questioning the pastor’s authority

questioning the pastor’s authority June 2, 2013
question authority cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
Yabadabadoo! Click on this image and there’s art for you!

Remember the story of the servant who informs David that he can rejoice because Saul is dead? David has him executed for messing with God’s anointed. This has been used on me many times. It’s being used on people today. Yes, today.

Do you know how it feels to be threatened with divine punishment for questioning someone in spiritual authority? Do you know what it is like to be chastised for questioning God’s anointed people? I do.

Fear is a prison some leaders take advantage of to maintain the allegiance, loyalty and even adoration of their followers.

You can just walk away from that whole toxic paradigm and eventually the fear will dissipate.

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  • Susan

    Eventually being the operative word here. It took me about seven years.

  • The Authority lies in the Word itself. And the Word’s ability and power to create faith, when and where it will.

    If the pastor is faithful to that Word then there’s no problem. If not, then the people need to can him/her and get someone who will be a faithful preacher of the Word.

  • Al Cruise

    The key here is your words “God’s anointed people”. Are they really???. After 40 years of lay ministry, it doesn’t take long to spot a fake. I am sure there are many of you out there who can do the same.

  • Gun Nordström

    Jesus himself was questioning the spiritual authority of his days all the time. He had found the light within and asked his disciples to seek the truth in their hearts as it will not be found in the outer. Words of wisdom in books and preachings can be of help in our searching but they are not the truth as it can exist only in living a life in harmony by listening to the inner voice of our hearts. “As I am, so be you too the light of the world!” he said. And he never told that we cannot. That was the good news of Jesus. And as to those who were not yet interested in seeking and knowing the truth, he said: Father, forgive them, as they don´t know (yet) what they are doing.

  • Adam Julians

    Yeah thanks David – been there done that ain’t going back again.

    Actually you are right about the fear. I will give a quote from a recent conversation with a prominent leader.

    Him : “I … often enjoy your messages but you do have a habit of making judgements about peoples motives which is more than a little irritating … my concern was your willingness to read into peoples posts motivations that are not there, that they have not said. In other words don’t read between the lines”.

    Me: “In your lecture you said “please feel free to disagree with what i say, .. i just ask that you are nice … I am prepared to admit I may be wrong and i want to hear points of view and informantion” .In the light of that then, I think you are wrong to have written the rebuke you had to me about peoples motives as you intrpert my comments to adress. I hear what you say about irritation. I suggest that is your irritation not a generic irritation and ask for your consideration of

    Him “No I don’t agree. I really wish you would stop reading emotions and motivations into posts which are just not there”.

    Me: “That irritation clearly was there – not a case of reading into anything
    by me. And your instruction to stop reading emotions into something that
    is not there is not an appropriate instruction or an accurate
    reflection of what I have been doing in this instance”

    He didn’t reply to that last posting from me. I wonder why.

  • Adam Julians


  • Al Cruise

    The part I feel ashamed about, is for many years I sat quiet , and saw some very serious abuses take place by leaders. You often think, am I the only one who can see this. Nothing has brought reality to me like David’s cartoons, amazing wisdom in them. But the question for me is, how to deal with the judgemental, holy than thou personalities, that are in these positions of power.

  • Adam Julians

    Please don’t feel bad about it. It is not ease to stick your head up and risk the consequenses of challlenging leaders. It’s also hard to tell if they are doing wrong – they can mask things and only after a while do things become apparent often.

    I doubt if many would have had the conversation I have had with the leader I’ve shared here.

    For me David’s cartoons when I was goign through it were a welcome escape.

    How do deal with judgemental, holy than thou personalities in positions of power? Doesn’t Jesus give the answer with saying do as they say, don’t do as they do?

    I’ve been learnign some things recently about what a teacher calls “real power”. And that when we act as victims and play a blame game, it blocks real power. I have found that taking this approach works for me. I hope it is helpful for you too 🙂

  • Adam Julians

    That’s beautiful.

  • Al Cruise


  • Adam Julians

    my pleasure 🙂