Christians’ Personal Responsibility

It’s so easy to become dependent on the pastor for your spiritual well-being and development. The whole system seems, at times, rigged that way. The seating in most churches is set to one focal point, that being the pulpit, and usually that area is elevated. Many pastors make it a point to dress in a manner that distinguishes them from the congregation, and titles help reinforce that there is only one expert or master teacher in the room. We refer to clergy as “The Man” or “The Woman of God,” and socially this all has the effect of teaching us, if only in a non-verbal way, that there is one, or at best a few, who knows better than we do and somehow are closer to God than we are. More troubling still, some assert that when the pastor or preacher speaks, (like Moses), it’s not merely them speaking or teaching about God, but for God. This leaves many Christians close-minded, hanging on to every word of their pastor or spiritual teacher.

Do you think pastors are speaking for God directly or are they teaching about God?

What happens then if that teacher disseminates falsehoods or error as it pertains to the word of God? In 2 Timothy 2, we find such a case, and Paul points out the danger of this. “Words are not mere words” but they have the ability to cause many to go astray. Paul encourages Timothy, a young pastor, to do diligences and work hard at ensuring that he needs not be ashamed, having rightly handled the word of God.

Does the charge to study only apply to pastors?

If statistics answer the question for us, then it would seem so. While a nice number of people claim to read the bible often, far too few go any further by being involved in biblical study, according to information found here.

Since we have been warned that there will be an increase of false teachers in the last days, shouldn’t we, each and every one of us, want to protect ourselves by studying the word of God?

In 1 Peter 3:15, the saints are encouraged to always be able to give a reason for the hope that lies within them. And again in 2 Peter 3, Peter warns the saints that there are those who will twist the words of Paul and other scripture and seek to make a mockery of the word of God. I think there is great benefit for us in the final words and warning of Peter in this chapter;

I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Be on your guard!

That should be the stance of every Christian — on guard against error.

Grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That is every Christian’s responsibility.

Do you agree?

Finally, (and I love this), in Acts 17:11 we find this statement about the people of Berea that should be an eternal principle for us.

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

In these days we cannot take for granted that what comes across the pulpit — any pulpit — is the truth. Be On Guard! Grow in the knowledge and grace of God and verify everything by the word of God.

I’ll end with this:

Psalm 1

The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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5 thoughts on “Christians’ Personal Responsibility

  1. I agree! The moment we depend on a church or pastor for truth is the moment we put our spirits into the wrong hands. It is an act that leads to spiritual decay. Especially these days.

    Rachel

  2. Welcome Rachel,

    Thanks for stopping by. I agree that it remains our personal responsibility to work out our own soul salvation.

  3. As members of the clergy we are ambassadors or representatives of God, therefore we work for him. God is God an he only shall be God! remember that saying? However Jesus sent the comforter, Holy Spirit who speak through man.
    Most Pastors say God is speaking through them, I agree, but the question is when? how often? I believe most of the congregation know the difference. The Pastor is supposed to be the shepard who feed the sheep, not Lords to control and order the lives of the sheep. We are to teach and do, that others would want to learn and do. Do the written word and be the living word.
    Do on to others as you will have them do unto you!
    Do not consider your self as better than the other!
    First be a servant, then a master in heaven, not here.
    I agree there should be a lead person over a ministry, but not a ruler, God alone rules.
    Most people commit there heart and share most of their lives with the pastor, grasping the vision and running with it, and all is well, but if we see things a different way of have an opposing opinion we are slap down.
    Control, control, control, STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love God because its like we are having another exodus, we are being released from Egypt and walking in to freedom land.
    Thank You Jesus for your undying LOVE.

  4. Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

    I would like to address this question to Anna McCoy or anyone else who would like to help me with this.

    QUESTION: Why do some people have such a big problem with women being Pastors?

    Some people think that God did not and would not call women to be Pastors and some have given the scripture:
    I Corinthians 11:3 as their reasoning. I have heard quite a few male Pastors and surprisingly even some women say that if a woman is over a church as a Pastor, that the church is out of order. They say you can call a woman an Evangelist, but not a Pastor.
    This is what I have found in reference to this so far.

    “While the Bible does not support the practice of women serving as pastors, numerous passages speak clearly and forcibly to the inherent worth and value of women. Women in the New Testament engaged in significant ministry, performing valuable service in sometimes-difficult situations. This is readily seen in the Acts of the Apostles. Both Priscilla and Aquila spoke privately to Apollos at Ephesus (Acts 18:24-26), correcting his incomplete and flawed theology. Further, women clearly played a significant role in the work of the Apostle Paul. In his letter to the Romans, Paul identified sixteen significant helpers in ministry (16:1-16), and at least ten of them were women. Who knows what the health of the church at Philippi would have been were it not for Lydia (Acts 16:13-15), apparently a benefactor to the church, and others such as Euodia and Syntyche (Phil. 4:2-3)? And of course, women made a significant contribution to Jesus’ ministry. Luke recalled with appreciation their financial support and company with Him (Luke 8:1-3).”

    I would appreciate any insight, accompanied with scripture that you could give me.

    Thank you and be blessed. I will await your answer.

  5. Pingback: A years worth of conversation « SCREAM

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