Episode 257: Can You Trust Your Pastor?

Disciple Up # 257
Can You Trust Your Pastor?
By Louie Marsh, 5-5-2022

https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2022/spring/pastoral-credibility-erodes-resilient-glenn-packiam.html

https://churchleaders.com/news/417918-barna-glenn-packiam-american-pastors-credibility.html

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Episode 252

Disciple Up #252
Character Over Charisma, Godliness Over Giftedness
By Louie Marsh, 3-30-2022

Article that sparked these thoughts:

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/march-web-only/hillsong-brian-houston-australia-look-for-character.html

 Other Articles:

https://preachitteachit.org/articles/detail/character-wins-over-charisma/

The Real Point:

 What I find disappointing are the explanations for Houston’s actions. While medication can adversely affect a person’s mental state, it is never a justification for inappropriate behavior. These excuses ring hollow, especially for victims of sexual harassment.

 One obvious issue, rightly noted by the Hillsong board, is that “Hillsong’s governance model has historically placed significant control in the hands of the senior pastor.” Freighting one person with authority is not indicative of a healthy leadership culture. We would do well, then, to reflect on which model of church governance and which style of leadership are more conducive to transparency and accountability.

 As biblical scholar Andy Judd suggests, we should always ask, “Where is power distributed? how are decisions made and reviewed? and what happens next when a leader is forced to move on?”

 But more important than leadership structures is a person’s character. The biblical qualifications for a pastor don’t rely on clicks, downloads, book sales, revenue, conference circuits, the number of bums in pews, or how many celebrities attend your church.

 Instead, they require a pastor to be “above reapproach” and “self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (1 Tim. 3:2–3). Jesus taught that “the greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matt 23:11–12).

 During my time in seminary, I joined a wonderful Bible-believing church, and when I was being considered for a place as a pastoral intern, I met with one of the pastors. Having known me only for a little while, he was optimistic about my potential but wisely cautious about my character.

 He said, “I know you’re gifted, but I don’t know if you’re godly.” Those words have stuck with me ever since.

 There is a difference—a big one—between being gifted and being godly. It’s the difference between the show you can put on and what desires you harbor in your heart, between what you do on stage and what you do when you think nobody is watching you.

 The events surrounding Houston are a reminder that the evangelical world needs leaders who demonstrate Christlike character, not simply public confidence; who grow disciples, not groom sycophants; who see themselves as naked before Christ, not robed in the prestige of their platforms. We need leaders who know that when success becomes an idol, cover-ups become a sacrament.

 A Word From Our Sponsor:

1The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:1–7, ESV)

11The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11–12, ESV)

Character Counts and it trumps charisma and giftedness.

New Testament leaders are chosen for character and how they deal with family, not business and skill tests ratings.

In the end what else is a leader but someone who’s character shines bright and causes others to follow them.

New Testament leadership is all about Servant Leadership. This too takes character.  Story of Crazy Horses’ father taking a new, humble name when he gave his name – Crazy Horse – to his now famous son.

What qualities do we need in a Pastor or leader?

Paul laid that all out in Timothy. They need to be godly, self-controlled, humble and service oriented. Someone who knows how to lead, discipline and love all at the same time. They must be spiritually mature – which means being knowledgeable and active in applying that knowledge to their own lives first and other people’s lives second.

Beyond all that they must have a good reputation among non-Christians! Now why on earth would that be needed in church leaders? Paul says so that he won’t fall into disgrace or a snare of the devil.

The words, “good report,” are marturian kalēn (μαρτυριαν καλην), “an excellent testimony.” “Those without” refers to the non-Christian world in the midst of which the saints live. Expositors says: “In the passage before us, indeed, St. Paul may be understood to imply that the opinion of ‘those without’ might usefully balance or correct that of the Church. There is something blameworthy in a man’s character if the consensus of outside opinion be unfavorable to him; no matter how much he may be admired and respected by his own party.… One cannot safely assume, when we are in antagonism to it, that, because we are Christians, we are absolutely in the right and the world wholly wrong. Thus to defy public opinion in a superior spirit may not only bring discredit (reproach) on one’s self and on the Church, but also catch us in the devil’s snare, namely, a supposition that because the world condemns a certain course of action, the action is therefore right and the world’s verdict may be safely set aside.” – Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 7 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 58–59.

There are, of course, two sides to this matter. Reproach (ὀνειδισμον [oneidismon]). Late word from ὀνειδιζω [oneidizō]. See Rom. 15:3. The snare of the devil (παγιδα του διαβολου [pagida tou diabolou]). Here subjective genitive, snare set by the devil. Παγις [Pagis], old word from πηγνυμι [pēgnumi], to make fast. So a snare for birds (Luke 21:35), any sudden trap (Rom. 11:9), of sin (1 Tim. 6:9), of the devil (1 Tim. 3:7; 2 Tim. 2:26). Ancients used it of the snares of love. The devil sets special snares for preachers (conceit verse 6, money 6:9, women, ambition). -A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), 1 Ti 3:7.

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Episode 245

Disciple Up #245
|Pastoral Breaking Point: Leadership During a Crisis
By Louie Marsh, 2-9-2022

Book Referral: Uncommon Leadership by Dr. Bob Kuest

https://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Leadership-Servant-Power-Based-World/dp/1885625138/ref=sr_1_3?crid=27DJ53AGBJI7R&keywords=Uncommon+leadership&qid=1644270640&sprefix=uncommon+leadership%2Caps%2C149&sr=8-3

Websites Quoted In This Episode:

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/january-web-only/covid-church-pastor-quit-ministry-burnout-breaking-point.html

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/martin-luther-plague-pandemic-coronavirus-covid-flee-letter.html

 http://christianmind.org/2020/05/01/martin-luther-on-plague/

 When Martin Luther was dealing with The Black Death plague, he wrote these wise words that can help inform the way we approach things happening in our world right now…”I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash no foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/november/pastor-burnout-pandemic-barna-consider-leaving-ministry.html

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Episode 244

Disciple Up #244
Potpourri
By Louie Marsh, 2-2-2022

Websites Referenced In This Podcast

https://lifewayresearch.com/2022/01/24/the-group-most-likely-to-still-be-missing-from-your-church/

https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/bible-podcasts-are-nos-1-and-2-on-apples-chart-interest-in-the-bible-is-expanding.html

https://chartable.com/charts/itunes/us-all-podcasts-podcasts

https://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/former-liberty-university-president-jerry-falwell-jr-tells-vanity-fair-hes-not-a-religious-person.html

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lie

Notes:

 As of 1-31-2022 – Bible In a Year was #12 and the Bible Recap was #33.

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Episode 189

Disciple Up #189
Celebrity Pastors
By Louie Marsh, 12-10-2020

Article Link:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2020/december-web-exclusives/celebrity-pastor-entitlement-church-culture-humility.html

Celebrity Definition:

1the state of being celebrated FAME The actress lived a life of celebrity.

2a famous or celebrated person. Many celebrities attended the awards ceremony.

Given that definition the Pope is a celebrity, Billy Graham was the biggest Christian celebrity of the last century, etc.

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Episode 180

Disciple Up #180
Shepherding: Feeding & Defending the Flock
By Louie Marsh, 10-7-2020

Intro. An e-mail poured in! Disagreement on what I said about Witness Lee and the Local Church. Episode 73-74.

So what is the duty of teachers and shepherds when it comes to dealing with doctrinal error and, sometimes, out right heresy? Let’s take a look!

 Everyone – Leaders Included – Must Watch Their Mouth!

 Yes, I am very well aware that we’ll be judged for every careless word we speak. I’ll go even further we are also commanded not to lie and not to condemn our brothers when we disagree with them

 34You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”” (Matthew 12:34–37, ESV)

4Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4, ESV)

6The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:6–8, ESV)

1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1–5, ESV)

 TEACHERS AND SHEPHERDS HAVE DUTIES FROM GOD

 FEED AND LEAD:

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. (Jn 21:15–17).

However, pastors and teachers aren’t just commanded to teach and lead the flock. We are also called upon to defend it when necessary. James says teachers are under a stricter judgment and this tension between not being judgmental but being discerning and defending your flock from harm, is part of the weight of that judgment.

Ezekiel tells us that if the watchman doesn’t warn those under his care he will be condemned. So yes, I am very aware of this and living with the weight of this greater judgment is something I agreed to take on when I became a teacher and pastor.

WATCHMEN – PROTECTING THE FLOCK

1The word of the Lord came to me: 2“Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, 3and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:1–6, ESV)

3Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3–4, ESV)

5And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”” (Mark 7:5–8, ESV)

Should We Name Names?

11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.” (Galatians 2:11–12, ESV)

19holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:19–20, ESV)

16But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:16–18, ESV)

  • If the people involved are public figures – like I am – the answer is yes!

THE PRICE OF LEADERSHIP:

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” (James 3:1–2, ESV)

  • God’s judgment is based on what you know.

20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, ESV)

That’s the only way His judgments can be just. He can’t condemn or justify you if you didn’t something was right or wrong.

47And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:47–48, ESV)

12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:12–15, ESV)

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