
    and don’t meet the qualifications;
    What are they… really…???

    Jesus… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    You write @ 98 …
    “As to your reasoning, Amos (@85), about “elders” needing to be “blameless”, again, it doesn’t make sense.”

    Just to keep the record straight – Maybe I didn’t explain myself properly…
    That’s NOT my reasoning about qualifications for “Elders/Overseers.
    That’s Paul’s reasoning, “qualifications,” writing to Timothy and Titus.
    I’m just a messenger. Please don’t kill the messenger. :-)

    Here’s most of the “qualifications from 1 Tim and Titus combined…

    1 – **blameless** — unrebukeable, without fault.
    2 – husband of one wife — married, male.
    3 – rules well his own house — have a family, children.
    4 – not greedy of filthy lucre — Not greedy for money.
    5 – vigilant — no excessive wine, calm in spirit.
    6 – sober — of a sound mind, self controlled.
    7 – of good behavior — modest, unassuming, reserved.
    8 – no striker — not quarrelsome, contentious.
    9 – not a brawler — abstaining from fighting.
    10 – not self willed — not self pleasing, not arrogant.
    11 – not soon angry — not prone to anger.
    12 – temperate — having power over, restraining.
    13 – **holy — undefiled by sin, free from wickedness.
    14 – **just — righteous, virtuous, innocent, faultless.

    And their children must qualify also…
    “having *faithful children not accused of *riot or *unruly”

    15 – faithful — believing, one who trusts in God’s promises.
    16 – not accused of riot — Strongs – asotia — unsavedness.
    ………an abandoned dissolute life, lost to principle.
    17 – unruly — disobedient.

    Now, that’s a tough list qualifications. Yes?
    Children not accused of *riot or *unruly.” Got any teenagers? Oy Vey!!! ;-)

    If you think you qualify… Male or Female…
    Try measuring up to “1 – Blameless,” “13 – Holy,” and “14 – Just.”
    ( I couldn’t. I was convicted. Had to remove myself, tore up my papers.)

    If someone thinks they qualify?
    Is that pride and thus NOT without fault? NOT blameless? Hmmm?
    When they recognize they don’t measure up?
    Will they remove themselves? ;-) I’ve met a few.

    The Bible talks about elders/overseers…
    and qualifications for elders/overseers…
    Can you have one with out the other? Well can you? ;-)

    Which one’s aren’t important? Which qualifications can we overlook? ;-)

    If some one says they are an “elder/overseer”
    and don’t meet the qualifications;
    What are they… really…???

    Jesus… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… Jesus

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    You write @ 98…
    “what do you make of the the priesthood system,
    established by God, in Israel?”

    Best I can figure, the levitical priesthood was changed. Yes?
    They were trained to sacrifice the innocent lambs and sprinkle the blood.
    No need for them anymore. Jesus – the lamb slain once for all. :-)
    And NOW “ALL” believers are Kings and Priests unto God.

    Rev 5:10
    And hast made us unto our God kings and priests…

    Hebrews 11:11-12.
    11 If therefore perfection were by **the Levitical priesthood,**
    (for under it the people received the law,)
    what further need was there that another priest should rise
    after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
    12 **For the priesthood being changed,**
    there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

    Seems Jesus is “The High Priest” over the house of God,
    That’s you and me. The house of God. and Jesus is our High Priest. :-)

    Heb 2:17
    Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren,
    that he might be a merciful and faithful **high priest** in things
    pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

    Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
    consider the Apostle and **High Priest** of our profession, Christ Jesus;

    Hebrews 10:19-21
    Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
    by **the blood of Jesus,**
    By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,
    through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
    And having an **high priest** over the house of God;

    Seems ALL believers are kings and priest unto God. Inclusive…
    And Jesus is our, yours and mine, **High Priest.** :-)

    I like “Submiting” to Jesus. ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    You write @ 98…
    “what do you make of the the priesthood system,
    established by God, in Israel?”

    Best I can figure, the levitical priesthood was changed. Yes?
    They were trained to sacrifice the innocent lambs and sprinkle the blood.
    No need for them anymore. Jesus – the lamb slain once for all. :-)
    And NOW “ALL” believers are Kings and Priests unto God.

    Rev 5:10
    And hast made us unto our God kings and priests…

    Hebrews 11:11-12.
    11 If therefore perfection were by **the Levitical priesthood,**
    (for under it the people received the law,)
    what further need was there that another priest should rise
    after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
    12 **For the priesthood being changed,**
    there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

    Seems Jesus is “The High Priest” over the house of God,
    That’s you and me. The house of God. and Jesus is our High Priest. :-)

    Heb 2:17
    Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren,
    that he might be a merciful and faithful **high priest** in things
    pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

    Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
    consider the Apostle and **High Priest** of our profession, Christ Jesus;

    Hebrews 10:19-21
    Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
    by **the blood of Jesus,**
    By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,
    through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
    And having an **high priest** over the house of God;

    Seems ALL believers are kings and priest unto God. Inclusive…
    And Jesus is our, yours and mine, **High Priest.** :-)

    I like “Submiting” to Jesus. ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    You write,,,
    “For that matter, how do you explain Scripture’s rather lengthy discussions on qualifications for “elders” if nobody could possibly meet them?”

    Well – How do you explain those tough “qualifications?”
    Do you know of anyone who meets them? Maybe you do? I didn’t….
    Eventually I removed myself from that position.

    And that list of “qualifications” is a real tough list. Yes?

    Could the list of “qualifications” be a test of someone’s “Integrity?”

    Why would someone assume the role of “elder,” say they are an “elder,”
    if “they know” they do NOT qualify to be an “elder?” Hmmm?

    Could it be a lack of “Integrity?” :-(

    What would you call someone, who called them self a “Pastor/Elder”
    and knew they did NOT qualify to be an “Elder?”

    What would you call a medical Doctor, who said they were a Doctor,
    and who knew they did NOT qualify to be a Doctor?

    What would you call a Lawyer, who said they were a Lawyer
    and who knew they did NOT qualify to be a Lawyer?

    Would *you recommend* a Doctor or a Lawyer to a friend
    If *you knew* they did NOT qualify to be a Doctor or a Lawyer?

    Wouldn’t it be dangerous and expensive to trust and depend on
    a Doctor and a Lawyer who does NOT qualify?

    In my experience…
    It is dangerous and expensive to trust and depend on someone who has
    the “Title” “Pastor/Elder” and that “Elder” does NOT qualify. :-(

    Maybe that’s why “The Religious System” of today is in such a mess?
    Pastor/Elders/Overseers – who do NOT qualify. :-(
    “Spiritually Abusing” God’s ekklesia, God’s sheep.

    Maybe that’s why there is so much “Pastor/Elder” Burnout today.
    The “Pastor/Elder” knows they can’t qualify. And are caught in a trap.
    They pray, they fast, they study, harder and harder, but nothing works.

    The Bible warns us, a lot…
    About False apostles, many False prophets,
    False teachers, False Christ’s’, False anointed one’s, etc..

    To trust No man. To not trust in princes.
    Let no man deceive you. And the list goes on…

    And lot’s, and lot’s, of scriptures about trusting Jesus.

    No thanks…
    Never met an Pastor/Reverend/Elder who meets the *qualifications.*

    Only Jesus – the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    You write,,,
    “For that matter, how do you explain Scripture’s rather lengthy discussions on qualifications for “elders” if nobody could possibly meet them?”

    Well – How do you explain those tough “qualifications?”
    Do you know of anyone who meets them? Maybe you do? I didn’t….
    Eventually I removed myself from that position.

    And that list of “qualifications” is a real tough list. Yes?

    Could the list of “qualifications” be a test of someone’s “Integrity?”

    Why would someone assume the role of “elder,” say they are an “elder,”
    if “they know” they do NOT qualify to be an “elder?” Hmmm?

    Could it be a lack of “Integrity?” :-(

    What would you call someone, who called them self a “Pastor/Elder”
    and knew they did NOT qualify to be an “Elder?”

    What would you call a medical Doctor, who said they were a Doctor,
    and who knew they did NOT qualify to be a Doctor?

    What would you call a Lawyer, who said they were a Lawyer
    and who knew they did NOT qualify to be a Lawyer?

    Would *you recommend* a Doctor or a Lawyer to a friend
    If *you knew* they did NOT qualify to be a Doctor or a Lawyer?

    Wouldn’t it be dangerous and expensive to trust and depend on
    a Doctor and a Lawyer who does NOT qualify?

    In my experience…
    It is dangerous and expensive to trust and depend on someone who has
    the “Title” “Pastor/Elder” and that “Elder” does NOT qualify. :-(

    Maybe that’s why “The Religious System” of today is in such a mess?
    Pastor/Elders/Overseers – who do NOT qualify. :-(
    “Spiritually Abusing” God’s ekklesia, God’s sheep.

    Maybe that’s why there is so much “Pastor/Elder” Burnout today.
    The “Pastor/Elder” knows they can’t qualify. And are caught in a trap.
    They pray, they fast, they study, harder and harder, but nothing works.

    The Bible warns us, a lot…
    About False apostles, many False prophets,
    False teachers, False Christ’s’, False anointed one’s, etc..

    To trust No man. To not trust in princes.
    Let no man deceive you. And the list goes on…

    And lot’s, and lot’s, of scriptures about trusting Jesus.

    No thanks…
    Never met an Pastor/Reverend/Elder who meets the *qualifications.*

    Only Jesus – the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… :-)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos (@99), you’ve mentioned several times here your past, but you haven’t actually told us in what group you were considered “ordained”. Will you?

    And why did they consider you qualified if you do not meet the qualifications? What qualifications did they use?

    Now, you said, “Don’t believe I ever said you, or any one here, is wrong.” Come now. What else are you doing here if not challenging those of us who freely use words like “church” and “pastor” in the ways you are clearly implying are wrong and unbiblical? Please don’t pretend you’re not trying to correct us, to teach us. And, if you are, the question then arises of whether you are attempting to exercise authority over us.

    Citing several bible passages, you remarked, “None of this was discussed when I was a part of the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax deductible, Religious Corporations.” No offense, but that doesn’t speak very well of the groups you were a part of. Why do you apparently assume that all churches are as deficient as was yours?

    “One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice” And yet your solution to this has been to create yet another voice, yet another division in the Church. How’s that working out towards your stated goal of there being “one fold”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos (@99), you’ve mentioned several times here your past, but you haven’t actually told us in what group you were considered “ordained”. Will you?

    And why did they consider you qualified if you do not meet the qualifications? What qualifications did they use?

    Now, you said, “Don’t believe I ever said you, or any one here, is wrong.” Come now. What else are you doing here if not challenging those of us who freely use words like “church” and “pastor” in the ways you are clearly implying are wrong and unbiblical? Please don’t pretend you’re not trying to correct us, to teach us. And, if you are, the question then arises of whether you are attempting to exercise authority over us.

    Citing several bible passages, you remarked, “None of this was discussed when I was a part of the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax deductible, Religious Corporations.” No offense, but that doesn’t speak very well of the groups you were a part of. Why do you apparently assume that all churches are as deficient as was yours?

    “One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice” And yet your solution to this has been to create yet another voice, yet another division in the Church. How’s that working out towards your stated goal of there being “one fold”?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    The ordination was in an independent charismatic group starting in someone’s basement. We went on radio in our area. Had a phone line for prayer and counseling. Would spend hours and hours with folks. in person and on the phone. Lot’s of broken hearts – Yes?

    Before long the pastors home became crowded. Purchased a
    commercial store front building in the center of town. In a year or two we grew to a little over 300 people.

    A very mixed group, very integrated, Whites, Blacks, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Haitians from Haiti, Africans from Africa, British from England, Actors and actresses from Broadway and in Movies. Very rich folks and very poor folks.

    We had four meetings a week. Two on Sunday, Wednesday night and Friday night. The shortest meeting was Sunday morning. Two to three hours. The praise and worship would go on for 45 min. to an hour. The shortest message was an hour. People travelled from all over to attend. Plus extra prayer meetings and week long conferences. We were young and it was exciting times.

    We would have conferences in other states where we were on the radio. We would travel with 20 to 40 folks from the congregation who took off a week to go and pray for folks. We would rent a conference room in a hotel. 100 to 300 folks would show up.

    We never took up a collection. We never asked for money. Everyone who went paid there own way. It was wonderful.

    Lot’s of other exciting stuff going on. Folks getting saved, healed and delivered.

    I was Preaching, from the Pulpit, to People in Pews. Well – folding chairs. And traveling, and speaking, and praying, and counseling, and writing some articles in newsletters. I was getting a “reputation” with other congregations we knew in other states across the country. I never told anyone, but my prayer to God was to be ordained and become a pastor.

    Then the elders wanted to ordain me and make it official. Of course I said yes. I was already shepherding and teaching. But a funny thing happened. A blessed thing.

    I started to search the scriptures for what a pastor does and how he leads. I was already reading books on “Spiritual Leadership.” There are lot’s of them. ;-)

    I had a rude awakinging…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    The ordination was in an independent charismatic group starting in someone’s basement. We went on radio in our area. Had a phone line for prayer and counseling. Would spend hours and hours with folks. in person and on the phone. Lot’s of broken hearts – Yes?

    Before long the pastors home became crowded. Purchased a
    commercial store front building in the center of town. In a year or two we grew to a little over 300 people.

    A very mixed group, very integrated, Whites, Blacks, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Haitians from Haiti, Africans from Africa, British from England, Actors and actresses from Broadway and in Movies. Very rich folks and very poor folks.

    We had four meetings a week. Two on Sunday, Wednesday night and Friday night. The shortest meeting was Sunday morning. Two to three hours. The praise and worship would go on for 45 min. to an hour. The shortest message was an hour. People travelled from all over to attend. Plus extra prayer meetings and week long conferences. We were young and it was exciting times.

    We would have conferences in other states where we were on the radio. We would travel with 20 to 40 folks from the congregation who took off a week to go and pray for folks. We would rent a conference room in a hotel. 100 to 300 folks would show up.

    We never took up a collection. We never asked for money. Everyone who went paid there own way. It was wonderful.

    Lot’s of other exciting stuff going on. Folks getting saved, healed and delivered.

    I was Preaching, from the Pulpit, to People in Pews. Well – folding chairs. And traveling, and speaking, and praying, and counseling, and writing some articles in newsletters. I was getting a “reputation” with other congregations we knew in other states across the country. I never told anyone, but my prayer to God was to be ordained and become a pastor.

    Then the elders wanted to ordain me and make it official. Of course I said yes. I was already shepherding and teaching. But a funny thing happened. A blessed thing.

    I started to search the scriptures for what a pastor does and how he leads. I was already reading books on “Spiritual Leadership.” There are lot’s of them. ;-)

    I had a rude awakinging…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    When searching for what a “Pastor/Elder/Leader” does **Today**…
    in the Bible, I had a very rude awakening.

    I found…

    NO – Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews.
    …… When folks come together, every one has a psalm, has a doctrine,
    …… has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. 1 Cor 14:26.
    …… Every one can, and is expected to, participate.
    NO – Pastors, as CEO’s of 501 (c) 3, non-profit, Religious corporations.
    NO “disciple of Christ” “calling” another – Pastor,“My” Pastor.
    NO “disciple of Christ” “calling” them self – Pastor or Leader.
    ……”ALL” disciples called themselves “Servants of Christ.” Hmmm?
    NO “disciple of Christ” having the “Title” – “Pastor/Elder/Leader.”
    …… That “Title” is written on – Diploma’s on walls, business cards,
    …… office doors, Sunday morning bulletin, street signs, and more.
    …… And everyone knows who the “Pastor/Elder/Leader” is. Why?
    …… Jesus, as man, humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation,
    ……. took on the form of a “Servant.” Could that “Title” be an “Idol?”
    NO “disciple of Christ” “Exercising Authority” over another believer.
    …… I was taught; submit to me, NOW, your “God Ordained Authority,”
    …… And, one day, when you’re a Pastor, people will submit to you. :-(
    ……. Power. Profit, and Prestige, is highly esteemed among men.
    NO – Pastors, separating themselves from the body, as “Clergy-class.”
    NO – Pastors counseling anyone.
    NO – Pastors marrying anyone.
    NO – Pastors burying anyone.
    NO – Pastors visiting the sick.
    NO – Pastors wearing special clothes.
    NO – Pastors going from one congregation to another. What’s up with that?
    …… Elders, plural, matured within the group,
    …… when, if, appointed, they were known.
    …… Today, a Pastor, is Paid, a Professional, is hired, and fired,
    …… and the pastor is NOT known. And is taught NOT be to friendly.
    …… And the pastor leaves for greener pastures.
    Yo! What’s up wit dat? Where is this professianal clergy class?

    I’ll stick with Jesus- He is the door.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tOOD

    When searching for what a “Pastor/Elder/Leader” does **Today**…
    in the Bible, I had a very rude awakening.

    I found…

    NO – Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews.
    …… When folks come together, every one has a psalm, has a doctrine,
    …… has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. 1 Cor 14:26.
    …… Every one can, and is expected to, participate.
    NO – Pastors, as CEO’s of 501 (c) 3, non-profit, Religious corporations.
    NO “disciple of Christ” “calling” another – Pastor,“My” Pastor.
    NO “disciple of Christ” “calling” them self – Pastor or Leader.
    ……”ALL” disciples called themselves “Servants of Christ.” Hmmm?
    NO “disciple of Christ” having the “Title” – “Pastor/Elder/Leader.”
    …… That “Title” is written on – Diploma’s on walls, business cards,
    …… office doors, Sunday morning bulletin, street signs, and more.
    …… And everyone knows who the “Pastor/Elder/Leader” is. Why?
    …… Jesus, as man, humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation,
    ……. took on the form of a “Servant.” Could that “Title” be an “Idol?”
    NO “disciple of Christ” “Exercising Authority” over another believer.
    …… I was taught; submit to me, NOW, your “God Ordained Authority,”
    …… And, one day, when you’re a Pastor, people will submit to you. :-(
    ……. Power. Profit, and Prestige, is highly esteemed among men.
    NO – Pastors, separating themselves from the body, as “Clergy-class.”
    NO – Pastors counseling anyone.
    NO – Pastors marrying anyone.
    NO – Pastors burying anyone.
    NO – Pastors visiting the sick.
    NO – Pastors wearing special clothes.
    NO – Pastors going from one congregation to another. What’s up with that?
    …… Elders, plural, matured within the group,
    …… when, if, appointed, they were known.
    …… Today, a Pastor, is Paid, a Professional, is hired, and fired,
    …… and the pastor is NOT known. And is taught NOT be to friendly.
    …… And the pastor leaves for greener pastures.
    Yo! What’s up wit dat? Where is this professianal clergy class?

    I’ll stick with Jesus- He is the door.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Amos, did you ever think that the “program” of the church is essentially forgiveness of sins– the sharing of God’s superabundant, overflowing, sufficient grace? Did you have a chance to watch the lecture linked above?

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Amos, did you ever think that the “program” of the church is essentially forgiveness of sins– the sharing of God’s superabundant, overflowing, sufficient grace? Did you have a chance to watch the lecture linked above?

  • Tom Hering

    “Then the elders wanted to ordain me and make it official. Of course I said yes. I was already shepherding and teaching. But a funny thing happened. A blessed thing. I started to search the scriptures for what a pastor does and how he leads.” – Amos @ 110.

    Amos, the story you tell doesn’t include any examples of abuse. It simply relates that when you were called by others to a position of real responsibility in a growing ministry, you choked. And turned to the Bible to find excuses for yourself. Now, you must denigrate others who didn’t choke, in order to justify the way you ran from responsibility.

    What do you think? Is that possible?

  • Tom Hering

    “Then the elders wanted to ordain me and make it official. Of course I said yes. I was already shepherding and teaching. But a funny thing happened. A blessed thing. I started to search the scriptures for what a pastor does and how he leads.” – Amos @ 110.

    Amos, the story you tell doesn’t include any examples of abuse. It simply relates that when you were called by others to a position of real responsibility in a growing ministry, you choked. And turned to the Bible to find excuses for yourself. Now, you must denigrate others who didn’t choke, in order to justify the way you ran from responsibility.

    What do you think? Is that possible?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, you are remarkably consistent in misspelling my handle here (which happens to also be my first name). That’s kind of odd. Or, should I say, ood.

    Anyhow, as to my quoting from 1 Peter 5, you ask (@101), “Why record only the first half of verse 5? Why? Why did you leave off the rest of verse 5? Why? Is that what you were taught?” Wow, Amos. I might as well ask you, in turn: why do you think the Bible verse-numbering system is sacrosanct, such that you would cast aspersions on someone for failing to complete a somewhat arbitrary verse? I finished my quote where I did because it made the point that I intended, and I thought it was a complete thought from the text.

    But you apparently want to suggest that I’m hiding something in not quoting the full measure of verse 5. As if I hadn’t noticed the rest of the verse when I was copying and pasting it in because, what, my abusive, evil pastor told me to, or lied to me about what verse 5 actually said? Really? I truly feel sorry for you if your past experiences make such a wild, accusatory conclusion on your part seem reasonable. But it’s not. Not by a long shot.

    First of all, I’m no Bible scholar, but I notice that the KJV (and the derivative NKJV) are the only translations I could find that have the second part of verse 5 as you note it. In the NIV, it’s “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another”, and in the ESV it’s “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another.” You’ll notice that your preferred reading does not appear to be the best translation, according to those works. But I’m willing to put good odds on your being fairly tied to the KJV, so I’ll work with that.

    Here’s the thing. Yes, the Bible talks (if not in 1 Peter 5, then elsewhere) of us submitting to each other. That does not mean that the Bible therefore teaches that there is no such thing as people in the positions of shepherds. I have already shown that it refers to people (other than Jesus) as such. You are the one, it would seem, using the second part of 1 Peter 5:5 to abrogate the several verses that precede it. I, on the other hand, am comfortable with all of it. Just because there are elders, shepherds, pastors, and the lot, does not mean that they should abuse their power. Duh. They are still responsible to their flock. They are still called to follow Jesus’ example and do everything for their flock, considering their flock’s need before their own. Thus do they submit to their flock. But they dare not submit God’s truth to the vote of those in their care, any more than Jesus, while laying down his life for us, submitted his teaching to the will of those he was dying for.

    I have known more than one pastor that put aside most of his personal life for those under his care. I’m sorry that you have not. Pastors who, at best, got one day to themselves a week to be with their family. Who diligently searched the Scriptures not only to prepare a good lesson on Sunday morning, but in order to train up people young, old, sick, well, struggling, joyful, etc. Again, I’m sorry this is not an example you have ever known. But just because you have not known it does not mean it doesn’t exist. You can’t assume that the world consists entirely in your experiences. You definitely can’t assume that all spiritual truth is to be found in your experiences.

    “All I pointed out is … In the Bible, NO one has the ‘Title’ Pastor/Reverend/Leader.” Really, this seems a remarkably pedantic point to make. How far do you take this? Since, “in the Bible”, no one spoke English, should we therefore rule out calling each other by English words like “brother”? No one in the Bible was named Todd, either. Is that, likewise, an issue? If my responses seem really pedantic, perhaps they will help you understand how your point sounds to me. If I started calling my pastor “Thad”, would you be any happier? And if, not, then is the “title” really the issue?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amos, you are remarkably consistent in misspelling my handle here (which happens to also be my first name). That’s kind of odd. Or, should I say, ood.

    Anyhow, as to my quoting from 1 Peter 5, you ask (@101), “Why record only the first half of verse 5? Why? Why did you leave off the rest of verse 5? Why? Is that what you were taught?” Wow, Amos. I might as well ask you, in turn: why do you think the Bible verse-numbering system is sacrosanct, such that you would cast aspersions on someone for failing to complete a somewhat arbitrary verse? I finished my quote where I did because it made the point that I intended, and I thought it was a complete thought from the text.

    But you apparently want to suggest that I’m hiding something in not quoting the full measure of verse 5. As if I hadn’t noticed the rest of the verse when I was copying and pasting it in because, what, my abusive, evil pastor told me to, or lied to me about what verse 5 actually said? Really? I truly feel sorry for you if your past experiences make such a wild, accusatory conclusion on your part seem reasonable. But it’s not. Not by a long shot.

    First of all, I’m no Bible scholar, but I notice that the KJV (and the derivative NKJV) are the only translations I could find that have the second part of verse 5 as you note it. In the NIV, it’s “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another”, and in the ESV it’s “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another.” You’ll notice that your preferred reading does not appear to be the best translation, according to those works. But I’m willing to put good odds on your being fairly tied to the KJV, so I’ll work with that.

    Here’s the thing. Yes, the Bible talks (if not in 1 Peter 5, then elsewhere) of us submitting to each other. That does not mean that the Bible therefore teaches that there is no such thing as people in the positions of shepherds. I have already shown that it refers to people (other than Jesus) as such. You are the one, it would seem, using the second part of 1 Peter 5:5 to abrogate the several verses that precede it. I, on the other hand, am comfortable with all of it. Just because there are elders, shepherds, pastors, and the lot, does not mean that they should abuse their power. Duh. They are still responsible to their flock. They are still called to follow Jesus’ example and do everything for their flock, considering their flock’s need before their own. Thus do they submit to their flock. But they dare not submit God’s truth to the vote of those in their care, any more than Jesus, while laying down his life for us, submitted his teaching to the will of those he was dying for.

    I have known more than one pastor that put aside most of his personal life for those under his care. I’m sorry that you have not. Pastors who, at best, got one day to themselves a week to be with their family. Who diligently searched the Scriptures not only to prepare a good lesson on Sunday morning, but in order to train up people young, old, sick, well, struggling, joyful, etc. Again, I’m sorry this is not an example you have ever known. But just because you have not known it does not mean it doesn’t exist. You can’t assume that the world consists entirely in your experiences. You definitely can’t assume that all spiritual truth is to be found in your experiences.

    “All I pointed out is … In the Bible, NO one has the ‘Title’ Pastor/Reverend/Leader.” Really, this seems a remarkably pedantic point to make. How far do you take this? Since, “in the Bible”, no one spoke English, should we therefore rule out calling each other by English words like “brother”? No one in the Bible was named Todd, either. Is that, likewise, an issue? If my responses seem really pedantic, perhaps they will help you understand how your point sounds to me. If I started calling my pastor “Thad”, would you be any happier? And if, not, then is the “title” really the issue?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And yes, Amos, I affirm all the verses you cited in your comment (@103). That’s what Christians do.

    My question to you is: do you, in addition to those verses you quoted, affirm the clear teaching of the Bible that there are to be shepherds/leaders/pastors/elders/etc.? As are clearly found in Acts 20 (about which you have had nothing to say, oddly). And, yes, the first verses of 1 Peter 5. And Titus 1. And 1 Timothy 5.

    Can you reconcile our duty to each other as Christians and yet, somehow, understand that God clearly teaches “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4)? Your remarks do not indicate that you understand this passage. You seem to think that Ephesians 4 does not exist. Or a similar list in 1 Corinthians 12. You see, each of us in the Body of Christ has a job, yes, but not the same job. We are not all teachers. That much is self-evident. But God reminds us, all the same, that he has given us different abilities. But you do not seem to understand this. You said (@104), “Can’t seem to find the seperation of ‘Clergy from Laity.’ In the Bible.” Well, then, I highly suggest you start with those passages! Because they’re in the Bible!

    Again, I’m sorry that you have apparently only known poor examples of pastors, but that does not mean that your experience trumps the clear message of Scripture, anymore than a child with an abusive father means that no one else should be a father to his children.

    As for your statement that “In my experience with ‘Pastor/Reverend/Elders’ … No matter how loving, eventually … No matter how humble, eventually … No matter how much a servant, eventually … They will ‘exercise authority’ and ‘lord it over’ God’s sheep”, well, of course they will. They will eventually sin, yes. As we all will. That does not negate their God-given abilities, nor does it abrogate their responsibilities. It just means they also need Jesus and the forgiveness he offers. The same forgiveness you do not appear very willing to give to those pastors who have wronged you. Do you really expect every pastor to be sinless? And that this means you can therefore go around telling everyone that it’s unbiblical to have pastors?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And yes, Amos, I affirm all the verses you cited in your comment (@103). That’s what Christians do.

    My question to you is: do you, in addition to those verses you quoted, affirm the clear teaching of the Bible that there are to be shepherds/leaders/pastors/elders/etc.? As are clearly found in Acts 20 (about which you have had nothing to say, oddly). And, yes, the first verses of 1 Peter 5. And Titus 1. And 1 Timothy 5.

    Can you reconcile our duty to each other as Christians and yet, somehow, understand that God clearly teaches “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4)? Your remarks do not indicate that you understand this passage. You seem to think that Ephesians 4 does not exist. Or a similar list in 1 Corinthians 12. You see, each of us in the Body of Christ has a job, yes, but not the same job. We are not all teachers. That much is self-evident. But God reminds us, all the same, that he has given us different abilities. But you do not seem to understand this. You said (@104), “Can’t seem to find the seperation of ‘Clergy from Laity.’ In the Bible.” Well, then, I highly suggest you start with those passages! Because they’re in the Bible!

    Again, I’m sorry that you have apparently only known poor examples of pastors, but that does not mean that your experience trumps the clear message of Scripture, anymore than a child with an abusive father means that no one else should be a father to his children.

    As for your statement that “In my experience with ‘Pastor/Reverend/Elders’ … No matter how loving, eventually … No matter how humble, eventually … No matter how much a servant, eventually … They will ‘exercise authority’ and ‘lord it over’ God’s sheep”, well, of course they will. They will eventually sin, yes. As we all will. That does not negate their God-given abilities, nor does it abrogate their responsibilities. It just means they also need Jesus and the forgiveness he offers. The same forgiveness you do not appear very willing to give to those pastors who have wronged you. Do you really expect every pastor to be sinless? And that this means you can therefore go around telling everyone that it’s unbiblical to have pastors?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To continue, Amos, I believe this is the crux of your comment (@106): “If you think you qualify … Male or Female …
    Try measuring up to ’1 – Blameless,’ ’13 – Holy,’ and ’14 – Just.’ ( I couldn’t. I was convicted. Had to remove myself, tore up my papers.)”

    Um, first off, if you think females qualify, you really should reread your own list. Not too many female husbands out there.

    But I wonder how a Christian could come to the conclusion that you did. If “blameless”, “holy”, and “just” mean what you think they do, then no human being ever, other than Jesus, was qualified to be an elder, and Paul’s repeated lists are wasted space, demands that cannot ever be met. Because all have sinned. And yet, the Bible makes clear that there were elders and shepherds and pastors in the Church. How can you explain that? You can’t, with your legalistic interpretations of those words.

    But then, Christians don’t use legalistic interpretations of those words.

    Christians are, by virtue of Jesus’ atoning death, blameless, holy, and just. If you cannot say these labels apply to you, then you are not a Christian, I’m sad to say.

    As for my question about the Old Testament priesthood, I believe you misunderstood (@107). I wasn’t arguing that salvation came by it — Hebrews alone is clear on that. I was asking why God himself endorsed such a hierarchy for teaching and leading his people, spiritually? It’s not a major point, but it seems that God isn’t averse to such systems, is all. After all, he appointed some to be pastors, some to be teachers, you know. If you “like ‘submitting’ to Jesus,” you might consider submitting to his will for people to hold these different offices, hmm?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To continue, Amos, I believe this is the crux of your comment (@106): “If you think you qualify … Male or Female …
    Try measuring up to ’1 – Blameless,’ ’13 – Holy,’ and ’14 – Just.’ ( I couldn’t. I was convicted. Had to remove myself, tore up my papers.)”

    Um, first off, if you think females qualify, you really should reread your own list. Not too many female husbands out there.

    But I wonder how a Christian could come to the conclusion that you did. If “blameless”, “holy”, and “just” mean what you think they do, then no human being ever, other than Jesus, was qualified to be an elder, and Paul’s repeated lists are wasted space, demands that cannot ever be met. Because all have sinned. And yet, the Bible makes clear that there were elders and shepherds and pastors in the Church. How can you explain that? You can’t, with your legalistic interpretations of those words.

    But then, Christians don’t use legalistic interpretations of those words.

    Christians are, by virtue of Jesus’ atoning death, blameless, holy, and just. If you cannot say these labels apply to you, then you are not a Christian, I’m sad to say.

    As for my question about the Old Testament priesthood, I believe you misunderstood (@107). I wasn’t arguing that salvation came by it — Hebrews alone is clear on that. I was asking why God himself endorsed such a hierarchy for teaching and leading his people, spiritually? It’s not a major point, but it seems that God isn’t averse to such systems, is all. After all, he appointed some to be pastors, some to be teachers, you know. If you “like ‘submitting’ to Jesus,” you might consider submitting to his will for people to hold these different offices, hmm?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bridgitt

    Much agreement when… You write…
    “did you ever think that the “program” of the church
    is essentially forgiveness of sins– the sharing of God’s superabundant,
    overflowing, sufficient grace?”

    Since I believe you and I are “the Church of God,” “the ekklesia of God,”
    “the called out one’s of God,” then I also believe our focus on sharing
    the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins is important. The best. ;-)

    And “sharing of God’s superabundant, overflowing, sufficient grace” is
    a great joy in my life. ;-)

    and NO. I didn’t watch the video you suggested.
    Tried to when you first mentioned it. Tried just now.
    For some reason it doesn’t work.
    Saw a commercial but no one came on to speak. Sorry.

    What was the main point?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bridgitt

    Much agreement when… You write…
    “did you ever think that the “program” of the church
    is essentially forgiveness of sins– the sharing of God’s superabundant,
    overflowing, sufficient grace?”

    Since I believe you and I are “the Church of God,” “the ekklesia of God,”
    “the called out one’s of God,” then I also believe our focus on sharing
    the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins is important. The best. ;-)

    And “sharing of God’s superabundant, overflowing, sufficient grace” is
    a great joy in my life. ;-)

    and NO. I didn’t watch the video you suggested.
    Tried to when you first mentioned it. Tried just now.
    For some reason it doesn’t work.
    Saw a commercial but no one came on to speak. Sorry.

    What was the main point?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror @ 100

    You write…
    “Did you seriously go about becoming a pastor for glory,
    fame, authority, profit, and recognition etc?”

    Sorry for not explaining myself properly. The answer is no.

    That was not my desire in wanting to be recognized as a shepherd/teacher.

    I too thought of myself as being humble, a servant.
    (BUT, If **you think** or say, your humble; isn’t that really pride?)
    I wanted to serve and help folks with their walk with God.
    Like most who start out in “The Corrupt Religious System.”

    Only in looking back, only after leaving “The Abusive Religious System,”
    only after some measure of healing from the “Spiritual Abuse,”
    can you start to understand the dangers of being called “Pastor/Leader.”
    “Spiritual Abuse” for both the “Leader” and those being “Led’ by man.

    When someone takes the “Title” and “Position” Pastor/Reverend/Elder,
    there is something “A Little Bit Extra” that comes with the “Title.”

    Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Recognition – Reputation. etc..

    “Those things that become “Idols” and are highly esteemed among men”…
    But, “an abomination in the site of God.” Luke 16:15.

    With a “Title” you have a “Reputation” whether you want it or not.
    With a “Title” you are “Recognized” whether you want to be or not.

    Jesus said in John 5:41-45.
    41 I receive **NOT honour** from men…
    44 How can ye believe, which **receive honour** one of another…

    Jesus said in John 7:18
    He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory…

    When that “Title” “Pastor/Reverend/Elder” is written on office doors,
    business cards, diploma’s on walls, Sunday morning bulletins, books. Why?

    When you are called by the “Title” “Pastor” or “Reverend”…
    When you introduce yourself as “Pastor” or “Reverend”…

    Is that “Receiving honor” from men? “Receiving honor” one of another?
    Is that “speaking of yourself” and “seeking your own glory?”

    Jesus said we are ALL brethren. Mat 23:8. Why the special Clergy class?

    Ezekiel 14:1-11.
    3* Son of man, these men have set up their **idols in their heart,**…

    Matthew 23:10 – To “His Disciples” Jesus said…
    Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    In my experience…
    “Titles” become “Idols”
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

    “Idols,” are addictive, causing dependency, and are a cruel task master…

    If someone says their “Title” is not an “Idol” Just ask them to lay it down.

    As man… Jesus humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation.
    and took on the form of a “Servant.” Phil 2:7-8.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Bror @ 100

    You write…
    “Did you seriously go about becoming a pastor for glory,
    fame, authority, profit, and recognition etc?”

    Sorry for not explaining myself properly. The answer is no.

    That was not my desire in wanting to be recognized as a shepherd/teacher.

    I too thought of myself as being humble, a servant.
    (BUT, If **you think** or say, your humble; isn’t that really pride?)
    I wanted to serve and help folks with their walk with God.
    Like most who start out in “The Corrupt Religious System.”

    Only in looking back, only after leaving “The Abusive Religious System,”
    only after some measure of healing from the “Spiritual Abuse,”
    can you start to understand the dangers of being called “Pastor/Leader.”
    “Spiritual Abuse” for both the “Leader” and those being “Led’ by man.

    When someone takes the “Title” and “Position” Pastor/Reverend/Elder,
    there is something “A Little Bit Extra” that comes with the “Title.”

    Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Recognition – Reputation. etc..

    “Those things that become “Idols” and are highly esteemed among men”…
    But, “an abomination in the site of God.” Luke 16:15.

    With a “Title” you have a “Reputation” whether you want it or not.
    With a “Title” you are “Recognized” whether you want to be or not.

    Jesus said in John 5:41-45.
    41 I receive **NOT honour** from men…
    44 How can ye believe, which **receive honour** one of another…

    Jesus said in John 7:18
    He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory…

    When that “Title” “Pastor/Reverend/Elder” is written on office doors,
    business cards, diploma’s on walls, Sunday morning bulletins, books. Why?

    When you are called by the “Title” “Pastor” or “Reverend”…
    When you introduce yourself as “Pastor” or “Reverend”…

    Is that “Receiving honor” from men? “Receiving honor” one of another?
    Is that “speaking of yourself” and “seeking your own glory?”

    Jesus said we are ALL brethren. Mat 23:8. Why the special Clergy class?

    Ezekiel 14:1-11.
    3* Son of man, these men have set up their **idols in their heart,**…

    Matthew 23:10 – To “His Disciples” Jesus said…
    Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    In my experience…
    “Titles” become “Idols”
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

    “Idols,” are addictive, causing dependency, and are a cruel task master…

    If someone says their “Title” is not an “Idol” Just ask them to lay it down.

    As man… Jesus humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation.
    and took on the form of a “Servant.” Phil 2:7-8.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    Some more statistics. This is serious business. Yes?

    http://pastoralcareinc.com/WhyPastoralCare/Statistics.php

    # 95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses.
    # 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands.
    # 80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged as pastors.
    # 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
    …………..Many pastor’s children do not attend church now
    ……………because of what the church has done to their parents.
    # 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
    # 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
    # 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
    # 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
    # 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.

    This is quite a price to pay for a “Title” that becomes an “Idol.”
    For a “Title” and “Position” NOT found in the Bible.

    “Idols,” are addictive, causing dependency, and are a cruel task master…

    # 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years. :-(

    Why don’t the denominations and seminarys, who train these folks,
    tell these young wannabees, before they spend all that money for a degree,
    that they are entering a very dangerous profession? Pastor/Reverend.
    Dangerous for the “Pastor/Reverend” and their family. Yes?

    How come these denominations allow these seminaries to continue
    considering there failure rate is 50%. Yes, 50% don’t last five years. :-(

    Think we might have a problem with “the Corrupt Religious System?”

    Corrupt – dictionary…

    1 – having a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or gain.

    2 – debased or made unreliable by errors or alterations.

    3 – in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.

    This is the system that’s corrupt- NOT the people who love God/Jesus.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    Some more statistics. This is serious business. Yes?

    http://pastoralcareinc.com/WhyPastoralCare/Statistics.php

    # 95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses.
    # 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands.
    # 80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged as pastors.
    # 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
    …………..Many pastor’s children do not attend church now
    ……………because of what the church has done to their parents.
    # 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
    # 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
    # 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
    # 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
    # 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.

    This is quite a price to pay for a “Title” that becomes an “Idol.”
    For a “Title” and “Position” NOT found in the Bible.

    “Idols,” are addictive, causing dependency, and are a cruel task master…

    # 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years. :-(

    Why don’t the denominations and seminarys, who train these folks,
    tell these young wannabees, before they spend all that money for a degree,
    that they are entering a very dangerous profession? Pastor/Reverend.
    Dangerous for the “Pastor/Reverend” and their family. Yes?

    How come these denominations allow these seminaries to continue
    considering there failure rate is 50%. Yes, 50% don’t last five years. :-(

    Think we might have a problem with “the Corrupt Religious System?”

    Corrupt – dictionary…

    1 – having a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or gain.

    2 – debased or made unreliable by errors or alterations.

    3 – in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.

    This is the system that’s corrupt- NOT the people who love God/Jesus.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    You write…
    “Now, you must denigrate others who didn’t choke,
    in order to justify the way you ran from responsibility.
    What do you think? Is that possible?”

    You might not believe this now, but…
    My hope is NOT to denigrate anyone. But to warn, and admonish those
    who follow a “Tradition of men” that nullifye the Word of God.

    I pray for both pastors who are abused and those abused by pastors.

    When folks “submit” and “follow” a person with the “Title” and “Position”
    of **Today’s** “Pastor/Reverend/Elder” they pay an enormous price
    by NOT going directly to Jesus. By NOT hearing “His Voice”
    and following Jesus. Jesus said – My Sheep – Hear – My Voice.
    They grow up being spectators when they could be participators.

    When folks take a”Title” and “Position” of “Pastor/Reverend/Elder”
    that’s Not in the scriptures, they, and their family, pay a horrible price.
    I work with and minister to pastors who can’t do it anymore.

    Here is some info from sites working with “Burnt Out Pastors.”

    http://www.pastorcare.org/PastorCare/Healing___Health.html

    • 77% say they do “not” have a good marriage.
    • 71% have felt burned out or depressed.
    • 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
    • 38% are divorced or seriously considering divorce.
    • Over 1600 U.S. pastors are forced out of their positions each month.

    Think we might have a problem? With the Abusive Religious System?
    70% of pastors are depressed or burnt out.
    70% Don’t have a close friend. Hmmm?

    That’s who is running the show. “Pastors/Reverend/Leaders?”
    77% who say they don’t have a good marriage.
    That’s who is “Spiritually Abusing” God’s sheep.

    1600 pastors a month, that’s 19,000 a year, leave or are pushed out. Wow!!!
    That’s a lot of broken hearts, disappointments, failure, pain, spiritual abuse.
    That’s 1600 families a month suffering “Spiritual Abuse”
    because of a “Corrupt Abusive Religious System.”

    Most know the system is broken. Many are leaving the system. Yes?

    They just don’t know how to fix it.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    Tom Hering

    You write…
    “Now, you must denigrate others who didn’t choke,
    in order to justify the way you ran from responsibility.
    What do you think? Is that possible?”

    You might not believe this now, but…
    My hope is NOT to denigrate anyone. But to warn, and admonish those
    who follow a “Tradition of men” that nullifye the Word of God.

    I pray for both pastors who are abused and those abused by pastors.

    When folks “submit” and “follow” a person with the “Title” and “Position”
    of **Today’s** “Pastor/Reverend/Elder” they pay an enormous price
    by NOT going directly to Jesus. By NOT hearing “His Voice”
    and following Jesus. Jesus said – My Sheep – Hear – My Voice.
    They grow up being spectators when they could be participators.

    When folks take a”Title” and “Position” of “Pastor/Reverend/Elder”
    that’s Not in the scriptures, they, and their family, pay a horrible price.
    I work with and minister to pastors who can’t do it anymore.

    Here is some info from sites working with “Burnt Out Pastors.”

    http://www.pastorcare.org/PastorCare/Healing___Health.html

    • 77% say they do “not” have a good marriage.
    • 71% have felt burned out or depressed.
    • 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
    • 38% are divorced or seriously considering divorce.
    • Over 1600 U.S. pastors are forced out of their positions each month.

    Think we might have a problem? With the Abusive Religious System?
    70% of pastors are depressed or burnt out.
    70% Don’t have a close friend. Hmmm?

    That’s who is running the show. “Pastors/Reverend/Leaders?”
    77% who say they don’t have a good marriage.
    That’s who is “Spiritually Abusing” God’s sheep.

    1600 pastors a month, that’s 19,000 a year, leave or are pushed out. Wow!!!
    That’s a lot of broken hearts, disappointments, failure, pain, spiritual abuse.
    That’s 1600 families a month suffering “Spiritual Abuse”
    because of a “Corrupt Abusive Religious System.”

    Most know the system is broken. Many are leaving the system. Yes?

    They just don’t know how to fix it.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    Sorry – You’r correct – I have misspelled your name. Please forgive me.

    You write…
    “If “blameless”, “holy”, and “just” mean what you think they do, then no human being ever, other than Jesus, was qualified to be an elder, and Paul’s repeated lists are wasted space, demands that cannot ever be met.”

    I’ve questioned this myself. A lot. It does not make a lot of sense.
    But – the Bible does talk about Elders/Overseers.
    And – the Bible talks about “qualifications” for Elders/Overseers.

    Now what do we do? I’ve never met anyone who qualifys. Have you? ;-)

    I’ve asked this question before BUT…

    Which “Qualification” is NOT important?
    Which “Qualification” should we, can we, avoid, overlook, or twist,
    in order to ordain someone an Elder/Overseer Today?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    Sorry – You’r correct – I have misspelled your name. Please forgive me.

    You write…
    “If “blameless”, “holy”, and “just” mean what you think they do, then no human being ever, other than Jesus, was qualified to be an elder, and Paul’s repeated lists are wasted space, demands that cannot ever be met.”

    I’ve questioned this myself. A lot. It does not make a lot of sense.
    But – the Bible does talk about Elders/Overseers.
    And – the Bible talks about “qualifications” for Elders/Overseers.

    Now what do we do? I’ve never met anyone who qualifys. Have you? ;-)

    I’ve asked this question before BUT…

    Which “Qualification” is NOT important?
    Which “Qualification” should we, can we, avoid, overlook, or twist,
    in order to ordain someone an Elder/Overseer Today?

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    I do have some thoughts about the tough qualifications by Paul.
    Nothing I can prove with the scriptures, just some ideas.

    I mentioned one before. Maybe it’s “a test, of someone’s “Integrity.”
    When someone realizes they don’t qualify, is that a test of their “Integrity?”

    God proved, tested, tried His people often. To see what was in their hearts.

    Deut 8:2
    And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God
    led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee,
    and **to prove thee,** to know what was in thine heart,
    whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

    Psalm 11:5
    **The LORD trieth** the righteous…

    Psalm 17:3
    **Thou hast proved** mine heart…

    Psalm 66:10
    For thou, O God, **hast proved us:** thou hast *tried us,* as silver is tried.

    Jer 11:20
    But, O LORD of hosts… that *triest the reins and the heart*…

    Jer 12:3
    But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and *tried* mine heart

    If someone knows they do NOT qualify? Now what?

    Integrity – dictionary

    1 – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles;

    Wikipedia

    Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    I do have some thoughts about the tough qualifications by Paul.
    Nothing I can prove with the scriptures, just some ideas.

    I mentioned one before. Maybe it’s “a test, of someone’s “Integrity.”
    When someone realizes they don’t qualify, is that a test of their “Integrity?”

    God proved, tested, tried His people often. To see what was in their hearts.

    Deut 8:2
    And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God
    led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee,
    and **to prove thee,** to know what was in thine heart,
    whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

    Psalm 11:5
    **The LORD trieth** the righteous…

    Psalm 17:3
    **Thou hast proved** mine heart…

    Psalm 66:10
    For thou, O God, **hast proved us:** thou hast *tried us,* as silver is tried.

    Jer 11:20
    But, O LORD of hosts… that *triest the reins and the heart*…

    Jer 12:3
    But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and *tried* mine heart

    If someone knows they do NOT qualify? Now what?

    Integrity – dictionary

    1 – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles;

    Wikipedia

    Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    Another thought about this conundrum with Elders and Qualifications is…

    It seems God has NO problem testing and proving His children.
    Asking them to do things that they are imposible to obey and fulfill.
    God’s ways are NOT our ways, are they?

    1 – God gave the Ten Commandments. Can anyone “Obey” just ten?

    How well did the Israelites do with obeying just 10?
    How are you doing with the 10?

    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”

    2 – Then there’s The Greatest Commandment in the NT.

    How are you doing with loving God with all your heart, soul and mind?
    How are you doing with loving your neighbor?
    How are you doing with loving yourself?

    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”

    3 – Jesus said “fear not”and “worry not.”

    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”
    How’s that been working for you?

    4 – How about Pro 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In “ALL” thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

    Do you always “Trust in the Lord?”
    Do you acknowledge Jesus in “ALL” your ways?
    Have you “departed from evil?”
    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”
    How’s that been working for you?

    5 – How about – Pray without ceasing? 1The 5:17

    Nope… not this one either…

    6 – How about – Go… make disciples…
    How many “Disciples of Christ” have you made? Hmmm?
    Not converts, or confessions of faith, or repenters of sin,
    Not someone who joined “your church,” or became “your disciple.”
    BUT, a living, breathing, “Disciple of Christ.” “Learner of Christ”

    I haven’t been able to make any **True** “Disciples of Christ.”
    How about you? How are you with “fulfilling this command?”

    7 – Then we have Luke 6:27, But I say unto you which hear,
    **Love your enemies,** do good to them which hate you.

    This one is certainly a challenge. I don’t do so good with this one.
    How about you? How are you with “fulfilling this command?”

    And the list goes on, and on, and…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    Another thought about this conundrum with Elders and Qualifications is…

    It seems God has NO problem testing and proving His children.
    Asking them to do things that they are imposible to obey and fulfill.
    God’s ways are NOT our ways, are they?

    1 – God gave the Ten Commandments. Can anyone “Obey” just ten?

    How well did the Israelites do with obeying just 10?
    How are you doing with the 10?

    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”

    2 – Then there’s The Greatest Commandment in the NT.

    How are you doing with loving God with all your heart, soul and mind?
    How are you doing with loving your neighbor?
    How are you doing with loving yourself?

    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”

    3 – Jesus said “fear not”and “worry not.”

    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”
    How’s that been working for you?

    4 – How about Pro 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In “ALL” thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

    Do you always “Trust in the Lord?”
    Do you acknowledge Jesus in “ALL” your ways?
    Have you “departed from evil?”
    I don’t seem to be able to “fulfill those requirements.”
    How’s that been working for you?

    5 – How about – Pray without ceasing? 1The 5:17

    Nope… not this one either…

    6 – How about – Go… make disciples…
    How many “Disciples of Christ” have you made? Hmmm?
    Not converts, or confessions of faith, or repenters of sin,
    Not someone who joined “your church,” or became “your disciple.”
    BUT, a living, breathing, “Disciple of Christ.” “Learner of Christ”

    I haven’t been able to make any **True** “Disciples of Christ.”
    How about you? How are you with “fulfilling this command?”

    7 – Then we have Luke 6:27, But I say unto you which hear,
    **Love your enemies,** do good to them which hate you.

    This one is certainly a challenge. I don’t do so good with this one.
    How about you? How are you with “fulfilling this command?”

    And the list goes on, and on, and…

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    So, possibility’s for Paul’s “Qualifications” is;
    1 – **it’s a test** of someone’s “Integrity”
    2 – The qualifications are there to humble us and drive us to Jesus.

    Just as the commandments were a schoolmaster to lead us to Jesus.

    Could the qualifications, that no one can meet?
    also be there to drive us to Jesus?

    Look at all that Jesus asks us to “DO” that we can’t “DO” Oy Vey!!! :-(

    1 – Only ten commandments.
    2 – Love god, Love our neighbor, Love ourselves.
    3 – Fear not – Worry not.
    4 – Trust the Lord, Acknowledge Jesus in “ALL” our ways,
    …… depart from evil…
    5 – Pray with out ceasing.
    6 – Go into all the world and Make Disciples.
    7 – Love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you.

    Lord help – I can’t do it. I need you. Apart from you I can do nothing.

    If elders don’t meet the “Qualifications” will they humble themselves?
    Will they admit they don’t meet the “Qualifications?”
    and will they remove themself from the “Position?”
    Will they become an example to the flock?
    And admit they do not qualify? And remove themselves?
    Now that would be some example? yes?

    And realize the highest calling is to be a “Servant of Christ?” :-)

  • http://web.me.com/love101 A. Amos Love

    tODD

    So, possibility’s for Paul’s “Qualifications” is;
    1 – **it’s a test** of someone’s “Integrity”
    2 – The qualifications are there to humble us and drive us to Jesus.

    Just as the commandments were a schoolmaster to lead us to Jesus.

    Could the qualifications, that no one can meet?
    also be there to drive us to Jesus?

    Look at all that Jesus asks us to “DO” that we can’t “DO” Oy Vey!!! :-(

    1 – Only ten commandments.
    2 – Love god, Love our neighbor, Love ourselves.
    3 – Fear not – Worry not.
    4 – Trust the Lord, Acknowledge Jesus in “ALL” our ways,
    …… depart from evil…
    5 – Pray with out ceasing.
    6 – Go into all the world and Make Disciples.
    7 – Love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you.

    Lord help – I can’t do it. I need you. Apart from you I can do nothing.

    If elders don’t meet the “Qualifications” will they humble themselves?
    Will they admit they don’t meet the “Qualifications?”
    and will they remove themself from the “Position?”
    Will they become an example to the flock?
    And admit they do not qualify? And remove themselves?
    Now that would be some example? yes?

    And realize the highest calling is to be a “Servant of Christ?” :-)

  • Tom Hering

    There has to be a name for the syndrome exhibited by “me-and-my-Bible” Christians who think they’re responding to what others have said and asked, but they’re not. I’d propose “discussion delusion disorder” (DDD) and I think we’re seeing more and more cases of it on this blog.

  • Tom Hering

    There has to be a name for the syndrome exhibited by “me-and-my-Bible” Christians who think they’re responding to what others have said and asked, but they’re not. I’d propose “discussion delusion disorder” (DDD) and I think we’re seeing more and more cases of it on this blog.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Tom I believe you are right.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Tom I believe you are right.

  • Brigitte

    Amos, you don’t like to listen. You cannot have a discussion without listening. This is the beginning problem of DDD.

    You also spelled my name incorrectly several times, which is not a big deal to me, BUT as to the link not working: I spelled out quite clearly that the beginning of the video has to be found first. There is unfortunately some lengthy set-up time with nothing happening.

    Also, a thorough lecture by an excellent theologian is not boiled down to a “main point.” You must spend some time on it and reflect on it and see what you can learn from it. If I give you a “main point”, I am guessing you would simply dismiss it right out of hand to illustrate further “DDD” tendencies.

    You are making a very big mistake. As the saying is “You cannot have God as your Father, without having the church as your mother.” In this church we have forgiveness of sins… That the church consists of the people and that it also contains hypocrites as to its outward composition, and the true nature of the church is not visible, we all affirm. There is a mystery here and the consummation of all things we still await. There is the visible and the invisible church and it is one within the other. It is an article of faith, not seeing. At the end of time, we shall see all.

    Meanwhile, it is within this church that your faith has its origin, nurture and sustenance, as we receive everything from outside of ourselves; this is a key point.

    I would recommend to you also the Book of Concord, to which most of us here subscribe, as an excellent and true exposition of biblical teaching. You might find that this is what you have been looking for. Concordia Publishing House has a new Reader’s Edition, which is not to be missed.

  • Brigitte

    Amos, you don’t like to listen. You cannot have a discussion without listening. This is the beginning problem of DDD.

    You also spelled my name incorrectly several times, which is not a big deal to me, BUT as to the link not working: I spelled out quite clearly that the beginning of the video has to be found first. There is unfortunately some lengthy set-up time with nothing happening.

    Also, a thorough lecture by an excellent theologian is not boiled down to a “main point.” You must spend some time on it and reflect on it and see what you can learn from it. If I give you a “main point”, I am guessing you would simply dismiss it right out of hand to illustrate further “DDD” tendencies.

    You are making a very big mistake. As the saying is “You cannot have God as your Father, without having the church as your mother.” In this church we have forgiveness of sins… That the church consists of the people and that it also contains hypocrites as to its outward composition, and the true nature of the church is not visible, we all affirm. There is a mystery here and the consummation of all things we still await. There is the visible and the invisible church and it is one within the other. It is an article of faith, not seeing. At the end of time, we shall see all.

    Meanwhile, it is within this church that your faith has its origin, nurture and sustenance, as we receive everything from outside of ourselves; this is a key point.

    I would recommend to you also the Book of Concord, to which most of us here subscribe, as an excellent and true exposition of biblical teaching. You might find that this is what you have been looking for. Concordia Publishing House has a new Reader’s Edition, which is not to be missed.

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  • Jan

    What does this say for children of single mothers whose fathers are not involved??

  • Jan

    What does this say for children of single mothers whose fathers are not involved??

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